Indian Railway Institute of Civil Engineering, Pune
Article by Mehdha Kulkarni
Often the term ‘green building’ conjures up images of buildings with solar roofs, large green walls, or those made of natural or recycled materials. This building however, looks nothing of the sort. Amidst alush and beautifulcampus, the Indian Railways Institute of Civil Engineering,with itsgrand entrance and ornamented carved columns, in no way resembles a typical ‘green’building. It is, however, a LEED certified greenbuilding, and with a score of 61 out of 69 points fulfils all requisites ofa Platinum rated one.
IRICEN in Koregaon Park, Pune is the Indian Railways centralized training institute and has a museum, lecture halls, a well-stocked library, laboratories and computer centres, all planned to perfection. The main purpose of this four-storey building,is conducting lectures and training programs, as well as holding seminars for railways officers. On entering the building, there is a circular atrium covered with a skylight, from which a large chandelier is dropped. Surrounding this atrium on thethree sides are labs, a model room and the 200-seater auditorium.
The subsequent floors have the library, conference rooms, and so on, with each floor overlooking the atrium and allowing sufficient space for circulation around it. The third floor, with all the classrooms and conference rooms has yet another open, atrium type of space, above which solar and glass panels are placed. This space receives a good amount of natural light and is often used to take classes.
The building is energy efficient and implements heat management with an efficient use of water and other resources. Its diagonal structural design ensures maximum use of natural light and ventilation, and the use of reflective paint and double wall glass panels ensure less heat absorption. It’squite interesting to see some relatively unconventional or unnoticed methods of sustainability. For example, water use reduction is done in the washrooms by the use of low flow fixtures, occupant sensors, waterless urinals, reuse of stormwater, along withan electronic leak detection system.
Energy is saved by the use of fly ash blocks for walls, high performance glass, minimum fenestration on southern and western sides and over deck insulation for the roof. Similarly, the use of daylight sensors, solar panels and wind mill for electricity generation as well as the use of LED light in the interiors drastically reduces energy consumption. The building makes use of locally extracted/ manufactured material to support regional economy and reduce environmental impacts due to transportation. Materials from existing IRICEN buildings and rest houses have been reused in this building, in order to reduce waste. Carbon-dioxide monitorsareinstalled in the classrooms and conference rooms to maintain healthy indoor air quality.
Platinum is the highest achievable rating that can be given to a building by LEED, and IRICEN is the first of its kind to havereceivedthat. This building not only has a 30% reduction in overall energy consumption but also ensure the health and safety of the occupants while incorporating latest technologies.
- The Architecture Times, Indore