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ZODIAC’s Corporate Office Building Awarded LEED India Gold Certification

The Corporate Head office building of Zodiac Clothing Co. Ltd. has been awarded GOLD certification under LEED INDIA New Construction rating system by Indian Green Building Council for its commitment to sustainable development. Godrej Green Building Consultancy Services was the consultant for the project.

ZODIAC designs, manufactures, and sells men’s clothing to brands and stores across the globe and also retails them in India through its network of 131 company owned and operated stores, and through 1200 dealers across India. With expansion of business, ZODIAC had undertaken a major renovation and refit of their corporate office building with sustainable building technologies.

With its energy-efficient design, the ZODIAC corporate office uses over 60 percent less energy than a typical office of the same size. “If all commercial buildings in India were as efficient as ours, the country could cut energy production enough to meet not only the demands of the Kyoto Protocol, (the international pact to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming) This surplus could be used by the nation for areas where our country is short of power”, says Salman Noorani M.D. ZODIAC Clothing Co Ltd said.

All equipment has been selected to meet the building’s code of energy efficiency. The refrigerator and microwave range fitted in the canteen carry the Energy Star rating. Projectors have been done away with and replaced by low energy consuming LED Televisions. The glass elevator at the front of the building is a certified, energy efficient, MRL (Machine Room Less) model. The V3F drive uses 50% less energy as compared to a standard elevator.

The building was strategically designed to dramatically reduce artificial lighting demand. Sunlight reaches every floor through large floor to ceiling windows; through light wells, extending from ground floor to roof, and through a Pyramid shaped rooftop skylight. The office fixtures, suspended from the ceiling, project light up and down, allowing 90 percent of the light to be utilized (which is about 50 percent better than typical systems) with reduced glare. All offices and conference rooms have interior windows facing the hallways so that natural light flows through. Light fixtures have been provided with dimmable electronic ballasts, which are about 30% more efficient than conventional ones. Daylight sensors automatically dim the lights when sunlight is available, and gradually turn up the lights as daylight fades. Occupancy sensors turn lights off when rooms become vacant.

All of the exterior windows contain two layers of low E (low Emissivity) glass, which allow visible light in—reducing the need for artificial light, but block heat flow, thus reducing energy needed for cooling. West facing windows with direct exposure to the sun are double-paned “super-windows” which have a “desiccated air sandwich” in between to insulate the interior when it’s warm outside. Certain designated rooms are controlled by an automation system, whereby blinds are automatically lowered keeping the room cool, when the room gets direct sunlight, or is not in use.

ZODIAC Corporate Head Quarters has also built as a “green top” – the roof has been covered with a lawn and plants for most of the area exposed to sunlight, thereby providing cooling to the building and reducing the heat island effect on the surrounding area. Besides this, special ducting connected to a fresh air AHU, prevents CO2 buildup throughout the building.

Peak-load cooling is supplied by high-energy efficiency water-cooled central chillers that use 0.67KW per ton instead of the normal 1.5 to 2 KW per ton. These units use outside air only and a non-ozone-depleting refrigerant. The chilled air is delivered through air handling units (AHU’s) using VFD (Variable frequency drive) Motors. Every individual office has a thermostat control in order that occupants may control their own office temperature, or turn off the air conditioning when it is not required, thereby using energy only when needed. Non peak-load cooling is supplied through an insulated chilled water tank which stores chilled water while the chillers have been running through the day, in order that during non peak hours, the identified remaining occupants are provided with chilled air conditioning for up to three hours, with the central chilling plant completely switched off.

In the office spaces Desktop computers have been replaced with an energy efficient thin client environment, where all compute happens on powerful back end servers, and only keystrokes and screenshots are carried to the client device, fitted with low energy consuming LED monitors. The backbone of the IT setup – the server rack has also been designed as a “green server rack” with energy efficient blade servers. These have a centralized cooling fan and share two power supply units among fourteen high-powered servers, instead of individual units. At the new office, data is centrally stored in large RAID arrays and FLASH drives (storage systems in the data center), unlike conventional offices, where each user has a PC with a large hard drive, or server based storage systems, which use 2-6 hard drives within each server. This centralization has resulted in computing heat being heavily centralized, allowing the data centre of 150-sqft to be cooled intensely and efficiently, but requiring less cooling over the rest of the office. Physical storage has therefore been minimized, and the need to print physical copies of documents will eventually vanish, resulting in less consumption of ink, paper, files, air conditioning, and energy.

Wash basins in the toilets, as well as outside the canteen, are fitted with motorized low flow taps with sensors, such that they provide water only when the sensor circuit is interrupted, and, at a constant low flow rate. They switch off as soon as the circuit is completed.

Each w/c has a combination flush valve, which allows either a “half flush” or a “full flush”. Energy efficient hand dryers have been fitted in all toilets thereby doing away with hand towels, which consume a lot of water and electricity in rewashing. All water used in the energy efficient cooling towers, as well as from the washbasins and from watering the lawns and plants, is collected, cleaned and reused for flushing and gardening, in a loop – again and again.

The debris generated during construction was used on the site itself for landfill of the compound. Most of the walls are construct- ed of synthetic gypsum, which is recovered via flue gas desulfurization at some coal-fired electric power plants. The walls of the office are therefore constructed from a by-product of waste generated during power generation.

All areas have been fitted with low voltage electronic rodent repellent devices, tucked away into the ceiling. These devices emit a high frequency sound, not audible to humans, but unbearable to rodents, thereby driving them away. Pest control has therefore been achieved without the use of harmful chemicals, toxins and poisons. The building has a waste management code, and also electric car charging stations. The project symbolizes ZODIAC’s committment towards an environment friendly and sustainable future.