GAIL's Chhainsa project in Haryana is the country's first green structure in the oil and gas industry to receive a GRIHA 4-star provisional rating.
It's green - and everyone knows it! GAIL's administration building spread across 11,161 sq m at Chhainsa in Haryana has received a GRIHA 4-star provisional rating. The green structure comprises office space for 45 people along with all facilities including offices, conference and meeting room, canteen and other ancillary requirements. A total of 88 points were applicable to the project of which the project attempted 79; the project scored 76 of 88 points. After twelve months of building occupancy, the project shall strive to achieve a 5 star as final rating for this building. Snigdho Majumdar, Deputy General Manager, Architecture, Engineers India Ltd (EIL), elaborates upon the green features of India's first green structure in the oil and gas industry, in conversation with AHLAM RAIS.
Initial brief and design
The initial brief of the client was to build an exemplary building, not merely functional but innovative in its response to critical issues like energy efficiency and environmental concerns. While creating the green design for any building, one has to keep in mind the area and location. The same design had to be replicated for two different projects of GAIL at separate locations; one in Haryana and another in Madhya Pradesh. Hence, we opted for a circular shape design for this project so it could also be used in two different places by slightly tweaking the orientation. The circular shape can be rotated around the centre according to the exact orientation of the structure.
The building is oriented in a manner where the work hall located on the northern side receives ample amount of glare-free sunlight and all service areas are positioned towards the southwest zone, reducing the thermal heat gain. The landscaped courtyard with its water body in the centre generates its own microclimate. It also acts as a visual link for various zones of the building. Water bodies have also been located strategically to permit the breeze to flow over and generate a cool draft to the courtyard. The building envelope comprising walls, windows and a roof have been optimised to minimise thermal heat gain and, hence, annual energy consumption.
The administration building is created with an energy-intensive material, RCC. About 30 per cent Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) by weight is replaced with fly-ash in structural concrete and 30 per cent OPC is replaced by fly-ash for masonry and plaster mortar. Fly-ash is easily available, cheaper, lightweight, eco-friendly and offers a nice look to the structure. Each component of the building comprises low energy materials. For instance, we have consciously not used any metallic frame for windows. Instead, we have used unplasticised polyvinyl chloride (UPVC), an energy-efficient material. We have also used double-glazed structural glazing that reduces heat significantly. For the flooring, 70 per cent low energy tiles and wooden laminated flooring have been used. About 88.97 per cent low energy materials have also been utilised in doors and windows. All these materials add to a significant contribution in the reduction of the total carbon footprint of the building. Also, the materials are locally sourced within a radius of 60 km; this also helped reduce transportation and related costs.
The building is used only in the day. Hence, we identified all the activity areas and ensured that it obtains maximum daylight in order to reduce artificial illumination. The window-wall ratio (WWR) is limited to 30 per cent for optimal day lighting in the internal spaces. We made use of energy-efficient lights to achieve a light power density as low as 6 W per sq m. In a normal building of a similar nature, the light power density varies between 10 W and 12 W. The building envelope is Energy Conservation of Building Code (ECBC) compliant, which helps reduce the load in AC spaces and meets thermal comfort levels in non-AC spaces. ECBC-compliant, energy-efficient, variable speed centrifugal chillers of rated capacity 34 tr (tonne of refrigeration) have been installed in the building. To reduce the use of air-conditioners, a micro climate within the building has been created with the assistance of a courtyard with water bodies. This helps circulation of the air inside the structure and helps it to remain cool. At the same time, lux and occupancy sensors have been installed that understand the exact position of the occupants and optimise lighting. We have also installed solar panels on the roof to generate electricity; they are also used for outdoor lighting. These panels meet space conditioning and internal artificial lighting loads of 4 kwp. Solar street lights have also been installed. The total energy consumption of this project has reduced by 20.30 per cent.
The use of low-flow fixtures in the structure has reduced the building's water consumption by 68.8 per cent. Apart from this, there has been a 40.67 per cent reduction in landscape water consumption by planting native species of trees and shrubs and also by using efficient irrigation systems. Wastewater is treated and re-used for landscape water requirements. The payback period for this project is less than three years.
The main challenge was to create a single design for two projects at different locations. Also, as this is a government project, we had to provide the drawing of the building before the construction started and the tendering process could take place. Hence, even if we wanted to make any further changes we were unable to carry them out owing to the rigid government system. Additionally, sourcing of materials was an issue as the materials used in the project were not available in bulk in the local market. We had to carry out research to find the right products and contact the manufacturer; this entire process significantly increased the timeline for procurement and delivery.
Area: 11,161 sq m
Completion: October 2013
Cost: Rs 13 crore
Architect: Snigdho Majumdar, DGM; Mohit Kumar Verma, Deputy Manager and Anish Mahala, Senior Architect of Architecture Department, EIL. Tel: 011-2676 2121. Website: www.engineersindia.com
Landscape architect: Sumedha Arora, Senior Architect of Architecture Department, EIL.
HVAC supplier: Blue Star. Website: www.bluestarindia.com
Snigdho Majumdar's perspective
"The green building movement in India is gathering momentum. The penetration of green building in the Indian construction industry as of now is minimal. If you talk about the percentage, it would not be more than 2-3 per cent of the total volume of government buildings being constructed in India and that too in mega cities such as Delhi and Mumbai. If the shift has to happen, it should not happen only for a few buildings. It has to happen throughout the industry. Only then will the benefits of it be enjoyed by the next generation."
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