The new terminal at the Chandigarh international airport in Mohali, inaugurated recently by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is the first airport in the country that is ‘totally green’, and can potentially change the way airports are built in the country henceforth.
Spread over 53,000 sq. m, the brand new terminal at the Chandigarh airport has been designed around the green building concept, right from the start. The terminal will handle both domestic as well as international flights.
The use of environment-friendly green technologies make this airport one of its kind, not only in India, but also in the world.
Airports all across the world cannot dazzle and amaze travelers without their huge displays of artificial lights — which add on to their maintenance and running costs, not to speak of environmental degradation. But this Chandigarh airport terminal is different. No artificial lights would be required to illuminate it during the daytime.
The terminal has achieved a 4-star GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) rating.
A transparent façade is the defining motif of this airport terminal. The glass that has been used on the façade is low-heat gain glass. This automatically reduces the need for a large amount of air conditioning, which is a bane associated with the glass-based architectural structures that have started mushrooming and dominating urban and emerging landscapes all over the country. Also, the air-conditioning is guided by the principal of thermodynamics, that is, if the sensors sense body heat, the air-conditioning starts working in that zone; otherwise it gravitates to a sleep mode.
Energy efficiency, in fact, has been another guiding motif in the construction of the airport.
The rooftop of the terminal has a 200KW solar plant which is enough to meet the major power needs of the building. Forty percent of the airport is illuminated with LEDs and the air-conditioning is fired by chiller efficient machines. There is also a lawn which has been laid out right inside the terminal.
Built by Larsen and Toubro (L&T), the terminal sets a new sustainability benchmark with green technologies like 55 lakh fly ash bricks, cavity walls, double insulated roofing, energy efficient chillers, and a sensor-based plumbing system to save water. Such an extensive use of fly ash bricks in a civil structure could serve as a shot in the arm for the progressive deployment of fly ash bricks in construction. And this can go a long way in indirectly serving the cause of the environment. Fly Ash bricks are made of fly ash, lime, gypsum and sand. Hence, the more we shift to fly ash, the less we use of the top layer of soil to make conventional bricks.
Besides, the airport has a sewage treatment plant with a capacity of 600 KLD, which is based on environment-friendly extended aeration technology.
Thus all the treated water will be reused for flushing and gardening. This idea of re-cycling water is again a major step forward towards environmental sustainability.
The name of the airport has not been decided yet.
While Punjab wishes to name it after Shaheed Bhagat Singh and append the name Mohali at the end, Haryana wishes to call it just Chandigarh airport. But, no matter what is finally decided, the new airport is a matter of pride not only for Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir, states that it will likely benefit, but for the whole country.