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Glass existed since the 3000 BC in Egypt and Eastern Mesopotamia. It was discovered coincidentally when calciferous sand finding its way into an overheated kiln and combining with soda to form a coloured glaze on the ceramics. The earliest man made glass item was the non-transparent glass beads; later glass vases and other item were made.
During the 16th century BC the Hallow glass making came into existence in Egypt and Mesopotamia, china and in other civilizations via merchant and sailors who traveled frequently.
In 1500 BC, Egyptian Paraoh Thoutmosis III brought glass makers as prisoners from various parts of Asia, with successful military campaign. It is believed that those glass makers has produced glass pots by dipping a core mould of compacted sand into molten glass and then turning the mould so that molten glass adhered to it. It then be decorated by rolled on slab of stone then let it cool.
In earlier 20 BC to 14 AD, The usage of glass spread across the Syrian, Italy where the ancient roman began the process of blowing glass inside moulds by using a long thin tube, by they produced variety of hallow glass items.
The Romans have contributed much to glass by their conquest and trade relationships. It was during the rule of Emperor Augustus, glass usage flourished across France, German and other European countries. It is also believed that the Romans was the first to use glass for architectural purposes, after the discovery of clear glass in Alexandria around 100 AD.
During the middle ages the glass making gradually improved. In Venice, had more expert craftsmen, who traveled to other countries to earn money. They even faced death threats if they live the country, which then was leader in glass industry.
France – Experts
It was in 1688, in France Experts developed new process of making Flat glass, mainly used in Mirrors. The process was pouring molten glass onto a special table and roll it flat, later when cooled it was polished using felt disks, then it is coated with reflective material to produce the Mirrors. French government also took many steps to promote its glass industry by placing heavy duties for glass imports and it also offered Venetian glassmakers high incentives, French nationality with tax exemption. Since then Glass makers like Saint-Gobain have been contributing for the glass constantly.
Today, Innovation of new technologies in industrial revolution made glassmaker to research on new strategy in glass making which lead to produce them various special purpose glasses such as solar control glass, which can control harmful UV-ray entering the building and at the same time allowing natural lights to flow. The other special glass that came into existence where Fire protection, privacy glasses, Self cleaning glass, Thermal insulation glass etc.
Saint Gobain Glass India, the glass manufacturer has been recognized along with eight other companies for its initiative in Corporate Social Responsibility by the Tamil Nadu Government.
According to an official press release, the move by the State Government is in line with its announcement last year to institute CSR Awards to recognize the contributions of public and private sector industries towards social development.
The CSR awards for 2008-09 and 2007-08, which include cash prize of Rs 5 lakh and a certificate, were given away by the Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister, Mr. M.K. Stalin.
For 2008-09, the awards were bagged by Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd, Steel Authority of India Ltd, Salem, Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Sri Ramalinga Mills Ltd, Virudhunagar.
For 2007-08, the awardees are Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers Ltd, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd, Karaikal, Srinivasan Services Trust (CSR arm of TVS Motor), Saint-Gobain Glass India Ltd and Sakthi Masala (P) Ltd.
Burj Dubai – Spoken of as the tallest man-made skyscraper ever built, is under construction at Downtown and is likely to be unveiled to the world by the end of this year. This structure stands at a height of 829m..
The exterior cladding of Burj Dubai, developed by Emaar properties PJSC, was completed recently. The façade of this building is made up of aluminium and glass. The total weight of the aluminum used is equivalent to that of five A380 aircrafts. In May 2007, Arabian Aluminium Company in association with Hong Kong based Far East Aluminium began work on the exterior with more than 380 skilled engineers and on-site technicians.
On the whole, 24,348 cladding panels have been used over a total curtain wall of 132, 190 sq. m. The last cladding panel numbered 24,348 with a weight of 750 kg. This was installed at the height of over 662m. The total 103,000 sq. m of glass used in the cladding panels can cover 14 standard football pitches, while the15, 500 sq. m of embossed stainless steel used can cover 34 National Basketball Association specified basketball courts. The cladding material was specially made using advanced engineering techniques. Cladding includes high-performance reflective glazing, aluminium mullions and textured steel spandrels with vertical stainless steel tubular fins.
Doubly glazed and factory sealed panels of more than 18 different strength specifications and over 200 sizes have been used. The panels are of varying thicknesses and each feature two glass pieces of about 8mm to 12mm thickness, buttressed by a 12 mm spacer for strength and resilience. The length and thickness of each panel depends on the height and the location where the panel is to be fixed. Also, the strength of a panel needs to increase with an increase in altitude. Hence, panels at higher altitude are strengthened with stainless steel in addition to aluminium.
At the initial stages, 20-30 panels were installed per day. This number was eventually increased to 175 panels per day. As the altitude increased, the workforce faced grave risk; to minimize which, curtain-walling for the spire was pre-installed on the ground and then lifted to the summit as secured.
A “flickering cladding” was designed to maximize resistance to heat from the sun. This is expected to minimize load on air conditioning systems, thus improving the energy efficiency of the tower.
18 window-washing units have been built to ensure cleanliness of this huge façade. These are built using 9 track-mounted telescopic cradles, each with an extendable arm which can reach out to a distance beyond 20 meters.
The observatory deck on the 124th floor has been named “At the Top”, and will present to visitors with information on the “History and Evolution of Dubai and the Burj Dubai” and also a view of the whole city. This structure is expected to be a benchmark for high-rise developers in creating environment-friendly, sustainable and futuristic buildings.
It is now beyond doubt that sustainability and energy-efficiency are being given their due importance in India, and this importance is manifesting itself in green architecture all over the country. Joining this bandwagon is a new Recreation Centre and Solarium in Delhi, to be inaugurated later this year. With all the eco-friendly aspects that are to be incorporated into its design, this Recreation centre is likely to stand out among other similar buildings.
The structure is sprawled over five acres of land, incorporating a green design that also provides a habitat of luxury in the indoors as well as the outdoors. The building is also unique for the fact that the environment created is conducive to outdoor activity throughout the year. This design has been provided by Mumbai-based architecture firm Prem Nath & Associates.
The Solarium, spread over 1 million square feet will be a multi-use destination complete with a farm, pool, gymnasium, aquatic centre and a library, all under a canopy made of enormous solar panels, a grey-water system, and passive cooling/heating design.
Glass with Aluminum
The entire structure is formed from glass and aluminum sections. Double-glazed low-e glass is held in place with high-strength horizontal fiber glass tendons and aluminum structural members. The clean construction gives way to an equally streamlined interior that is rendered clutter-free. The temperature inside the structure is regulated to meet the requirements of occupant comfort as well as to optimize conditions for the growth of plants.
The aluminum frame was designed to make the structure homogenous, lightweight and structurally stable. Photovoltaic solar panels on the roof work with the low-e glass to control temperature and reduce energy consumption, and rotating louvers on the roof help flood the indoors with ample fresh air. Meanwhile, motion sensors and LUX intensity meter sensors control lighting for efficient energy consumption.
The high gloss aluminum finish, the envelope of green landscape, the manicured lawns and the local tree plantations keep privacy intact. Trees have been illuminated with floor and trunk mounted lighters, concealed cleverly for glare-free lighting, and there are various theme indoor gardens with fruit tree plantations, sculptures, and pathways curbed with flowering plants. Some rare and exotic species of plants have been planted inside the structure as well as in the garden. Irrigation requirements within the complex will be partially fulfilled with recycled water.
Netmagic Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a managed IT hosting service provider contributed to the dream of a Greener India by earning a LEED Gold for Commercial Interiors (CI) for its Chennai data centre from the US Green Building Council (USGBC). This is India’s first data centre to have received this coveted rating.
Netmagic’s Chennai data centre has embraced several green features to make the premise truly energy-efficient. The additional cost of incorporating these much-needed features was less than 10%.
This consists of a long list that includes site ecology, water conservation, smart energy meters and equipment, reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, recycled content, effective waste management, eco-friendly interiors and so on.
- Site ecology has been maintained by reusing the evacuated top soil for landscaping.
- There is a rain water harvesting system that collects rain water for landscape irrigation and toilet flushing; and a 50% reduction in potable water consumption has been achieved by using water efficient fittings and water meters.
- Dependence on fossil fuels has been reduced by providing carpool facilities, bicycles and alternate fuel options through provision of electric vehicle charging points.
- The lighting system has a lighting power density of 0.69 W/Sqft as against 1 W/Sqft for office space.
- The roof has been treated with high reflective paint to minimize heat ingress and has brought about a 3-4 Degree Centigrade reduction in temperature in the indoor spaces.
- The furniture, seating, carpet, glass, composite wood, aluminium, false ceiling, etc is made of recyclable material.
- All paints, adhesives, furniture, carpets and housekeeping chemicals are eco-friendly and free of harmful components.
- Waste bins for different categories of waste have been provided.
- It is a ‘No Smoking’ premise with several operable windows to facilitate cross ventilation.
- Occupants have been provided with task lighting and lighting control to ensure better comfort and high productivity.
- Energy meters have been installed to measure and monitor energy consumption of the building. An overall 20% higher energy efficiency has been achieved through these innovative energy efficiency measures integrated right at the design stage.
Sustainable buildings in Europe will have a new height to scale with the creation of the Gazprom Tower, officially known as the Okhta Tower. The plan has recently been given the green signal to begin construction; it will be designed by UK-based architectural firm RMJM. Upon completion, this building will be the tallest in Europe and one among the world’s most energy-efficient.
St. Petersburg in Russia will be the home to Okhta Tower, which through its 77 storeys will cross 400 metres in height. This tower will primarily serve as headquarters to Gazprom’s oil unit, OAO Gazprom Neft, and will also be home to a concert hall, a museum, a hotel and a business centre. In the name of sustainability, this tower will incorporate multiple elements for energy-efficiency during construction.
The building will be insulated by an exoskeleton, dubbed as a low-energy ‘fur coat’, and will consist of two layers of glazed glass ‘skin’ with an atrium between the inner and outer walls. This buffer zone will supply the building with natural ventilation, sunlight for interior lighting and at the same time will act as a thermal insulation by keeping the structure warm during fierce minus 30 degrees Russian winters. Trees and plants will be sandwiched between the double glass walls, which will be responsible for providing warmth in winter and lower temperatures in summer.
The outer wall will comprise of temperature-colour-changing glass panels. This tower will change colour up to 10 times a day depending on the position of the sun, and creating a dazzling scene of a 300m-tall twisting glass tower across 75 floors.
Inspired by the pentagonal plan of an ancient Scandinavian fort believed to have once occupied the site, the tower consists of a central concrete core ringed by five square interlocking floorplates. The floorplates spin on their axes as they ascend, giving the building its twisted effect. A ‘cog mechanism’ – whereby the five floorplates interlock – ensures the tower’s stability.
The pentagram design of the tower maximises access to daylight and allows for spectacular views for the offices without losing heat due to exposed surface area in comparison to other structures.
Specialized water, heating and ventilation systems have also been incorporated to reduce the energy consumption levels of the building. There will be a public viewing gallery on the 70th floor.
The office floor plans will also feature a large number of social spaces and green zones that will let the workers to access leisure areas without wasting energy by using elevators for vertical transportation.
The cost of construction is estimated at to $2.4bn. This cost will be borne jointly by Gazprom’s subsidiary Gazprom Neft ($1.4 billion) and the St Petersburg City Administration ($1 billion).
That every modern building on the face of this earth seeks to be a sustainable entity is an oft-repeated and well-established fact. Interestingly, this trend is now finding its way even through buildings built on water. And as if in testimony, a gigantic arch-shaped hotel named “The Ark” has been built on sea water by the Russian architectural firm Remistudio, in collaboration with the International Union of Architects’ programme titled “Architecture for Disaster Relief.”
The core concept behind the architecture of this unique building is safety and protection from extreme environmental conditions and climate change.
Sprawled over a total site area of 4500 m2, this building can withstand extreme floods caused by rising sea levels, and floats autonomously on the surface of the water owing to its arch-shaped structure. The Ark is also designed to be a bioclimatic house with independent life-support systems, including elements that ensure a closed-functioning cycle.
Make-up of The Ark
Timber arches and steel ropes used in construction provide structural solidity to the building. The framework is covered by a special foil made of Ethyl TetraFluoroEthylene (ETFE) – a strong, highly transparent foil, self-cleaning, recyclable, highly durable, economical, and lighter than glass. The foil itself is fixed to the framework by special metal profiles, which also serve as solar collectors for water heating and as gutters that collect rainwater from the roof surface. A prefabricated frame allows for fast construction.
The cupola in the upper portion collects warm air which is gathered in seasonal heat accumulators to provide uninterrupted energy supply for the whole complex. The heat from the surrounding environment – the outer air, water or ground – is also used. The building can produce extra power for supplying to adjacent houses and for “green” means of transport.
The building makes a single energy system. The form of the cupola assists in creating an air-eddy at the outer surface around the central bearing, where the wind power and tornado generators are placed. The form of the building allows for placement of photoelectric cells at an appropriate angle to the Sun.
The base of the building is shell-like in structure, devoid of ledges or angles, rendering it very suitable for climatically and seismically sensitive regions. A load-bearing system of arches and cables allows weight redistribution along the entire corpus in case of an earthquake.
- Lush vegetation helps provide good quality of air and a source of food.
- All plants are chosen as per the principles of compatibility, illumination and efficiency of oxygen production
- A transparent roof allows for penetration of sufficient light for the plants in ther interiors.
- The design uses solar panels and a rainwater collection system to provide occupants with power and water.
Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands is a popular standout point for business and entertainment in Asia, that adds to its credibility by providing space for 2,560 hotel rooms, rooftop Sands SkyPark, convention and exhibition facilities, the best shopping mall in Asia, world-class celebrity chef restaurants, a casino, a Paiza Club for premium players, an outdoor event plaza and so on. What’s more, the new Eco-friendly development in this area – the ArtScience Museum – has tripled its attractiveness.
This ArtScience Museum, the first of its kind the world over, was inaugurated at Marina Bay Sands on February 17th, 2011. The shape of this ArtScience Museum is that of a bloomed lotus flower or a single palm with 10 fingers. This contemporarily designed Museum aims to become the heart of the growing art & science movement as well as the premier venue for international exhibits.
The Museum will display innovative and modern works in art and science on three floors of gallery space across over 4,800 square meters. There are 21 galleries in all. This project will attract not just tourists but also encourage cutting-edge practices as part of a new economy.
Museum – The Palm & its Energy-efficiency
Because of its palm-like appearance, the Museum is fondly known as “The Welcoming Hand of Singapore”. There are ten fingers on this palm, attached to a unique round base in the middle. The tallest “finger” stands 60 meters above ground. Each one of the ten fingers that extend out in the palm-like museum has a generous skylight that illuminates the interior walls with ample daylight.
Air conditioning grills built into the floor help save energy by cooling only the air up to the visitor’s height, rather than the entire space. Called air stratification, the technique is gaining popularity with engineering firms.
The ArtScience Museum incorporates several interesting features to make use of natural resources as efficiently as possible. The museum’s dish-like roof channels rainwater through the central atrium of the building, creating a 35-meter water drop into a 4,000 sq.m lily pond at the lowest level of the building. Rainwater is recycled and redirected through the water feature to create a continuous cylindrical waterfall. The rainwater is also recycled for use in the museum’s bathrooms as part of Singapore’s Green Mark program.
At night, the same dish transforms into an amphitheatre, enthralling audiences with awe-striking light and laser shows and fireworks with the city in the background.
Material such as Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer (GFRP), typically used in high-performance racing yachts – which has never been used in a project in Singapore – has been used for the construction of this architectural wonder.
The Mudra Group, one of India’s leading advertising and media agencies, recently unveiled its new office complex, another architectural marvel in glass.
This new Mudra House is located opposite the Grand Hyatt in Mumbai. And as a manner of exemplifying its philosophy of creative collaboration across units, this new office building has been constructed to provide workspaces to over 450 Mudra employees under a single roof. And with a LEED Gold certification form the IGBC, the building has a lot more to be proud of than just dimension.
The 8-storeyed office complex of the Mudra Group sports a combination of glass and red brick tiles on the exterior, giving it unmatched aesthetic appeal. There are two levels of valet parking in the basement, with a capacity of 120 cars. The parking area has been fitted with numerous electrical points as a provision for recharging battery-operated cars.
The Mudra Complex embraces modern architectural design through the generous use of glass on its exteriors, and remains in sync with tradition through artwork displays in the interiors.
The lobby of the building illustrates a description of life in contemporary times, using traditional ‘Warli’ art. This style of art can be seen on each floor of the Complex, in different forms. The Warli art on each floor gives a feel of the ambience within that particular space. Or instance, the workspace is depicted by simple triangle-and-dots figures that vividly capture day-to-day workstation activities. Warli art is also seen on the upholstery, on signage and floor coverings of every floor. The art infuses the ‘Spirit of Community’ throughout the building.
The eighth floor at Mudra House is worth a special mention. This floor that houses Executive Board Members represents exceptional sophistication in its interior design and provides each cabin with a bird’s eye view of Mumbai city. The conference room located on the same floor can accommodate 25 people and has an automatic foldable door that opens up into the adjacent room to create more space when required.
Mudra House is equipped with 1 gigabit IP Telephony, a full blown Unified Communications (UC) system, Video Conferencing (VC) and Audio Visual (AV) facilities, an access control system, a CCTV network and Intelligent Building Management System (IBMS), where the control system is a computerized, intelligent network of electronics, designed to monitor and control the mechanical and lighting systems of the building. In addition, the architecture has incorporated several energy efficient features into the complex.
In addition to the work areas, Mudra House has a recreation area with facilities for table tennis, billiards, and a gymnasium in addition to a cafeteria and a library.