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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

“Green Buildings need not be Expensive at all”

Green Buildings need not be Expensive at all
Case Study: The World’s First USGBC-LEED Certified ‘Passenger Terminal Building (PTB)’ of any International Airport, as of Year 2008.
A)    Objective: Reduction of Indoor Heat Gain.

Techniques Deployed:

i)                    Insulated Roof (100%);
ii)                  High Performance Glazing & Skylights, that block the entry of 99+ % of Solar Heat into indoors;
iii)                Instant Evacuation of Human Exhaled Heat (CO2), with the help of  ceiling-level sensors’-activated evacuation valves and simultaneous pumping-in of conditioned air (O2);

B)    Objective: Avoidance and / or drastic reduction of Artificial Lighting, during the Day-Time.

Techniques Deployed:

i)                    High Performance Glazing & Skylights (as mentioned above), that permits 98+% Solar Light, inside on most of the days, between Sun-Rise to Sun-Set, the intensity-level of this Solar-Light is more than sufficient, even for reading small print.
ii)                  And when it is darker due to extreme cloudiness, again, activation of Artificial Lighting, only to augment the overall loss levels of Solar Light intensity, achieved through controlled lighting, through accurate calculation in terms of ‘Lumens’.

C)     Objective: Reduction of Volume of ‘Conditioned Air’, without compromising the comfort of the occupants, at any point-of-time (in this case the Passengers, Staff & Others, if any).

Techniques Deployed:

i)                    Instant augmentation of the ‘Conditioned Air’, indoors, through Variable Air Volumes (VAVs) – which quantum is defined by the variable number of occupants, in place of the traditional HVAC System, that continues to pump-in a fixed quantity of ‘Conditioned Air’, irrespective of the number of occupants, at that point-of-time.

D)    Objective: Water Reduction.
Techniques Deployed:

i)                    Deployment of Sensor Operated Urinals & Water Efficient Fixtures, sprinklers & Drip-Irrigation Systems – at all places.

With this design, the Tonnage as defined for a Conventional PTB of an Intl. Airport of 12 Million Passengers, p.a., as per the Intl. Aviation Norms has been reduced by roughly 35% thus, reducing the cost of the Central A/C Plant, which also happened to be the biggest Capital Component of all the MEP Equipment.  

Then, the saved capital cost on HVAC has been prudently invested in all above Energy Saving Features, with zero escalation in the already frozen budget.

The name of the project is, “Rajiv Gandhi International Airport”, owned & operated by GMR Hyderabad Intl. Airport Ltd. ( – which was commissioned on March 14, 2008 and this project was certified as LEED-NC Silver Rated Project by USGBC. 

And that also happened to be the only ‘Green Building / LEED Project’ that incurred zero additional costs over and above the planned conventional costs, as of that date and to-date too, to the best of my knowledge.

I was not, in any way, responsible for the above accomplishment but only the Project Manger - Incharge for LEED (Documentation), CDM & Renewables Planning for the site comprising 5,400 Acres, while the PTB was / is of 12,59,378 SFT.

The Owners, GMR Group wanted a LEED Rated Building without incurring One Rupee more than the frozen budget of Rs. 2,500/- Crores (in Year, 2003).

The entire credit for the above accomplishment goes to ARUP, IDA, Aviaplan / STUP, but I had been the only ‘Devout Student’ of this rich accomplishment, while all my colleagues – seniors as well as juniors have been happy adding LEED experience in their resumes, without having an iota of the above knowledge of how a LEED Certified, Green Building was built, without incurring any extra costs.  To boot, none of them took-up any assignment that is remotely connected to Green Buildings, later.

In those Years (2007 & 2008), I began to believe that “Green Buildings need not be Prohibitively Expensive” and Today, after half a dozen projects of my own, I believe that Green Buildings need not be Expensive at all, with a full knowledge that only recently two big LEED-NC projects have been certified by IGBC, which incurred only 2% extra cost over and above the conventional construction costs.
Even, if I am asked to do such projects, with some pre-conceived notions on the ‘Design’, I too might incur such additional expenditure.  If, otherwise, we all can give 100% Green Building, Certifiable by any G.B.C..
My confidence is born out of my deep study of the pre-RCC+HVAC era building construction Methods and now, we can build almost any project, 100% Green through an 'Integrated Green Building Design & Comprehensive Micro-Climate Management Plan' for any building of housing, factory, farm-house, resorts, et al and may be Malls, Offices, etc. – that would meet all the parameters expected of a “Green Building” as well as give you the required ‘Certification’ under any Green Building Council, if that is so important to the client – with zero escalation on their planned construction costs of a so-called 'conventional building', provided they approach the ‘Design’ with "completely open-mind".

Yes, these ‘Green Buildings’ too like, any others are designed to be Eco-Responsive, Conserves / Uses Less Water & Power, Uses Sewage Water too, Ample Day-Lighting in all regularly occupied spaces, with ‘Comfortable, Cozy, Cool & Clean Indoor Environment, Consumes Organic Wastes, and with many more pleasant features.

Geographic Region, Climatic Zones, Locations, Elevations, Orientations, etc. do not matter. 

ALSO STUDY "100% Green Buildings, Certifiable by any G.B.C., at no Additional Construction Costs and adds a "Unique Value Proposition" to your property!"

For any clarifications, please contact, OR Call, +91-8686559189.

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