By the wish of Pujya
Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the architects and engineers of the Sanstha
now design and construct buildings and mandirs that are friendlier
to the Earth. In 1995, Sri Swaminarayan Mandir in London was inaugurated.
It is Europe’s first traditional Hindu Mandir in marble and limestone.
The beauty and craftsmanship of the whole complex has already
made it famous around the world and also earned it an entry in
the Guinness Book of World Records (1997). The whole complex is
made with a view of being eco-friendly.
Features of Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London
The majority of the Mandir complex has been constructed so that
glass panels on the walls or ceiling allow sunlight through to
produce a calm, soothing atmosphere. This means that there is
minimal burning of fossil fuel to light up the complex.
In areas where natural lighting cannot be accessed, there is use
of energy-efficient bulbs. These special bulbs save up to 90%
of energy, and also have a prolonged lifetime of 10 years.
The whole complex has the potential to be an energy saver. For
example when the community hall is filled with people, heat reclamation
takes place, where the heat created by the people is collected
by special heat-save pumps in the ceiling and is used to heat
the Mandir boilers; 1,000 people can make 20 kW!
Before deciding which sub-contractors to select, all the various
candidates were asked to perform environmental audits so that
the Sanstha could select those who had CFC free manufacture methods,
those who disposed of waste (such as dyes used in the carpets)
most efficiently – to save ozone depletion. This resulted in higher
monetary cost but lower environmental costs.
- English Oak – 226 English Oak
trees were used for the construction of the complex. To compensate
for the loss of the trees, 2,300 English Oak trees in total
were planted in Devon, England and India. Moreover, the trees
were obtained from two environment approved companies.
- Burmese Teak – This is a controlled
species of tree, which meant it was purchased from managed
farms. Each tree was logged and had a certificate which showed
official approval of sale. The trees were taken from an approved