Bayer MaterialScience is giving shape to its first energy-saving EcoCommercial Building near New Delhi in India, demonstrating how the energy requirements of a building can be minimized through polyurethane insulating materials and transparent polycarbonate glazing. The building in Greater Noida, India, is set to accommodate some 40 employees in the future and is characterized by a cubic floor plan and a flat roof architectural design. The company says that highly efficient polyurethane thermal insulation in combination with sealant materials gives the building an air-tight shell that keeps the warm and humid air out. The roof domes, which are optimized to maximize the use of sunlight, mainly consist of polycarbonate. They filter out a large proportion of the infra-red rays from the sunlight, thus preventing the building from heating up. The shell of the building has a cooling effect by day. The structure heats up over the course of the day and then emits this heat inside at night, which eliminates the need for heating.
The building's power is supplied by a photovoltaic system. An intelligent air exchange and energy-saving lighting systems help limit the building's energy requirements to 40 kWh/(m2a). By way of comparison, conventional buildings in India require about twelve times this amount of energy. Calculations show that the additional "environmental investment" required by buildings like this one will pay off in less than ten years. With its combination of high-tech insulation materials and modern technology, the building is ideally adapted to local climatic conditions (temperatures above 20 °C for nine months of the year) with a view to achieving a zero-emission solution. Projects such as these are of importance especially when buildings are responsible for around 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions and rising temperatures will increase the demand for energy-intensive air-conditioning systems. As part of the Bayer Climate Program, the Bayer Group intends to invest around EUR 1 bln in research and development into improving climate protection up to 2010. The Bayer EcoCommercial Building project is one such initiative.