Seek ‘Prana' for a new lifestyle

Eco-constructing an office with all required amenities within our home is popularly referred to as ‘home-office.' Nothing changes, it's the usual office cabin, the only difference being it is at home. Lawyers and doctors are known to work from home, but now it's time for the rest to join the league but they should try to do it the ‘efficient way.'

Says Nirmal Ram, Chairman, ACREX India 2012, “This deal is beneficial to both employees and their employers. There is no capital and operational cost involved and employees get to work within the comfort of their homes. But the greatest benefit is to the environment.”

Delectable union

The highlight of the exhibition is Prana – a high-performance building or the ‘home-office' designed by Mistry Architects, which will be a permanent exhibit installed at BIEC, illustrating how office and home spaces can be a delectable union that can be made self-sustainable.

The energy-efficient building from ISHRAE is a step towards achieving ‘Green India,' says Nirmal Ram. “With changing lifestyles in the globalised economies, corporates are promoting the concept of ‘work from home.'” ‘Prana' is a 3000 sq. ft home-office built space with air-conditioning using geo-thermal energy (Earth Air tunnel system), radiant air cooling and flooring, and efficient water and lighting fixtures. It shows the usage of local and recyclable materials which will sensitise visitors on sustainable lifestyles without compromising on modern-day comforts.

The demonstration

Home-offices can reduce carbon footprint to a large extent, and there will be lesser wastage of electricity too. For a tropical place the energy available should be largely from solar panels. Efficient glazing materials which do not radiate excess heat should be chosen so as to avoid the use of extra air cons; and instead of concrete blocks, clay hollow blocks that trap hot air more efficiently should be used. Landscaping with the right kind of green is paramount for it shouldn't be another water guzzler, says Pankaj Shah of ACREX.

Earth Air tunnel system

The ‘Earth Air' tunnel system is demonstrated fascinatingly at ‘Prana,' says Pankaj Shah where 72 metres of underground piping helps draw cooler air from the ground underneath that would make the home-office benefit through air ducts that are hardly visible.

Photo-voltaic panels for power generation, energy-efficient light fixtures, low water flow mechanisms and RWH are some more exciting factors brought in for the green sense.