New Smart Governance Centre in Ripon Complex

Smart Governance Centre - CSCL

Greater Chennai Corporation has planned and commissioned the construction of a new administrative building within the Ripon building campus, in Chennai. The building will facilitate Command, Control and Disaster Response Centre. And it having known as Smart Governance Centre funded by Chennai Smart City Limited (CSCL).

Chennai Smart City Limited is an infrastructure developmental organisation run by Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC). This organisation is responsible for planning, funding, commissioning and monitoring special development projects. Especially, projects in the city of Chennai under the Greater Chennai Corporation. Their requirement grows large in number. This made them commission a new state-of-the-art building to operate their organisation and house some of the GCC’s departmental offices. They currently function from the Ripon building and Amma Maaligai.

Operation of Chennai Smart City Ltd (CSCL)

CSCL has taken up several projects related to smart mobility, technology, environment, etc. either at the pan-city level or as Area Based Development. A set of core professionals are working to oversee the planning, design, implementation, monitoring and quality assurance of the projects proposed under the Smart City Proposal. Currently, these professionals work out of GCC’s offices within the Ripon Building Campus in Chennai. In addition, there is a large number of Smart City projects such as an Integrated Command Control Centre (ICCC), Innovation Hub, etc. that require state of art infrastructure to operate. Thus, there is a requirement of constructing a state-of-the-art building which is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient.

CSCL recently carried out a project under the name Chennai Central Square, as part of its renovation and beautification of the Ripon Building campus. CSCL joined Chennai Metro Rail Limited to carry out the project.

New Project in Ripon Building campus

The smart governance centre had planned and does having under construction from March 2021 in the Ripon building campus. The total super built-up area of the smart governance centre is 51,536 ft2 or 4790 m2. The centre does construct at the cost of ₹40.5 crores. The building would house the professionals working on the Smart City projects. The Functional spaces – are the Integrated Command Control Centre (ICCC), Innovation Hub and additional working space for the GCC. Along with the governance centre, an elevated pedestrian walkway – termed the Skywalk is under construction. The building is designed based on the green building concept to achieve LEED Platinum and IGBC Platinum green ratings. The concept helps to build low environmental impact buildings. Thus, helping in maintaining constant co-relation with man-made structures and the natural environment.

Ripon Building

Greater Chennai Corporation is the oldest civic body in the country of India. The Greater Chennai Corporation’s headquarters is housed in the 113-year-old Ripon Building situated in the capital of Tamil Nadu. This Chennai’s pride white structure stands next to a bright red example of Indo-Saracenic architecture, Victoria Public Hall. This white building is the right example to show neoclassical architecture. The style of the building combines Ionic and Corinthian styles and comes way far from Greek architecture. GTS Harris designed it with 2,800 square metres of space on three-floor levels. Loganatha Mudaliar built it at the cost of ₹7,50,000 in the year 1913 starting in 1909. The building footprint spreads over 85m long and 32m wide. The campus was established along with various annexe buildings. Such as Amma Maaligai, the Revenue building, an extension of the Ripon building, etc.

Smart Governance Centre

The project site had located within the premises of Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) which is housed at the Ripon Building (a Heritage Building). Currently, it’s vacant land that is used as a parking lot. The land has access to two of the entrances (the Ripon Building Metro Exit gate and the Back entrance of the Ripon Building which is next to Periyamet Police Station).

Built-Up Area of the Project

GCC plans to construct a G+4 floor building in this area that shall house the Command, Control and Disaster Response Centre / Smart Governance Centre. The extent of the land available for use, leaving setbacks is 41m (East-West) x 28.9m (North-South). Thereby, the footprint available for construction is 992 m2. (10,678 ft2). Therefore, the total super built-up area of the building is estimated to be 4,780 m2. After the formulation of the initial design concept, the built-up area of the CSCL building is 5,210 m2 (56,079 ft2). The increase in the estimated total built-up area is due to functional spaces planned on the Terrace Floor.

Floor LevelArea (sq.m / sq.ft)
Stilt Floor Area979sq.m/ 10540sq.ft
First Floor Area892sq.m/ 9,603sq.ft
Second Floor Area947sq.m/ 10,190sq.ft
Third Floor Area986sq.m/ 10,608sq.ft
Fourth Floor Area975sq.m/ 10,494sq.ft
Terrace Floor Area431sq.m/ 4,644sq.ft
Super Built-up Area5,210sq.m/ 56,079sq.ft
Area Statement of the Project

Skywalk – Foot Over Bridge

Specifically, Skywalk connects the various buildings inside the Ripon Building Campus. Moreover, the Skywalk will allow for easy movement of the GCC employees between buildings inside the GCC campus. Skywalk will avoid GCC employees from moving out of the building to travel between key buildings on the campus.

The elevated walkway has two segments. Skywalk-1 will connect the Ripon building on the first floor to the new Smart Governance Centre on the second floor and the Revenue building on the second floor. At Ripon Building, the skywalk connects at the rear side (northeast side) of the building. At the new CCC building, the skywalk connects to the northeast side of the corridor between the fire staircase and the toilet.

The skywalk-2 connects on the north side corridor on the 2nd floor of the Revenue building. On another end, it connects Amma Maaligai on the second-floor porch terrace. Most importantly, the Skywalk will allow for quick movement of key GCC personnel to the ICCC planned on the second floor of the Smart Governance Centre.

The total length of the skywalk is 337′-11″ with Skywalk-1 of 233′-5″ and skywalk-2 of 104′-6″. The total level differences of the skywalk from the lowest level (Ripon Building connection) to the highest level (Amma Maaligai porch terrace) is 11′-0″ with a slope of 1 to 30 ratio on an average.

Parking Facilities

Taking into consideration the requirements for the parking facility, it was determined to plan for a stilt floor. To accommodate the building’s parking spaces, which won’t fully be adequate for the required. The total estimated parking spaces be approximately 41 cars and 160 two-wheelers. The total occupancy of the building is estimated at 625 people including visitors. Parking lots are facilitated by the spaces around the building within the campus. Electric vehicle parking with a charging facility is provided on the stilt floor of the building. The total area provided for EV parking is 2050 ft2 with two charging portals that GCC officials can use and EVs provided within the campus.

Floor LevelDesignated Space
Ground FloorReception/ Lobby
Electrical office room
EB panel room
EV parking space
Services – Lift, Staircase, Store room & Toilets
First FloorIntegrated command centre
Command centre back office
Server room
AHU room
UPS room
Services – Lift, Staircase, Store room & Toilets
Second FloorWar room
Office room
Conference room
Kitchen & Dining
Skywalk – Entry/ Exit – Connecting Ripon Building & Revenue Building
Services – Lift, Staircase, Store room & Toilets
Third FloorIT Wing Department Office
CEO room & Supporting Office
Meeting Room
UPS room
Server Room
Services – Lift, Staircase, Store room & Toilets
Fourth FloorSpecial Projects Department Office
CSCL Department Office
GCC Office room
Meeting room
File compactor/ Storage
Services – Lift, Staircase, Store room & Toilets
Terrace FloorPantry/ Store
Indoor & Outdoor Dining Space
BMS Panel room
Services – Lift, Staircase, Store room & Toilets
Spatial Arrangments Floor-wise in Smart Governance Centre

Architectural Design Concept

The new smart governance centre will set an example for environmentally sustainable design. The architectural design and construction had carried out based on International Green Building rating standards. There are two green building rating systems followed in the project. The following are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). The smart command centre had been designed to achieve a platinum rating in these two rating systems.

The design ensures minimal water and electricity consumption as well as enhanced occupant comfort and productivity with adequate natural light and views of the exterior. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the building should also be designed to ensure the health and well-being of its occupants – therefore, the building must be designed to be comfortable with natural ventilation. The new CSCL building should obtain a formal Green Building rating (LEED and IGBC) that will inspire other public buildings in Chennai and Tamil Nadu to go green!

The smart governance centre’s design has aesthetically unique and striking that includes a contemporary facade system. The facade of the building reflects aspects of the Neo-classical Architecture that compliments the Ripon Building. The facade design simplified the version of the Ripon Building aiding to ease the construction process.

Facade Design

The facade of the building has been designed as one that lives in the present yet complements the past. Corner arches add a touch of grandeur, grounding the building and replicating the monumental feel of the Ripon Building. A grand entrance portico will welcome the regular occupants and visitors to the building. A similar portico is also planned on the west facade of the building.

To highlight the upper level of the building, a simple arched arcade is planned around windows on the fourth floor. All windows are set back from the façade plane so that adequate protection from sun and rain is available as per green building norms. Planters are planned on the second and fourth floors to create a green façade while keeping in mind simplicity and ease of maintenance.

Interior Design

The design of the interior spaces of the smart governance centre building had developed to reflect the cultural heritage of Chennai. And also addressing the requirements of a contemporary office. Thus, such as functionality, flexibility ergonomics, the well-being of occupants, and ease of maintenance.

Touches of Chennai have been brought into the interior aesthetics. For instance, false ceilings reminiscent of the famed Madras Terrace can be seen in the reception and corridors. Signages will be stylized to resemble Tamil letters. Areas have been designated for the display of cultural material about Chennai and Tamil Nadu.

Different types of false ceilings have been used throughout the building as per the functional requirements of the spaces – such as stretched fabric ceilings in meeting rooms, suspended wooden ceilings in the ICCC and mineral fibre ceilings in regular workspaces. The selection of flooring is also based on functional requirements and ease of maintenance – therefore, carpets will be sparingly used in the building.

Indoor Environment Quality

Special attention has been paid to ensuring that all interior materials and finishes conform to green building standards in terms of low environmental and occupant health impact. As such, preference is given to certified green materials and natural materials. For instance, natural stone flooring will be used in high-traffic areas and all interior paints will conform to low VOC limits set by LEED and IGBC. Care has also been taken to ensure that the design of partitions and private cabins is such that natural light and fresh air ventilation are available throughout the workspaces. Additionally, CO2 sensors are planned within the workspaces to monitor fresh air levels continuously. Blinds will be provided in all workspaces to allow for glare control as per LEED / IGBC standards.

Furniture selection has been carefully done with an emphasis on ergonomics, durability and ease of maintenance. Therefore, furniture which is green-certified (BIFMA) and conforms to international ergonomic standards has been selected.

Space Planning

The main entrance to the building is to be from the North. The core that comprises the stairwell and elevators is to be planned toward the centre of the building to minimize travel distance from all points within the spaces.

The working spaces on all floors should ensure a column-free, uninterrupted workspace. Maximum natural daylighting and ventilation are to be planned for energy savings as well as to provide occupants with a healthy work environment. Keeping this in mind, a central courtyard is to be provided to bring in adequate light and ventilation to the third and fourth floors which will house the office spaces and other working areas. The central courtyard should also provide socializing space for the building occupants.

Ground Floor

The ground floor area will contain the main entrance of the building along with the Reception and Lobby. The reception and lobby area will be 1,555 square feet. The main entrance porch spreads over 957 ft2 of 22′-3″ x 43′-0″ at 2′ above the formed ground level. The ground floor level is one foot above the entrance porch. Parking spaces for E-Vehicles with a spatial area of 2,046 square feet. Electrical board panel rooms had allocated on the ground floor level with supporting office rooms for the electrical department and store room. EB panel room has located in the southern part of the building with an area of 3,100 ft2.

Ground Floor SpacesUsable Area (sq.m/ sq.ft)
Entrance Porch89 sq.m/ 957 sq.ft
Reception/ Lobby145 sq.m/ 1555 sq.ft
Electrical office room32 sq.m/ 349 sq.ft
EB Panel Room288 sq.m/ 3,100 sq.ft
EV parking space190 sq.m/ 2,046 sq.ft

First Floor

The Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) will be located on the southern part of the first and second floors of the building. The ICCC will be a double-height space with a 15’ high video wall at its southern end. The ICCC space will consist of 4 tiered rows of workstations with a total capacity of 60 workstations. Each workstation has a large enough space to place three computer monitors. The first floor will also contain the supporting infrastructure required for the ICC: electrical / server / UPS rooms and office spaces for the ICCC support staff.

First Floor SpacesUsable Area (sq.m/ sq.ft)
Command and Control Centre3617 sq.ft
Server Room390 sq.ft
Office Workstation1542 sq.ft
High Official’s Office Space1523 sq.ft
Electrical Room410 sq.ft
AHU Room450 sq.ft

Second Floor

The second floor will contain a War Room (Situation Room) that will overlook the ICCC. The War Room will enable key heads of the GCC to effectively and efficiently oversee the ICCC operations as and when required – such as during disasters, emergencies, key events, etc. The second floor will also contain state of art conference rooms and additional office spaces to support the War Room and ICCC. A kitchenette and dining space have also been provided to facilitate meetings and conferences. A four-level high courtyard/ atrium is also provided to enhance ventilation and natural light penetration. At top of the courtyard have covered with BIPV panels. These panels are transparent solar panels that can generate up to 5kw of electricity.

The skywalk also called a foot-over bridge connects at the second-floor level at the northeast part of the building. It is connecting the CCC building along with the Ripon building and the Revenue building. These buildings are part of the Ripon building complex. This skywalk facilitates GCC key heads’ travel to the CCC building where the war room is located. The second floor of the CCC building houses key spaces where GCC high authorities gather and conduct meetings and overlook the operations. The courtyard, War room and conference room at this level have glass partition walls facing the ICCC room for them to have a visual connection to a 15′ high video wall.

Second Floor SpacesUsable Area (sq.m/ sq.ft)
War Room620 sq.ft
Conference Room1100 sq.ft
Office Workstation465 sq.ft
Courtyard410 sq.ft
Kitchen200 sq.ft
Dining Area382 sq.ft
High Official’s Office Space1523 sq.ft

Third Floor

The Third Floor will contain office space for the IT and GIS department of GCC. A large and flexible working space that will allow teams to collaborate closely. The space does have intended for organizations that provide civic services to work together to greatly enhance services for the City of Chennai. The IT wing will enable as many as 100 people to collaborate flexibly and productively. The third floor will also house a CEO room, office room and meeting room for GCC officials. The supporting services for the IT wing department such as the UPS room and server room located on the same floor. The leisure space for GCC officials – The cafeteria has located north side of the building.

Third Floor SpacesUsable Area (sq.m/ sq.ft)
Office Workstation4614 sq.ft
High Official’s Office Space1523 sq.ft
Server Room827 sq.ft
UPS Room827 sq.ft

Fourth Floor

The fourth floor will house offices for CSCL, the Special Projects department and other GCC departments along with meeting rooms. The CSCL and Special Projects offices will be a mix of cabins and open workstations which are as per the needs of these departments. Adequate file storage provision had planned on this floor. The additional office spaces and meeting rooms north and west sides of the building.

Fourth Floor SpacesUsable Area (sq.m/ sq.ft)
Office Workstation5569 sq.ft
File Storage223 sq.ft
High Official’s Office Space1523 sq.ft

Terrace Floor

A large dining area did plan under solar PV panels that will generate clean, renewable energy for the building. The Terrace will also be used for placing HVAC and other equipment. A pantry and store room are also planned on this floor to facilitate indoor and outdoor dining areas. The building management system panel room an area of nearly 300 ft2 is located next to the duct.

Terrace Floor SpacesUsable Area (sq.m/ sq.ft)
Indoor Dining Area829 sq.ft
Pantry378 sq.ft
BMS Panel Room300 sq.ft

Green Building Rating Systems

The smart governance centre building has been designed in conformance with the requirements of the international green building standard LEED as well as standards of the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and GRIHA. The building will be certified under the LEED and IGBC systems upon completion. The goal of the project is to achieve a Platinum rating under both certification systems.

Environmental sustainability is a key aspect of the design of the smart governance centre building. The design has been formulated with great emphasis on the well-being of the occupants and the planet. On the one hand, the design aims to minimize the ecological footprint of the building; while on the other hand, the design aims to provide an enhanced quality of life to the occupants – especially by incorporating learnings from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Health and Well-being of Occupants

Ensuring the well-being of the building’s occupants is a key goal of the building’s design, especially in light of the covid-19 pandemic. A lot of thought has gone into the design to provide an elevated quality of life to the occupants thereby enhancing productivity and the long-term health of the occupants. The following are some of the building’s features regarding the health and well-being of occupants.

Natural light and Exterior views

the building has been designed such that natural light and views of the exterior are available to all the regularly occupied spaces. For instance, the courtyard on the third floor has been incorporated to bring natural light into all parts of the office spaces. Fenestration design and glass selection have been carefully done so that adequate natural light is brought in without heat and glare.

Natural fresh-air ventilation

The fenestration design allows for natural ventilation to all regularly-occupied spaces in the building. Furthermore, the building has been designed to be comfortable without relying on air-conditioning systems if there is a need to turn off the central air-conditioning system.

Leisure Spaces

Break-out spaces such as the courtyard and cafeteria on the third floor and the covered dining area on the terrace floor will provide opportunities for occupants. to take short breaks – which is key to maintaining energy levels and productivity.


Being in touch with nature is a key goal of the design of the building. Hence, provision for vegetation has been incorporated into the design of the façade and the courtyard. Species planted inside the building will primarily be air-purifying ones. All existing trees on site have been incorporated into the landscape design.

Non-toxic interior finishes will not compromise the health of occupants. That is by using low VOC interior materials. Touch-free fixtures inside toilets to enhance hygiene. Shower facilities for occupants who chose to walk or cycle to work. Baby care and feeding space on the ground floor. Universal design where all parts of the building have been designed to be accessible by people of various abilities.

Energy Conservation

Minimizing the energy footprint of the building and thereby ensuring a low cost of operation is another key design goal for the building. Ensuring the health of the planet by way of reduced greenhouse gas emissions and preservation of natural resources is another driving factor to ensure energy efficiency. The following are some of the key features that will result in the enhanced energy efficiency of the building.

Building Envelope

Insulated building envelope to keep interior spaces naturally cool and minimize the need for air-conditioning. The walls have made of highly heat-insulating AAC blocks. The roof of the building has made of reinforced cement concrete (RCC) along with XPS. An Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Rigid Roof insulation Board 50mm thick which used as roof insulation. The material has a very low thermal transmittance value. The fenestrations have double-glazed systems with high Visible Light Transmittance value. Thus, allows adequate natural light but cuts out heat and glare.

Building Management System

Integrated Building Management System (IBMS) has been installed in the building. The BMS panel room has located on the terrace floor from where it controls the entire building. IBMS to ensure efficient and effective management of the various systems of the building. Automatic controls – timers/daylight sensors/presence sensors to automatically turn lighting systems on and off as required. The following are part of the IBM system enabled in the building.

  • Fire detection & Alarm system
  • Public Address & Voice evacuation system
  • Closed-circuit television system
  • Access control system
  • Early Smoke Detection System for Server Room (VEDSA)
  • Rodent Repellent System
  • Water leak detection System
  • Gas-Based Fire Suppression System (NOVEC 1230)

Energy-efficient systems

Highly efficient VRF Air-conditioning system that adjusts energy consumption based on the occupancy of the building. The entire building has been installed with LED lighting. LEDs save energy when compared to CFL lighting. The installed electrical equipment, motors and pumps are energy efficient with Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) star ratings.

Renewable Solar Energy

50 KW solar PV energy system on the Terrace Floor have designed as an elevated structure to provide a covered dining area below. 5 KW transparent building-integrated solar PV (BIPV) panels roof above the courtyard which will let in natural light while also generating energy. Solar PV systems have been planned as battery-less systems that will fulfil the building’s energy requirement to the extent of energy generation. These systems can be easily connected to the electricity grid in future.

Water Conservation

Water conservation in a water-stressed city such as Chennai is one of the sustainability goals of the building design. Water conservation will be achieved by a reduce–recycle–reuse strategy as described further. Smart water-conserving fixtures will save over 70% of water compared to conventional fixtures without compromising functionality. Smart water meters to effectively monitor and manage water use. These meters will directly feed data into the IBMS systems and will automatically cut off the water supply in case of leaks. Water-efficient, automated drip irrigation system for landscapes and planters.

Roof rainwater is captured and redirected into underground storage sumps for domestic reuse. Rainwater falling on the ground percolated into the deep aquifer. Black and grey water do have been treated separately to allow for different forms of reuse – irrigation (black water), and flushing (grey water). Natural wastewater treatment systems will consume minimal energy.

Material Specifications

As a final driving factor for the building design minimized the environmental footprint of the smart governance centre building. A careful selection of building materials is carried out based on quality, durability and low impact on the environment. Preference has been given to low-energy materials, materials with high recycled content and certified green materials and products. Preference has also been given to locally manufactured materials to minimize the pollution related to transportation.


External walls are 230mm or 9″ in thickness AAC blocks. And also, internal walls are 100mm or 4″ in thickness AAC blocks or fly-ash bricks. Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) blocks that have high thermal insulating properties. The thermal transmittance (U-Value) of the AAC blocks used in the project have 0.15 W/m.k. The value is based on IS 3346:1980. AAC blocks are manufactured with 60 -70 per cent of post-industrial recycled content (Flyash). Same, Flyash bricks also contain 60% of fly ash powder as raw material. Thus, AAC blocks reduce power consumption by 27%.

AAC blocks are super lightweight as the density is 1/3rd when compared to clay bricks. It reduces the foundation load of the building by up to 30%. Thus, reduces steel & cement by 18% & 12% respectively. These have fastened the construction time by 30 %. And also, these AAC blocks are manufactured locally within 50 km of the project site. Again, these have 4 hrs of fire resistance property.


Greater Chennai Corporation discussing shifting its council hall. Thus, shifting to the under-constructing of a new green building at the Ripon Building complex. The new green building does having constructed as a Command, Control and Disaster Response Centre/ Smart Governance Centre.

At present, GCC’s council hall have located on Ripon Building’s second floor. In a word, where councillor’s meetings for Greater Chennai Corporation conducted till now. This decision has been revoked later by Greater Chennai Corporation.

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