NAGPUR: You might have heard about a green building but may not know what are its specialities. If you are eager to see one and have some patience, then there is an opportunity in Nagpur itself. Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) is constructing one such building for Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM) near Hingna T-Point on the bank of Ambazari Lake.
Going green in building construction involves minimizing the damage to nature. There should be minimum change in the topography of the area, water and electricity consumption should be reduced by using solar power and recycled water while the construction should be done using recyclable material.
NIT chairman Pravin Darade told TOI that in India green buildings are limited to metros and mostly corporates and IT companies go for them. “FDCM is probably one of the few government agencies that is going green. The initial cost is higher – about 20% in this case. This deters many people even though within five years you recover the cost and then you only save,” he said.
Ashfaque Ahmed, the architect for the FDCM building, said, “Constructing green buildings involves three Rs: first R – reduce pollutants and damage to nature, second R – reuse natural resources like water, and third R – use recyclable materials.”
Elaborating on the design, Ahmed said, “One of the salient features of this building will be maximum use of solar energy which will meet around 40% of the electricity requirement. The lights and computers will run on this power. Solar powered lights will be installed on the premises. We have, however, decided not to use batteries as it is an office building and will rarely require electricity at night. This will save a lot of money.”
The office will recycle its water which will be used in gardens and flushes. “A mini sewage treatment plant (STP) will be constructed and the liquid waste will go through process from an ultra filter. The solid waste will be used as manure in the gardens on the premises or other FDCM buildings. There will be two separate networks for treated corporation water and recycled water. The building will have two sumps, overhead tanks and separate pipeline networks connected to them. To minimize wastage of water drip irrigation and sprinklers will be used,” he said.
Nowadays, most posh offices are designed in such a way that they need electricity powered lights even during the day. Green buildings use natural light to the maximum. “Our aim is to provide natural light in minimum 70% area. For this, the building will have a central atrium covered by a polycarbonate dome. The terraces too will increase availability of natural light,” Ahmed said.
Keeping the temperature inside the building at comfortable level is necessary to reduce use of air-conditioners. This will be achieved by constructing terraces, which will shield the room walls from direct exposure to sunrays.
The green buildings are certified by Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) whose office-bearers regularly inspect the construction. It has four ratings – basic, silver, gold and platinum. The FDCM office is being planned to meet the requirement of a gold rating.
What’s green about FDCM office
Around 40% of the electricity requirement will be met by solar energy
It will have a mini-STP and recycled water will be used in gardens and flushes
Separate sumps and overhead tanks for treated and recycled water
Source: Times of India
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