When you drive into the Mindspace business park in Madhapur, the towering buildings and traffic-dense roads (over 80,000 people work here) make it appear like a concrete jungle. This, despite the four acre reserve green area that has an open air theatre, tennis courts, and over 3,500 trees within the campus. In Mindspace, small armies of workforce in each building monitor indoor air quality, manage rainwater systems, sewage treatment plants, solar panels, and look into environment-friendly measures wherever possible.
The 110-acre campus has 21 buildings — multinational companies and a mall. Mindspace is Hyderabad’s largest and first commercial business park to receive an IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) Gold Rating Certification, in 2018. The IGBC rating is a stamp of approval for green practices.
As an aside, Telangana state stands fifth in the country for the number of IGBC registered projects.
The business park project was launched by K Raheja Corp in 2003-04. Today, the 110-acre campus has 21% landscape cover and a built up area of over 10 million square feet. Of the total green building footprint, 60% is registered (meets minimum green building requirements) and the remaining 40% is certified. According to Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Hyderabad, apart from individual buildings being certified and rated (in categories of silver, gold and platinum), there’s emphasis on using solar energy powered lights (energy-saving LEDs) in common areas, water management for landscaping, and waste management.
Green buildings are efficient when planned at the construction stage since a lot depends on the choice of materials — fly ash bricks, heat-repelling glasses (low ‘e’ double glazed glass) and so on. K Raheja Corp states that they’ve been able to save 30% on power bills and 25% on water. The total power generation through rooftop solar panel modules stands at 1.47 mega watt. The business park saves around 50,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
“The engineering took complete responsibility for actual implementation of green measures from planning to final execution of the project,” says Shabbir Kanchwala, senior vice president, K Raheja Corp. He adds that to ensure continuing green practices, third party energy auditors evaluate the testing performances of HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning ) and lighting equipment as per the green building norms on a regular basis.
- In Mindspace campus, building number 6 is a LEED NC (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, New Construction) — platinum rated green building, and building number 9 is LEED core and shell gold rated.
- The offices in Mindspace include Facebook, Accenture, Amazon, Bank of America, HSBC, Verizon, Cognizant, UTC Fire & Security, IBM, Deloitte, United Health Group, Thomson Reuters, Pega, Qualcomm, and DXC. Inorbit Mall is a part of the business park.
- Mindspace has tied up with authorised agencies to process dry waste and e-waste. The licensed and registered vendors include Ramky Arm Recycling Pvt Ltd and Z Enviro Industries, among others.
- Buildings are designed to deliver 30% more fresh air and maintain optimum indoor air quality.
At the heart of the business park is the four-acre reserve green area with a 2.5-acre lawn area. A composting unit here turns fallen leaves into compost in 45 days, until mature earthworms appear. The compost is used to manure the landscape in the common area.
For its 80,000-plus occupants, the business park provides covered basement parking facilities with reserved slots for expecting mothers, car pooling and charging points for electric cars. A building management system monitors indoor air quality and has automated carbon dioxide level detectors.
In June, Mindspace plans to introduce urban gardening on campus. “We introduced urban gardening and farming in Mindspace, Airoli (in Mumbai), and following its success, decided to implement it in Hyderabad. Employees can come forward to take care of the plants. A specialised team will lead the urban farm set up which is expected to see vegetables such as cauliflower, pumpkin, capsicum, tomato and fruits like banana and blackberry,” adds Shabbir.
Community participation in a green campus isn’t a bad idea.