Author – Divya Verma
The term ‘Green Building’ refers to any structure that strikes a balance between sustainable building development and environmental harm. Such a building construction focuses on resource efficiency and environmentally responsible practices throughout the lifecycle right from design, construction, operation, maintenance, and demolition. A green building not only has a positive impact on the environment, but also offers economic benefits.
Energy demand is very high in commercial buildings, as businesses cannot bargain on their energy needs, for uninterrupted functioning. These buildings have a high Energy Performance Index. India is developing into a leading services industry and large office buildings are needed to cater to this growing market. There has been a steady progression towards research on sustainable substitutes for green building construction.
Top Ranking Indian Green Buildings
Here is a list containing some of the top-ranking Indian Green Buildings that have incorporated some eco-friendly innovations to reduce their energy costs and are certified by the Indian Green Buildings Council (IGBC):
Infosys Pocharam Campus
Infosys has taken the lead in sustainability by constructing the maximum number of LEEd certified campuses across India. Its largest campus, the Infosys Pocharam campus outside Hyderabad has incorporated a unique radiant cooling technology that is 30-40% more efficient than the conventional air conditioning systems.
It is the first commercial building in India that has used radiant cooling technology, in which cold water flows through pipes embedded inside a slab and cools the entire slab resulting in the slab surface being maintained at about 20 deg C. This temperature-controlled surface is used to cool indoor temperature, and removes ambient heat; most of which takes place through thermal radiation. The other highlights of this Asia’s first sustainable energy campus include energy-efficient lighting and smart building systems, which increased the Coefficient of Performance (CoP) to 8, getting a LEED Platinum rating from the IGBC.
Olympia Tech Park, Chennai
Energy-efficient glazing has gained importance over recent years. It incorporates low-emissivity coated glass to prevent heat-loss or gain through windows, making the interiors twice as efficient as conventional glazing units, without any coating. Low emission glazing units prevent heat from entering or exiting the interiors. Chennai’s Olympia Tech Park has implemented this technique and achieved the LEED CS ‘Gold’ rating by IGBC. The other green features of this building include an efficient water-saving system, which uses its gray water effectively. It has a two-way plumbing work, where the gray water is used for irrigation or flushing. The building also has a hybrid HVAC system used for cooling the interiors.
RMZ Ecospace, Kolkata
RMZ Ecospace is a LEED Platinum-certified building and is the largest green building in Kolkata. The building has taken 85% of its construction materials locally, and uses renewable sources of energy to increase its efficiency. Solar energy is utilized for external lighting and thermal insulation so that air-conditioning load is reduced. Further, wasted heat from the summers is used in addition to using the district cooling system and heat and power generation systems. The building has integrated the production of usable power and heat, which helps to run absorption refrigerators, through which cooling is achieved. This method gets a high CoP that is greater than 6.3.
Hotel Leela Palace, Delhi
Solar reflectance is the ability to reflect infrared, visible and ultraviolet wavelengths of the sun, which reduce heat transfer to the surface. High solar reflectance and high thermal emissions are helpful in keeping the interiors cool. Hotel Leela Palace in New Delhi has achieved this by creating artificial modifications to the surfaces. The hotel roof is enveloped with vegetation, a swimming pool and solar reflectance coating to diminish local microclimatic conditions. CFC-free and ozone-friendly air conditioners and refrigerators are used to reduce greenhouse emissions.
The building also uses a Building Management System to minimize energy wastage, which has received a LEED Platinum rating from IGBC for its eco-friendly practices. The other eco-friendly features of Leela Palace Hotel are: Rainwater harvesting system to reduce storm water run-off volumes through recharge pits Vegetation on the roof and high solar reflective index to minimize heat island effects Sewage treatment plant to eliminate water usage for irrigation and for flushing purposes No smoking floors and Green Label Indoor Air Quality Test Program-certified carpets Car park is made with 3% of alternative fuel vehicles with electrical charging points and 5% of the car park for carpooling Electricity generated from natural gas
Suzlon One Earth, Pune
Situated in Pune, Suzlon One Earth is one of the biggest green building projects in India. It is the first building in India to get a LEED certification way back in 2010. This LEED Platinum-certified magnificent structure is spread over 10 acres. Some of its green building features are:
Totally powered by renewable energy, including solar panels, on-site hybrid wind turbines, and photovoltaic cells Rainwater harvesting facilities accompanied by on-site water treatment Waste recycling facilities and organic waste converters Designed with the concept of “Office in Garden,” which harnesses maximum daylight in common areas and workspaces Water and energy cost savings have brought a reduction of 35% in operating costs
Hero MotoCorp Neemrana Factory
Hero MotoCorp has converted its newest manufacturing facility at Neemrana, Rajasthan into a one-of-a-kind ‘Garden Factory’. Right from efficient building envelope, to the Big Foot air handlers, to water and energy optimization – the Garden Factory demonstrates Hero MotoCorp’s environmental aspirations. Kamal Cogent Energy has worked as the consulting partner at Hero MotoCorp’s facility at Neemrana, Rajasthan, which has achieved a Platinum rating under IGBC Green Factory. The factory has several unique features like – Hydroponic agriculture, complete LED lighting, 1300 kW power from solar PV, a 300-meter indoor oxygen wall, reversible construction and a novel Big Foot air-conditioning system.
i-Gate Knowledge Center, Noida
Patni i-Gate Knowledge Center in Noida is the second largest green building to receive the LEED Platinum certification in India. The building focuses on climate responsive architecture, which has the right blend of active (electrical/ mechanical) and passive (architectural) strategies to reduce energy consumption. Some of its green building features are: Over 50% of the area is green area and 75% of the area captures natural daylight It is a zero-discharge building, meaning 100% of the rainwater is harvested Sewage is recycled completely by using it for gardening, cooling and flushing Water management strategies include drip irrigation, solar water heating, and low water consuming plants.