Tuesday, March 28

Looking ahead: IIM-C may become Bengal’s first ‘net-zero’ campus with new-age tech

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The Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C) is set to become the first ‘net-zero campus’ in Bengal with ‘net zero energy’, ‘net zero discharge’ and ‘net zero waste’. The campus is also going for a massive expansion drive where a new academic block and a hostel to house approximately 1,000 students will be added.

CPWD, which is executing the project, has asked architect Hafeez Contractor to prepare the campus master plan and design the new academic block and hostel. A comprehensive exercise was initiated to develop a phased plan to upgrade the residential and academic infrastructure on the Joka campus to international standards with the involvement of numerous stakeholders.

Explaining the concept of ‘net-zero campus’, Prabhakar Singh, member of the BoG, IIM-C, said a campus is described as ‘net-zero’ when the building becomes highly energy efficient and fully powered by on-site and/or off-site renewable energy sources.

“At Joka, we not only want to be net-zero, but net-positive. By this, we mean to produce more energy than we consume. We have a 135-acre campus and huge resources of water from lakes. We are keen on solar energy plants. Additionally, the lakes can be used as a heat sink and help as cooling towers for air-conditioning plants, thereby reducing air-conditioning heat output. By using variable refrigerant flow (VRF) air-conditioners, we can not only reduce our energy consumption but also save 30% of it,” he said.

Singh added the institute will be using advanced yet simple water-saving technology without any heavy cost. “We want to become a net-positive water campus and reduce our requirement from water supply agencies. The water we will generate will be used in washrooms, air-conditioning and horticulture, among others. We will also focus on a sewage treatment plant at Joka. We will get manure from it, which will allow us to produce fuel and electricity, not just on campus but also to help the neighbouring community with energy resources. We want to have green buildings, as well as smart buildings, where technology will make the experience better,” he explained.

IIM-C also plans to have dedicated infrastructure with ramp facilities, classrooms with disabled-friendly chairs, disabled-friendly washrooms and hostels with new-age technology. “We have to start thinking of the future. We can have a huge impact on the ecology and the environment. It is our dream to establish IIM-C, Joka, as a state-of-the-art campus of international standards,” Singh said.

Director Anju Seth said, “Among our numerous forward-looking steps to build on IIM-C’s strong reputation towards global eminence, I am delighted that we have achieved this milestone as we approach our diamond jubilee.”

Source: Times of India

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