Mother Nature c/o Digital Park...
If you've clawed your way around concrete jungles, whiffed lung choking polluted air, heard sounds of screaming downtown traffic bombarding your eardrums, and then a walk around 'Digital Park' is like a communion with Nature. The main building is this sprawling, manicured green on a natural gradient left untouched. You'd think you were in a golf course. Wow! The Japanese would love it. The very sight would conjure up a game of golf and perhaps, even prompt them to trade their laptops for golf clubs. Oh yes! The Japanese sure would love it.
At Digital, the deep affinity with Nature is omnipresent. Take for example the two buildings. The main block is named 'Earth' and the other, 'Water'. The corporate block, presently receiving finishing touches will be called 'Fire' and a fourth building on the anvil will be named 'Air' and the next one, 'Sky'. Digital's logic stems from the ancients, who tried to understand the world as being made up of five elements. All matter, the theory went, is a combination of fire, water, earth, sky and air. With 72% of the campus area landscaped and the rest being brick, mortar and concrete it's a pretty clear indicator of the company's respect for Nature. In fact, the elegant poster adorning the wall in the reception area reads proud and loud, "Our organization is built on a solid foundation - knowledge, people, technology and infrastructure. Each imparting value to the final offering."
It all began with some years ago when the Senior Team, the Management Council and personnel from the facilities department sat down to discuss the plan for what came to be known as 'Digital Park'. The outcome was a Master Plan. Says P.S. Prasad, Manager - Facilities, who was part of that brains trust, "We evolved some guidelines like respecting the land, respecting the greenery. We felt it our duty to conserve the natural surroundings, not chop off all the trees and build the way we want. But for a handful of trees that actually came in the way of the main footprint, all other trees have been retained." Another notable feature is that Phase 1 of the campus was completed in a record time of seven months. Interestingly, there are some rare varieties of trees, almost on the verge of being extinct and Digital is taking every effort to preserve these.
The building orientation is designed to reduce heat gain. The longer sides face North and South with the shorter sides facing East and West. From the South to the North there's a natural gradient of 7 metres and that hasn't been played around with. It forms a natural trench and allows the flow of rainwater from various areas within the campus to recharge the land. Some of the water is recycled and reused for landscaping, the cooling towers and eventually "not a single drop of water goes out of the campus as waste," adds Prasad. Ironically, the water table of that particular area is poor and which means they have to buy water for their daily needs. But they are optimistic hoping that recycled water recharging the land will help improve the groundwater levels in years to come.
Bird watching in the workplace is being encouraged? We meant the winged varieties, not the skirted ones. Prasad tells us that quite a few rare species have been spotted within the campus. Information boards explaining the characteristics of various birds can be seen scattered across the campus.
Rare varieties of trees and birds, park benches, water fountains, narrow pathways, a lush green courtyard and a kind of hush all over the place, far from the mad happenings of the city. By all appearances, 'Digital Park' is as if Mother Nature took residence here.
Note: This story was written when the company was known as 'DIGITAL'.