Every square foot of built up space has to project the best of design, ideas and decisions and if that is what energy-efficient architecture is looking to achieve, we have the relevant technology and materials to meet that end.

The topic is about basements and how, in India, basements are used to park cars. Basement car parks take up more space than what you would ever imagine. The ramp down to a 5 ft. lower basement needs to be around 25 to 30 ft. long for a comfortable drive, while the car itself will not be longer than 16 ft. long. So, just imagine the total length of 40 to 45 ft. we spare to park one car, which on normal ground level would not demand more than 20 ft.

The ramp space cannot be used for anything else but driving down, unlike the flat part of the site. On ground, if the car were to be kept out temporarily, the space could also be used as a guest space during events, buffet lunch area, kids’ play area or shaded area for plants. Steep slopes to the basement would incur extra cost of executing the ramp, making it skid proof and building up the side retaining walls, and also reduces the multi-functionality of the site.

This analysis is not to negate the idea of a basement, but to discourage car parking in the basement. If we analyse expenses, advantages and disadvantages of basement car parking, we see more disadvantages than advantages. Equally well, this analysis is to suggest a methodology to be adapted when we design green buildings, where we may weigh the options for their real benefits and get an efficient building.

Basements can be put to many uses, including converting them into usable living spaces to cope with changing household set ups without needing to move. Comfortable living spaces, media rooms, game rooms and family rooms are the popular choices that subterranean spaces are converted into.

But some spaces are just not large enough to convert into living spaces, and then those are converted into utility area. Any appliances you install in your basement will free up space in your kitchen.

Adding lots of recessed lighting and making the space easy to maintain would make it look more spacious and well designed, adding value to your property.

Source : The Hindu