Paving the Future with Green Buildings: Gurjeet Dogra
Gurjeet Dogra, a LEED Certified Professional Architect was here on campus on 18 March 2018, to deliver a talk on IGBC Green Building Certification and Architecture Visualization through Digital Simulation. Team Monday Morning caught up with him for an interview. Here are the excerpts.
MM: Tell us something about your childhood, your family background and life until college.
GD: I have been born and brought up in Jamshedpur. I had a very happy childhood because we had a joint family. I used to have a lot of fun with my younger brother as well as my cousin brother. My family background is basically sports related. My father was an Asian Games player and my uncle had been to the Commonwealth Games also. So, sports was our way of life! Hence, we used to be competitive and outstanding students at school. Though I was not that good at academics, I was very active in basketball and football.
MM: You did your bachelor’s degree from the Birla Institute of Technology in architecture. How was your experience there?
GD: My experience was absolutely eye-opening! Though it was anew department back then, we had an amicable set of teachers who actually used to hand-hold and teach us. The seniors were very helpful there. In fact, we learnt more from the seniors than from the teachers! Since it is such a big campus, we had loads of facilities to use. So it was a wonderful experience altogether. I got the IGBC credential. I was interested in green building designing right from the beginning and after working for a certain period of time, I realised that this as a concept should percolate down to our design level activities. So I bent in for this field.
MM: Please tell us about your journey of working at JUSCO and Yantra Architects.
GD: I worked at JUSCO for an elongated period of 8.5 years. As far as the experience is concerned, I was pretty young at that point of time. I was handled by my mentor, Mr Jatinder Singh who is an architect from IIT Kharagpur. We had the opportunity and the responsibility to design all the activities of TATA Steel with regards to the town planning like their employee housing, the playgrounds, and the swimming pool. So I got to work on big projects right at the beginning of my career and that was an enriching experience.
Yantra Architects is a small firm. Small firms have their own set of drawbacks as well as advantages as compared to the big firms. It was more of a hands-on experience. Yantra Architects believe I the traditional approach of architecture and that experience enlightened to imbibe cultural elements in architecture also. Hence it was a fruitful journey!
MM: You are known to be a designated partner at the Provectus Technologies LLP. Please tell our readers about your job profile and your experience of working there.
GD: We founded the technology product called Provectus LLP two years back. Mr Ranjit Patra is my partner in this new venture. He is basically the Creative Head behind. All the flashy 3Ds that I showed in the session can be traced back to him. He is from BIT Mesra. He has been in this field for three years and together, we make a great team. Provectus was founded with the objective of solving many problems related to architecture with the help of technology. Now my job is to get business for the firm and also ensure that the buildings are constructed properly since I am the senior-most architect there. So I see how the joints are made, how the construction process is going and how the climatological inputs are provided to the building.
MM: How is the work culture at Provectus different from the one at Preficta Consultancy LLP given the fact you work at the same post for both the LLPs.
GD: Preficta is not related to architecture; it is primarily concerned with construction and it deals with cellular lightweight concrete blocks. So it is more of an industrial environment altogether. And this Provectus, being an architectural firm, its work culture is completely different. At Provectus, we do not follow a set of norms, it is more of an open culture with regards to the timing as well as the efforts that we need to put in and I believe, that yields a much more productive process.
MM: What are your near future plans?
GD: My near future plan is to expand Provectus beyond the boundaries of Jamshedpur and also to incorporate bio-mimicry principles into architecture.
MM: Working under this tremendous pressure and competition how do you keep your spirits high?
GD: Sports! I play basketball and that helps me release the pressure!
MM: How was your experience here at NIT Rourkela?
GD: My experience was amazing! I never knew that NIT Rourkela has the second largest campus and this was an enlightening experience for me. I had a walk around the campus in the morning and I must say that this is an absolutely beautiful campus. You all are privileged to be studying here!
MM: You have been an inspirational architect. Please give some tips to our readers regarding the same.
Keep the spirit of architecture alive and do not look for easy opportunities. Architecture is a creative field and grows very slowly. So if you want to do things fast and make a lot of money quickly, this is not the field to be in. You constantly need to keep learning. Learning in architecture does not end with the five years of study that you do for the degree. So I would like to encourage students to go for higher studies probably in green building design or technology or project management. However, the only motive is to enhance the knowledge. Also, always have a lighter side to life! Architecture is very demanding and you must pursue activities that take you away from the tremendous pressure.