Elcom International Pvt. Ltd, Kolhapur

The client is an exporter and manufacturer of electronic components and consumer products. For several years during the nascent stages of the company the manufacturing was done in a small facility near Kolhapur (Maharashtra).

After a surge in growth, the client was in the midst of complete rebranding of the company and its products. Part of their rebranding strategy was a brief to us to conceive and design a green field industrial and research facility, which will aid the company’s rebranded image of a state-of-the-art global manufacturer of electronic components.

Building Specifications
The campus consists of a R&D / administrative facility, mould and press shop, assembly/store building and affiliated facilities like staff cafeteria, electroplating shop, effluent treatment plant etc. The layout not only takes advantages of the local climate and transportation but expedites the production process and create a coherent environment for the staff.

The tight MIDC plot of 160 Meter x 100 Meter was to accommodate a built-up area of 11,000 Square Meters. The task of achieving spaciousness in a tight setting of building was achieved by placing long lengths of the two major buildings – the Assembly Building and R&D Building in the east – West axis. This strategy facilitated keeping an 800 square meters of green space surrounded by above two main structures and the mould and press Shop buildings.

Production process of any industrial building consumption of hydal energy and also a substantial depletion of natural resources. In such a situation an Architect’s role is to minimize energy consumption through as many ways and means as possible and yet give a laterally thought out Eco-Friendly built form for the various buildings involved in the campus. Savings in the involved structural steel sheds was also accomplished through use of three hinged open web trusses, which reduce span to half and tubular purlins. Such aims have been largely achieved at our ‘Elcom Project’
Pramod Beri
Chairman, Beri Urban and Environmental Planners

Designing
The R&D Building’s form and façade is conceived to be dynamic and modern with use of inclined glass mass with exposed mullions which houses the reception on the ground floor and the conference facility on the upper floor. The North/South ingress of light continuous strip of glazing is provided, which receives relief through solid services accommodating boxing strips thus achieving the solid / void play. So that the Tools design team areas and testing laboratories get ambient north light throughout the year.

The production process is quite complex consisting of manually assembling several small components either made internally or sourced externally. This poses a huge planning challenge in terms of raw material procurement, handling and storage. Material and men movements were mapped to optimize flows and improve overall industrial efficiency.

The Assembly Building also portrays the same dynamical design idiom but on a modest scale. The highlight of the building is an open well with covered glazing from top assuring ample daylight and natural ventilation needed for the process. The processes in the mould shop are heat generating and pose a unique challenge in terms of worker comfort. Ridge ventilators and roof mounted turbo fans help in venting out the process-generated heat taking advantage of the natural chimney – stack effect.

The interiors of the office portray the same modern idiom, though the use of uniformity, minimalism, attention to detail and judicious use of color. The walls are white but do not appear stark due to the branding images / lettering used on the glass partitions and walls. A large table with white glossy PU finish dominates the conference room with the chairs adding the necessary color. Slanting motorized blinds over the external glazed façade control the light in the conference. It was necessary to portray the same dynamism in the interior design of the project. This is achieved through affecting the design idiom in the reception table and various other interior elements.

The landscape primarily consists of the central lawn, which aids in regulating the microclimate. Tall trees on the south east side reduce the smoke and particulate matter from entering the assembly facility from the next-door foundry facility. Boulders from the excavation have been used for creating a rockery in the central lawn. Most other plants are flowering, drought resistant varieties.

Eco-Friendly Measures

  • The centrally located greens act a necessary aid in achieving microclimate.
  • The double-glazed windows and other glazing work with low solar heat gain efficiency were used to minimize direct heat gain and reduce A.C. load.
  • Efficient HVAC – VRV system bring down the energy performance index of the building.
  • Solar electricity generation through roof top installations
  • Zero discharge facility with the grey water from the ETP/STP being reused for gardening
  • Use of water efficient water plumbing fixtures
  • Energy efficient fittings are used in electrification for the various buildings.

Night Architecture
In an industrial unit, night architecture is of prime importance. With minimal and efficient placing of outdoor electrical fittings, stunning night architecture for the campus is achieved.