Hyderabad: Green is the new black in real estate. Green buildings, therefore, have become the latest slogan for most developers, including government organisations, which are now transforming their old buildings into ‘green’ ones in an effort to go eco-friendly, reduce their environmental footprint and in the process, cut some costs as well.
In Hyderabad, one government organisation has not only initiated steps to have its office turn green, but is spreading the good deed across a wide range of buildings under its umbrella.
South Central Railway was the first in the Indian Railway to hit upon the idea of the unique natural daylight pipe technology. This, apart from turning to solar power, providing timers to switch off lights and fans when not necessary and installing LED lighting wherever possible, has put SCR on eco-friendly tracks with its headquarters, Rail Nilayam, soon to be declared a Green Building. The natural daylight pipe technology provides for natural illumination without heat gain into the building.
It was first provided on the seventh floor of Rail Nilayam, with the concept now being spread to various office buildings of the SCR, hospitals and workshops as well in the zone.
So far, about 316 natural daylight pipe systems have been installed all over the SCR zone. Last year, when there were 239 systems, the expected savings was over Rs 7 lakh. This is expected to go up this year. The installation costs will be recovered in a little over six years, with the life of the daylight pipe system to be about 30 years, officials said.
How it works:
Daylight pipe technology works on the innovative principle of collecting daylight through a dome which has a prismatic cut for ray banding technology and sends sunlight down the pipe. Light gets reflected inside the pipe and at the end point, light is obtained through diffuser for uniform illumination. The air inside the pipe acts as insulator so heat gain inside the room is very low. The technology is gaining popularity, especially in office spaces, since it is believed working in sunlight reduces the strain on human eyes and thus brain-fag.
Tapping of solar power
Hyderabad: One area that SCR has been concentrating on is the tapping of solar power for meeting energy needs of Railway office buildings, stations and railway crossings among others.
“The Zone is fast implementing a plan to considerably enhance use of solar power on its network. 87 kWp capacity of solar panels on Stations/Service buildings/ Pumps/ LC Gates/Street lights were installed during 2017-18, totaling to 2202 kWp capacity over SCR. Solar water heaters of 1,300 litres per day capacity have been installed on service buildings, enhancing the cumulative strength on SCR to more than 2 lakh litres per day,” according to Vinod Kumar Yadav, general manager, SCR. The latest addition to the initiative was the commissioning of a 225 kWp On-Grid Solar Plant at the Hyderabad station. This is expected to save around Rs 25.6 lakh per annum.