The newly-inaugurated International Centre for Environmental Audit and Sustainable Development in Jaipur is the country’s first government building with a five-star green rating that intends to show the way

Jaipur now holds the distinction of housing the first government building in the country with a five-star green rating. The campus of the newly-inaugurated International Centre for Environment Audit and Sustainable Development (iCED) has a number of green features — right from the usage of natural lighting to use of solar energy and geothermal cooling to help save energy.

The ‘Energy Conservation Building Code 2006’ norms have been applied for energy efficient design and construction. It has a host of features in design and construction to ensure reduction of carbon footprint of the building. The campus is spread over 16 acres of land at Achrol.

This is the first centre of its kind on environment audit in the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), according to Rebecca Mathai, principal director of iCED. The Comptroller and Auditing Generals all over the world are called supreme audit institutions.

It is “a green building with many green features,” Ms. Mathai says. “We have in our mandate training, research and advocacy. iCEd has also been recognised as the Global Training Facility of the INTOSAI,” she adds.

Use of local materials like red sandstone and marble from local quarries and fly ash bricks has helped to cut down on pollution and transportation costs during construction. Energy efficiency features like orientation optimisation, overhang sizing, skylights, insulation on walls/roofs, LED and efficient lighting and 100 per cent external lighting on solar PV cells are additional “green” attributes.

The iCED has also adopted a hill close to the building and has greened it with local varieties of plants. Apart from signifying commitment to environment, the greening of the forest will also aid in preservation of local species.

“By all means, it is a true eco-friendly building,” said Vinod Rai , Comptroller and Auditor General of India, on the occasion of the inauguration.

Geothermal cooling has been used by introducing an alternate cooling system which can recycle cool air from below the earth’s surface (below 4 meters) into the building complexes. This coupled with solar chimneys would reduce the dependence on air conditioners.

While increased natural lighting has been used to lower consumption of power, use of control devices is used to further lower the lighting levels automatically during daytime. Solar Panels have been used for outdoor lighting and heating water, in addition to CFC-free materials.

The green building also has rain harvesting system and a self-contained solid waste management system, i.e. waste disposal garbage collection and segregation system, use of composting techniques for organic waste like organic kitchen waste, garden waste, etc.

Lauding the CAG’s role in building the energy-efficient structure, Vice President Hamid Ansari, who inaugurated the building recently, said: “Some of the CAG’s environment reports such as ‘Management of Waste in India’ and ‘Water Pollution in India’ have given new insight to the executive in improving environmental governance in these areas.”

He said that the importance of environment audit has been compounded by the ever increasing expenditure on protection and conservation of environment; growing international commitments made by India as state party to various global treaties and conventions; introduction of laws and regulations aimed at controlling degradation of environment; and the increasing environmental awareness as corroborated by various grassroots green movements across India.

The training facility at iCED seeks to harness India’s expertise in conducting over 100 environment audits in the last 20 years. The international community of public auditors has also been active in ensuring concerted action by its members.

The first training programme of the Global training Facility will be held at the newly built iCED centre in November 2013. With state-of-the-art training facilities, it will be an information hub on environment, sustainable development and audit related issues for wide dissemination and use.

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