Godrej & Boyce- the pioneer of green buildings in India- has achieved the next level of high-performance design with its 24,443 sq. metre office-cum-convention centre in Mumbai called the Plant 13 Annexe. This project is the first in the country to be awarded the ‘Net Zero Energy Rating’ by the IGBC Rating system.
The webinar brings on board Rumi Engineer, business head of green buildings at Godrej, who has championed the company’s green building initiatives for over 30 years. The green building industry veteran walks us through the incredible journey of Plant 13 Annexe towards NZE goals! He is joined by Plant 13’s insightful facility manager, Pradipkumar Patel.
Built in 2008, Plant 13 serves as the cafeteria for the entire Godrej campus, while housing offices as well as meeting and conference rooms. The building exemplifies sustainable performance through thoughtful design right from its inception and was Platinum certified under the IGBC Existing Building Rating System. While its diverse usage and variable occupancy posed several challenges, the building went on to accomplish the net-zero energy target in 2019 by further improving its monitoring systems and controls. In fact, its operational performance exceeds the design goals!
Plant 13 is designed to be extremely energy-efficient, using a thermally insulated building envelope, extensive daylighting and cutting-edge building systems. At the same time, it is operated with great focus on monitoring and control to ensure high-performance. In the webinar, Rumi stresses on the golden rule of sustainable design- first be lean, and then go green! In 2017-18, the building had an energy performance index (EPI) of 74.67 KWh/sq. m/year, 45% below the design EPI! The building meets 8% of its energy demand through its rooftop PV system while the remaining is met by the grid, offset by Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with renewable power plants.
The building uses continuous measurement and control. Extensive metering and submetering help the team determine the load, so that they accordingly operate the building systems. For example, depending on the requirement, the building can switch between a 125 TR and 225 TR chiller.
Data analytics plays a key role in identifying opportunities for reducing energy consumption. For example, the team noted that the cafeteria’s ventilation system was kept operation even in the nights, long after the building shut down, consuming about 75 KW of power. Since shutting the system down entirely was not found acceptable, energy-saving measures like VFDs were introduced to reduce its power consumption to 53 KW.
Rumi still sees a potential for 20% further reduction in consumption for Plant 13 by improving its BMS and upgrading its systems to magnetic levitation chillers, I3 pumps and so on. We also learn that technology improvements are one part of the challenge. Occupant behaviours and perceptions also need to be addressed to ensure..
Rumi emphasises the need to adopt granular level of metering and analytics- powerful tools that can help discover opportunities for energy reduction. Taking a leaf from Plant 13, the way ahead for projects looking to achieve net-zero energy in India, is first to be lean, then go green!
This webinar was conducted on 12th July 2019.
A veteran in green building design, Rumi Engineer has headed Godrej’s green building consultancy since the inception of green buildings in India. He is an electrical and environmental engineer, specializing in energy management in industrial and commercial buildings.
These work well where the Wet Bulb Temperatures are low, for example in cities like Pune and Bangalore. However, it cannot work in Bombay’s hot and humid climate.
Q2. Is Godrej looking to acheive Net Zero Energy across its other buildings?
Yes. Plant 13 was our pilot project. As partners of the Asia Pacific World Green Building Council, we’re committed to promoting NZE concept across India.
Q3. Are you considering carbon emission reductions in project?
Under our ‘Good and Green’ initiative, we are working with World Resources Institute to understand carbon pricing mechanism to sync with our energy management initiatives. We are are evaluating carbon footprint not just at the building level but also across our manufacturing and appliance division.
Q4. What is the road to net zero for India?
Focus on achieving energy efficiency. Follow the ‘Be lean and then go green’ approach. Granular level of metering combined with analytics can help buildings discover ample opportunities for energy reduction.