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Construction : Special Project | August 2015 | Source : CW-India

Platinum Green

The V IT Park, managed by Ascendas, is among the first IGBC Platinum-rated IT parks in India.

Vindeed stands for victory! Located in HITEC City, Hyderabad, the retrofitted IT park has achieved a landmark Platinum rating in the Existing Buildings category of the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), making it among the first IT parks to achieve this milestone. The rating has been achieved on the basis of five environmental categories: Site and facility management, water efficiency, energy-efficiency, health and comfort, and innovation.

Spread across 20 acre, The V IT Park offers 1.2 million sq ft of quality space, housing over 12,000 skilled IT and ITES professionals. Along with CyberPearl and aVance Business Hub, also in Hyderabad, this park is managed by Ascendas; together, they constitute a substantial part of the total assets managed by Ascendas in India. ¨Five of our eight operational IT parks have won green awards for environment-friendly initiatives, and this speaks volumes about our commitment towards responsible and sustainable development,¨ says Lee Fu Nyap, CEO, Ascendas India Operations. He goes on to share more details of the retrofitting of V IT Park with CW.

Turning green
At Ascendas, we take a long-term view of the real-estate business and have a strong commitment to environmental sustainability. Encouraging green concepts and techniques to increase water and energy efficiencies and consumer waste management has always been a key focus area. Operating on the same philosophy, The V IT Park was retrofitted with various green features that eventually went on to achieve the IGBC Platinum certification in the existing building category for its superior green standards. While Ascendas deployed several new green features that met IGBC standards, an experienced team of professionals put forth various innovations in several areas of property management that leveraged available resources. The desired standards were achieved within the operational expenses budgeted for the year. We expect around 10 -15 per cent savings on energy and water consumption.

Increasing green efficiencies
The measures that have been undertaken to increase the green efficiency of The V IT Park can be segregated under five key parameters:

Site and facility: Eco-friendly landscaping has been introduced by planting more than 200 varieties of native plants that consume less water. Organic manure has also been used to nurture these plants.
Water efficiency: Water-efficient fixtures have been fitted in restrooms and other areas within the park. Moreover, rainwater harvesting has been increased by 75 per cent in addition to the existing arrangement. We enhanced storm and surface runoff water harvesting pits across the park, which helped us to increase rainwater harvesting by 75 per cent. Also, treated water generated at the two sewage treatment plants installed at the park is being fully utilised for irrigation, toilet flushing, cooling towers, etc. Our sewage treatment plants generate about 500 kld of water every day.
Energy-efficiency: Eco-friendly refrigerants for air-cooled chillers have been installed to reduce energy consumption. Energy-efficient lighting like LED has been fitted across the park. Also, the building management system and energy management system effectively help monitor and manage the park´s overall energy consumption. We have implemented the latest energy-efficient technologies for building automation, motion sensors for washroom lighting, nature switches for street lights and solar power for UPS batteries. The CFL lighting in the common areas has been replaced with LED lamps and old motors have been replaced with energy-efficient motors and variable frequency drives (VFDs). Close to 12 per cent in power savings has been achieved by implementing an adiabatic cooling system for the ir-cooled chillers. Nature-friendly refrigerants like R-134A that comply with ozone standards have been used.

Health and comfort: Ascendas
has ensured CO2 sensors for densely populated areas to monitor air quality. Also, environment-friendly chemicals have been used to maintain the park. Health and fitness amenities, including indoor and outdoor sports, gym and a medical clinic, have been provided. Further, the park has provision for the differently abled, like a designated parking area and elevators that provide instructions in Braille.

Innovation: Innovative solutions have been introduced to increase efficiencies of various systems in the park. This included thermal imaging of electrical system, adiabatic cooling of air-cooled chillers for enhanced efficiency, plate heat exchangers for cooling water in air-conditioners, and fogging system for the air-cooled chiller system.

Value-added features
Green measures have been put in place to make operations environment-friendly. For instance, green seal chemicals are used for housekeeping requirements. Also, Halon-free chemicals are used for fire extinguishers and refrigerants. Vermi-composting manure used helps eradicate pollutant chemical manure. And, treated water is used for landscape irrigation, washroom flushing, cooling towers, etc. Across the landscape: Vast green areas in The V IT Park have been used to develop eco-friendly landscapes by planting over 200 varieties of native plants that require less water. We have implemented sprinkler and drip irrigation methods across the park and ensure only organic manure is used. The park has sufficient open areas with green plantations; hence, enhancing the green cover and maximising the related benefits have not been a challenge.

Overcoming challenges
The upgradation of an operational IT park is always a challenge. It does cause some inconvenience to the building occupants while the retrofitting is in progress. There could also be compatibility limitations in implementing green technologies within the existing building systems. However, our expertise and knowledge in handling large IT parks has helped us overcome such operational challenges. We have enhanced the fittings and fixtures of the park with water and energy-efficient systems such as LED and sensor-based lighting and water taps. There has also been an increase in rainwater harvesting and recycling of sewage treated water. Educating park employees to use public transportation, follow proper waste disposal methods and conserve water and energy has been a challenge that has been overcome through planning.

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