Monday, March 9, 2009

Tata Housing presents Bangalore’s first green building - Express Computer

Tata Housing presents Bangalore’s first green building - Express Computer
Tata Housing’s Xylem, an environment friendly green IT park, is an engineering marvel, which not only saves energy and cooling costs but also gives more lung space and natural light for employees working there, says Akhtar Pasha

Green buildings are popping up and for good reason—green design elements not only help save environmental resources, they also boost the bottom line and are good for health and morale. Sophisticated buyers and companies leasing office space are willing to pay a premium for the benefits that green buildings offer.

Sticking to worldwide standards in constructing buildings, the Tata Housing Development Company Ltd., has built Bangalore’s first Green IT park, Xylem near Whitefield. This IT Park has been designed to tackle the ‘Sick building syndrome’, with its major focus on occupants’ health with an ergonomic design and architecture. The design boosts employee productivity as well as helps reduce the operational cost of the building. Xylem has received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED-Gold) rating. Brotin Banerjee, Managing Director, Tata Housing Development Company Limited, said, “This is one of the most environmentally friendly buildings of its size in the entire country. We at Tata Housing aim to provide our customers a whole-building approach in all key areas of human and environmental health with natural ventilation and illumination, designed to work with the exterior environment. These advanced standards will optimize comfort and utility thereby contributing to an excellent working lifestyle.”

The Green IT park covers an area of 3,40,490 sq ft with a 1,29,000 sq ft car parking facility that houses power points for charging electric cars and scooters. It has eight floors and houses 13 offices.

* More fresh air to breathe: The workspaces are supplied with 22 CFM [cubic feet per minute] of fresh air compared to 15 CFM in a conventional building for better workspace ventilation. Optimum in-house climate and lighting are maintained to boost productivity. There are open spaces at different floors.
* More natural sunlight: Banerjee explained, “Xylem uses a double glazing 6-mm glass—from inside and outside. On the outer side, the UV light entering into the building is cut out with a 6-mm tinted glass. The interior 6-mm glass is clear and, in between the two glasses, a gap of 12-mm is maintained that acts as an insulator, blocking harmful UV light entering into the building and at the same time allowing natural light to transfer easily.”
For the terrace, the engineers have used while China mosaic [broken pieces of china bone] with reflective index that reflects the heat from sunrays. About 65% of the terrace floor space is covered with China mosaic. The double-glazing glasses along with China mosaics minimize ‘heat island effect’ in and around the building.
* Efficient air-conditioning: In a conventional building, four chillers are required [each with 250 tons capacity] to get 1,000 tons of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HAVAC) load for cooling the area. However, Xylem’s load is designed such a way it uses only three chillers resulting in a saving of 250 tons. To get this performance a head recovery wheel [a disc] regulates the Air Handling Units (AHUs) which control the air supply by sensing the temperature. Additionally it uses Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) that control the motor speed, which controls the AC load so that there is consumption only when the load is there. The energy-efficient air conditioning saves up to 26% of energy consumption as compared to a conventional building.
* Fire safety and crisis management: The smart Building Management System (BMS) at Xylem combines infrastructure and solution to integrate, monitor and control different systems during daily functioning of the building.
For example in case of a fire, the fire panels which are connected to AHUs shut down by cutting the supply of oxygen, which will help curb the spreading the fire. Additionally fire panels connect to the PA system on each floor and can aid in speedy evacuation of the building. The fire doors are made of special materials with a fire rating of two hours.
Similarly, the BMS manages indoor air quality. The system integrates the indoor environment management and other external sensors to monitor air quality and energy consumption in various sections of the building. The crisis management team monitors and activates alarms, shuts down air conditioners, and transmits information to a central console for quicker evacuation in case of a fire. CCTV cameras are positioned at every entry and exit point to the building. The traffic management monitors the status of the six passenger and two service elevators from a central control, allowing the management team to direct users accordingly.
* Power savings and power backup: BESCOM has provided 2,800 KVA of power to the premises. The DG configuration is planned in such as way that it saves power—3 DG sets x 1,165 KVA powers the main building. It has an additionally DG set x 405 KVA load which is used for powering the common area on Saturdays and Sundays.

Solar panels cover the 35% of the terrace floor space, which acts as a standby power for the common passage areas providing 23kW of power translating to 27,530 KwHr of annual power leading to a saving of Rs 150,463 per annum.

Xylem uses rainwater harvesting and 100% of the wastewater is recycled for landscaping use. Sensory taps are installed at all basins and toilets that further reduce the water consumption.

Overall, the building is designed to be approximately 19% more efficient in operational cost as compared to a conventional building. Other benefits include savings of 26.6% on air-conditioning power & cooling costs, 34.1% saving on water supply and 1.6% on common area power.

akhtar.pasha@expressindia.com

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