Ecology | Economy | Equity
Green or sustainable buildings is a concept known to all developers, builders, property owners, realtors, bankers, and insurers. There is a growing awareness of the increasing demand for self-sustaining, efficient developments that cost less to operate. The interest amongst multinational clients for sustainable buildings for the residential and commercial sectors is also on the rise as it is a viable investment option for businesses.
K Raheja Corp continues to strive for more opportunities in promoting sustainability. Our 'Green Vision' is to commit towards making all our commercial and residential LEED & IGBC “Green Certified.”
The following initiatives are taken up to increase awareness and optimal utilization of green developments under the Green Rating programs:
Net Zero Concept buildings depend on renewable sources to produce as much energy as they use. Buildings that produce a surplus of energy may be called ‘energy-plus buildings’ and buildings that consume slightly more energy than they produce are called ‘near-zero energy buildings’. The energy is measured over the course of a year. One of its many features is that it does not depend on any external source for energy and water. Extensive use of renewable source of energy like solar panels and wind turbines etc. stand among the technologies used to achieve net-zero status. The long term benefits of energy saving compel companies to consider it as a good investment.
Glazing is another technique used wherein a Low ‘e’ double glazed glass is used to reduce the heat ingress into the building. These windows help make the indoor area more comfortable, it dramatically reduces energy costs and helps to create a brighter, cleaner and healthier environment.
The composting plant has been employed to reduce waste in an environmentally sound fashion. Dry and wet waste composting is a process of biological decomposition of organic waste by bacteria, fungi and other organisms under controlled aerobic conditions. It is the natural way of recycling waste to turn into valuable organic fertilizer. In addition, the efficient composting program is capable of producing high quality soil amendment and has a large variety of end uses.
Using local and recycled materials having lower embodied energy is very important. The reduction or no use of low-VOC paints, adhesives and sealants is better for the environment, for indoor air quality and are approved for use around people with environmental sensitivities.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) modules generate electricity from sunlight, which can be fed into the main electrical supply of a building. Reducing the need for fossil fuel generation, the growing grid-connected solar PV sector is helping cut greenhouse gas emissions & is a pure & pollution free form of power generation. K Raheja Corp has installed rooftop Solar PV modules in order to generate power at various buildings of Mindspace namely building nos. 2A, 2B, 9, 10, 11, 12A, 14 & 20 at Madhapur, Hyderabad. Total power generation is 1.47 Mega Watt. This will ultimately result in fewer power bills to building tenants.
Sewage treatment is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater, primarily from sewage. It includes physical, chemical, and biological processes to remove these contaminants and produce environmentally safe treated wastewater. This treated water can be further reused for flushing, gardening & HVAC. This will reduce demand for municipal potable water. At all individual buildings of the Mindspace campus, Sewage treatment plants with world class technologies like MBBR, SAFF have been installed. This reduces the daily water demand by 20-30%.
Rainwater harvesting is a technique of collection and storage of rainwater into natural reservoirs or tanks, or the infiltration of surface water into subsurface aquifers by recharging pits. Based on geological strata, at all the buildings of Mindspace, rainwater harvesting in terms of either tank or recharge pits has been implemented. The rainy water is reused for landscaping & flushing.
Today’s modern constructions employ HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) as functions that designate them as modern homes and buildings. Warmed or cooled or dehumidified air flows through a series of ducts that are distributed to all the rooms of a house. A central HVAC system is the quietest and convenient way to cool an entire home. HVAC Systems should consist of water cooled screw chillers with a high coefficient of performance and eco-friendly refrigerant. AHU’s, cooling towers, pumps; jet fans with variable frequency drives are modulated by centralized IBMS with the installation variable air volumes inside the designated areas. AHU’s are interlinked with Heat Recovery Units to reduce the cooling load on the chiller. For better IAQ, use of Demand Control Ventilation system with Co2 sensors is a must. The main objective is to reduce the electricity consumption of the building from the electricity grid, a fossil fuel based thermal power dominated grid and thus contributes to the reduction in emissions of pollutants including GHG emissions. The use of daylight and occupancy sensors for common area lighting and use of LED’s for energy conservation is an option that many are turning to.
Efforts to increase water capacity should be balanced with greater conservation and water efficiency efforts. Low flow fixtures, sewage treatment through reuse of recycled water for flushing and landscaping, and appropriate use of drip and high efficient sprinkler irrigation need to be taken care of. Technological innovations in green building concepts not only help in reducing operating cost in terms of lesser energy and water bills for the end users but also build a reputable corporate image amongst developers. The Government of India is offering various incentives like fast track approval for Green building projects, which will definitely help developers commence and conclude projects within stipulated deadlines.
Replanting is the intentional replenishing of trees and greenery that may have been depleted in the course of construction, done to further diminish the environmental impact caused by the process of building the project. Replanting has a significant positive impact on the quality of life of the residents of the project by soaking up the undesirable polluting effects from the air.
The highly efficient soil amendment that is produced by the Dry Waste Composting plant gives way to developing the Organic Farm that has been set up in the premises. The farm produces a variety of small plants and trees that help set the ambience of the entire project.
Light emitting diodes, commonly called LEDs, are the real unsung heroes in the field of energy efficiency. Lighting is a major contributor to overall building energy consumption. Lower power requirement than ordinary incandescent lamps & CFL's, high efficiency & long life are the major advantages of using LED lights. They give maximum luminaires i.e. more light at minimal power consumption. K Raheja Corp has installed LED lights in all common areas of Mindspace campus projects like landscape, lift lobbies, street lights, entrance lobbies etc.
IBMS is an automatic centralized control of a building's heating, ventilation and air conditioning, lighting and other systems through a building management system. The objectives of building automation are improved security, occupant comfort, efficient operation of building systems, and reduction in energy consumption and operating costs and improved life cycle of utilities. At all Mindspace buildings, IBMS of international brands & standards like Siemens, Honeywell, Trane have been installed to run the building more efficiently.
Efficient CTI certified Cooling towers which consume less energy, and heat recovery wheels which use waste heat to pre-cool air, reduce load on HAVC system & energy is saved.
In conjunction with the above, there are opportunities with new technologies that have been successfully executed in the international markets and are making their way into India. Some of these include:
A promising renewable source because it relies on heat energy from within the earth, which varies little from place to place, in contrast to solar and wind power limitations.
A popular choice for net-zero energy structures due to its ability to balance energy consumption and renewable energy creation.
A system to generate energy through solar power. Building a photovoltaic façade is a fully integrated system with no visible add-ons. It is suitable for new buildings and renovation, and can be used in office, commercial, industrial and residential construction.
A century-old traditional building technique wherein natural, local materials were used to provide shelter from the cold, the rain, the sun and the wind. The ecology-sensitive design helps buildings blend back into their environment.
The utilization of technology complements our Green efforts immensely, benefiting the workforce and society as a whole, reducing operating costs and elevating brand value. One of the landmark K Raheja Corp Green projects is the Mindspace Building in Airoli, Navi Mumbai. Conceptualized as a State-of-the-art Green Building, it is multi-storeyed and includes multiple occupancy. The project has received the LEED Core and Shell ‘GOLD’ rating from the Indian Green Building Council, the certifying body.