Rainwater Harvesting – Need of the Hour | Green Building feature

Green Buildings – Rainwater Harvesting

When we are talking about the incorporation of various design features that would make the building green, it is not just the expensive materials that consume less energy or are less energy intensive. Earlier we discussed various Active and Passive features to be incorporated to make the building green without increasing the cost of infrastructure by purchasing expensive green materials.

Following green principles and design features that would make the building energy efficient and green also results in Sustainable Development which has become the prime need of the time.

Catching Hill Run offwater

Catching Hill Run offwater

Rainwater Harvesting is one such design feature that is to be incorporated in any kind of building; be it a commercial or residential complex.

Rainwater Harvesting is a technology in which individual building or a group of buildings collect and utilize rainwater during the rainy season. This water can be stored in storage tanks and used for non-domestic purposes.

The builder and the Architects are now becoming aware of the need for water conservation are making provisions for harvesting rainwater to increase the underground water table. Provisions have also been made for the recycling process of water thus helping conserve precious water and reuse it in an efficient way.

Importance of Rainwater Harvesting

In a rainwater harvesting system, a storage tank is required which can be a part of the underground water tank or separate tank on the surface. This tank collects water falling on the building terraces. The main purpose of rainwater harvesting system to collect and store rainwater falling on the ground which can be further be used in the future.

Rainwater Harvesting mechanism

Rainwater Harvesting mechanism

If the ground is hard, the rainwater does not seep into the ground and is thus not brought into use. Rainwater harvesting pit is an ideal solution for such problems. The increasing population has resulted in increase of the use of the water consumption. The water table has gone down considerably. Hence it is necessary that we make an attempt to store rainwater and use it in the best possible way.


Application of Green Building Technology in India | Thiagaraj Convention Center

When people talk about Green buildings, it is assumed they are eco-radical tree-huggers. But its true. Green building technology can really help achieve sustainable development by reducing energy consumption to a large extent and improving the return on investment by reducing maintenance.

When considering the economic benefits of smart technologies one must include many factors, such as health cost, future economic stability, quality of life and costs of operation.

In India, Thiagaraj Convention Center in Chennai is one such place where green building technology has been extensively used. Many of the building techniques can easily be adapted to existing buildings. For example, the transition from incandescent light bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs can lead to energy savings of upto 75% of costs. The small increase in initial costs to purchase the bulbs would easily be recouped many times over by the savings and extended life of the new bulbs.


Design Development

With the mushrooming if satellite towns and there down right demand of energy, lead to the understanding of coming out with techniques to conserve and use the natural resources. The inherent potential of the earth and various elements of nature, hence form the base of design further giving direction to the concept of coming out with a structure on the lines of green building.

Thiagaraj (Main building) - Chennai



Zoning of the entire convention has been done considering the sensitivity towards climate. Spaces which require ambient light and not glare like the exhibition spaces are hence placed north facing. To get enough exposure from the sun, the solar chimney is located in the south of the centre. The pre-convention spaces along with the restaurant are around a central open space such that it avails controlled lighting.

The Structure

The convention hall is a space occupying 1200sqm spanned by a space frame made of steel and aluminum castings over which the frame support, the solar panels eventually giving double protection from the sun. Due to the flexi wall installed in the convention hall, the space can be transformed into a bigger area which can hold double the members required. It is strategically located near the service entry only to allow easy transportation of materials for re decorating the interiors as per the need.

Auditorium building at Thiagaraj - Chennai

Auditorium building at Thiagaraj Convention Center

The exhibition space is located in the ground floor with provisions of providing convenient options of interiors.

The front lobby serves as the main connecting space offering the view of all other spaces which form the structure. This is connected to the guest room placed in the south zone via an open space. The 50 guest rooms, near the solar chimneys though south facing have been provided with double glazed windows. The natural draft created by the solar chimney sucks the stale air out without any effort which is done by the intelligent sensors that adjust the overhang and sunshades length according to the weather.


This acoustically efficient designed space can at once cater around 320 people. The important feature which stands out is the flexible stage operation which can be used for performances and for showing movies depending on the need of the moment.

Auditorium at Thiagaraj - Chennai


Special Features

Control light system, a glass technology that produces uniform lighting throughout the year. A 30mm translucent polycarbonate panel is installed in between which has intelligent light controllers. These louvers have an opaque reflective surface. The atrium and preconvention spaces experience the luminous effect brought by this system…

Hybrid fiber optics uniformly distributes sunlight through a single point source. This technology uses rooftop mounted 1200mm diameter collector and secondary mirror to track the sun throughout the day. A single holder holds 127 individual fibers each 3mm in diameter.

The collector system focuses the sunlight into 127 optical fibers connected to hybrid light fixtures equipped with diffusion rods visually similar to fluorescent light bulbs. These rods spread light in all directions, one collector powers 8-12 hybrid light fixtures which can illuminate an area of about 30-40 sqm. The guest rooms treated with terrace gardens that reduce heat absorption in the building. It has hexagonal mat of fiber, enclosing small gaps which are filled with soil to grow grass. The mat prevents corrosion and the grass helps in controlling the heat intake by the roof.

Earth-Air Tunnel

It spreads over a large portion of the ground in order to effectively retrieve the coolness possibly gained by the earth.

Section - Earth air tunnel

Section – Earth air tunnel

The use of eco-friendly technology to save energy and the efforts to channel natural elements to their benefit has allowed them to develop a system which can be integrated with the proper usage of space.

Green building offers us the chance to benefit everyone: residents, owners and neighbors, by reducing the carbon impact as well as reducing the energy costs. In the long term, green building technology is a net benefit to the consumer.

Aerocon Blocks | Green Building Materials

Aerocon Blocks are an innovative product in the green building revolution. Aerocon blocks are the new blocks in walling materials, substituting conventional and environmentally unsustainable materials like clay bricks, concrete and Hollow blocks.

Aerocon blocks are an Autoclaved Aerated concrete blocks used in the construction of walls. The raw materials used in the manufacture of these blocks are environmentally friendly and are certified green products. Flyash is also used as an alternative building material which is a waste from thermal power plants.

Aerocon Blocks | Aerated Concrete Blocks

Aerocon Blocks | Aerated Concrete Blocks

Since, these materials are light weight with high thermal insulation, they are highly fire resistant. These blocks save water during construction and ensure long term sustainability of the building. These blocks have been used in wide range of constructions which include residential, commercial, hotels, hospitals, schools etc.


The edges of the blocks are such that they allow easy workability and accurate dimensioning. Aerocon blocks are easier to install as opposed to the installation and usage of conventional building materials where construction deadline is short and labour scarcity is acute and mortars are to be used.

The time required for the installation of Aerocon Blocks is about 1/3rd as compared to the time required for the installation of conventional Building materials. Aerocon blocks are available in various sizes and shapes. They are included into the category of Green Building materials because they don’t emit VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) which cause environmental pollution.

Hence, it is one of the revolutionary materials that can be used to make the world a better, greener and cleaner place to live in.