Saturday 22 September 2018 | Bhadarva Sud 13, Samvat 2074

Sat 22 Sep 2018

Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury

Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury

The multi award winning Mandir (temple) in Kingsbury is the principal centre in the south of England of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan.

Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury, London

Mandir is the name given to the house of God. Literally translated form Sanskrit, it means, “where the mind becomes still”. Visitors to this Mandir often speak of the calmness, stillness and tranquillity that they experience here.

Lord Shree Swaminarayan built Mandirs for the wellbeing of society. Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa pioneered the establishment of Mandirs outside of India, and today, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj has created such centres all over the world. Under His inspiration, they have flourished into much more than just places of worship.

Hinduism provides a framework that benefits one’s entire life and the Swaminarayan Faith is one of its most modern sects. A Mandir is where this framework can be understood and practiced. Although this Mandir is predominantly a place of worship - a place where one can find unity with God and a sanctuary from the hustles of modern life - ours is also host to a range of activities for the young and old alike. These activities enthuse, energise, engage, excite and educate the community. Be through excelling at sports, mastering a musical instrument, or selflessly volunteering for one of our many charitable causes, Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury is a place where one can develop skills, improve one’s physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing, and make a positive contribution to society.

Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan

Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury is one of over 170 such centres around the world under the umbrella of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, the worldwide centre for social, spiritual and cultural welfare. Shree Swaminarayan Gadi is the Divine throne of Lord Shree Swaminarayan, established when He handed the helm of the Swaminarayan Faith to Sadguru Shree Gopalanand Swamibapa, and revealed to the world by the Lord’s fourth spiritual successor, Jeevanpran Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa in 1972.

Shree Swaminarayan Gadi is where the true, unadulterated tenets of the Swaminarayan Faith are upheld and spread, as explained by Jeevanpran Abji Bapashree and protected by Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa. Today, Acharya Swamishree Maharaj presides as the sovereign of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi – spiritual leader of many hundreds of thousands across the world.

Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Complex

The Complex is a £20million development inspired by Acharya Swamishree Maharaj, and born out of this community’s burgeoning enthusiasm to make a positive impact on its own community and wider society. It comprises of three main buildings:

Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury

An awarding-winning, much lauded and widely admired Hindu temple.

 

Purushottam Mahal

A state of the art multifunction facility that is equally capable of hosting professionally-coached sports activities as it is celebrations such as weddings.

Abji Bapashree House

Affordable office spaces for small and medium enterprises, offering local business growth and employment.

 

Together, these facilities make the site far more than a place of worship. They house the ever-growing range of sports, educational, performing arts, health and wellbeing, and charitable activities that the Mandir community hosts for the betterment of society.    

Eco Breeam

Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method
Best practice standard in sustainable building design, construction and operation

4 star – Excellent Rating

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Credits are awarded for measures that address environmental issues including energy and water use, materials impact, public transport proximity and waste with a maximum score of 100.

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The excellent rating requires a score of 70%. This is very hard to achieve.

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We are on target to be the first Temple in the UK, possibly the world, to achieve BREEAM excellence score.


The key features can be grouped into 6 broad areas.

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Recycling of materials

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Utilisation of new technology

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Sustainability

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Power generation

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Use of modern materials and design principles

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Other Features

All the items described below effectively provide a better platform to sustain the use of the buildings over a longer period of time by providing an environment that is both considerate and practical for the people using it.

Recycling of materials

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Material from the demolished structures was segregated and recycled, concrete was crushed on site and used as hardcore.

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All iron reinforcing bars and steelwork was salvaged and sent for re-smelting to be recycled.

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Timber was sent to salvage yards for re-use.

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All inert excavated material was transported to other projects for making up ground levels.

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Aggregates for concrete for new works maximised the use of recycled crushed concrete material. Concrete for floors and walls incorporated GGBS slag (Ground Granulated Blast-furnace Slag) which otherwise would have ended up in landfill.

 

Sustainability

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All wood was sourced from suppliers with FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accreditations which means the timber would not be harming the world’s forests.

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All other material was preferentially chosen from a green perspective.

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Rainwater is harvested (collected in under ground tanks) and reused for gardening and flushing WCs which reduces the water consumption.


Modern Materials and Design Principles

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The buildings make use of high insulate value materials (low u-values, with around 30% improvement over Building Regulations). This has the benefit of reduced heat loss in winter and lower solar gain insummer leading to reduced CO2 emissions.

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The design ensures very low air leakage, reducing heat loss and reducing CO2 emissions. There is significant use of natural ventilation and daylight to minimise electricity consumption whilst providing comfortable conditions for the building users.

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The MFH (Multi Function Hall) and the retained office building incorporates green roofs. This reduces rain water run off and promotes ecology.

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By using recast stone, sourced from UK suppliers in the main body of Temple walls has resulted in significant reduction the carbon footprint.

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Ordinarily had the stone been imported from India we would have had to import in excess of 300 container loads. In addition thin walled GRC (Glass Reinforced Concrete) composite elements used in all the external columns, jarookhas and other intrinsic carvings resulted in 75% fewer container loads from India.

 

Utilisation of New Technology

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During warm periods forced natural ventilation principles come into play to eliminate the need to use refrigerant cooling. The BMS (Building Management System) automatically opens windows both in the Temple and MFH (Multi Function Hall) and at the same time starts forced draught fans to introduce fresh air at low levels.

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To supplement this during very hot periods the BMS calculates the optimum time during the night to open and close the windows to reduce the thermal energy in the structure of the building.

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Water supply systems use flow reduction fittings, to reduce water consumption within the building. The BMS monitors water consumption and isolates common supply points if water is not used to reduce any potential leakage.

 

Power Generation

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A CHP (Combined Heat and Power) plant is installed to generate
25kW of electricity and provides the base load for heating. The plant is 90% efficient in converting energy in gas to electricity. The remaining 10% is heat, a by product of the production process and this is utilised for heating and hot water needs.

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Solar energy is harnessed using photovoltaic panels mounted on the MFH roof covering 200sqm producing electricity up to 33kWp which is used or fed back to the grid.

 

Other Features

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Water and power usage during construction was constantly monitored to ensure minimum wastage.

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The lighting in the common areas is controlled by motion sensors. Everyone is encouraged to minimise the use of energy in particular to turn off lights when leaving.

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Uility measurements are connected to the BMS and will be linked to the information screens showing live and historical energy usage.

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A very high specification for the general environment has been applied at the outset; industry standards for acoustics have been exceeded, design is based on low solar gain, cold potable drinking wateris available to the public and car charging points adds to the sustainability of the facility.

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The ecology of the site is improved by introducing green roofs and soft landscaping both which encourage native flora and fauna to flourish.

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The overall site management and education of the users will encourage more people to use public transportation, more use of cycles and greater car sharing.

 

Travel Management Plan

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The purpose of the Travel Management Plan is to promote and deliver a more sustainable means of travel to the Mandir.

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Your Travel Plan Coordinator is Harish Ratna and is contactable by e-mail: harish.ratna@gmail.com or mobile: 07872 175197.

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A Travel Plan Steering Group has been set-up and will require more support to develop the initiatives and continue to deliver the plan for the life of the Mandir. If you would like to be a part of this rewarding challenge please contact Harish Ratna.

 

Key Activities

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Follow up council feedback on Travel Management Plan and resubmit for approval.

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Complete signage for disabled bay parking and complete cycle parking space.

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Undertake post occupation surveys before end of Nov 2014 and submit to council.

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Undertake TRAVEL compliant monitoring surveys, end of years 1, 3 and 5.

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Produce monitoring reports following surveys.

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Review travel plan annually.

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Organise initiatives to promote sustainable travel, travel awareness and support national campaigns such as ‘Bike to Work Week’.

 

Travel Management Plan - Initial Targets

Mode  Baseline End of Year 1 End of Year 2 End of Year 5
Staff journeys by car 35% 24% 22% 20%
Worshipper and visitor journeys by car 35%

33%

31% 30%

Further targets for other modes of travel will be set in liaison with LB of Brent, following the results of the post occupation travel surveys.

Travel Management Plan – Short Term Initiatives Q4 2014 and Q1 2015

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Conduct iTRACE travel survey during in November 2014.

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Promote walking and cycling and health benefits.

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Promote car sharing and greater use of public transport.

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Raise safety awareness in public areas along popular routes.


What is an iTRACE Survey?

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iTRACE is a tool that supports the development and monitoring of travel plans.

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An iTRACE travel survey will be conducted in November 2014. The monitoring periods are as follows;
• Wednesday 19th November 08:00 – 10:00 and 18:30 – 21:00
• Sunday 23rd November 09:00 – 21:00

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The aim of the survey is to enable modal shift to be established prior to
implementation of the travel plan.

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Your support and cooperation with the survey team will be most appreciated.


Why Not Walk to Mandir

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Walking is a gentle, low impact form of exercise that’s easy and free.

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According to the Stroke Association, walking briskly for up to 30 minutes can help prevent and control the high blood pressure that can cause strokes – reducing your risk by up to 27 per cent.

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A study in the British Medical Journal showed taking more steps every day can help ward off diabetes.

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Can you think of others? Help promote walking – it’s good for you!


Why Not Cycle to Mandir?

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Brent Council actively supports and encourages everyone who lives and works in the borough to cycle.

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Choosing to cycle can help your health, wellbeing and fitness levels and assists the community by reducing the congestion and pollution caused by vehicle travel.

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Cycle training days being planned for 2015, dates to be confirmed shortly.

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Cycle parking and cycle shelters available on site.

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Showering and changing facilities available on site.


Car Sharing and Public Transport

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To make better use of the limited car parking spaces and to encourage more effective use of private cars a minimum number of 4 people must be travelling in the car to be able to park on site – space permitting.

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Please coordinate and encourage local car pooling.

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Public transport is already being used well, we need to encourage this some more to keep trending the usage upwards.


Safety in Public Areas

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We are liaising with the local area Safer Transport Police to raise awareness. Workshops and presentations are being planned for later this year and at the start of 2015.

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Be vigilant at all times and report any irregular activity immediately. Our local team contact details are below;

Brent Team, Harlesden Police Station, 76 Craven Park, Harlesden, NW10 8RJ

Phone: 07825 386399

Emergency - always dial 999, textphone 18000
Non-emergency - dial 101, textphone 18001 101

 

Award-winning Asset to Brent, London and the UK

“We're proud that this Mandir is known as the world's first Eco temple - a beacon to the rest of the world and to the rest of London. I hope that through your inspiration, we'll now have a wave of Eco Mandirs, Eco Gurdwaras, Eco Mosques, Eco Synagogues and Eco Churches in London.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s, praise of the Mandir is just one of numerous accolades heaped on this amazing temple and its community. Parliamentarians, senior business leaders, other faith and community leaders, top military personnel and a range of other dignitaries have visited the Mandir in the short period that it has been open, and have all been supremely impressed by the Mandir, ancillary facilities and the wonderful outreach activities that aims to Inspire the Community to learn new skills, become fitter and healthier or contribute in putting ‘society before self’.

In addition to this, the Mandir has received a number of prestigious national and international awards and recognitions for realising this magnificent project.

Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury was delighted to receive the ‘Best Community Led Project Award’ from London Planning Awards 2015. The awards were held at City Hall in London on 3rd February 2015, and celebrate outstanding contributions to the capital and showcase leading examples of urban renaissance in London. The Mandir is particularly proud to receive this award as it perfectly aligns with our motto – Inspiring the community; the award particularly represents the power of what London communities can achieve.

London Planning Awards
Civic Trust Award

The Mandir received the prestigious Commendation from the Civic Trust Awards at the 56th Annual CTA) Ceremony Friday 6th March 2015, held near Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. The Commendations from the CTA recognise the very best in architecture around the world, and the Awards are the longest standing architectural and built environment awards scheme in Europe. Commendations are given to projects that make a significant contribution to the quality and appearance of the built environment, demonstrating a good standard of architecture or design, sustainability, universal design and provide a positive social, cultural, environmental or economic benefit to the local community – all values that we at the Mandir are deeply proud of.

The Mandir was recognised at global mondo*dr awards in 2017. The awards are one of the most prestigious in the audio installations sector, and recognise and celebrate the technical achievements of such projects around the world. The magazine that organises the awards is present in every corner of the world and puts these highest quality projects in the spotlight. The Mandir came 2nd amongst over 80 world-class projects from all over the world. The awardees were selected by an independent judging panel and presented with their awards at a celebration event during Prolight+Sound in Frankfurt 2017. Remarkably, the installation was largely designed and specified by members of the Mandir’s own community – demonstrating the depth of talent that resides within our own congregation.

Mondo Awards