Page E1.1 . 22 September 2004                     
ArchitectureWeek - Environment Department
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LEEDing Green in India

by Raj Jadhav

A new building in Hyderabad, India is the first structure outside the United States to receive the prestigious "platinum" LEED rating from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The building is special also because its construction combined ancient practices with modern architecture, reaffirming the applicability of traditional architectural knowledge to today's notions of sustainability.

The recently completed Confederation of Indian Industry Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Center (CII-Godrej GBC) is "green" not just in its making, but also in its purpose, which is to promote sustainable practices in India and beyond. The center houses research and development efforts relating to energy, environment, and climate change.

The idea for the center was born during a visit by U.S. President Bill Clinton in 2000. He offered technical support from the U.S. Agency for International Development. The CII was joined by Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company and the state government of Andhra Pradesh in a public/ private partnership to pursue the project.

Understanding the sophisticated ancient Indian methods of climate control and sustainability in architecture, Indian architect Karan Grover, of Karan Grover & Associates, Baroda, India, developed a design scheme to respond to both cultural and environmental contexts. He and the client wanted the building to be a showcase for energy-efficient, eco-friendly architecture and an integration of centuries-old practices of sustainability with modern technologies.   >>>

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Entrance canopy of the Confederation of Indian Industry Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Center, designed by Indian architect Karan Grover.
Photo: Karan Grover & Associates

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North light, supplemented by dimmer-controlled electric light, creates a comfortable, efficient circulation space.
Photo: Karan Grover & Associates


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