The glistening façade of Cyber City in Gurugram, arguably the most visible and iconic commercial project of modern India, is giving way to a more rugged and non-shiny look. The process has been gradual but noticeable and will mark a huge change in the looks of the most noticeable hub of Gurgaon.
The shiny towers that comprise the Cyber Hub project are now looking pale in comparison to their earlier avatar and certainly less photogenic. The cladding that made up the exterior of the towers are now gone and the concrete walls are now clearly visible. Tower after tower, the cladding has been chiseled away.
Cyber City is one of the most notable commercial projects in the country and has been a hub of Fortune 500 companies operating in India. Cyber City has many MNCs and big corporates, which have leased huge floor plates. Companies like Barclays, Citibank, CSC, Genpact, GE, Google, IBM, Accenture, Samsung, TCS, Cognizant and many others, are operating from the premises. With the makeover, the buildings in the Cyber City project will look slightly dull, especially in comparison to 24 malls and other commercial projects that surround it.
Fire In London’s Grenfell Tower
The cladding-removal process could be a fallout of the massive fire that made news worldwide in June 2017 after engulfing the 24-story block Grenfell Tower in North Kensington in London. About 200 fire-fighters and 40 fire engines were required to put out the fire which took over 24 hours. The fire that killed more than 70 people was widely believed to have spread fast because of Reynobond PE panels that were used in the exterior. The Reynobond PE panels were found to be inflammable and may have contributed to the fast spreading of the fire.
The same Reynobond PE was probably the reason why cladding at the Cyber City is being slowly removed.
Cyber City is already a LEED-certified project by the US Green Building Council and the replacing of the exterior panels, will make it safer from a fire hazard point of view . Property experts point out that although the buildings and towers will now look paler, the overall attractiveness of the project will increase, from the point of view of corporate tenants, as it will be safer.
It’s not just Cyber City; the cladding is also being changed at other important commercial projects like Cyber Park and World Tech Park in Gurugram.
Maker of Reynobond PE
The French maker of this Reynobond PE has reportedly taken its material off the market world over. The government in England has pledged money to remove this type of cladding from all high-rises and skyscrapers in order to prevent such occurrences in future. However, the process of removal of Reynobond PE panels from the exterior of the buildings will be a long drawn process in many countries where the manufacturer had sold its inflammable claddings, especially in India.
In India, there are standards set for commercial buildings under the National Building Code (NBC) and developers must comply with the provisions of NBC the but sadly there is no agency competent enough to give certificates to builders if they are complying or not, according to architects and property experts.