High performance design competition "Ranthambore Visitor Center" 3rd prize winners - Team MARKAL
Jasvinder Lal (left), Executive Architect, Design2Occupancy Services LLP
Jasvinder has been practicing professional architecture for more than 2 years and is extremely passionate about sustainable designs through Passive Architecture which has been reflected in his design for this competition. He is involved in Green Building projects globally and experienced in performing various building simulations such as daylight, Energy, CFD and shadow analysis.
Riddhi Chatterjee (middle), Project Engineer, Design2Occupancy Services LLP
Riddhi, a civil engineer is working in the sustainability industry since her academic years. She is presently involved in green building projects specializing in LEED and looks forward to be a sustainability academician someday in future. Her contributions lie in the green aspects of the competition.
Swapnil Jain (right), Assistant Manager, Design2Occupancy Services LLP
Swapnil has more than 3 years of experience in building energy modeling, daylight modeling, microclimatic analysis, green building facilitations, building code compliance (BEE, Energy Star, 179D, P4P, NYCECC, ECBC etc.), building Commissioning and Audit. He has also trained energy simulation on various platform and has helped the competition design achieve its zero-energy goals.
The project task to design a visitor center at Ranthambore National Park implementing the Net- Zero concept was challenging and unique in its own way.The Net- Zero concept essentially means that a building is self- sustainable in terms of energy, water and waste. This is conventionally achieved by balancing out the energy consumption in the building by renewable energy generated within the project site.
The architecture design has the most to contribute to reach the Net- Zero goals. The architect has hence enhanced the utilization of passive architecture techniques to achieve daylighting in the occupied spaces, natural ventilation and maximize the South façade roof area so that adequate solar panel installations can be made. A “cobweb” design principle was found most suitable to reach the efficiency goals that the team was targeting. Energy targets were achieved by incorporating Energy Conservation Measures in the building envelope, HVAC and lighting systems.
The list of ECM’s include:
- Wall- AAC blocks construction for exterior wall
- Roof- 75 mm XPS Insulation exposed roof
- Use of overhangs and fins on the South façade to keep solar heat ingress minimum
- Used DGU for the south façade and SGU for all other façade
- Skylights on the North side of the building to elevate the natural lighting levels
- Low wattage LED lighting
- Occupancy and Daylight control sensors
- Solar Exterior lighting
HVAC and controls:
- Highly efficient Air-cooled VRF system to air-condition occupied areas. The VRF system has variable speed compressor which makes it work on part load
- Demand control ventilation through CO2 sensors
- Solar Water Heater for hot water supply
After careful integration of these systems and architectural design the final Energy consumption observed in the building is 49.32 MWh. A 35 kW of fixed roof mount solar panel was installed which was capable of generating 51.39 MWh/ year of electricity. The Payback for the installed solar panels was calculated to be approximately 6 years.
The other challenge was to not compromise with the comfort and well-being of the visitors. To understand the functionality of the design a list of analysis was carried out. Daylighting analysis to check the lux levels inside the building spaces. Shadow analysis also carried out gives a better understanding of the daylighting in the building spaces. CFD analysis gives idea about the natural ventilation and air flows within the building. Thermal comfort analysis and was performed by the team to observe if the thermal comfort needs were being met. The positive outcome from all of these analysis provided confirmation that the design is not only net-zero but meets the respective needs of the visitors.
The water calculation for the project was carried out wherein a base case was formulated and compared to a proposed case which used efficient fixtures and water closets. A savings of 47% was observed using this strategy. The other strategy implemented to keep water consumption to minimum is the use of native plants in landscaping and use of drip irrigation. The waste water generated on-site was decided to be treated using a STP and treated water be used for landscaping, road washing and flushing.
The project would also use locally available materials along with local and indigenous construction techniques. The design has grass pavers in the parking areas and recycled wood at the entrance of the site. Masonry structure and temporary roof coverings with hay are other material suggestions.
This design can hence serve as a testimony that with proper architectural design, energy efficient measures and integration of renewable energy a structure can be made self- reliant while fulfilling its operational expectations.