Hager Electro (India) Pvt. Ltd, Pune

The client being German company by origin, was very clear about their requirements. In addition, to the production requirements they wanted to setup a revolutionary plant that would adhere to their philosophy of continual progress and superior quality. The brief mentioned the need for a green, maintenance free, sustainable building that adapted to the changing climatic conditions. Being Europeans, their work environment needed to have a mix of blue grey and white as they believe these are the colors of effective work environment.

Initial Thought
The initial thought to achieve the above brief steered the architects towards finding sustainable and energy efficient systems, which, can be automated to provide work environment that is AI (Artificial intelligence) controlled yet has a low carbon footprint. The need to create space, that was both aesthetically pleasing, and, maintenance free led us towards steel buildings technology and insulated panel walls.

Steel the necessity
There are three things that are integral towards making a project successful:

  • Cost of the material is significant in setting up any new project. Steel buildings are cost effective as they can create longer spans creating larger production spaces, they have good scrap value, they can be disassembled and reassembled easily, they are recyclable, and they are easy to transport.
  • Quality of production of steel is controlled by various norms and the fabrication (PEB- Pre-engineered buildings) are designed with various highly sophisticated software’s and are designed as per AISC and IS 800:2007. The whole production is mechanized thus giving us much more quality than a manually fabricated structure.
  • Time:The production of buildings is much faster as the whole process is mechanized. The erecting is also very fast as compared to RCC structures. Transportation is faster as the members are much lighter as compared to pre- cast RCC.Thus, steel was chosen to make the project cost effective, time bound,quality, conscious and sustainable.

Aesthetics
The building is provided with puff sandwich panels which make it look aesthetically appealing. These panels have been used for external cladding as a cavity wall. Glass facade has been used in elevation to capture more sunlight and to decrease the use of artificial light in building.The materials like ACP, Glass, are being used to create a Facade and fenestration that are not only aesthetic, but also contributes to saving energy.

 

The project was more so challenging as we had to convert a design which was frozen on a green field onto a campus of existing buildings, this meant removal of certain columns, strengthening of remaining columns, increase in height, modifying the roof structure to hang a walkable false ceiling. Improved aesthetic values internally and externally, choice of modern materials and latest technology towards walls, flooring, windows, ceiling, etc.and add a flavor of streamlined layout with a provision of green covers around the building to highlight the same. The Hager was a challenging project to achieve perfection in design performance, European standards as against existing brown field features. I am sure those who have seen the old structures and campus will have a shock and surprise when they see the newly designed and erected structure on the same piece of land without bringing down the old structure
Prashant Deshmukh
Principal Architect, Prashant Deshmukh & Associates

Sustainable Design Concept
Puff sandwich panels have been used for external cladding as a cavity wall which will reduce the temperature by 5 degree Celsius. It has a high load bearing capacity at a low weight. Puff sandwich panels are also used for false ceiling and was designed with the griple system. The false ceilings are walkable and enables good enough space to run services and utilities.

An evaporative cooling system has been used instead of HVAC. This system relies on adiabatic cooling. It saves electricity and operational cost is reduced, using the evaporative cooling system. Evaporative cooling system allows fresh air to circulate throughout a building and it forces hot air to displace out. Evaporation is a natural process and it does not require any refrigerant. It eliminates odour and state air out instead of recirculation.

Turbo vents provide year-round ventilation. These are low cost and high-efficiency vents which make them an extremely popular ventilation component. Roof vents and turbines must always be used with adequate soffit venting to meet minimum ventilation code requirements. It is needed to replace the turbine vent when it stops spinning because properly functioning turbine vents spin with the slightest wind.

Building management system has been used to control lighting/air conditioning/fire protection. Physical movement sensors are installed to save the energy. The use of right colors helps in reducing the heat penetration and help to be more sustainable. The false ceiling was designed to be walkable to cater the maintenance of all the utilities above the false ceilings.

Design Geometrics & Software used
The Germans strongly believed in squares and rectangles, not only for plans but also for elevation. The sandwich panels fascia is therefore, made to run across the periphery, hiding the roof profiles while achieving uniformity. The elevations are proportionately designed to suit the scale. The rectangular geometry is achieved through various façade elements including glass, ACP, and sandwich panels or powder coated aluminum louvers. The metallic grey framed design highlights the profile of the building with the strong language of squares and rectangles. A large curtain wall in the corner of the office building highlights the entrance automatically due to the scale and tint of the glass.

Software like AutoCAD was used for designing purpose, and software such as Stadprov8i, E-tabs were used for the structural detailing part of +the design of steel and RCC structures, MBS and Tekla for designing PEB structures; other than thatGoogle sketch up, 3-D Max, Lumion used for 3-D modeling and Photoshop and Microsoft Power Point used for presentations.

Experiences
Working with MNCs is always tough, as they are very aware of the requirements, quality standards and technological advancements. However, the architects loved the challenge of adapting new technologies to fulfill all the clients requirements by setting the bar for quality standards very high. The learning curve for the whole team was astounding. By the end of the project the whole team had becomehabitual to using and maintaining progressive techniques of communication, effective reporting, error free drawing delivery and predictive project monitoring.

The design took around a year for its completion. It commenced in Feb 2015, there were four revisions made in the design, The design got finalized in June 2015. The commencement of the work was in August 2015. The earlier completion date for civil works was given as May 2016, the total work was completed and handed over to the client in Oct 2016.