Green building is a concept that several industries are familiar with and some of them in Coimbatore and Tirupur have already gone in for green factories.
The concept is now getting extended to include automation and logistics so that the efficiency of the units improves.
According to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai-based Hexomatrixx, Raghu Menon, free trade zones in the west Asian countries have to meet specific standards of green technologies.
Though green logistics is not prevalent in India now, with more overseas retailers expected to open shops in the country soon, the need for green buildings and green logistics will increase.
The concept includes modular warehouses and environment-friendly transportation, material handling and waste management.
Modular warehouses (minimum 500 sq.metres area) can go green in design and in the construction materials used, be it for roofing, wall or flooring.
For instance, precast or rapid walls can be used as wall material, reinforced fiber plastics can be used for roofing, and the lighting can be from LEDs.
The other measures are permitting more sunlight into the warehouse and use of recycled materials in the building.
Going in for solar panels or hybrid energy systems in the building will ensure that at least part of the power supply is from renewable energy sources. Another area of focus will be on containing waste generation, recycling, and eco-friendly waste disposal.
Automation in both, logistics and resource management will improve the efficiency of the system.
These can Radio-Frequency Identification-based or adoption of wireless systems. It will also bring in paperless offices and management of the inventory.
In the case of transportation, the way materials are stacked into the truck and how it is done is also important. Hexomatrixx has the domain expertise for these as it has done similar projects abroad. Indigenous solutions can be developed for automation so that it is cost-effective, he says.
With green solutions for modular warehouse, transportation, waste management and automation, the minimum energy saving will be 20 percent. The companies will be able to go in for green certifications too.
The concept will be useful for sectors such as retail, oil and gas and automobiles.