The two new office complexes of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that were inaugurated recently as part of the Central Vista redevelopment are state-of-the-art and energy-efficient, with comprehensive security management measures, according to the construction firm GPM Architects & Planners, which executed the project.
“One of the defining features is the use of new and sustainable construction technology called LGSF [Light gauge steel frame] which reduced construction time to 10 months in comparison to conventional Reinforced Cement Concrete [RCC] construction,” GPM said, elaborating on the series of environment-friendly measures incorporated into the buildings. “A non-polluting, dry construction method is used to make its execution environmentally friendly,” it stated.
The two complexes at Kasturba Gandhi Marg and Africa Avenue constructed at a combined cost of ₹775 crore have a built up area of 93,000 sqm and were inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month. Over 7,000 employees of the MoD will soon move to the new complexes from existing hutments and old buildings around South Block and North Block.
To reduce the construction time, pre-engineered structural members such as structural steel columns and beams were used, GPM said and the building facade has been designed to be dynamic with the use of ventilated terracotta tiles to provide thermal comfort. “Being a low maintenance material, it provides acoustic insulation from outside which reduces noise levels up to 15%,” it stated.
GPM further said: “The terracotta façade reduces solar heat gain, reducing air conditioning load and saving energy by 30%. The main grid is connected to solar panels of 520 KWp capacity and the solar energy generated is used for solar-supported street lights.” Additionally, the use of occupancy sensor-based lighting systems and air conditioning systems saves unwanted wastage of electricity, reducing energy consumption, it said.
A Central Public Works Department (CPWD) certified green building, large clear glazed windows were used for bringing in adequate natural light and air quality monitoring devices to keep the air quality in check, GPM said. The other sustainable practices incorporated are rainwater harvesting and treatment of wastewater. GPM said that part of the treated wastewater was utilised for flushing, using dual plumbing systems, and gardening, while the surplus was supplied to the New Delhi Municipal Council.
On the comprehensive security management measures incorporated within the buildings, GPM said an integrated command and control centre had been established for managing building operations, while also catering to the end-to-end safety and surveillance of the buildings. “Vehicular entry to the site shall be restricted and entry and exit will be RFID operated with features such as Automatic Number Plate Recognition and Under Vehicle Scanning System,” The entry and exit of visitors shall also be controlled and monitored using a secure visitor management system, GPM said, adding, the entire perimeter of the campus has been secured by installing solar fencing along the boundary wall.
Defence officials had stated that the decision on the new premises was taken around last March and construction began in July/August. In all, 14 offices are being relocated to KG Marg and 13 offices to Africa Avenue.