India: Chennai Got Its First Green Building

Chenna-Green-BuildingsRANCHI: Chennai got a green building with Mecon, a public sector undertaking under the steel ministry, lending its expertise in engineering to design it.

Known for extending consultancy services to metallurgical processes, steel manufacturing companies and industries engaged in value addition to mineral wealth, the company has broadened its scope of work to keep abreast of the changing times.

Since the concept is yet to pick up pace in Ranchi where Mecon is headquartered, the project has been completed at Ennore in Chennai where Hindustan Petroleum Corporation limited (HPCL) showed its eagerness to go ‘green’ and contributed to environment protection in whatever form it could. The two-storeyed administrative building of HPCL has received a gold rating with 48 points by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), a non-profit research institution formed by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

T Bhattacharya, the chief architect of the building of Mecon, said, “While the cost of constructing a green building is 10-15% more than the traditional buildings because of the use of certain specific materials, the extent of recurring expenditure on various forms of energy is reduced by 30-40% annually, compensating for the additional expense within two-three years.”

Bhattacharya added that traditional Indian buildings always kept light and wind conditions in view while making a design. “In a bid to become modern, we ignored our traditional knowledge that is being re-introduced in green buildings. For example, the east-west span of a building if kept shorter, and the north-south span longer, the building gets adequate sunlight and air circulation,” he said.

While projected roof and pergolas have been used to avoid direct solar radiation, no compromise has been made in using huge glass window panes to allow maximum natural lights. “We have used special thickened float glasses on the windows that allow light to pass but effectively cuts down solar radiation,” said Bhattacharya, explaining that natural cooling in the building has also been achieved by using autoclaves and aerated concrete blocks instead of bricks and by putting up a layer of cross-linked polymer on the ceiling to reduce the heat load from walls and the roof, respectively. These changes have reduced the dependability on air conditioners and the electric consumption has also been reduced by incorporating minimum artificial lights.

Green building certification gives importance to recycling of material and minimum wastage. To abide by those norms, the designers have reused water in the building. Water discharge from wash basins have been directed to an internal treatment centre from where it is supplied to the toilet for flush and other uses.

Mecon is now working on the second green building project of National Mineral Development Corporation in Chhatisgarh but is also waiting for the home state, Jharkhand, to wake up to this need of the hour.


Source: The Times of India

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read previous post:
Extensive Use of Glass Doesn’t Always Indicate ‘Green Building’

Since glass traps heat, buildings require more air conditioning. As a result, energy use goes up. Building green is definitely...