Stonex

Commercial, Online Exclusive Feature / 2020

Stonex

January 4, 2021

The Stonex administrative and industrial complex is developed as a native production-house. Considering the nature of work and the movement of raw and finished products, the building is designed with vehicular access only from one side, and not all around the building. This allows for the maximum possible green cover and softscaping, where the factory is designed such that spaces are used judiciously, with respect to the natural environment.

The orientation and design of the building facilitates climate responsiveness. The hot and dry climate of Rajasthan is combated by the partly sunk mass, which helps the establishment to stay cool during summers and warm during winters. This is achieved by the natural phenomena of earth berming and earth coupling. By using local rubble, the building crafts a sense of belonging and a sense of place.

The processing plant and display area are both well insulated, using local rubble walls of 550 millimetres thickness towards the east façade, and insulated galvalume sheet in triangular flutters with a blank façade towards the west. Glazing and louvres at the lower level help viewers connect visually with the landscaped surroundings, while the same towards the north allow for daylight and ventilation where hot air inside can be released inside. A wind draft across the height of the shed can be expelled through the ventilators along the north light trusses, therefore avoiding hot pockets at the top and effectively cooling the building by about 10 to 12 degrees Celsius.

The façade of the office building sandwiches a puff panel between two laminam panels to further insulate the interiors. The façade is complemented by an enveloping stone screen that provides solar shading from the south-east and west glare. This stone screen is fabricated using the waste stone from a nearby quarry and the stone wastage that is generated on-site.

Production: The Industrial Shed

Prefabricated white metal flutters and stone buttresses have been used for the façade of the Stonex factory.

The challenge was to make sure that functionality drives the design. Adhering to exigencies of site and logistically sound planning, the manufacturing block orients rather unconventionally in the east-west direction. The finished product of the factory demands uniform lighting throughout the day, with no exposure to direct sunlight. Hence, the orientation is strategically exploited by incorporating complementary systems: north light trusses are introduced to penetrate the complete volume, sloping at a suitable angle of 23 degrees towards the south, providing for ample surface for photovoltaic (PV) panels and the resulting solar roof of almost 1MW (sufficient to fulfil the power requirements of the factory). Long concrete gutters have been planned to avoid water leakage and facilitate maintenance.

Typically, employees work in harsh temperatures of around 48 degrees Celsius, with a scorching sun and dry heat. The production unit is thereby designed to keep the inside space comfortable throughout the day even when the temperature outside is at its peak. While the local rubble masonry facilitates a passive design in order to optimise the climatic conditions, there is also the intent to involve the local masons and empower the craft and the craftsmen. The linear production process is used as a design determinant to avoid having the workers do manual lifting, which is otherwise a common process that is prone to accidents. Two people can therefore, bring in a 25-tonne block from one end, process and dispatch it on their own.

Sustainable measures include:
• Bio-STPs (sewage treatment plants), through various stages of plantation, recycle waste water for landscaping and flushing toilets
• 100 per cent rainwater harvesting that keeps the groundwater table recharged
• Softscaping creates a shaded microclimate, keeping overall temperatures of the facility low

The temperatures indoors are regulated with the help of radiant cooling, allowing for a 60 per cent efficiency in the running cost of the building. Also, this has led to HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) load cutting by almost 40 per cent. Additionally, radiant cooling floor slabs regulate temperatures.

Representation: The Office

The design of the building revolves around the concept of mutual respect for the surroundings and nature. The built form is raised and sunk into the ground away from the existing row of trees on-site, which derived a linear form. Irregularly shaped courtyards are created to avoid damaging the roots of existing trees.

Consequently, the built mass and the ground is punctured to create sunken courtyards and an amphitheater within the earth-cooled lower floor. Being partly underground, the mass defines a seamless silhouette adorned by screens in stone and greenery climbing up the entire roof in a sweep. The roof wraps around the ground, merging into the landscape to help the building remain cool, while ensuring physical access to the landscape above the roof.

The wastage from the factory has been used for the stone slate that is fixed with SS rods and spacers; this becomes the shading device for the complete office façade. The façade is created with a double glazed structural glazing system along with insulated aluminium panels, and the repetitiveness of the grid makes the entire façade appear dynamic.

Project Data

Project NameStonex
LocationKishangarh, Rajasthan, India
Site Area10 acres
Built-Up Area20,000 square metres
ClientStonex India Pvt. Ltd
Architecture FirmUrbanscape Architects
Principal ArchitectsDinesh Panwar; Ajay Bhardwaj
Design TeamPrasanjeet; Anuj; Gunjan; Prachi
Structural ConsultantP. Arora & Associates Pvt. Ltd.
Mechanical & Electrical ConsultantdbHMS
Civil ConsultantP. Arora & Associates Pvt. Ltd.
Landscape ConsultantAkshay Kaul & Associates
PMCAarj Concepts
Façade ConsultantAlcoi India Pvt. Ltd.
Lighting ConsultantLight Vision India
Engineering ConsultantFriends Engineering Works
Total CostINR 70 Cr
Images/PhotosAndre Fanthome; Noughts and Crosses; Suryan & Dang

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