Bayer Building in India Receives World’s Highest LEED Score

by , 06/05/12
filed under: Architecture, News

India, green building council, LEED, sustainable building, sustainable architecture, green design, sustainable design, eco-design, Sankalpan, Bayer, MaterialScience, EcoCommercial Building Program,

Bayer used to be a household name for Aspirin, but now the multinational corporation will be known for developing the first building in the world to receive as many as 64 out of 69 possible points from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. With help from local architecture firm Sankalpan, Bayer MaterialScience developed a 10,000 square foot zero-energy office building just outside of New Delhi that meets the standards of their own pioneering EcoCommercial Build Program.

India, green building council, LEED, sustainable building, sustainable architecture, green design, sustainable design, eco-design, Sankalpan, Bayer, MaterialScience, EcoCommercial Building Program,

Bayer MaterialScience received the maximum amount of points possible for water efficiency, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design, and only missed five points overall after a year of operations. No other building in the world has performed this well. But how did they pull this off, particularly in a country as swelteringly hot as India?

In addition to a massive photovoltaic panel array that generates more energy than the building requires, the designers equipped the building with groundbreaking sun protection materials and then developed a polyurethane-based insulation material that slashes electricity consumption by 70%.

“The Platinum Award is a clear indication that the concept of ecologically sustainable building can be achieved with the right materials, regardless of whether in the developed world or in an emerging market,” said Thomas Roemer, Head of the Construction & Building industry platform at Bayer MaterialScience. “We hope that we can motivate builders and developers to engage more strongly in sustainable building.”

+ Bayer MaterialScience

+ Sankalpan Architects

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1 Comment

  1. iluvinhabitatanonymous1 June 6, 2012 at 1:57 am

    First of all, this is great. Both Bayer and the Sankalpan Architects should be congratulated on this accomplishment. The use of onsite renewables to generate energy in excess of the building requirement is amazing.

    OK, then…please take the following in the spirit of constructive criticism and with the understanding that I’m only basing these comments on the photographs.

    That said, I think that this highlights some of the problems with the prescriptive method of green building certification.

    1. I can believe that the polyurethane insulation reduces the energy load by 70%, but there are many other ways that this performance could have been reached. Polyurethane foam is an industrial petrochemical that is highly toxic, containing elements such as isocyanates, benzene and toluene.

    2. From the photos it appears that the landscape is not what it could have been. The building is surrounded by lawn and what appears to be impervious parking lot pavement.

    3. From the photos on the architect’s website, the building work spaces do not seem to have very good levels of natural daylighting, a consequence of the square proportion of the building footprint.

    4. The building seems to be located in an office park, not in a walkable neighborhood. It sets itself away from the street and its public face is generally cold and unwelcoming.

    In short, I would not want to have to work there every day.

    While it technically may have met the requirements of 64 LEED point categories, it should, in my opinion, not be held up as a paragon building model by which we should be designing our sustainable cities.

    Maybe we should take this as lesson and try to move toward more performance-based rating systems that place an emphasis on holistically designed environments of aesthetic and biological health, and that reward the implementation of organic systems and vernacular methods of energy conservation.

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