Bamboo composite deck flooring

Squarefoot, an integrated flooring solutions launched their exclusive range of ‘Bamboo Composite Deck’ flooring - an outdoor range of wooden flooring. Composite Deck is primed with the combination of hardness and solidity of natural. The range is made to contribute to the environment as it is 100 per cent recycled with a blend of bamboo powder. Composite Deck is available in two different forms, one being planks and the other being tiles which are finished with extreme finesse and state-of-the-art technology.

The product is also water resistant and can withstand fungus, termites and other germs. Square Foot’s Composite Deck range is ideal for exterior flooring and impact outdoor decking floor.  

The product is made of recycled material and does not require polishing, painting and oiling. Its resistant nature ensures that regular cleaning is enough to maintain its structural and visual beauty for years.

Also, it does not need to be treated with oils and lacquers after installation. The tiles are available in a size of 310x310mm standard size. In order to ensure quick installation these tiles come with a plastic mesh backing and interlocking arrangement.

The planks are available in a size of 2.2m and are also grooved and double-sided enabling one to choose the design that one wants.  Designed to ensure easy installations and the gaps between consecutive planks do not allow water to collect on the surface and movement and ease of cleaning and maintenance. Composite Deck is manufactured for using around swimming pools, lakes and other water front spaces, parks, gardens, terraces balconies and garden walkways.

Mantri’s new project
Mantri Developers recently announced the launch of their new project Mantri Navaratna. Located at Chromepet, Mantri Navaratna has nine aesthetically designed apartment towers planned in accordance to principles of contemporary architecture that endeavour to be a reflection of a modern lifestyle. 

Mantri Navaratna offers a diverse choice of apartments in the range of 1BHK, 1.5BHK, 2BHK, 2.5BHK and 3BHK with each unit designed to receive maximum sunlight and ventilation. The project offers a total no of 272 apartments with stilt + 4 floors with a price starting from Rs 22 lakh onwards.

Another key highlight of the project would be the strategic locational advantage as Mantri Navaratna is centrally located with excellent connectivity to the Chennai international airport, railway station, bus-stop and is in close proximity to the Old Mahabalipuram Road, IT SEZ at Porur and CBD Chennai. The project offers buyers a range of amenities.

A spectacular parasol in Spain
Seville’s ‘Metropol Parasol,’ when completed earlier this year, had several firsts to its credit. This spectacular ‘Parasol’ was hailed as the world’s largest wooden structure. It is also the world’s largest open air umbrella and most importantly, it is not just a wonder to be gawked at, rather it is functional; it is a redevelopment of an archaeological site into a farmer’s market, a plaza and houses several bars and restaurants.

Out of a potential site area of 18,000 square metres, the building covers 5,000 square metres and its four floors provide just under 13,000 square metres in area. The building is 28.5-metres high and cost 90 million Euros to build.

This fancy structure, which is made up of a chain of parasols was part of the redevelopment of the Plaza de la Encarnacion. The city of Seville, Spain, held a contest in 2004 for designs for this project. J Mayer H Architects won the contest. The design was chosen since it was seen to project Seville as one of the world’s most fascinating cultural spots and is likely to make it a favourite tourist destination.

The Metropol is made up of wooden panels, crisscrossing in such a fashion that they form canopies and walkways below the panels. It provides a unique location where residents and tourists alike can congregate socially.

The architects describe it as follows: “The design has realised one of the largest and most innovative bonded timber constructions with a polyurethane coating, the parasols grow out of an architectural excavation into a contemporary landmark, defining a unique relationship between the historical and the contemporary city.”  Needless to say, the idea of the parasol was to offer shade – indeed a valuable service in Sunny Seville. Apart from providing shade, the effect produced by light and shadows is quite spectacular throughout this design. The geometric plan gives it a very contemporary feel. In addition to all the reviews that this structure is receiving, there has been some negativity coming its way. These naysayers have been summarily dismissed with the statement, “Most Parisians hated the Eiffel Tower in the beginning!”
Mala Ashok

Honour for Canadian architect
The highest honour accorded to landscape architects has been bestowed on Cornelia Hahn Oberlander of Vancouver, Canada, who was awarded the International Federation of Landscape Architects’ Geoffrey Jellicoe Award for the year 2011. The award recognises Oberlander’s contributions to environmentally responsible, people-centric design in a career spanning close to 60 years.

German-born Cornelia Oberlander, 87, has been committed to working with leading architects to integrate architectural projects with the natural environment.  She also pays special attention to the cultural, social and economic context of each project.

Among the first women to pass out from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design with a degree in landscape architecture, Oberlander worked for some years in Philadelphia before moving to Canada to establish her own practice in Vancouver in 1953. She spent the early part of her career designing landscapes for low-cost community housing projects in Canada.

Later, she was closely associated with the design of landmark Vancouver buildings such as the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia and the Provincial Government Courthouse Complex. She was also involved in the landscaping of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the Canadian Chancery in Washington, DC.  In her work, indigenous plants are featured to produce a variety of textures and colours that change with the seasons. Cornelia Oberlander received the high honour of the Order of Canada in 1990, and an honorary law degree from the University of British Columbia the next year.
Achal Narayanan

Modular construction for faster buildings
CollinsWoerman, an architecture firm in Seattle, USA, has unveiled a prototype modular building system for multi-family buildings. Many companies have been looking at modular construction, which brings in homes or building sections pre-built in a factory, as a way to make buildings faster, at less cost, with better energy efficiency and less waste.

Sustainable Living Innovations’ bills itself as the only component-based concrete and steel system available to buildings six storeys and above and customisable to virtually any site. The system involves pouring separate concrete floor slabs on the footprint of a building, erecting a prefabricated steel frame around it to form the structure, and then using hydraulic jacks to lift into place the roof and floor slabs already fitted with walls, cabinets and fixtures.

“The construction industry and the design professions have been building modular buildings and prefabricated components for decades,” CollinsWoerman principal Arlan Collins said in a video.  “What’s really new is applying them to a whole building – hotels, apartment buildings, condominium homes, student housing.  We were interested in being able to build a custom building from a standard kit of parts.”

CollinsWoerman partnered with DCI Engineers for civil and structural engineering, Lydig Construction for general contracting, and McKinsey for mechanical, electrical and plumbing. Standing in a factory that churns out walls complete with wiring, pipes, electrical panels and water heaters, McKinsey plumbing superintendent Scott Hayes observed: “It’s built like a LEGO set.”

This approach is “really the way all buildings will be built in the future,” McKinsey President Doug Moore said.  “You really can deliver a custom product in half the time at the same or higher quality and at a significantly lower cost.” For developers, it also means no exposure to cost overruns and, thanks to the ability to erect a 100-unit building in six to seven months, much less risk of the market turning between the start of construction and completion, Arlan Collins said.
Geetha Balachandran   

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