The Platinum Hit!
Real Estate

The Platinum Hit!

One of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in India, Ashok Leyland has been awarded the LEED v4.1 Buildings Operations & Maintenance Platinum certification for its corporate office building in Chennai, thus becoming the first office in India and fourth in the world to receive this certification. Built in 2009, the project was already LEED India 2009 Gold certified. With a built-up area of 192,000 sq ft, the sustainability measures implemented at that time have been retained, monitored and sufficient maintenance (calibration of temperature and pressure gauges in AHUs), modifications (retrofitting of EC BLDC motors in AHUs), retrofits (LED lighting in all floors) and renovations have been performed to ensure smooth operation and efficient performance of the systems. Suresh Kumar, Head - Facilities and Office Services, Ashok Leyland, shares more on the measures taken to upgrade the building’s green features.

Green glimpse

The office is easily accessible with the public transportation network, with average carbon emissions for commuting per person at 7.84 lbs per day, compared to the global average of 13.55 lbs per day. This requires optimum use of space, which was done by vertical stacking of the building instead of a horizontal spread to ensure a low building footprint. Light pollution has been reduced with external lighting fixture. The use of LED lights for energy-efficient lighting has led to cost savings. Also, purchasing off-site recognised environmental conditions (RECs) to offset building consumption aligns with company’s ideology of giving back to the environment. The rainwater collection tank in the facility captures 100 per cent of water run-off from the roof and hardscape areas, while the use of efficient water fixtures minimises water consumption. Hundred per cent of the waste generated in the facility is reused or recycled and as it is an office building, no glass waste is generated.

Saving energy

Energy saving is mainly done by using LED fixtures for interior lighting, while RECs promote electricity generated from renewable energy sources. The vertical stacking of the building provides access to daylight, without hindering any obstacles at higher floors. Optimum window area has been created to ensure enough daylight enters the workspace with the help of DGU glass, which also reduces heat ingress inside the building. To reduce heat ingress inside the building by reflecting sunlight, the roof is coated with high solar reflectance index (SRI) paints to mitigate the heat island effect. 

Quality air

LEED v4.1 lays emphasis upon occupant comfort and well-being, for which the HVAC system was optimally designed. A random survey conducted inside the facility predicted that 87 out of 100 occupants were happy with the quality of the indoor environment. This is 26.5 per cent more than the global average of 64 out of 100 persons. This has been achieved by the building management system’s (BMS) integration of the HVAC system with continuous monitoring, thus leading to optimal usage and ensuring no use of excess energy. The HVAC system has been pre-set in the BMS to ensure sufficient fresh air supply and low CO2 and TVOC levels in the facility via AHUs conforming to ASHRAE 62.1-2016 standards. The BMS is pre-set to ASHRAE standards. Integrated pest management in the facility is undertaken using the least toxic methods, unless it is unavoidable. 

Conserving water

The current water requirement of the facility is 6.9 l per person per day, as opposed to the global benchmark of 42.7 l per person per day, which is an 84 per cent reduction. The team has managed the rainwater run-off from the entire hardscape areas through the provision of urban species and turf area in the site, allowing excess water to be utilised before storage. Low impact development methods are practised to save the rainwater collected on site. The tree planting areas are designed to collect run-off from most areas of hardscape. The team has provided a lawn around the periphery, as it absorbs more water for its healthy growth. Also, drain chambers and pipes are provided to collect and feed 100 per cent of excess run-off from the site to the storage tanks. A rainwater collection tank of 199 cu m capacity ensures that 100 per cent of water run-off from the site is collected and utilised. To ensure efficiency, the team inspects and performs maintenance and repairs to identified areas of erosion annually.

Overcoming challenges

To ensure smooth operation and efficient performance in a building, continuous monitoring is required. Earlier, this was done through BMS where only the F&M team had knowledge of the building’s operation and performance. However, with the installation of the state-of-the-art arc platform, building occupants can now visibly see the performance of the building and understand the measures that need to be taken to ensure sustainable living. The sustainable features incorporated into the design of the project not only ensure occupant well-being but contribute to enhancing the local environment and biodiversity. 

Project Details

Build-up area: 192,000 sq ft.

Year of completion: 2008.

Year of certification: LEED v4.1:O+M-2019.

Contractor: Building - Ganesan Builder, Chennai. Tel: 44-2499 5172. Website: www.ganesanbuilders.com; Interior - Jayanth Furniture. Vijay Interior, Mumbai.

Architects/Planners: Building - Meena Mani. Interior - Architect Hafeez Contractor. Tel: 022-2266 1920. Website: www.hafeezcontractor.com

LEED consultant: Ela Green Buildings & Infrastructure Consultants. Mobile: (0) 98498 05166. Website: www.elagreenconsultants.com

HVAC consultant: MEP Consulting Engineer. Tel: 022-2612 5726. Website: www.mepconengg.com

HVAC contractor: ETA Engineering. Website: www.eta-engg.com

Landscape architects: Architect Hafeez Contractor.

Services consultants: MEP Consulting Engineer, Mumbai.

External cladding consultant: Alupro Building Systems. Tel: 080-2773 4025. Website: www.aluproindia.com; Eurocon Building Technology.

Elevators and escalators: Mitsubishi Electric. Tel: Website: www.mitsubishielectric.com/elevator

Air conditioners: Carrier chiller and ETA AHU. Website: www.eta-engg.com; O General VRF. Tel: 044-4340 2345. Website: www.generalindia.com

Lights: Philips. Website: www.philips.co.in

Electrical and fire detection systems: Roshan Electricals; Fire Pro Systems. Tel: 80-4158 8800. Website: www.fireprosystems.com

Roofing: Weathering course with over deck installation.

Glazing: Double glazing.

Civil finish: Brick works.

External cladding: Double glazing and SS composite panels.

Flooring/tiles: Carpet and vitrified tile.

Paints: Emulsion.

Cement: Coromandel cement.

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