Critical Review

Do you have gaps below your doors?

I got some good feedback on my previous article -what does your front door say!  One of my architect friend-Ashim Bhatacharya<canvas8@gmail.com>  suggested that why not I write on the gap below the door – Why not?  I wondered aloud-After all this gap lets unwelcomed guests walk in like the ants/lizards, bugs etc.

imagine the snake says -don't throw me out - I have just walked in from my grassland
imagine the snake says -don’t throw me out – I have just walked in from my grassland
Here I am-hi:)
I am yet to find some one who  welcomes a lizard who says Here I am-hi:)

 

 

 

 

In fact, an architect friend of mine based in Chennai -Ajay Sethi@www.pspdesign.in

told me he was screamed upon by some guests of  his client  complaining about night bugs and even snakes seen creeping in through the entry door. Sounds medieval to me!!

But on a serious note this is a problem faced by many –

xxx

A small opening at the bottom of the sash, between the door &floor, which then allows entry of dust, insects etc .Yes this  gap prevents the door to be sound & insulation proof. In summers, cool air from house escapes out and in winter’s, cool air from outside flows in. Inside a closed dark room in the night, when we see a thin strip of light below our door -the light from outside streaming in; its that’s gap.

Just few days back, over a luncheon with my friends, I chatted about this issue. We all have had our education from college of architecture Lucknow, and our chats are more humor driven -one issue leads to a hundred more. It’s a riot of laughter when it comes to my batch mates.

roll a tower and put in here
roll a tower and put in here
  • Believe me  rohit@designerweb.in provides the easiest solution which  was to roll up towels and place it on the floor, up against the door on the inside. WOW! who could have thought it was this simple.
a Pillow to Stop the Draft From Doors
a Pillow to Stop the Draft From Doors
  • Then sumitvarmani@gmail.com suggested a tailor made pillow precise to the measurement of the door width and placed there. The pillow filled with dried kitchen goods such as rice, dried lentils or unpopped corn would serve as both filler and weight to keep the draft blocker in place.
  • Several pairs of knee-high tube socks could replace the pillow. Better to Stuff stockings or socks with your chosen filling until you have enough length of filling to cover the entire length of the door opening plus 2 inches came a prompt antidote to the pillow by anupam@arinem.co.in

I was already rolling with laughter on these low budget practical solutions coming from my friends.

  • door_seal_cand lo & behold!!  dipankar@enar.co.in pushed a sketch – showing how to Screw on a door sweep. This is done from inside the home on an exterior door,
    install a sweep on already existing door
    install a sweep on already existing door

    and the sweep will effectively block the gap under the door. We were told there are several types available, from an actual bristle-type sweep that hangs below the door and blocks the gap, to rubberized types that bulge slightly to fill the gap.

 

xxx

  • A fancy discussion then followed  this sketch and up came another suggestion  from  goyalmukul10@gmail.com . A  drafty front door with a new threshold can be an  instant solution for comfort, style, harmony and perfection.

Really it bought me to think & it made me realize my article as penned down above would now be informative. It had so many great minds working on it.

Next few days day I contacted & met few manufacturers who could provide me with available products in Delhi-India.  In the comment section are excerpts from them-

I used to sing in shower but will this define the choice of my shower system

Just like- what you read why you travel and where you eat -how you shower determines your personality-HUHHH!!

Are you the types who love daydreaming in the shower allowing imagination on flights of fancy Admit it!- You tap into your creative powers of imagination and you can visualize responses to stressful situations, here is the place that helps strengthen your overall sense of well being.
READ ON TO SEVEN PERSONALITY.  warning -THIS  MAY MAKE YOU WONDER -REALLY?!!! 🙂

 

TYPE ONE-

if you enjoy--Baths Bubbles, Bubbles Bath, Bathroom Shower, Bathtime Art, Bathtime Fun
IF you enjoy–Baths Bubbles, Bubbles Bath, Bathroom Shower, Bathtime Art, Bathtime Fun

Then you are a pleasure-oriented person with a very strong sensual side. you don’t let the drama of life disturb you rather you let-go of things easily.

You seem to have forgotten your purpose of being in shower. Day dreaming right in middle of your shower you are transported to another world. Which is mystical, blissful and alluring away from the worries which hover on your face.You dream big dreams and have many hopes in life. And yes you have a creative mind which lets you drift and enjoy the mundane everyday tasks. On the surface, daydreaming seems like the reverse of “work,” yet it’s truly at the core of the most important type of productivity–creative problem-solving.

This calm and collected nature of yours in an envy of many.

You need to invest in a luxurious bathtub where you can slip in and let the day drift away.

TYPE TWO

As a person who likes to shower with a loofa, you take a very thorough approach to your showering ritual. This thoroughness carries through into the rest of your everyday life as well. Co-workers and friends find that you are one of the most dependable and reliable people they know. Just like you depend on your loofa, they know they can count on you to get a job done, and get it done well. With a detail-oriented mind, you will go far in your career and in all of life's endeavour's!
IF you shower you scrub you use a loofa

Yes! Just like you depend on your loofa, your friends and family know they can count on you. This regime of cleansing shows you have a very systematic approach towards everyday situations. You apply a very a logical and ordered process to address all situations.

Your shower cubicle should have enough space to let you work on yourself. Go for a king size cubicle.

 

TYPE THREE-

As a person who gets in the shower before turning on the water, you run the risk of getting a burst of unexpected hot or cold water. But this doesn't worry you. In fact, this very much excites you. You have an adventurous spirit, and you approach life just as you approach your showers: with a willingness to live on the edge. You are the biggest thrill-seeker of your friends, and your spontaneous nature makes you someone that they love being around. You take big risks, which often pays off dividends in your career and your relationships!
you are a risk taker IF you open the shower after entering right in and enjoy it too

You have an adventurous spirit, and you approach life just as you approach your showers: you dare to live on edge. You are not scared to run the risk of getting a burst of unexpected hot or ice cold water rather it excites you. You are the biggest thrill-seeker of your friends, and your spontaneous nature makes you someone that they love being around. You take big risks, which often pays off dividends in your career and your relationships!

You just need a good pressure shower to enjoy this ritual.

TYPE FOUR-

you are a fun loving person who may or may not have the talent but yet loves to sing
singing in shower You are a fun loving person who may or may not have the talent but yet loves to sing

 

 

 

 

 

You are a confident individual who doesn’t overly worry about what other people think about you. This will help you to go far in life, as you won’t get hung up on feeling self-conscious or embarrassed. And as a person who likes to cut loose, friends and family absolutely love being around you!

 

You need every penny for your loved ones so go for the economical range.

TYPE FIVE-

IF you are the kind of person who thinks and list out things in shower
IF you are the kind of person who thinks and list out things in shower-

Then you are someone who finds it very hard to turn your brain off. Who says its a bad thing??. In fact, shower time is where you often do your best thinking. You love working out problems and organizing things mentally for the future. This list-making shower time helps you to be prepared when it comes to work and relationships!

you need to invest in an electronic or the most upcoming DTV+ shower systems. So that you only worry about what your brain is churning out and the shower automatically does the work for you.

TYPE SIX-

As a person who likes to take ice cold showers, you do not enjoy the feeling of being overly worked up. You are often easily excitable even though you don't necessarily enjoy the feeling of your blood pressure rising. Luckily, cold showers are there to do the trick. As a person who gets worked up quickly, you may find yourself in the middle of arguments or disagreements more than you would like. However, you have an astute self-awareness that allows you to recognize when you need to seek a calming alternative. This ability certainly comes in handy when you find yourself getting carried away with things!
IF you are a person who likes to take ice cold showers,

you do not enjoy the feeling of being overly organized. You are often impulsive. Arguments or differences happen to pull you- in always. But certainly you are able to seek out a calming alternative when required. This never allows you to get carried away and you stand earthed.

 

TYPE SEVEN-

You are a person who can be happy in a budget driven shower system.

As a person who likes to take quickie showers, you probably aren't the most on-time person out there. Whether you take a fast shower before work or a quick one before going out in the evening, you probably haven't left yourself enough time to get done everything that you need to. But that's not something to worry about. Just because you are running late for appointments doesn't mean you aren't on top of things. You just have better things to concern yourself with, like family and friends. You are a caring person who will often put the needs of others before mundane work. But your relationships will be all the better for it!
IF  you are the one who goes for a quick shower then you are always less on time.

Irrespective of whenever you take a shower, be it before leaving for work or in the evening before dinner-you just don’t have enough time.
But  I wont say its something to worry about. Your running late for appointments doesn’t mean you aren’t on top of things; Rather You have better things to concern yourself with, like family and friends. You are a gem of a person who cares before his own needs. Surely your relationships should be the best!

You need to pamper yourself. Go for a rain shower- don’t think of budget and don’t think of saving -just go for it!!

 

Hope you love this article-do post your comments AND let me know if  I have left your habit out 🙂

What Does Your Front Door Say?

 

Some folks even believe A DOOR is a walkway, an entry point, from where energy, abundance and opportunities may be channelized  by the direction it faces.thinking hard

 

And I hear my front door say -hey!!  I’m an entry into your space-

entry

  • shouldn’t  I  serve my most important and primary function of being there for you always?

thinking hard

  •  Shouldn’t  I resist denting, warping, rot, rust and  yet have the luxurious appeal and be a statement.

slamming-door-clipart-1

  • shouldn’t  I be dust, heat, sound, termite, weather, jamming and break-in proof?

looking around

Wow…that’s a pretty big responsibility to hang on a front door!!!!!

 

I ask.. I talk.. I hear… many of my fellow architects tell me  …..

 

For our clients, Wood has always been the most preferred material for making windows and doors. But numerous problems like jamming, wrapping, not being weather proof, prone to termite, fungus and decay, losing their finish in few years etc. has left them………..

can-stock-photo_csp28487942…………Exasperated!!!!

& because you are still reading this dear reader I can hear you almost say  ……. Do I have a choice for my door??other than

 spending a considerable amount of money in buying wood and getting the windows fabricated WHICH have lost their charm due to the ordinary design, manufacturing and finishing methods

 

Follow-me-on-Twitter-icon-520x312

though wood is an option but market has some more choices. You won’t lack for choice; there is a wide range of door models available to suit all budgets and tastes.

Types of front doors materials available in India are:

  •  Wood, Glass, Steel, PVC, Fiberglass, Fiber Reinforced Plastics, Aluminum, Bamboo-Jute Composite Doors

 

To analyse the various materials would have been an easy job and  I could have written tons of pages on it but my focus is just wood.

When producing construction wood or wood as raw material, only a fraction of the energy is needed compared to the production of steel, aluminium, concrete or plastics and thus, considerably less CO2 is discharged in the process. In addition to its property as an “active” storage of CO2, wood is therefore also a “passive climate protector” and ecologically very much superior to the competing materials due to its inherent energy savings.

wooden cross section against white background, abstract vector art illustration; image contains transparency
wooden cross section

You must be thinking – What has timber production got to do with climate protection??

but seriously -A Lot!!

Timber production does not necessarily have a negative effect on climate change – quite the contrary, in fact. Sustainable forest management can actively contribute to climate protection.

The history of human culture is intrinsically tied to the manifold usage of wood. Wood is a sustainable, innovative and ecological commodity, a real all-rounder.

Think can the production of wine, sherry and whisky  be conceivable without the classical wooden cask; than why let it be lost from our homes????? why let a home owner  suffer because of manufacturing process? WHY??!!!

timber stock

 and so my quest got me to an interesting find –  re-engineered wood.

A solution to problems most home owners with wood in door & window systems are facing today.

I took feedback from the manufacturer. The details about the product is captured in the comment section below.

 

 

Rain Showers a luxury

 

Finding the right shower to indulge, relax and rejuvenate in style is what brings me to write this article. Rain shower as the name suggests is inspired by natural spring providing an incomparable experience that drenches one in a confession of water;

These Rainshowers typically are just gravity based – they don’t really offer a whole lot of pressure. If you are looking for a rainshower with a little bit more pressure- check out Hansgrohe’s Raindance line – Available in sizes only up to 580 mm, they inject a bead of air into each drop of water – and it makes the water heavier. Backup is poor but and so is the after sales service slowly taking a backseat.

Anyhow,  for a good-sized urban master bathrooms  showers upto 800mm  size  with the right pressure creates a true experience. I have come across few brands  catering to this size. It is not just a design it has to be an experience is what I fetched out.
Kohler and  Gessi are international brands who have caught the niche segment with great fever.
 Kohler as compared to Gessi, Kohler company  talks about their features
I discussed with various agencies before coming to this conclusion that buying a shower is no big deal but one has to know certain facts before deciding the brand like-
  • Does the shower have proper inlets as per the multifunction’s it provides?
  • For pressure pumps to create the right pressure does the diverter act in accordance?
  • Are the nozzles self cleansing?
  • Are spare parts easily available?
 Plus KOHLER is a product trying to meet project needs also whereas GESSI wishes to cater just the few. The types whose walls are adorned with   a Michelangelo in their house.

 

Home Automation Solutions and Systems in India

For an upcoming residence in luxury segment with an area approximating 30,000 square feet home automation solutions is required.

The question which I asked myself when given this task was -what solution do you give for someone who is used to a barrage of servants doing exactly what a click of a button does in an automated home?

And the answer that dawned on me was- why not provide them the experience of using the various spaces without the servants standing on head all times awaiting instructions.

Therefore started the pursuit of looking for solutions on automated and energy-efficient lighting systems to sync with home entertainment equipment along with HVAC system using a single mobile application or ipad.

To start with we were advised Lutron http://www.lutron.com/ for lights and Crestron  https://www.crestron.com/ for integration. More than a  decade ago market in India had initially started with these solutions and to bring them here were Anusha group. They are the pioneers of these solutions(though competition for them has mushroomed up now with various other systems).

They made our requirement on basis of certain assumptions given by the architect. Number of dimmable and sensor driven lights that would come up in each room was assumed and a spreadsheet prepared as how every room needed to respond to its user. They gave us the technology and service at a cost.

We were not up to date on the cost that was proposed. We had never bought this service and it appeared a bit too high, but introspecting and with subsequent discussions we figured out that opening prices would be just that, a ten percent here and there.

But, when it came to technology we needed to understand whether it satisfied our requirements and if it was an answer to our queries.

In a search for a robust solution thus started our hop-in and hop-out of various home experience centers in Delhi city for-

  1. Intelligent control lighting systems
  2. Integration system for electronic equipment’s, drapery and HVAC

The several approached were:

  1. Smart-bus.in
  2. Homebrain.in
  3. Ezhomz.in
  4. Legrand.co.in
  5. Philips-dynalite
  6. xsyssolutions.com
  7. Beacon lifestyle solutions LLP
  8. Muranoindia.com

We asked them similar questions-

  • Can we have each light with an individual address?
  • Can voice instructions be provided through SIRI

The market response for our first query  made us realise that Intelligent control lighting systems are of two types-

  1. Hard-wired analog dimming systems which cannot control individual lights, are fairly complex and costly to implement, and are extremely difficult to modify for later changes in the use of an area.
  2. Proprietary digital control methods-
    • Leading edge dimming
    • Trailing edge dimming
    • An industry standard protocol that allows DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface)compliant components from different manufacturers -ballasts, control systems, sensors, controllers, switches, etc. to be mixed and matched together seamlessly into complete systems. It lets the designer, architects and owners have an open control design, simple to use and manage offering maximum savings throughout the years.

Home owners are usually given a mix of Analog, leading edge and trailing edge solution to control lights. Of course this method cannot address each light individually.

The Digital Addressable Lighting Interface a success in commercial has several disadvantages for home owners-

  • When  light of the house goes and comes back in that period, DALI demonstrates a “pop-on” phenomenon, whereby a light source that’s been turned off in a dimmed state doesn’t “remember” the dimmed setting. Instead, it initially reverts to full light output when it’s turned back “pop on” before going to the state it was in; very disturbing if this happens in night and all members are sleeping.
  • Whenever a light bulb requires a change the service provider has to be called upon to reset it.
  • The dimming is in steps and not smooth; not advisable for a home owner.

Legrand, Phillips,Murano, Lutron Hager, Crestron,Havells- the light solution brands will all advice increase in circuits for this solution but then it will only complicate and  will have too many wires-

Then we were advised to go for LUTRON ECO package perhaps an extension of DALI interface. It works only with LUTRON ECO ballast. It is the solution which homeowners can go for but  I have not come across a home using it -probably because of the dent it has on the budget, or maybe its a new solution or perhaps a solution for existing home owners who wish to control light with convectional light fixtures;  I’m not sure.

In accepting the traditionally utilized analogue interfaces even with leading edge and trailing edge solutions “The house would not be responsive to future needs” it would rather be an answer to the limitation of technology. Technology should no longer be a device it should  rather be an enabler. Seems to me as if this phase for residential sector is really not evolving.

Integration system for electronic equipment’s, drapery and HVAC has the market thronged with various solutions.But for the niche segment not many can stand up-so we spoke to the few -Again the market has two technology;

  • one that requires probes to relay command from IR ports such as  tata sky/AC/DVD player etc. and one which does not.Probes are something  like an oval black button placed near the TV or stuck on your AC. It is totally a user choice to pay more if he does not want to have it by going for a far better technology.Some US based companies have thought of this like RTI -CASADigi, others all think its a waste-tickles my funny bone on this thought.
  • and come to think of it’  your  ipad can also have room depth seen on the screen instead of a flat screen available by all product lines!!its a more more realistic option and easy for touch screen to work best. Going for it is also a very personal choice and CASAdigi is the only company which will give you this feature over the rest.
  • one can opt for better wall mounted panels to increase the aesthetics of the house; in all probability a common range  provided by many and a mind blowing choices by few-Hager for one i think is an answer for this.
  • an option which can rock a youngster mind is provision of a server for movies -the interface with home movie theatre  is smooth if digivalet from CASAdigi does it.
  • using sensors smartly can also integrate various commands for home owners-it is how a solution integrator responds to your needs and wishes!

Have a peep into Comparison Between CasaDigi and Others

List down your liking and ask for the integeration solution to work around it.

Few questions that will decide our selection criteria –

  • Were we overwhelmed by choice and possibilities?
  • Did we find ways to integrate technology into our lives?
  • Does the solution answer our initial pursuit?
  • Is the cost solution competitive and services rendered satisfactory?
  • Are we connecting deep down with the solution?

Add your bits in comment section –