The Green Brigade
‘Green’ projects seem to be the flavour of the season for the construction and real estate industry, however not many can boast of being Green in the true sense. Rajesh Kulkarni takes a closer look at select projects that have gone the full distance to fulfil the stringent criteria laid down by the LEED Green Building Rating System and are now fully certified eco-friendly projects in the prestigious Platinum and Gold category.
Grundfos Pumps India Pvt Ltd, Chennai
The project incorporates: A double skin brick wall with 25mm air cavity, double-glazed low U glass to minimize the building heat load. Hydro Fluoro Carbon (HFC) based chillers with a high co-efficient of performance (COP -2.7) with thermal storage system to minimize peak and connected load.
Sensors to continuously monitor and maintain fresh air (around 15-20 CFM per person) by effective CO2 level monitoring. 95% of the time, daylight is used due to open lighting architectural construction.‘Zero discharge’ of water due to 100% waste water recycling.
Less usage of low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) sealant / carpets / composite woods / paints to reduce air pollution. 10% of the building materials used are either refurbished or salvaged from old Grundfos offices. A 43% reduction in potable water usage has been achieved by installing water efficient fittings. Rainwater recharge pits have improved groundwater levels. 60% of the materials used in the building have a high recycled content.
The building has already paid back its incremental construction costs in just 2 years. It also saves about Rs21,00,000 per annum on power and water bills.
Kalpataru Square, Mumbai
Its the first project in Asia and the world’s sixth building to earn the LEED Platinum Core and Shell certification. Key green features implemented here include: Forest Stewardship Council certified wood has been used for construction. A sewage water reclamation plan has been setup. 100% treated water used for flushing & irrigation and 11.22% requirement of makeup water for air conditioning will be met.
Low flow high efficient water fixtures have been installed in common toilets to reduce water consumption by 30%. Over deck insulation done by Owens Corning, USA. A roof garden covers over 50% of the exposed roof surface. Extra care has been taken to conserve native vegetation.
30% of material is from within a radius of 500 miles with less embodied energy while 20% of building material used is recycled. Low emitting materials, such as, paints from Rust-o-Leam, sealants from DOW-Corning, carpet flooring from Interface and Low VOC adhesives have been used in the project. Multi-level car parking in the basement reduces the heat island effect. Care has been taken to provide parking for alternative fuel vehicles, bicycles and physically challenged people.
The building showed a 23% energy saving over conventional buildings during energy stimulation studies. Installed rain water harvesting facilities have reduced water consumption by upto 61%.
InterfaceFLOR India, Bangalore
The company submitted 37 points for approval to USGBC, of which 35 points were approved. The facility scored high in key LEED environmental categories like indoor environmental quality, energy and atmosphere and water efficiency. The company reduced potable water use by more than 30% through the installation of low flow water closets and low flow urinals. The automated- HVAC system combined with Building Management System helps reduce energy consumption.
The Co2 sensors within the HVAC system enable the maintenance of the indoor environment air quality to the required levels. 26% of the total materials used on the project were from rapidly renewable sources. Materials with high recycled content were also used like glass, MDF boards etc. The original ceiling has also been retained. Also, the use of natural daylight was maximised through design concepts, thus decreasing the need for artificial lighting.
Reduced operating costs and enhanced productivity of facility occupants.
RMZ Millenia Business Park, Chennai
The project team at RMZ Corp had focussed on several key aspects pertaining to the design of the project such as ensuring energy & water efficiency. Using eco-friendly products and equipment. Installing a rain water harvesting facility. Maintaining the eco balance by creating open areas with greenery to minimise the heat island effect.
The Park has also focussed on implementing measures to enhance indoor air quality and reused soil within the building premises. Parking bays have been provided with electric recharging points for hybrid cars. The use of CFC free refrigerants, strategic waste management system to facilitate effective disposal and recycling, are some of the other eco-friendly initiaives that have been implemented here.
RMZ Millenia annually saves Rs130 Lakhs on energy and Rs20 Lakhs on water, respectively. RMZ Millenia Business Park consumes 10% less energy & 30% less water when compared to conventional buildings in India.
Patni Knowledge Center, Noida
Patni’s green IT-BPO facility was awarded the prestigious LEED Platinum rating last year, making it the largest Platinum rated building outside the US and the second largest in the world.
Designed on a green architecture theme this Rs175 crore facility is spread over five acres with a seating capacity for 3500 people in a single shift. The centre’s integrated design and construction process incorporates several green initiatives including: The design strikes a balance between environmental responsibility, resource efficiency, occupant comfort and community sensitivity by Passive Solar Architecture using efficient energy utilisation environment friendly products.
The project used double insurance high performance glass to balance daylight with energy efficient and eco friendly materials and construction practices.
The centre uses sensitive air conditioners which automatically alter room temperature depending on the number of people in the room and has a solar water heating facility. It has reduced overall conductivity for walls and the roof with a high performance glass with low shading.
The structure is designed to use 95% natural light and has zero blinds in the campus. Co2 sensors used for adding fresh air on demand. Parking is totally disallowed in the basement to increase vegetated area. High efficiency CFL internal lighting used; No upward lighting and minimum façade lighting to avoid night pollution.
The campus saves about 30% water in comparison to other regular buildings. The company was ranked the No. 1 ‘Green Innovative Information Technology Vendor’ by the prestigious 2009 Black Book Top Green Outsourcing Vendors Survey, an annual industry survey of outsourcing service providers’ pro-environmental initiatives conducted by the Brown-Wilson Group, a Tampa, Florida-based research organization.
K Raheja Corp C 30 BKC, Mumbai
The first building in Mumbai to be awarded the prestigious LEED Gold certification in the Core & Shell category, this project incorporates several ecofriendly initiatives that include: 10% of the total building materials used contains recycled content. A sewage treatment plant to recycle water.
More efficient WCs and urinals that consume 30% less water. Energy efficient building architecture that takes into consideration the movement of the Sun. Maximum glazing on the North facade to minimise heat gain. High performance double glazing for the external facade, designed to maximise daylight in the building.
Use of thermal storage system to store chilled water at night to be used by the air-conditioning during the day, thereby reducing demand and consumption of electricity during peak hours.
Use of special aerated blocks with insulation properties for wall construction. Increased use of local and regional materials from within 800 kms of the site. Use of low volatile organic compound paints, adhesives and sealants to minimise indoor air contamination. Use of eco friendly housekeeping chemicals and equipment to protect occupants from exposure to potentially hazardous particulate and chemical pollutants.
The installation and use of energy & water saving equipment and devices has resulted in substantial savings on both fronts vis-a-vis conventional buildings of the same size. This in turn has resulted in projected total operational costs saving per annum of an estimated Rs33 lakhs.