Monday, 22 July 2019

Kalpataru Square is Asia’s first commercial bldg to get Platinum certificate

Kalpataru Square is now Leed Platinum certified

Kalpataru Square, the commercial complex developed by Kalpataru Limited and designed by Hafeez Contractor at Andheri (East), Mumbai, has become the first project in Asia to earn the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (Leed) Platinum Core and Shell certification. This is the highest ever Green building standard in the world from the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC).

Designed to complement both the commercial interiors and existing buildings, Leed for Core and Shell version 2.0, covers base building elements of a project that include the structure, envelope and building level systems, such as central HVAC.

Kalpataru Square is a 2,50,000 sq ft area project spread over 6 levels. The lighting has been designed by AWA Architectural Lighting Design, USA, known for their understanding of sustainability requirements, while the interiors have been executed by Singapore-based Design Phase Pvt Ltd.

Kalpataru has always believed in delivering products that match the consumer´s expectations. As for the factors that have made a huge difference to the way we perform, principles of sustainability are tightly integrated during design and development of projects. We have received several external recognitions for our projects. For instance, Kalpataru Square was the first building outside the US and the sixth in the world to receive the US Green Building Council´s Platinum certification under the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Core and Shell V.2.0.

Also, in order to achieve high standards of design and new concepts, the company has been using international designers and architects to develop its projects. They are one of the few real estate companies to provide a host of amenities in projects for consumers. Moreover, specific requirements for a project and challenges encountered by us during project design and development offer an important avenue for innovation. Employees are encouraged to contribute ideas to address such challenges or requirements.

Recognition of projects like Kalpataru Square are testimony to their commitment towards sustainability. Take Project Sunrise, for example, which received a tremendous response for its launch despite an economic slowdown. They believe that their strategy to offer a quality product at an attractive price for a limited duration worked well and they sold the maximum number of units within a short span of time.

Monday, 21 January 2019

 Countries 1st PLATINUM Rated School
– CYGNUS WORLD SCHOOL, Vadodra, Gujarat


Cygnus World School at Vadodara for Jan-Priya Trust, Delhi is our country’s 1st PLATINUM rated, green building, conceptualized by Ar. Prem Nath of Prem Nath & Associates, having more than 1.8 Lakh Sq ft of school complex spread over 7.5 acres of land; The school has been planned to cater to all modern requirements of education; Yet the overall aesthetics of the school structures shall project a ‘Contemporary’ architectural feel – giving it a elegant campus look.

2.      DESIGNING:

  • The exterior façade of the building has been given a permanent finish with brick tile cladding with polymer base, and flooring in paver tiles.
  • Good lighting has been used in the exterior and interior areas of the building keeping in mind the ambience and décor, not just good lighting but also good fixtures have been considered for better look & appearance.
  • One of the major concerns is the sanitary ware i.e. urinals, WC, & washbasins etc.; have designed by us keeping the users in mind.
  • All the furniture’s are very well designed, and those furniture’s are ergonomic and child centric,


  • Each school blocks are North-South oriented and multiple internal courtyards have been planned to enable building to breath from within;
  • All Class Rooms & Library are spaciously planned in a manner, wherein each of it receives North Light thru the windows, while the South side is planned with deep Verandahs / corridors – which not only cut the glare, but also mitigating the heat effect of the Vadodara weather;

  • Fly Ash Bricks for Masonry and Vermiculite Plaster for Internal Plaster - adding value to heat insulation;
  • Ceramic reflective Tiles cladding to external surface & Glazed tiles on terrace tops - adding value to heat insulation;
  • Low VOC Paints & Sealants keeping the environment healthy;
  • Natural Stones viz. pebbles, marble, granite, etc. for various landscape features;
  • Large Landscaped spaces, incl. wide courtyards and central green zone between blocks – adding further value a large patch of Green/Lawns which is itself approx. 20% of total land area – adding to a lot of healthy inhibition of internal spaces;
  • Rain Water Harvesting & Sewage Treatment Plants enabling use of more than 75% water for flushing and landscaping;
  • Solar Panels of approx. 7.5% (60KW) of the total electricity consumption – enabling substantial power saving and backup;
  • Water Saving Faucets and sensor controlled urinals too have enables a lot of water saving;
  • Water by virtue of STP & Rain Water Harvesting, topped with water saving features enables a daily saving of 75% to 80%;

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

GABON FOREST … Sustainably Managed Resource

Boasting the second highest forestry potential in Africa, Gabon’s forests covers 22.8 million hectares, i.e. 88% of the country’s land surface. There are three major forest types: evergreen rainforest in the west characterised by abundance of Okoumé & Ozigo, the central Gabonese forest covering most of the country with abundance of species like Azobé & Ayous and semi-deciduous forest with dominance of Limba, Wenge & Ayous. With a low overall population density and 60% of population living in urban areas, there is little anthropogenic pressure on Gabon’s forests. Gabonese Republic (2008) indicated an average annual deforestation rate of 0.12% i.e. 10,000 ha per year. All forest in Gabon is owned by the state. The 2001 Forest Code divides forest into two categories i.e. First Category (13.5 million hectares) include Production PFE managed by private concessionaires and the protection PFE managed directly by the state. The Second Category (8.3 million hectares), the non-PFE, known as domaine rural, includes open access forest for hunting, agriculture, mining and gathering of NTFPs, sacred forests and community protected area for which rights are limited to local communities.

Over the past ten years, Gabon has gone through a profound process of reform affecting the forest and environment. A new forest law has come into force that emphasizes Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) as the overall approach in the forestry. Forest Management plans are fully developed for 3.45 million hectares of forest in concessions and were under preparation for another 6 million hectares of forest in concessions as in 2011. An estimated 2.42 million hectares of the natural production PFE is under SFM, including 1.87 million hectares of forest were certified under the FSC (some of them also had ISO 14001 and Keurhout certificates) as of June, 2010.

Gabonese Republic is aiming to turn Gabon into a world leader in certified tropical timber production through an industrial strategy aimed at sustainably managing timber stocks and by promoting secondary and tertiary processing.

Forestry is, and will remain, one of the pillars of Gabon’s economic and social development. The private sector has become a major driver of industrial forest development and the export of forest products. Gabonese Republic has introduced a system to institutionalize community forestry as a way of meeting local needs for timber and other forest products. Gabon has a low deforestation rate, forests rich in valuable timber species and among the best prospects for a healthy and sustainable forest industry. Reforestation has been continuously promoted, and selective thinning and clearing have prevented the over exploitation. Over 50 firms are engaged in exploitation of Gabon’s forests. Forest concessions covering about 12 million hectares have been granted by the Gabonese Republic. The timber industry is already the largest private sector employer, employing 28% of the working population, and represents an extremely significant growth potential.

Padouck Coffee Table


Timber Species… the Red Gold from Gabon

Gabon’s forests offers enormous possibilities with a logging potential of 12.5 million hectares with more than 400 species.Until 2010 i.e. before ban on export of raw logs, Gabon was the largest exporter of raw wood in the region, and its sales represent 20% of Africa’s raw wood exports.Gabon’s reserves of exploitable timber is estimated to upwards of 400 million CBM which includes 130 million CBM of Okoumé, 15-25 million CBM of Azobé and 10-20 million CBM of Padouk.

Commercial forest harvesting in Gabon began as early as 1892, but only in 1913 was Okoumé, Gabon’s most valuable wood, introduced to the international market. Gabon supplies 90% of the world’s Okoumé, known worldwide for the production of plywood.Its attractive appearance means that it is often used decoratively as the top surface veneer in panelling and furniture or, in solid form in luxury items such as boxes for cigars or other high value items (e.g. audio equipment). Physical and mechanical properties: Widely recognised as one the world’s best materials for rotary cut veneers, Okoumé timber is easy to work and is as suitable for the manufacturing of furniture as for interior joinery. Moreover, it is a species of a very even colour, good bonding performances and good compatibility with finished products.

Hardwood Species like Sapelli, Sipo, Acajou, Andoung, Gheombi from Gabon are Pinkish Red to Brownish in colour and are similar to Genuine Mahogany (Swieteniamacrophylla) in terms of colour, appearance and density. These timber species could very well serve as an alternative for Mahogany as it is listed in CITES Appendix II. These species are suited for luxury and high end furniture and joinery. This is the reason for their high demand in Europe and USA due to its colour perception. They are exported in high volume to China, Vietnam and Malaysia, as they are the biggest manufacturers and exporters of furniture to developed countries.

Wenge is the premier dark hardwood from the forests of Gabon and suitable for contemporary interiors as it blends quite well with glass and stainless steel. Due to its dark colour, it is well suited for straight/clean line furniture and is quite popular in Europe.

Gabon supplies 90% of the world’s Okoumé, known in Europe and America for the production of veneer & plywood. Its demand is also picking up in Asia especially India and China.

Iroko, Beli, Tali and Okan species can be considered as alternative species to provide teak like finish. These species are quite popular in Asia and Middle East for furniture and joinery. Tali and Okan are extensively used in furniture manufacturing in Vietnam, mainly for export and has helped Vietnam to become second largest exporter of furniture after China. Furniture made out of these species is very popular in Asian and American markets.

Kevazingo Live Edge

Light colour tropical wood species from Gabon includes Izombe, Movingui and Bilinga. These species have appearance similar to Merbau / Kwila and are suitable for furniture as well as joinery and interiors.

Kevazingo (Guibourtia Spp.) is the most expensive and coveted wood species from the forests of Gabon. Trunk diameter of 150 cm is quite common for Kevazingo. Live-edge table tops made from it is in high demand in China because of its natural beauty and its coherence with customs and beliefs of Chinese community world over.

Padouck is a dark coloured redwood found in Gabon; quite similar to Rosewood and suitable for outdoor furniture as well as joinery. Outdoor flooring, decking and garden furniture made out of it is exported to European markets. It is resistant to damage from weather elements. Padouck is also very popular in southern part of India due to its red colour and high density. Door and door frames made from Padouck are very popular in the Asian markets.

Gabon … change just begun

In last decade, African countries have promoted the idea of processing of natural resources within their countries itself so as to generate jobs and give boost to their economy. Following the same ideology, Gabonese Republic also banned exports of raw logs in 2010. Thereafter, in order to facilitate the secondary and tertiary processing of timber and other natural resources within the country, Gabonese Republic has embarked on a journey to provide amenable ecosystem and infrastructure. In the same pursuit, Gabonese Republic developed 1126 hectares SEZ at Nkok in partnership with Olam International, Singapore to provide ready and reliable infrastructure. Gabon SEZ offers an array fiscal incentives to industrial investors which includes complete exemption from all taxes (income tax, corporate tax, capital gain, MAT, VAT, customs, Property Tax), reduced rate of export duty (0-2%) and permission for 100% repatriation of profits.

Gabon Wood Hub… First Furniture Manufacturing Cluster in Central Africa

Nkok SEZ also has 60,000 square meters of ready to use sheds as Furniture Manufacturing Cluster to promote manufacturing of finished products i.e. furniture in Gabon. Shed are provided on rental model in module of 500 square meters to furniture manufacturers intending to start their unit in Furniture Manufacturing Cluster. The cluster also offers common facilities like:

Kiln Drying: Dedicated 1000 cubic meter per month capacity Kiln Drying has been installed to serve furniture manufacturing units.

Show Room: A show room spread over 9000 square meters to showcase furniture manufactured in the cluster.

Packaging and Logistics: 2000 square meters packaging and 4000 square meters logistics facility within cluster for customs clearance.

As of now, there are ten units working from this cluster. The quality of raw material i.e. wood available and huge variety of wood species found in Gabon is a unique opportunity for any furniture manufacturing unit. Matured wood of any size, any length is available in good quantity on sustainable basis. Furniture Units are starting manufacturing of upscale furniture for customers in Asian, European and USA markets. Furniture majors like Wolf Mobile [Germany], Artemano [Canada], Terry [USA], Williams-Sonoma [USA], Habufa [Netherland] etc. have expressed their interest to buy furniture manufactured from sustainably harvested wood available in Africa.

Solid wood furniture made from various wood species like Beli, Tali, Sapeli, Mouvingui, Wenge, Padouck and Kevazingo is of pertinent interest to many furniture majors.Moreover, major import houses in USA and Europe have taken a resolution to source minimum 30% of furniture done with SFM compliant / FSC certified wood by 2020 and this SFM compliant / FSC certified wood with genuine Traceability and Legality certificates is easily available in Gabon.

For business enquiries, please get in touch with team of GSEZ at

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Locked Out - The tale of the Dindigul Lock Makers

Cops and robbers make interesting stories. The more fascinating ones are locks and thieves especially when this lock has a hundred year old history. Dindigul’s unique industry is today locked away in the past where the flourishing industry with more than 250 units in its heyday has now dwindled down to just seven.

The locks have fascinating names and each lock has a special characteristic that is a story in itself. If the saavipudi poottu is opened with the wrong key the lock will get jammed and the lock would be rendered useless putting the thief and the owner in despair. 

The last generation of Dindigul’s lock makers seems to be locked into gloominess. The reason aptly summed up by Mr. Gani who earns Rs300 to Rs350 a day. He laments “Wages are better in the construction industry but I cannot move out of lock-making.” 
Learn more about these fascinating artisans:

Monday, 27 November 2017

China Opens World’s Coolest Library With 1.2 Million Books, And Its Interior Will Take Your Breath Away

Located in the Binhai Cultural District In Tianjin, the five-story library, which was designed by Dutch design firm MVRDV in collaboration with the Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI) and has since been dubbed “The Eye of Binhai”, covers 34,000 square metres and can hold up to 1.2 million books. Taking just three years to complete, the library features a reading area on the ground floor, lounge areas in the middle sections and offices, meeting spaces, and computer/audio rooms at the top. We’re not sure how much studying we’d get done though – we’d be far too busy marveling at the awesome architecture!

Courtesy: Bored Panda:

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The Infrastructure and Projects Department of “Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited

After playing host to the who’s who of Mumbai’s banking corporates, including ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, IDFC, Standard Chartered, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Citibank, the BKC complex welcomed the latest entrant – Kotak Bank.

The office with an area of about 1.5 lakh square feet, houses about 1,500 Kotak Bank employees. The building that came up in early 2000 was constructed by Shapoorji Pallonji and designed by Hafeez Contractor.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

KiTEC R & D Unit Recognition

About the Certification: The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Government of India, issued the Certificate of Registration on TU/IV-R&D/4138/2016 w. e. f. 21 March 2017 recognizing KiTEC R & D arm as “In House R & D Unit”. The certificate is valid from 21 March 2017 to 31 March 2019 meaning three financial years.  The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) is a part of the Ministry of Science and Technology, which was announced through a Presidential Notification, dated January 4, 1985. It has a mandate to carry out the activities relating to indigenous technology promotion, development, utilization and transfer.

Benefit to Stakeholders: Innovation is a continuous process and a major growth driver for KiTEC since inception. With this recognition our “Customers” will be more inclined to put their faith is us as we would be able to provide them solutions. This will also improve our acceptance in Government purchases.
 The pride created as Strong players in the field of Composite Piping system will make our “Employees” and “Marketing Associates” happy and “Suppliers” reassured.

 Benefits to KiTEC: A Certified Research Institution gives a number of advantages to the Company. Primarily, it is a shot in the arm for continuous innovation efforts. However, the recognition also enables the Company to avail of a number of fiscal incentives, the primary one being the ability to claim Weighted Deduction of the company’s total R&D expenditure subject to approval from Income tax department. Excise & Custom Duty Exemptions  for the products patented by the company as per Govt. Notification No24 /2007 & 16 /2007 with the right terms & Conditions. The Company is in the process of filing various Product Patents. This journey of innovation will continue with the new “In House R & C Centre” status to the companies R&D laboratory.

KiTEC’s Efforts to reach this Milestone: KiTEC’s R & D team is active right from the inception as the new concept of piping needed new jointing concepts. Since then the company has been constantly on its toes to improve the jointing techniques and increase the size range as well incorporate new polymers and metals in composite pipe.