Eco-friendly structures provide quality office space

Archana Venkat

ChennaiMarch 1That infrastructure spending by technology companies has soared over the last three years, is not news considering the escalating real estate and construction materials prices. But spending, excluding these factors, has been rising. Thanks to more companies moving towards constructing green buildings.

Green buildings are energy efficient, do not pollute the environment and ensure quality office space for employees. Besides modifying their construction, companies also have to accommodate related costs on safety, employee health and recycling.

Last year, Satyam Computer Services moved to building multi-storey structures that used eco-friendly R134 gas refrigerant in its air-conditioning systems, new gadgets to maintain indoor air quality and high NRC value tiles to reduce reverberation in conference rooms. According to Mr Prasad H.R., Senior Vice-President, Corporate Services, Satyam Computer Services, the infrastructure spend per person is about Rs 4.5 lakh.

Captive energy

For communications software provider AricentAricent started generating its own power three years ago. Costing less than the State's rate of Rs 4 per unit, captive power was feasible. However, now captive power is generated at Rs 8 per unit compared with the State's Rs 6 a unit. "State power remains inadequate and we have to spend huge amounts on generating captive power," says Mr Manoranjan Mohapatra, President & Chief Operating Officer of the company. Effluent treatment has added to costs.

At NIIT Technologies, ergonomics, gym, break areas, amphitheatre, library, pantry and music have become integral to building planning. Mr Arvind Thakur, Chief Executive Officer of the company, says its upcoming Noida campus would have mini-gyms on each floor, besides a possible jogging path and swimming pool.

Adding more decor

Perot Systems has hired a designer to make its offices more functional while maintaining a uniform decor. Mr Vardhman Jain, Managing Director, Business Process Solutions, India Operations Perot Systems, says these efforts have paid off. "Prospective clients in the past rejected us after looking at our facility. But today they don't."

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 2, 2007)
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