Organo is the brainchild of The Navira Team. Founded and named after – Nagesh, Vijaya and Raj – directors of the FHD group, one of India’s leading design firms. Organo was started with a shared vision to provide an authentic living to people today, a life that not only is technologically progressive but one which revives cultures and brings people together. Passion for ‘change’ in the society today as well as in the ways of the industry is the primordial force that pushed the team of Navira to start a group that can redefine the rules of the game.
Also, having been in very close quarters to the construction industry and watching the growth spurt of Hyderabad, protecting the bio-conservation zone has been of paramount importance to the Navira team. That’s what inspired them to form a community of people to own it, to enjoy living close to the elements, to create a force to protect it. Thus, Organo was born.
The Organo Principle
Seven Strands Of Sustainable Living
Sustainability is on the top of priority list for many organisations and this is especially true at Naandi. It isn’t a part of the work; it’s the guiding principle for all the work. At Organo, sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations. The driving belief is that the choices we make as individuals, within our local communities, and at the state and national levels, impact the condition of our environment. Organo’s primary and end endeavour is to protect air, water, land and ecological systems to safeguard individual health and foster a sustainable future. In order to reduce environmental footprint, energy footprint and community’s footprint, Organo has identified seven different aspects of Sustainability called Saptha Patha.
The Saptha Pathas maintain a dynamic balance and harmonize nature’s grand symphony. Organo seamlessly integrates these seven strands of sustainable living – Food, Water, Earth, Energy, Shelter, Air and People.It has taken several years of research, development, trials and dead ends for Team Organo to make a breakthrough and arrive at the seven cycles. Each cycle has its own sustainable aspects; all the cycles are interlinked and flow naturally into each other.
Food Cycle : The `how’ part of food production is most important for us Naandians. We use natural methods to produce food organically. At the same time we use the waste from the animals and organic waste from the living for farming. These wastes from the farming are used for the animal fodder. That’s how the cycle is kept in motion.
Indigenous methods of cultivation like companion cropping and permaculture have helped us devise sustainable methods of food production. Our association with Art of Living agri trust has enriched our knowledge and expertise in the area.
Several time – consuming methods like filling up the top surface with coconut fibre to facilitate water absorption and retention for the arid soil have helped us rise above natural limitations and emerge triumphant in food production.
Water Cycle – We conserve and recycle water and at the same time utilise the natural resources like rainwater and recharging aquifers. The aquifers or artificially created aquifers collect the rainwater and then we use that throughout the year for farming and the living.
Naandi is located on a high terrain area where the water was draining out of the site. The tilt of the land was towards North-South to South-West and North to North East. The main source of water is rain water and ground water. In order to make the best of the situation, contour trenches were created that helped water spread evenly along the site. Swails and ponds with a capacity of 20 lakh litres of water were strategically located at central points so that the water level is maintained during summer season. Additionally, 25 lakh litres of water were harvested using the storm water design. In order to meet the requirement of 60,000 litres of water, several storage methods were used. In the first year of the project, it was net zero in terms of water usage.
Energy Cycle – Organo harnesses solar power. Sun is the natural resource for this energy. So this is being produced and is being shared between these residences so that any variation in the load will be taken care of by the solar panels. There is an off grid system that is separated from the main government grid. The villas produce around 700 KW of solar power. The solar panel is connected to all the appliances. The energy requirement was carefully calculated according to each appliance and arrived at 10 KW per villa which requires 800 sft. space on every roof. Every appliance is built in as a part of the architectural design.
Biogas plant produces around 24 KW of Methane which is used for energy production. The wastage is used as a fertiliser for crops.
Earth Cycle- Another aspect is the soil. For farming, Permaculture method was implemented in which different crops, plants and trees are cultivated together so that they complement each other in terms of water usage and nutrition.
Then there is aqua culture, where the fish clean up the ponds and the water is used for farming and other purposes. The smaller pond areas retain certain amount of water throughout in which medicinal plants are grown.
The villas are arranged around the farmland in such a way that they will always face the farmland. At the same time, this will facilitate interaction between the residents and the farmers. A pathway is created where residents will be able to walk and understand how the food is produced.
Naandi also rears cow, guinea pig, goats, sheep, chicken and turkeys for the usage of the residents. The animal husbandry wastage is used for the biogas reactor and pest control. The wastage in farming is used as fodder for the animals. Dry leaves are used by the cattle and their manure goes back into replenishing soil.
An interesting aspect about farming is that the kitchen garden behind every villa encourages small scale farming at an individual level. Besides giving the residents the pleasure of growing their own vegetables, it also provides good nutrition. Needless to mention, the economic advantages of not having to spend money on vegetables.
Shelter- Another distinct model of sustainability is the Club House, which happens to be one of India’s largest bamboo structures. The structure – from the columns to the roof frames – was designed and erected meticulously. Besides all day dining restaurant, it also houses multi function spaces inside. This is the space for Naandians to share their special recipes, participate in festivals, celebrate special occasions, listen to spiritual discourses etc. The swimming pool next to it is a bio pond which has aquaculture that cleans the pond naturally.
Air Cycle- Natural air is cooled down below the earth’s surface as a means of air conditioning by means of Tunnel Draft system which is used to cool the interiors of the villas. A huge tunnel draft pipe runs all around as a ring and there is the air inlet chamber where the air is sucked into these pipes. There are pipes of 900 diameters on the lower level which you can access through the manholes in the upper levels; there is a connection in the above ground level. The tunnel is 5 meters below the ground and by using the geothermal condition the air inside will automatically cool down. The cool air is taken through the inlet chambers and let inside each villa through different AHU units that are exclusively allocated for this purpose. It also involves UV lamps and germs and insects and keep the clean air going inside the house.
People – The welfare and the health care of the Naandians is of utmost importance to us. Being surrounded by bio-diverse forest and medicinal plants helps every resident inhale good health passively and actively. Your morning walks become your highways to healthy routine. At the same time, your kitchen garden encourages you to develop your farming skills. The exchange of art, culture and spiritual practices automatically fosters a sense of well being and sharing. Naandians bring back their cultural values into the system. Community living is encouraged with a common pool of resources. Every Naandian has a role to play in the kitchen and the social activities.