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Another Green Building in Glass – Anna Centenary

Library, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

September 2010

Inaugurated today, 15th September 2010

Asia’s Largest Green Library

In the state of Tamil Nadu, the date that is 15th September holds special meaning – It
marks the birth anniversary of former Chief Minister Shri Annadurai, fondly known
as Anna. And it is this very day that has been chosen, quite aptly, to inaugurate the
Anna Centenary Library – a new State-sponsored public library, named after the
former CM.

Located in Kotturpuram, Chennai, being inaugurated by Dr. Kalaignar M

Karunanidhi, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, and on a date of significance in
political leadership – this Library has all the credentials of a landmark project.


Essentially an Institutional Complex with a Public Library, the facility has a

multipurpose state-of-the-art Auditorium with a seating capacity of 1200, an open air
Amphitheater that will accommodate 800, and a massive Food Court, among other
amenities. The Library houses 1.5 million books in various disciplines, newspapers &
periodicals, manuscripts, electronic and audio-visual media, computers and internet

The complex aims to be a cultural and educational node that will host related
activities round-the-clock. A research laboratory of international standards is another
key feature. All these differentiators of the Anna Centenary Library have broken the
image of libraries as dark, stuffy and boring premises!
Green Building

We at Saint-Gobain Glass India are particularly pleased with another outstanding

feature of this facility – a Gold Rating by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC)
in recognition of its energy efficient design.

Yes, the Anna Centenary Library is yet another example of a building that has
achieved Green Ratings owing partly to the use of high-performance solar control
glass from our stable. The façade has Saint-Gobain Glass Nano, which is a high-
performance solar control and thermal insulation glass. In addition to this, the
building’s skylight is made up of Antelio Plus ST 167 Sparkling Ice.

Project Demographics

The Complex has been built at an estimated investment of US $36 million and over an
area of 3.23 ha. Key stakeholders in this venture are:

Project Architect: CR Narayana Rao Architects & Engineers

Green Consultant: Selvarasu, LEAD Consultants
Fabricator: Bhari Metal Fabrication P. Ltd.
Processor: Fuso Glass

The detailed and accurate planning principles implemented during the construction of
this facility have played a key role in determining its sustainability and energy-

For example, the Library block is located at an angle that allows for maximum
daylight from the northeast direction. The Auditorium is placed southwards and has
fewer openings, enabling both blocks to function independently. Also, a large expanse
of landscaped area in the foreground with overlooking terraces helps cut off noise and
provides visual respite in the form of the green colour. Moreover, the Auditorium
roof has also been developed as a landscaped Amphitheater, taking advantage of the
structure and minimizing internal heat gain.

Low-Energy Architecture

Conceptually, low-energy architecture has been achieved through an environmentally

responsive design, using both passive design features and resource-efficient active

Passive design features include building shape and form (optimizing surface to
volume ratios), appropriate orientation and integrated shading devices, thereby
achieving maximum daylight penetration with minimum heat ingress. The reading
areas face North and East directions, and are located next to structurally glazed
facades. Along the Southwest direction (where heat gain is at a maximum) are located
thermal buffer zones of service cores and an 8- floor high atrium with an outward
sloping glass wall. Roof overhangs, Pergolas and metal louvers provide distinct
architectural features and impart a special identity to the Complex. Landscaped
terraces reduce heat island effect.

Active Energy elements include efficient air-conditioning systems, heat recovery

wheels, lighting fixtures with daylight and motion sensors, intelligent building
management systems, waste water recycling system, sensor-based sanitary fixtures
and building materials with low embodied energy. And of course, the high
performance glazing balances daylight transmission with heat penetration.


The interiors are finished with eco-friendly, locally available, recycled furniture and
curios. Great colour, graphics and imagery create a bright and inviting atmosphere for
both serious and leisurely reading. Spatial planning and interiors of each section are
customized to suit the needs of different categories of readers. Common spaces like
the lobby and atrium host interactive nodes where both permanent and temporary
displays disseminate information on a variety of topics.


Thoughtful architectural design and energy-efficient building service solutions have

helped create a sustainable, low-energy building, delivered within a commercially
viable budget and without compromising on aesthetics. With a glazing solution from
Saint-Gobain Glass India, it is but natural that this Library possesses all the
elements of truly iconic architecture.