This IIT has green, smart campus

Buildings will use natural light to reduce power use
Last Updated : 08 August 2015, 18:36 IST
Last Updated : 08 August 2015, 18:36 IST

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Students were involved in devising a landscape for the campus

I  It took over seven years to build the campus for the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad. The 576-acre campus abutting Mumbai highway at Kandi near Sangareddy, about 40 km, can be others’ envy because of several unique and eye-catching features. The smart campus will be self-sufficient in energy and water conservation and can accommodate 30,000 staff and students and is surprisingly expandable.

    The IIT-H started in 2008 at the Eddumylaram-based Medak Ordnance Factory (ODF) and now has its new campus. “The shifting caused minimal disruption to the class work. The campus at Kandi is fully residential and the equipment from the laboratories have been shifted to the new campus. The IIT-Hyderabad is designed in such way that even future expansion of the infrastructure will cause no disruption to the running of the institution,” says Prof KVL Subramaniam, Dean (Planning) IIT-H.

The IIT Hyderabad campus, which has over six lakh square feet of office and residential space, is built in a modular model so that academic, residential and recreational activities do not overlap. The buildings have unique radiant cooling systems, so that interiors of the academic and residential areas are kept cool without spending a fortune on power and other utilities. Radiant cooling system is not new to India as many kings, including Golconda kings, had used the technology to keep the interiors cool.

    Under this system, polyethylene pex pipes are embedded on the roof top and bottom of the room and chilled water is circulated through these pipes. Each room will have an inlet connected to a chilling plant and an outlet to collect the resultant hot water. The system will keep the room temperature between 26 to 29 degrees Celsius, avoiding air-condition like comfort at 30 per cent less cost. Even the hostel room windows are positioned in such a way that only cool air flows freely avoiding UV rays entering the rooms. The campus also has a provision for a captive solar power plant that would generate 5 MW to meet its own demand.

   “We have engaged consultants with inputs from faculty for preparing the master plan to construct energy efficient buildings,” the dean said. The buildings will use natural sunlight at the same time cut down radiation thereby reducing dependency on artificial lighting.

The material used in the construction of IIT-H is unique. The IIT-H has used self-consolidating concrete (SCC), a technology developed by the Japanese and mastered by the Europeans.

   The SCC flows like a thick liquid but consolidates very quickly making it easy for the mason to spread it without shaking it. The fly ash for the making of SCC has come from three different thermal power units in Telangana and the civil engineering department of the IIT-H has conducted quality checks on every batch of the fly ash.

 The exteriors of the SCC finished concrete façade need no primer or colour coating. The quality of the concrete is uniform and glossy in finish. It has no patches whatsoever.

    IIT-Hyderabad will probably the only campus in the country which has involved its students to take part in devising a landscape for the campus which has plants and fauna available in the local area with an aim to harvest rain water and store them in the water tanks. In all, the campus located in a semi-arid area will have three artificial lakes to hold rain water from the huge catchment area.

A student club has been formed to deal with the Telangana government’s forest department to select and procure drought resistant fauna available in the Medak district.

    All the main roads inside the campus will have open swales allowing the water to run down freely without hindrances so that the rain water can percolate. The rain water harvested into the open water tanks will then be used to water the plants and also recycled to be used by the students and faculty. “The aim is to be fully self-sufficient without depending on municipal water,” Mr. Subramaniam says.

 The IIT will also be showcased as a “zero waste campus” by carefully planning on ways to reduce waste and how to recycle different kinds of garbage generated by different departments, including biological waste from residential zones.

    The IIT-H with its focus on research and grooming young IITians from its campus has introduced a minor subject in entrepreneurship so that they become employment generators than seekers. For this, accomplished industrialists are invited to address students so that they will be equipped with the essential traits required to set up an enterprise when they leave the portals of IIT-H.

   Students and faculty here are also developing a low-cost 5G cellular wireless communication technology. A team of about 20 graduate and undergraduates of the electrical and electronics engineering department are working on this project. The Department of Electronics and Information Technology of the Union Government has sanctioned Rs 23 crore for this project.

   Located close to Hyderabad and its growing IT sector, the IIT-H  is likely to attract top talent by competing with other established IITs in the country. For instance opening rank in IIT-JEE this academic year is 534 compared with 632 last year. According to the director’s office, the admissions were closed at 988th rank in the most sought-after branch-- the computer science engineering.

   The mood of the is upbeat as students after completing bachelors degree can easily get internships in the vast defence research institutional network such as DRDO, DRDL, Mithani, Nuclear Fuel Complex, HCL, BEL, BHEL R&D, Aerospace SEZ at Adibhatla and other IT based institutions.

 Added attraction for the young entrepreneurs is the Telangana IT department's plans to set up country’s largest incubation centre at IIIT in Gachibowli, in collaboration with Indian School of Business and NALSAR University of Law.

Published 08 August 2015, 17:19 IST

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