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Kalam to open world's 'greenest' building

By Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad
Last updated on: July 13, 2004 18:59 IST
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President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam will inaugurate the CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

The CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre in Hyderabad. Photo courtesy: CIIJamshyd N Godrej, Chairman, CII-Godrej GBC, told newsmen on Tuesday that the GBC -- jointly promoted by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Pirojsha Godrej Foundation, the Andhra Pradesh government and the USAID -- is the only building in the world to be awarded the 'platinum rating' under the LEED rating system of the US Green Building Council, making it 'the greenest building in the world.'

The most environment-friendly building for use of water and energy efficient technologies and recycled material has been built as a unique public private partnership as a demonstration building for the industry in India and other countries of the world.

Godrej said that Leadership in Energy & Environment Design has given the platinum rating to two other buildings in the US (Version 1.0). "Our building has been awarded Platinum under the current and latest rating system of Version 2.0," he explained.

The GBC, which has come up on an area of five acres near HITEC City in Hyderabad, was launched as a concept during the then US President Bill Clinton's visit to the city in March 2000.

Apart from using the GBC as a demonstration building, the CII intends to do the research and development work at this facility. "What we intend to do is to promote the Indian Industry as one of the foremost competitive industries as far as green buildings and environmental matters are concerned," Godrej added.

Listing out the unique features of the building which won the highest rating in the world, Godrej said that the 80 per cent of the material used in the construction of the building was recycled. It included fly ash, a waste material coming out of cement and other industries. The building discharges zero water as all of its used water is recycled. It has a huge capacity for the collection of rain water.

"The building has used many innovative ideas including a waterless urinal in which the chemicals are used to store and recycle urine without any odour. The site of the building was not at all disturbed for the construction of the building, as per the LEEDs norms," he said.

The building is also highly energy efficient and uses 55 per cent less energy than a conventional building.  It has been constructed in such a way that the intake of natural lighting is high and there is no need for external lighting.

There are two air conditioning towers in which the incoming air is cooled 7 t 8 degree by spraying of water. The pre-cooled water is fed into the air conditioning system further lowering the energy costs.

The 60 per cent of the roof of the building is covered by the roof garden as a good insulating property and to cut down the load on the air-conditioning system.

The balance portion of the roof is covered by solar photo voltaic with 24 KW capacity. The 100 to 120 units of power generated per day is fed into the grid meeting 20 per cent of the total energy cost of the building.

The USAID provided lot of technical and strategic inputs and put the CII in touch with the US Green Business Council.

Stating that the GBC would emerge as a model for the entire Indian industry, including the construction and manufacturing industry, Godrej said: "Our vision is to not just to put up this demonstration building but also be the world leaders. We have already made contacts outside India. We intend to take this movement throughout ASEAN region and Gulf region and many other places because it is very important that we are seen as a leader in this area. Making India a world leader in Green Business by 2015 is the vision of the GBC."

The GBC has already made a presentation before Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong during his recent visit to New Delhi. "We are going to work with Singapore government in promoting green buildings," Godrej said.

Focus areas of GBC include green buildings, water management, energy efficiency, renewable energy and environment recycling. The GBC has set the target of building ten green buildings by 2006 and creating five world-class energy efficient companies by 2005.

The CII is already constructing a green building for the Indian Machine Tool Manufacturing Association, Bangalore, which will be a 'golden rating' building.
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Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad

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