A Platinum-rated building at the Infosys campus in Bengaluru is the first radiant (panel-based) cooled building in India.
Buildings are one of the largest consumers of energy, accounting for over 30 per cent of the total energy consumed in India. Over 40 per cent of energy in buildings is used by cooling and heating systems. And studies show that two-thirds of the commercial buildings of 2030 are yet to be built. As Guruprakash Sastry, Regional Manager, Infrastructure & Green Initiatives, Infosys, tells us, ¨This offers a brilliant opportunity for Indian corporate houses to create the most efficient structures in the world.¨
Indeed, Infosys has set new benchmarks in energy performance of buildings through innovative technologies and building automation. ¨Our buildings consume one-third of the energy consumed by average buildings at no extra capital costs,¨ adds Sastry. ¨Over the past six years, Infosys has been able to achieve energy savings of over 660 million units of electricity. Compared to 2008, we have reduced our per-capita energy consumption by 44 per cent and per capita water consumption by 34 per cent.¨ And today, we have about 3.8 million sq ft of the highest-rated green buildings - 12 LEED Platinum-rated and two GRIHA 5 star-rated buildings - in India.¨ The latest feather in the cap for the company is a building near its Bengaluru headquarters in Electronic City, which was awarded the LEED India Platinum rating. Sastry shares some of its unique features with CW....
Radiantly cool: We are the first in India to implement the radiant panel-based cooling system. Water has the ability to carry 3,400 times the energy that can be carried by air for a given volume. This property has been used in the radiant cooling system to achieve the highest levels of efficiency. Pipes are embedded in panels of modular sizes like ceiling tiles, and are then interconnected to allow water flow. Cooling is achieved when the occupants, computers, lighting and equipment radiate directly to the cold ceiling. Fresh air is supplied through an air system that maintains pleasant indoor air quality. We believe this system is the solution for cases with specific ceiling designs and retrofits in existing buildings to achieve considerable energy reduction. We have demonstrated that radiant cooling technology is about 30 per cent more efficient than conventional cooling.
Efficient envelope: The building, designed with a highly efficient envelope, has insulated walls and roof, optimised window-wall ratio of 30 per cent, and high-performance glazing with adequate shading. This minimises heat ingress while allowing in maximum natural light. Windows with daylight and vision panels ensure that over 90 per cent of the occupied space has natural light. It also ensures that all employees have access to windows and the world outside.
Sensors and switches: We have installed self-powered wireless switches, sensors and controls for building automation, which reduce the cost and time of installation and wiring, and enable efficient use of energy. These ´peel-and-stick´ switches and sensors harvest energy from the indoor environment without any use of electricity. Drives and chillers: All equipment in the chiller plant room has variable speed drives that optimise energy consumption based on occupancy levels. We have also installed oil-free magnetic chillers for higher efficiency.
White´s right: The building´s roof has been painted white to reduce the heat-island effect and, in turn, reduce the cooling requirement.
Super solar: We have installed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on the rooftop to harvest solar energy. The unique feature is that four different kinds of solar PV technologies are being compared on the same roof. This project will analyse the effects of different weather conditions on the performance of PV technologies. The plant is expected to meet over 10 per cent of the total electricity demand of the building. With this, the total installed capacity in our campuses (across India) has increased to 2.3 mw.
Water works: Water-efficient fixtures include pressure compensating aerators (PCA) in all water faucets. PCAs provide constant flow of water through variable pressure situations. In addition, waterless urinals have been installed to reduce consumption. We harvest rainwater through rooftop harvesting systems as well as injection wells. Rainwater from the roof is directed into a storage tank, filtered and used for potable purposes. Rainwater is also directed deep into the ground through an in-house injection well, thereby increasing the groundwater level.
This year, during the monsoon months, nearly half of our potable water requirement was met from harvesting rainwater. Further, a membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology-based sewage treatment plant (STP) recycles 100 per cent wastewater generated, which is reused for flushing, landscaping and in cooling towers. A dual plumbing system provides separate water piping for the supply of potable and non-potable water (treated wastewater).
Local flavour: This building has been constructed with materials that have been regionally procured. Over 38 per cent of the total materials used have been extracted, harvested or recovered as well as manufactured within 400 km of the project site.
Ambient advantage: The cooling system supplies treated fresh air into the building to maintain adequate indoor air quality (IAQ) levels. Air quality is also balanced by the constant monitoring and controlling of the building´s comfort parameters, including CO2 levels, temperature and relative humidity (RH). All comfort and IAQ parameters meet the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards.
Constant control: The building is monitored through the building management system (BMS) that manages and improves operations. All systems and equipment are metered and monitored at granular level to optimise energy consumption. We have also set up a Central Command Centre (CCC) in this building that monitors each system in real time to help identify and correct inefficiencies. The CCC connects all BMSs and manages energy and other critical operations across all our campuses from one single place. This has immensely helped us improve operational efficiency and eliminate unwanted wastage.
True rewards: All these interventions have led to considerable resource savings. The building design demonstrates nearly 42 per cent reduction in energy consumption compared to ASHRAE baseline standards and there is a reduction in water usage by over 71 per cent compared to LEED standards. The Energy Performance Index of the building is about 85 kwh per sq m per year. With accurate monitoring systems for cost, energy, water, air quality and other building parameters, this building serves as an example for other corporate houses to adopt sustainability in their businesses.
Costs involved: About `95 crore
Year of completion: Dec 2013
Year of certification: July 2014
Contractor: Sobha Developers, Bengaluru. Tel: 080-4932 0000.
Architects/Planners: Plan-A and Infosys team.
LEED consultant: LCES, Bengaluru.
Tel: 080-4298 0111. Website: www.lcsind.org
Structural consultant: TRC Engineering, Bengaluru. Tel: 080-2658 1707.
Elevators and escalators: Mitsubishi.
Tel: 0124-463 0300. Website: www.mitsubishielectric.com HVAC Consultant: ARCO & Infosys team.
HVAC Contractor: KNND Associates, Bengaluru.
Air conditioners: Carrier. Tel: 0124-482 5500. Website: www.carrierindia.com;
Bluestar. Tel: 022-6665 4000.
Toshiba. Tel: 0124-482 5500.
Roofing & Glazing: Sobha Glazing & Metal works. Tel: 080-4932 0000.