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Volvo-Eicher Headquarters Interlinked Cubes of Steel & Glass

The building is LEED platinum rated with innovative technologies. It uses a large proportion of re-used material and an extremely high percentage of easily renewable materials.

The Volvo-Eicher Headquarters of the newly formed joint venture at Gurgaon, Haryana by Romi Khosla Design Studios (RKDS) is designed to be a state-of-the-art steel building for the engineering group which uses the least amount of energy and resources possible in its day to day functioning. The client’s approach towards the projects required RKDS in coordination with Spectral Design services to design LEED rated building.

The Design of the building consists of two interlinked cubes, made almost entirely of glass and steel. As one walks into the main lobby, a 35-tonne spiral hanging staircase going all the way up to the sixth floor is prominent. The 30 mm cables suspend the ‘staircase’ from the roof and then again at each floor by a total of six beams. They create quite a dramatic effect, when under-lit with energy-saving LED strips. All the joints, bolts, cables and beams in building are exposed. The conventional raw materials– brick and concrete – are only about 10 per cent of the building and the rest is steel.

The building uses 1,250MT of structural steel, another 35 tonnes in the central staircase, 215T supporting the external louvers and elsewhere, and 225 tonnes of reinforcement steel in its basement and floor slabs and also uses about 90,000 sqft of corrugated steel deck sheet, which weighs 135T.

An intelligent building is the same as an intelligent person Both are capable of maintaining themselves in the cleanest and most economical way, both ensure that they look good, cared for and ensure that they do not leave an environmental mess around their functioning lives. In a building, the ‘brain’ is its Building Management System’ which interconnects the various parts (organs) with the users of the building.

— Romi Khosla
Partner, Romi Khosla Design Studio

Except for the sprinklers all the other services have gone under the floor. The raised floor below is actually about half-a-metre higher than the ‘structural’ floor, and each of its tiles can be removed to access the network of wires below. All the air-conditioning ducts, which are normally fitted in the false ceilings above the heads in most buildings, are here fitted below the feet. The reason is very simple: hot air rises as a result only six feet high; volume needs to be cooled from the ground reducing air conditioning loads by up to a third. In the building, the flow has been reversed so that the cold air reaches directly and cools efficiently.

The wood used for false ceilings and furniture are made of pinewood that has been recycled from transportation crates. In the top compartment of all storage cabinets, a lamp has been fitted inside, facing upwards.

The louvers ensure that an impressive 75 percent of the workspaces in the building are lit by natural light which contributes towards a high LEED rating for an office interior. For more concentrated work, task light, on the desks and cabins are fitted with LED desk lamps controlled by sensors. The IBMS has been set up on the ground floor for automated controls for power, air-conditioning and water; it controls the elevators and makes sure that fire-detection systems and alarms work. The Heat Recovery Unit is a clever way of reducing air-conditioning energy which reduces air-conditioning load by up to 80%.

Water is saved by installing auto sensors’ and water-closets having a ‘dual-flush’ option to in urinals. All the waste water from toilets is recycled by specially designed Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), housed outside the building and is used in the HVAC. To promote habitat and natural rain water percolation, project team has dedicated 14746.5sqft of green area within the site. All the plants used for the landscape are according to climate and only require first 6-8 months of watering.

 

Romi Khosla Design Studio has 40 years of design and project realization experience. The Studio buildings are exquisitely detailed and the social & climatic relevance of the firm’s buildings is extremely pertinent to emerging India.

 

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