The IT giant has proved that eco-efficient architecture is no more expensive than conventional building methods
India’s towering office blocks and apartment buildings are notoriously power-hungry. Air conditioning alone is said to account for over 40% of Mumbai’s electricity use. And though India-wide only 2% of households had air conditioning in 2007, sales are growing at an estimated 20% a year. Walking off an Indian city street into an office on a hot day can feel like walking from an oven into a fridge.
It’s hardly a satisfactory situation. Yet as everyone knows, constructing a greener, less energy-intensive building is prohibitively expensive. Or, rather, as everyone knew.
One extraordinary real-life experiment carried out by IT giant Infosys on its Hyderabad campus has debunked that assumption and sparked a flurry of eco-friendly building design across the country. Infosys is India’s second largest IT services company, pioneering the outsourcing services that fired the sector’s growth back in the 90s. With a market cap of $34bn, it has had a strong sustainability profile – particularly in the energy field – for some years, driven by its former head of infrastructure and green initiatives Rohan Parikh, who was determined to prove the cost-effectiveness of sustainable innovation.
Faced with the need for more office space, the company constructed a huge new block...