Biophilic accommodation in time of climate change

14th Jul 2021

Immersive dinning experience in lap of Nature

Photo of Biophilic accommodation in time of climate change by Sunny Shah

In the era of climate change, people have turned towards a sustainable solution to fight against this. Some people have raised their voice over social media and some have found what they hope will be the solution. As a conservation professional, I am always in favour of latter. Finding alternatives and adapting to climate change the climate change is need of the time. We can not go back to the time when the first time climate change term was coined and rectify the problems that have humans created. Climate change, a slow and gradual process that evolved through the years in the age of Industrialization. However, it was intensified in the last decade. Globalization, Technology and Climate change are the key topics that have been largely in discussion and debated from commons to parliamentarians.However, the COVID has halted the Machine , The economy, and nature got the break that both have been seeking from ages. Advancement in technology could have brought the solution but failed to some extent. And humans have started looking back in the past. How to counter zoonosis, adapt to climate change and conserve natural resources? In race to solution people have opted to travel close to nature to to get motivated and find solution as the new normal. Its been increased in the double fold. Bringing nature close to their workplaces and homes is a new normal. An ultimate and innate love for nature that everyone possesses. This love, care and behavior is known as Biophilia. Humans innate love for nature that they nurture from their birth time.

A philosophy revolves around our love, choices and care for nature. Every human has a pinch of love for nature and that he expresses through bringing plants at home or workplace. Now think if this philosophy converted to large scale project. There would be walking jungles in cities, vertical parks on high-rise buildings and leaf curtains on windows. May look like ruined forts taken over by climbers. Not everyone loves this idea of being biophilic due to maintenance, time and space. But, there is a place in Gujarat near Gir National Park in South West Saurashtra known as a " Woods at Sasan". A 38 room retreat that talks about biophilia and sustainability. Every corner speaks nature when you walk through it. Eight acres of land with more than 300 mango trees and 150 native flora remained intact when the retreat was constructed. Out of 100% area, 70% of the landscape remained open against 30% of constructed area. Imagine how much space one gets when one stays inside. Their idea of biophilia is not just restricted to bringing nature close to the humans but bringing biophilic experience upfront. Open to sky bathrooms that allow water to percolate directly in the ground. Walkways and parking have lime mortar without RCC fillings that allow surface water runoff to percolate straight to the aquifer. Age-old technology of limestone plaster that absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere and once removed can be reused anywhere in new construction. Sustainably procured & less traveled material used in construction to reduce the footprint, Sand stone and Kota stone used at the accommodation and public gathering areas which ultimately a material that withstands extreme climate. Hence the reduced the consumption of Air-conditioning. The design of each room allows sunlight to enter throughout the day and reduces the consumption of artificial light. Every room and the public area will bring you close to nature in thousands of ways. Woods at Sasan, a retreat in Gir National Park, Gujarat in a true sense gives you an experience of sustainability and allows you immerse with nature. Woods at Sasan is a model biophilic property that gives learning to many industries in this segment and motivates them to think towards sustainable living especially in the accommodation at natural destinations around the country. One cannot offset his footprints, by just building a room full of RCC and steel, at natural places by ruining the vast resources the place has from where raw material is extracted. The philosophy of Woods at Sasan is to talk biophilia, live biophilic and bring regenerative experiences by building the places with less traveled local material, using spaces to magnify nature more close and less construction. Slow and low impact experiences at Woods at Sasan further emphasis on regenerative living for better future and India. Innovative designs and the material will lead us to climate change adaption. It would not be stopped but it can be controlled with wise human interference.