When people talk about Green buildings, it is assumed they are eco-radical tree-huggers. But its true. Green building technology can really help achieve sustainable development by reducing energy consumption to a large extent and improving the return on investment by reducing maintenance.
When considering the economic benefits of smart technologies one must include many factors, such as health cost, future economic stability, quality of life and costs of operation.
In India, Thiagaraj Convention Center in Chennai is one such place where green building technology has been extensively used. Many of the building techniques can easily be adapted to existing buildings. For example, the transition from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs can lead to energy savings of upto 75% of costs. The small increase in initial costs to purchase the bulbs would easily be recouped many times over by the savings and extended life of the new bulbs.
With the mushrooming if satellite towns and there down right demand of energy, lead to the understanding of coming out with techniques to conserve and use the natural resources. The inherent potential of the earth and various elements of nature, hence form the base of design further giving direction to the concept of coming out with a structure on the lines of green building.
Zoning of the entire convention has been done considering the sensitivity towards climate. Spaces which require ambient light and not glare like the exhibition spaces are hence placed north facing. To get enough exposure from the sun, the solar chimney is located in the south of the centre. The pre-convention spaces along with the restaurant are around a central open space such that it avails controlled lighting.
The convention hall is a space occupying 1200sqm spanned by a space frame made of steel and aluminum castings over which the frame support, the solar panels eventually giving double protection from the sun. Due to the flexi wall installed in the convention hall, the space can be transformed into a bigger area which can hold double the members required. It is strategically located near the service entry only to allow easy transportation of materials for re decorating the interiors as per the need.
The exhibition space is located in the ground floor with provisions of providing convenient options of interiors.
The front lobby serves as the main connecting space offering the view of all other spaces which form the structure. This is connected to the guest room placed in the south zone via an open space. The 50 guest rooms, near the solar chimneys though south facing have been provided with double glazed windows. The natural draft created by the solar chimney sucks the stale air out without any effort which is done by the intelligent sensors that adjust the overhang and sunshades length according to the weather.
This acoustically efficient designed space can at once cater around 320 people. The important feature which stands out is the flexible stage operation which can be used for performances and for showing movies depending on the need of the moment.
Control light system, a glass technology that produces uniform lighting throughout the year. A 30mm translucent polycarbonate panel is installed in between which has intelligent light controllers. These louvers have an opaque reflective surface. The atrium and preconvention spaces experience the luminous effect brought by this system…
Hybrid fiber optics uniformly distributes sunlight through a single point source. This technology uses rooftop mounted 1200mm diameter collector and secondary mirror to track the sun throughout the day. A single holder holds 127 individual fibers each 3mm in diameter.
The collector system focuses the sunlight into 127 optical fibers connected to hybrid light fixtures equipped with diffusion rods visually similar to fluorescent light bulbs. These rods spread light in all directions, one collector powers 8-12 hybrid light fixtures which can illuminate an area of about 30-40 sqm. The guest rooms treated with terrace gardens that reduce heat absorption in the building. It has hexagonal mat of fiber, enclosing small gaps which are filled with soil to grow grass. The mat prevents corrosion and the grass helps in controlling the heat intake by the roof.
It spreads over a large portion of the ground in order to effectively retrieve the coolness possibly gained by the earth.
The use of eco-friendly technology to save energy and the efforts to channel natural elements to their benefit has allowed them to develop a system which can be integrated with the proper usage of space.
Green building offers us the chance to benefit everyone: residents, owners and neighbors, by reducing the carbon impact as well as reducing the energy costs. In the long term, green building technology is a net benefit to the consumer.