“Karuponnyo Rangpur Limited,” a unique green factory, conveying Bangladesh’s pride which produces Rangpur’s traditional handicraft Shataranji. This factory is of about three lakh square feet area containing Seven floors. One floor spread over 40,000 square feet. About five thousand workers work here in two shifts day and night. There is no AC in the whole factory, no electric fan. But even on an uncomfortable hot day, no worker sweats while working here. Because the inside of the factory is a few degrees cooler than the outside temperature.
The building of this factory of karuponnyo Rangpur Limited, located at Robertsonganj in Rangpur city, has been kept cool by applying a special type of architectural technique. This is saving 80 percent of the electricity in the factory. Factory authorities say their goal is to build a green factory by reducing electricity consumption to a minimum.
Shafiqul Alam Selim, the main entrepreneur of the factory, said that it was very difficult for the workers to work in the factory. Especially women workers. No matter how much the fan rotates over their head, the sultry feeling of heat does not go away. Emphasis has been laid on keeping the building cool to get rid of this condition. Workers feel more comfortable here than at home.
The revival of the lost tradition of Shataranji:
The name of what is made in this huge factory of handicrafts is Shataranji. This is the ancient tradition of the Rangpur region. This once extinct industry has resurfaced. In the nineties, it started anew by organizing a handful of old artisans. Rangpur Shataranji is now being exported to 55 countries in Europe, North America, and Asia after going through various stages in raw material, weaving, and design for a long period of 29 years. In the last financial year, the export was 30 million dollars. At present, handicraft exports in Bangladesh account for 80 percent of handicrafts in the industrial sector. For this, the company has been receiving the gold medal of the national export trophy given by the Ministry of Commerce every year since 2009.
Natural and renewed raw materials are also used in the factory for making this Shataranji. Yarn is made from 3,000 tons of cotton waste from cotton mills every year. Apart from that, 1,200 tons of garment factory waste cloth and 4,500 tons of jute fiber are being used in this factory. As a result of renewing waste and preparing products, the environment and nature are being protected from pollution.
Safiqul Alam told, “When workers work in a green environment, their minds become cheerful.” There is no disruption in production. The importance of women has increased in the families of this region by working here. I think Shataranji and karuponnyo Rangpur Limited is a place of confidence in the backward industrialization of North Bengal today. ‘
Reservoir inside the factory:
Special techniques have been applied in the architectural design of the factory so that air flows inside the factory. Downstairs are four large reservoirs like ponds in the lobby. These reservoirs with a radius of 15,000 square feet can hold 5 lakh liters of water together. This iron-free water is used for Shataranji dyeing in the factory and comes to this reservoir.
The green vegetation and the air blown over the water enter the factory through four circular zero pillars with a radius of 36 feet. Then go up to different floors. As a result, the temperature inside the factory remains 4 to 6 degrees Celsius lower than outside the factory without AC or fan.
Bayazid Mahbub Khandaker, the architect who designed the factory, said that the folk wisdom of rural Bengal has been applied in this cooling process. In the countryside, the south side of the house is kept open and there is a pond on that side. In summer, the air cools over the pond and enters the house and leaves.
The architect said the hot air rises according to natural laws. And the cool air falls. This hot air escapes through the chimney on the roof. As a result, the whole building became cold.
Factory like a garden house:
Entering through the gate is the boundary of a huge factory of eight lakh square feet. If you see a seven-storeyed factory building in the middle, it would not be wrong to say a huge green garden. There are brick and stone buildings full of different species of trees. Herbaceous trees hang from the walls of the seven-storeyed building. There are also trees in front of the building. The south wind blows and sways in the trees.
Covering the walls in this way is also part of the strategy to keep the building cool. Factory officials said sunlight fell on the south wall of the building. There are verandas and windows at a distance of four and a half feet on each floor of the building so that the heat of the sun does not penetrate the walls of the factory. Along with that, green herbaceous trees have been planted along the outside walls. Due to this, the heat of the sun cannot penetrate inside.
Besides, greenery has been planted in the south of the factory. This tree is blocked by the hot south wind. The hot air cools the factory walls as they absorb.
Floor leakage & Height:
Factory officials said the roof is usually 10 feet above the floor of the building. But the height of the roof is 12 feet from the floor of each floor here. It will feel a little less hot. In addition to running the machine on the floor on each floor of the factory, hot air comes out, so that the air does not circulate inside the house so that there are holes in the floor under each machine. With these leaks on the floor, hot air escapes through a hole in the window through a process.
In our country, there is heat for nine months of the year. The remaining three months are winter. And in winter the south wind is not so strong. At that time the cold wind of the north was blowing. The windows to the north of the factory are kept closed so that the winter is not felt at this time.
Bicycle on the ramp
Ninety percent of the 5,000 factory workers are women. They cycled from the surrounding villages. The factory has ramps for cycling on different floors. The women workers cycled straight up to their designated floor.
There is also a green garden on the roof of the one-story building of the service department. It has been named ‘Nandini Park’. Lots of small benches to sit on between the trees in the roof. There are water fountains. There are lotus flowers. This is where the workers eat lunch.
Artist Saidul Juis has worked closely with the construction architect on visual art, keeping the factory environment green. He has made a replica of rural Bengal on the inner walls of the factory with the subject of plants.
Artist Saidul said the walls and front of the building have been planted with about 1.5 lakh different species of trees. There are no trees in a row. The trees are random. Somewhere small, again somewhere a little bigger. The building can be seen through the gaps in the trees. There are also some bamboo bushes. It feels a little cold sitting under a tree. With this visual art, the atmosphere of the rural environment inside the factory has also been highlighted. Soon trees will be planted on the roof of the building. This will make the whole environment cooler at some more points.