The Svatma resort combines luxury with heritage and respect for the environment. Situated in Tamil Nadu, Tanjavur, one of the ancient cities of the country, showcases the rich legacy of the fine arts of India. Historically, an important centre of art, architecture, culture and spirituality, many UNESCO World Heritage Monuments - The Great Living Chola temples - are located in and around Tanjavur. Amid this beautiful city lies the Svatma resort, an experience designed as a voyage of discovery of the mind indulging in the luxury of leisure, dabbling with the arts, in a beautiful home environment. Moreover, this luxury resort has been built incorporating various sustainable measures to demonstrate high performance, earning it the IGBC Green NB Gold certification. Deepak Kumar G, Manager-Consulting Team, Conserve Consultants, shares more on the sustainable measures followed that enabled it to achieve this distinction.
Sustainable site: The design was planned so that it would not disturb existing natural resources. To preserve the top soil and provide shade to the building and natural ventilation to the rooms in summers, most of the trees have been retained or new ones planted. Separate material yards have been provided too. During construction, tempering seeding was implemented to preserve the soil from erosion and the project site fully barricaded, so people were not affected by pollution and dust.
All vehicle wheels were sprinkled with water to avoid soil pollution. Further, 20 per cent of the existing landscape vegetative area has been protected to minimise site disturbance. Also, 100 per cent of the non-roof area has been covered using open grid pavers to reduce impact on the microclimate and mitigate the heat island effect. These open grid pavers are used to control stormwater at the source, reduce runoff and improve water quality by filtering pollutants in the substrata layers. In addition, daytime rainfalls combined with the internal high surface area result in significantly more removal of stored heat from the pavers.
Local materials: The resort has made use of reused, salvaged and recycled content and local materials. Thirty per cent of the building materials have been procured within 400 km from the project. Further, 20 per cent of the materials used for construction contain recycled content, thus saving virgin material and reducing the overall cost of building materials.
The wood materials used in the building are salvaged materials, also reducing the overall cost. What´s more, the construction waste materials generated have been diverted from the landfill and reused. Also, an organic waste composter has been installed, so that waste from the kitchens is used as fertilisers for plants and trees within the site boundary. The project has adopted many green-certified building materials, such as water meters, pumps, and low-VOC materials for paints, adhesives, sealants, etc. Also, while concrete roofing has been used for the main building and insulation sheets for the party hall, the project has also made use of clear glazing.
Indoor environmental quality: The project team has developed and implemented an indoor air quality management plan during construction and pre-occupancy, which considers measures such as scheduling, electrical and mechanical equipment and systems protection, housekeeping, isolation of clean areas, and source control. Over 75 per cent and 82 per cent of regularly occupied areas have been provided with day-lighting and outdoor views, respectively. Spatial planning was initiated such that all rooms receive adequate day-lighting. The window wall ratios for all the rooms have been restricted to 30 per cent, to provide glare-free adequate day-lighting throughout the year in any season. Also, the fenestrations of the rooms have been properly shaded by horizontal overhangs. Besides, smoking has been prohibited in the entire building area.
Energy-efficiency: The project has achieved energy saving of 78 per cent in interior lighting by the use of an efficient design with LED lights. Energy conservation measures include a roof with 80 mm PUF panel resulting in U-value of 0.059 Btu per hr ft2 F; efficient interior and exterior lighting design; and, in HVAC, replacement with efficient five-star split ACs in old buildings and VRF system with 3.70 COP in all the rooms for the new buildings.
Water efficiency: Hundred per cent of rainwater is stored in wells and tanks, and used within the site; also, recharge pits are used to percolate the water to keep the soil wet. Low-flow water fixtures have been used to reduce water usage; 25 per cent of water is reduced from the baseline criteria. While 72 per cent of the land area has been planted with native species that retain less water, water meters have also been installed near the municipal water supply and wastewater pipes to measure usage. Also, irrigation systems such as drip irrigation, shut-off valve and pressure regulating device have been installed to reduce usage. Besides, a sewage treatment plant (STP) has been installed within the site to treat wastewater; 100 per cent of treated wastewater is used for flushing and landscaping.
Challenges and other initiatives: The renovation project faced several hindrances in implementing green measures, such as construction waste management for demolition works, followed by erosion and sedimentation control measures implemented for the new annexure building construction. The project team took serious measures to not disturb the natural earth other than where construction was undertaken. Further, in terms of extra initiatives, universal design has been incorporated for senior citizens and the differently abled with features such as separate restrooms for the differently-abled, seating area near lift lobbies, and Braille and audio assistance in the lift and special signage. The project team has catered to gym and yoga facilities for at least 10 per cent of the building occupants. What´s more, green guidelines have been provided to inform and educate building occupants.
Indeed, all about self-surrender to the charms of ancient Tamil Nadu û its arts, architecture, culinary heritage and culture this luxury resort has added sustainability to its list!
Project: Svatma, Tanjavur (Tanjore), Tamil Nadu
Area: 3,897 sq m (built-up area: 3,344.5 sq m).
Year of completion: 2016.
Year of certification: 2016.
Architect/planner: Transform Design Architects.
Tel: 044-2434 2734.
LEED consultant: Conserve Consultants.
Tel: 044-4211 7340.
Elevators and escalators: Otis Elevator Company (India).
Tel: 022-2844 9700.
- SERAPHINA D´SOUZA
To share details of any green initiatives, write in at feedback@ConstructionWorld.in