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Maintaining Uptime While Improving Indoor Comfort Was the Key for Godrej Bhaven in Mumbai

May 16, 2012

From high tech engineering to consumer goods, Godrej is one of India’s largest industrial conglomerates. Recently the company decided to implement a more energy efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) solution in its Godrej Bhavan facility in Mumbai, India as part of the company's focus on creating carbon neutral, zero waste, water positive and energy efficient businesses.
The project was no easy task since the building was a 46,000 square foot facility, constructed in 1972, and the architectural drawings and building plans were no longer available. Combine the historical architecture and aging building with the inherent challenges of retrofitting a fully staffed operational building, and the task promised to be a challenge.
Godrej officials wanted to replace the building's existing cooling system without disrupting business operations at the facility. This goal was made even more challenging by the fact that there were only two air handling units (AHUs) to cool the entire building – a limitation that also meant the individual floors at Godrej Bhavan could not have separate temperature settings.
A Unique Solution Provides Temperature Control for Each Floor in the Building
Officials at Godrej Bhavan began by replacing the existing inefficient cooling system with energy-efficient water-cooled screw chillers. The system retrofits were carried out during non-working hours to avoid inconveniencing the occupants while they went about their work.
However, to provide customizable temperature comfort conditions on each floor, it was necessary to install air handling units (AHUs) at every level of the building, but the building’s original design had not left a place to locate the AHUs. This issue was resolved by installing I-beams in the masonry shaft and then attaching horizontal metal plates to create artificial floors, which allowed the new AHUs to be installed on each level.
To ensure continuity of cooling, both systems (old and new) were operated simultaneously during the change-over stage. To maximize the new air-conditioning system’s efficiency, reliability and serviceability, a Trane Tracer Summit building automation system was also installed. In addition, an annual maintenance contract with Trane now ensures smooth and uninterrupted operation of all HVAC systems.
New System Leads to Reduced Costs and LEED Certification
In addition to creating a more comfortable environment for workers, the project has reduced annual energy costs for the Godrej Bhavan facility by 15 percent. On February 15, 2011, the building was certified LEED Gold in the existing buildings category by the United States Building Council. To achieve its LEED certification status, the project met strict requirements regarding sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality and innovation in design.