Telangana Today, Hyd - 24th March 2018

Raheja Mindspace setting benchmarks for green buildings

Shabbir Kanchwala, senior vice president, K Raheja Group, told Telangana Today, There were a plethora of opportunities to receive the green certification.

BY- Y V Phani Raj

Hyderabad: Raheja Mindspace Madhapur campus has received Gold rating under IGBC Existing campus rating programme. This is the first commercial project in Hyderabad and 11th in the country to have received this recognition. K Raheja Corp is going one step ahead on further upgrading the campus making it world-class.

Shabbir Kanchwala, senior vice president, K Raheja Group, told Telangana Today, “There were a plethora of opportunities to receive the green certification. We wanted to reduce the substantial impact of buildings on the natural environment while improving the quality of life at the same time. Green buildings reduce the use of fossil fuels through energy efficiency and on site use of renewable energy leading to a reduction in climate change and air pollution.”

As for the challenges, the traditional lens views green building naturally costs more than a less sustainable alternative and it was a challenge 10 years ago. However, today, designers and owners are finding that a focus on sustainability at the beginning of the process can ascertain various techniques that will provide environmental and social benefits without necessitating incremental costs, he added.

Kanchwala informed, “We are now in the process to upgrade the campus to make the existing structure world-class. The company is doing so by looking as sourcing expert talent across the globe with world renowned architects and design consultants. To enhance the campus, we are exploring various aspects of smart campuses such as smart parking, people management etc and opportunities to expand the existing landscape. Furthermore, the campus uses 1.47 MW of solar power on site and we are looking more opportunities for renewable energy.”

Green vision

Implementing and executing green buildings require comprehensive efforts. To achieve success, the project team is involved right from inception and conceptualisation. The design, project execution, operation/facility, co-ordination teams and consultants come together and it is a collective effort. The company’s journey in the green buildings space commenced in 2006-07 as the first developer signing a MoU with CII-IGBC. Post which, IGBC officials conducted exhaustive training programmes to ensure smooth planning and achieve desired results.

Explaining Raheja’s green building approach, he says, “For each project, we prepare tenant designs and construction guidelines. These include a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts from green perspective and additional guidelines for interior designs and the operations of the buildings. Our sales team circulates this list to all prospective tenants.”

The green footprint at Mindspace comprises of 21 per cent landscape cover with 3,500 trees. The campus is spread across 100 acres and is the largest with a variety of buildings- commercial, hotels, malls and residences. The campus is 10 million sq ft of built up area and comprises of 21 buildings with 80,000 occupants. The green building foot-print in the campus is 60 per cent registered and 40 per cent certified. As for parking, there is 80 per cent covered parking. Additionally, the campus provides shuttle services for 50 per cent occupants promoting the reduced usage of cars leading to pollution control.

Mindspace is designed as per IS 1893, IS 4326 – ‘Code of practice for earthquake resistant design and construction of buildings.’ The campus uses advanced technology such as RCC structures with a high factor for safety and post tensioning technology for slabs.