The Space Story: Westgate, Ahmedabad

///The Space Story: Westgate, Ahmedabad

The Space Story: Westgate, Ahmedabad

Off the SG Highway in Ahmedabad, stands a landmark called Westgate, a 23-storeyed trendsetter office building. This was the debut project of True Value, the construction firm who to their credit, in 2015, made this building of many firsts in Gujarat. Starting from unitized glazing and 10 lifts in a row to 2-hour fire rating and 20% energy savings, Westgate offers all the trappings of a modern building conforming to the best of international norms.

Architect’s Perspective

Products Used:
Aludecor Sand Series and Regular Series

Westgate was the first building in Gujarat for which unitized glazing was used. It’s equipped with the best of amenities that is becoming of an international office building. Westgate has set the benchmark in many ways.

We have used glass wool in the façade to achieve effective insulation in the building and contribute to energy savings. The building also adheres to the best of fire safety norms. Another feature worth mentioning is the high-class security system of the building.

Mohit Gajjar – Principal Architect, ADS Architect Pvt. Ltd.

Mitesh Shah – Director and Vastu Consultant, True Value Nirman Pvt. Ltd.

Builder’s Outlook

This was the first project of our firm. For the local fabricator, this was the first project for which unitized glazing was used. This was a trendsetter building in Gujarat. Many things were introduced for the first time. Like, for the first time 10 lifts were placed in a row. Usually, 5 or 6 lifts are placed in each row, facing each other. But rarely will you find 10 lifts together in a row. These were imported from Mitsubishi, Japan.

The water that flows out from the AC drain pipes is distilled water. It is wasted everywhere. But we are saving around 15 to 20,000 litres of water from the drains of the ACs of the whole building. Also, we recycle around 30,000 litres of water every day. We have installed a world-class STP plant.

We have used SS pipelines instead of MS pipelines for fire safety. Instead of the normally found 3 pound per square inch pressure, we have put 11.5 psi pressure. This will form a mist that results in 3 things: less water will be used; in case of a small fire in the office, all the furniture and important paper documents won’t be damaged; and when the mist forms, oxygen is less utilised due to which the fire won’t spread.

There are about 470 motion sensor cameras in the building. A large number of people in Gujarat chew tobacco and spit it everywhere. To stop this we have hired ex-BSF staff who monitor the people whole day with the help of the cameras. If any person spits in the building and leaves the building without being nabbed, then a fine of Rs.1000 is charged from our concerned security personnel. When someone is caught spitting for the first and the second time, he is charged Rs.1000 each time. If he repeats it the third time, then a picture of him is handed over to the security department with the instruction that this person is not fit to enter the building. The same rule is strictly maintained even for the owners of the offices. We faced a few difficulties in the beginning, but now people are realising that it’s for everyone’s good.

There are three types of cards: one for those walking into the building; one for the parking of two-wheelers; and another for the parking of four-wheelers. So everybody entering the building is controlled by our office. We take the entire responsibility for any kind of theft in the building. Be it for a theft of 1 rupee or Rs.1 crore, the companies needn’t go to their insurers and rather come to us first and we will pay them the whole amount of money.

Westgate – A 23-storeyed trendsetter office building in Gujarat

We used two types of materials: one was Aludecor’s sand finish ACPs and another was the DGU glass. For the glass on the front of the facade, we used Saint Gobain’s SKN-144 series which doesn’t allow much of the heat to enter the building. The Aludecor sheets were fitted with glass wool which contributes to 20% of energy savings.“, mentioned Mitesh Shah.

The façade is also fitted with smoke seals all over – horizontal, vertical and sideways – and the building can resist fire up to 2 hours for which we have test certificate. Moreover, this was the first time in India that the insides of the lifts were fitted with smoke seals so that even if by mistake someone takes the lift in an incident of fire, smoke won’t penetrate into the lift.

Ashit Vora – CEO, Hifab Aluminium Pvt. Ltd.

Fabricator’s Take

This was the first time that Glass and ACP were used in combination for a unitised façade. Normally it’s either glass or ACP that is fixed in the unitized system.

Till 2014 ACPs were mostly available in common glossy colours and architects were no longer ready to use it. That was the time when Aludecor had just launched the sand series. As soon as I got the sand series catalogue, I immediately approached the architect with it. He really liked it and decided in favour of using it in place of the high-pressure laminate that was supposed to be used earlier.

The biggest challenge for us was to give the shape of the Westgate logo with ACP on the façade, and that too in a unitized system. We pulled it off in 2 months.

About the Author:

Being passionate about interior designing, I love writing about new ideas and designs in home décor and innovations that cross my mind. It can be making your room look more spacious or giving a new look to the exterior of your building. Apart from writing articles on buildings and architecture you will find me strumming the guitar and playing my own tunes.