PASSION PERSONIFIED
Wood News|March - April 2021
When you start out with the motto, ‘Design Without Compromise’, it sets a very high bar for residential properties. Bengaluru-based Total Environment Building Systems, founded in 1996, is living up to its own exacting standards. The design, construction and real estate developer has so far delivered more than 46 lakh square feet of residential projects – both apartments and villas – to more than 2,000 satisfied buyers in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune. In 2020, Total Environment launched a residential project in Texas (USA).
Dhananjay Sardeshpande
The promoters of this ambitious private venture, Mr Kamal Sagar & Ms Shibanee Sagar, are trained architects: Kamal from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur; and Shibanee from Sir JJ College of Architecture, Mumbai, with a Master’s degree from Georgia (US). What also sets the award-winning couple apart from other builders are their other precepts: incorporating design as a solution to each clients’ requirements, invoking the devil in the details, and employing natural construction material. You guessed right, that includes wood!

Dhananjay Sardeshpande spoke with Mr Abraar Ahmed, Vice-President and head of Machine-Craft, to find out what makes the company tick.

No gimmicks, no fads or trends; just authentic good design that is optimal, functional, and timeless. That is what Kamal and Shibanee Sagar, co-promoters of Total Environment, believe in.

“Good design is about making a connection,” says Kamal. “We work closely with buyers of our homes to understand their requirements, and then design each space so that it fulfills those needs.”

For him, every element of design exists for a reason: to make the experience of living more comfortable, joyous and fulfilling. “Above all, good design should inspire you to make a difference,” he feels.

More than two decades into designing, constructing, furnishing, and servicing several hundred homes, Total Environment today stands out for some unique features in real estate for living:

• A garden in every home, water bodies wherever possible;

• Using natural material (stone, handcrafted bricks, cane & wood);

• Fully furnished homes, where furniture is integral to spaces;

• Interior design to suit each buyer’s needs & aesthetics;

• Attention to detail in design, construction and finishing;

• High level of home automation (lighting & appliances);

• In-house verticals for furniture, metal work, masonry & landscaping;

• Property management for life.

Natural material

Shibanee has a knack of stepping into customers’ shoes to understand their needs, aspirations and expectations from a home. Her inputs have helped build the proprietary ‘design software tool to design each Total Environment home – no two of which are alike!

“Our homes are a combination of design, craftsmanship, and technology, all born and nurtured in-house,” says Shibanee. “Good design is not just about how a house looks; it is about how it makes you feel.”

The architects strive for harmony with nature through the use of natural materials that blend into the landscape. “Natural materials, especially wood, have character and personality and age gracefully over time. We design each of our homes around the concept of embracing nature,” Shibanee adds.

Wood is the most widely used building material at Total Environment because of its efficiency, durability and usefulness. The architect-promoters are well aware of its low carbon impact, low embodied energy, and positive impact on human health and the environment.

“As with any other input, we want to ensure that our raw materials are durable, renewable and sourced from sustainable operations,” Shibanee says, adding that, when treated correctly, hardwood doors and floors (for instance) can last a lifetime, and more.

Enter ‘Machine-Craft’

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