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An IT Garden City

Ascendas OneHub Gurgaon is a 63-acre campus style integrated Special Economic Zone (SEZ) located in the foothills of the scenic Aravalli range. It is an integrated IT SEZ and a self-sufficient development that has nature and technology coming together.

The site being located on the 4-lane Sohna Road, the main aim for the developers and planners was to provide clear access from the main road with unobtrusive views of the Aravalli hills. Since the site has abundant existing greenery, other challenge was to enhance the aesthetics of the development in keeping with the natural green surroundings. Thus, one of the driving principles for the master plan was to create evolving and interactive spaces. The work-live-play environment with landscaping dotting the development acts as an integrator for its different uses i.e. IT/ITES, residential and commercial. Consequently, the buildings with integrated open areas and landscape provide an ambience that is conducive to creative thinking and conducting business operations.

Planning

The project positioned as a garden city amidst the natural settings of Aravali provides a mix of offices, residences, retail and commercial activities. The Phase-1 building which is now ready for fit-out is a G+7 structure with three basements offering about 588,000sft space for IT/ITes companies. The office space caters to the dynamic market needs of a multi-tenanted building (MTB) as well as build-to-suit (BTS). Once completed, One Hub will be a modern, functional business space with reliable solutions and a campus offering a business lifestyle of global standards targeting the corporate and professionals.

The orientation of the buildings is planned to fit the campus style layout and considers both wind and solar factors where trees and other flora can provide a natural shade for the paved areas. The vehicular and pedestrian driveways/walkways are segregated for smooth flow of traffic, the vehicular traffic movement within the site is away from the central green pedestrian spine and spaces between the blocks promoting walking between buildings with the tree foliage acting as a natural umbrella.

As the site has abundant greenery and spread, spatial planning is carried out to ensure interface between mid-rise and hi-rise buildings is balanced. Efficiency is given due consideration while designing the buildings. Floor plates are designed to accommodate the typical back-end space requirement of IT and BPO companies.

“Ascendas OneHub, is Ascendas’ first development in Gurgaon and the LEED certification for our first building is an important milestone for the project. The certification has been awarded in the category of ‘Core and Shell’ by the Indian Green Building Council. To ensure the green features of the development are maintained over the years, the SEZ is maintained by an in-house property management team that follows SOPs and ISO-9001 certified facility management procedures for maintaining a green system installed in the building. Tenants will also be provided a set of guidelines for complying with the LEED requirements inside their premises.”

– Lee Fu Nyap, CEO Ascendas India Operations

Blending with Nature

The location and orientation of the building is in the North-South direction; this is to minimize the solar heat and enhance the overall energy performance. Service cores comprising utilities and washrooms are placed in the East-West directions, which in turn act as a heat buffer, thus reducing heat gain and the building’s temperature.

Existing topsoil from the excavated land is preserved and used for landscaping in order to restore the natural habitat. Emphasis is laid on the use of indigenous species of plants such as Kachnaar, Bottle Brush, Amaltas, Gulmohar, Crape Myrtle, Kadamb, Neem that are native to the region and consume less water for sustainability and have an effective life cycle.

Apart from orienting the facades of the buildings to optimize the use of daylight, natural breeze and ventilation, the exterior colours and materials used on building envelope blend with the surroundings. The glazing percentage is optimum for maximizing natural light and minimizing heat gain. The south facing windows have been fitted with aluminium fins, to avoid direct sunlight while offering optimal light transmittance. The building uses high performance tinted glazing, resulting in significant year round energy savings.

Enabling Technologies

Extending its concept of optimizing utilization of natural resources, the phase-1 building has put in place methods to conserve potable water and uses recycled water in horticulture, flushing and cooling towers. Almost 100% storm water is recharged into the earth to improve the water table, thereby supporting the environmental sustainability. Motion sensors are provided in the washrooms to maximize energy savings. CO sensors are provided in the basement to maintain the ambient air quality. Timers are used on external lights to reduce energy wastage. Solar lights have been used in open parking areas to harness renewable energy. Intelligent Building Management System is used for controlling & monitoring all the major utilities to optimize energy usage. In addition, advanced monitoring and maintenance systems along with sensors and feedback mechanisms are planned to help maintain the building and keep it running efficiently.

During the construction of building, emphasis was laid on using environment – friendly materials and the minimal use of wood. Some other features such as Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) and the Heat Recovery Wheel installed for all Air Handling Units (AHU) combined with efficient centrifugal chillers help optimize energy consumption. The building also has charging points for electric vehicles that encourage use of electric cars and a reserved parking space for commuters who carpool.

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