• Benny Kuriakose


Sustainable Development is a development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This definition is given in the "Our Common Future" report commonly referred to as the Brundtland Report. But I like the two very old statements which convey the meaning very well when the word Sustainable Development was never used in the present sense. The first one is by John Muir in the late 19th Century - "Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress". The second one is attributed to the Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi made in 1909. - “The world has enough for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed.

Photograph of the "Quiet by the River", a resort in Ernakulam district designed by us.

The architecture of each place develops according to its climate, culture, materials available locally etc. Generally, our buildings from the past are much more sustainable than even the platinum-rated buildings (the so- called "green buildings") that are being built today. Our "vernacular architecture" is more suited to the climate, culture and society, while the so-called modern buildings can follow the same style and they look the same whether they are in Brazil, Europe, Egypt or in India. Some of these glass buildings in a hot climate let in all the heat and then we use "green methods" of air-conditioning and still the energy consumed by these buildings are so high which make them unsustainable.

The Photograph shows the Anantya Resort which has been designed by us.

Sustainable Architecture will vary according to time and place. What is sustainable in Assam, may not be sustainable in Kerala or in Rajasthan. Bamboo buildings might be common in Assam, but in Rajasthan, this might have to be transported for a long distance.