Green Buildings in India – The world is moving towards greenways in all aspects of life. Man has recognized the urgency of the need to preserve the nature around him. In architecture, green and sustainable building construction is becoming popular by the day. And then raises the question, what exactly is a green building?
A green building is that which tries to eliminate the negative impact it has on the environment and attempts to leave a positive impact on the same. Green buildings in India help in sustaining the depleting natural resources, simultaneously increasing the quality of life.
Here are 10 of the most inspiring greenest building in India.
1. Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad | Greenest Building in India
The Rajiv Gandhi airport, commissioned in 2008, is one of the leading examples of highly environmentally sensitive infrastructure design and management in India. Spread over an area of 2223 hectares, the airport’s capacity stands at 12 million passengers and 0.3 million tons of cargo per annum. It is run in a public-private partnership by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL). The GMR airport is the 1st airport in Asia and 2nd globally to have won a LEED silver rating certification. The environmental aspects taken into consideration are greenhouse gas emission management, carbon footprint reduction, material and energy intensity, green supply chain, clean energy use, waste and water consumption reduction, and management.
2. Suzlon One Earth Campus, Pune
The Suzlon one earth campus situated in Pune boasts of being one of the greenest corporate campuses in the world. 7% of the energy consumed by the campus is produced by on-site hybrid wind turbines, solar panels, and photovoltaic cells. Rest 93% is brought in from offsite wind turbines. The building as a whole has 154.83KW renewable energy incorporated. Designing of each of the components, from HVAC to the solar photovoltaic roof of the atrium, is done with special care administered for maximum utilization of green energy. Another interesting feature is the landscaping that has employed Xeriscaping with very efficient water management systems. Reflective pools form the main feature of the landscape design, which along with adding to the natural beauty of the campus, creates a cool microclimate in the surrounding structures.
3. Infinity Benchmark, Kolkata | Greenest Building in India
Located in Salt Lake City in Kolkata, the infinity benchmark is a 20 storied structure with a total floor area of 560,000 square feet. The company is Kolkata’s first LEED platinum-rated structure. From the conceptualization, the design stood for the exploitation of optimum resources, innovative sources for green energy, and protection of the environment around.
Green features of the building include- rooftop terrace garden, insulation layers in walls and ceilings that help in reducing heat consumption, zero discharge rainwater harvesting system, smart indoor air quality monitoring system that senses the CO2 and occupancy levels, effective glazing for natural lighting, low carbon footprint in construction, utilization of recyclable construction materials and even introduction of electric cars for commutation of the employees, with charging points provided.
4. The ITC Green Centre, Gurgaon
The ITC green center was the first corporate building in India to be certified LEED platinum in 2004, and it was the biggest platinum-rated green building with a floor area of 170,000 square feet. Green material like Fly-ash based concrete and Glass with 19% recycled content was used for building the majority of the façade. 10% of the total materials used were either recycled or obtained from other demolished sites. The rest of the construction was carried out by vernacular and low VOC materials. The design of the ‘V’ shaped structure itself was cleverly carried out, to reduce the heat gain within the building. Stormwater harvesting and zero discharge water facilities are also provided.
5. CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, Hyderabad
CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre (GBC), built in the cyber city of Hyderabad was set up with the idea of educating society about the need of adopting sustainable and green development. The center was the first building in India and the first outside the United States to acquire a LEED Platinum certification. The structure is located centrally in the flattened part of the site. Thick vegetation was developed surrounding it, to reduce heat gain and pollution. The interventions done for energy efficiency include- two air-cooling towers that cool air by up to 8 degrees, a terrace garden in about 55% of the roof, solar cells on the roof producing nearly 20% of the required energy. All materials were certified by the green building council, and 96% of construction waste was recycled.
6. Infosys Limited, Mysore | Greenest Buildings in India
Infosys Software Development Block 5 in Mysore, Karnataka, was certified LEED Platinum in the year 2012. Designed by architect Hafeez Contractor, this was the third Infosys building to achieve the feat, and it took up the total Platinum-certified building area at Infosys to 780,000 square feet.
Light shelves are installed on all the windows to ensure the utilization of daylight into the depths of the building. The lighting design within the building is so efficient that it is in fact 35% more efficient than the ASHRAE regulations. The 100% energy need of the building is facilitated by green power. The walls and roofs are well insulated and high-performance equipment and advanced automation are employed. All of these have resulted in a 40% saving of energy over the ASHRAE norms.
7. T-ZED Homes, Bengaluru
T-ZED, completed in 2009 is India’s first IGBC Platinum-rated residential apartment complex. The project was carried out by Biodiversity Conservation India Ltd (BCIL), Bangalore. Completed in 2009, the whole construction was done without the use of concrete blocks, bricks, vitrified tiles, chemical paints, or ceramics in its construction, and a very optimum amount of reinforced steel and composite cement was used. In the complex that spreads in 5 acres, there are 80 apartments and 15 individual houses.
A 44 interconnected rainwater percolation wells system, that is connected to a 400,000-liter underground water tank, purification system of water using reverse osmosis, utilization of greywater for irrigation and in toilets, a biogas digester for generating power from biodegradable wastes, the list of innovative sustainable interventions in the complex is remarkable. In the individual units, lights controlled by mobile phones, ‘water conscience meters’ etc are some modern innovations.
8. Raintree Hotel, Chennai
Raintree was the fifth hotel in India and the first in south India to get an Ecotel certification in 2006. Conservation of energy and water, solid waste management, employee environmental education and community involvement, and a steadfast commitment to the environment are the main focus areas of the hotel. The five-star hotel, constructed by Ceebros Property Development Limited, employed rubberwood, bamboo, medium density fiber, and Portland Pozzolana cement that contains 15 to 20% of fly ash in construction. The sewage treatment plant recycles water and uses it for air-conditioning, while the heat produced by air conditioners is used for heating water.
9. AnsalEsencia, Sector 67, Gurgaon | Greenest Building in India
The Esencia Township, undertaken by Ansal API, was completed as the first project for Green Rating by GRIHA under the Integrated Habitat Assessment Norms. Often referred to as the greenest community in the NCR (National Capital Region), Esencia had employed several innovative technologies to make sure it reduced the impact it had on the environment.
The green interventions include –renewable solar energy used for street lights and hot water systems, sensor-controlled lighting, master switches in each apartment, trees with large foliages and green zones in landscaping, pedestrian and bicycle tracks, and an organized waste management system. The trees chosen for landscaping were carefully picked for a larger crown, faster growth, and reduction of air pollution.
10. Patni Knowledge Center, Noida
This IT-BPO center in Noida, that’s spread over an area of 5 acres and seating of 3,500 people, is the second-largest Platinum-rated building in the world, and the largest Platinum-rated building outside the United States. The Knowledge Center has achieved this by practicing climatic responsive architecture. Over 50% of the site is a green area, 75% receives natural daylight, zero discharge, and 100% recycling of sewage is carried out, drip water irrigation and solar water heating are provided. Eco-friendly and recyclable materials were used along with low VOC emitting materials. Air quality and CO2 level sensors are also employed.
The Indian market for green buildings is estimated to double in the near future as more citizens are getting aware of the negative consequences humans have caused to earth due to extensive use of minerals, manmade products, pesticides, etc. though it is not a very common concept in India, as of now, it is said to be beneficial for the growth.