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The future is green

The future is green

What makes a green building green in practical terms?
Eco-friendly buildings are meant to make efficient use of natural resources like air, water, and other resources which protect human health and improve productivity. The goal is also to reduce pollution, save money on operational costs and at the same time the project needs to have an aesthetically pleasing design.

There are many aspects to create a self sustainable building and reduce the recurring costs. One of them is efficient insulation. Proper insulation is incredibly important to prevent air gaps and stop drafts, because around 50 per cent of a building’s energy escapes through heating and cooling processes. Thick exterior walls, high efficiency windows, and caulked gaps should do the trick. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) rates different
appliances on the basis of their energy consumption, to save energy, builders should consider using such star rated appliances for heating, cooling lighting etc.

The objective of self-sustainable buildings is to also have zero carbon emissions, and these can be attained through the following measures.

Power generation: Renewable electricity generation systems such as solar panels or wind turbines reduces the carbon footprint.

Water recycling: Today water supplies are strained, climate and weather patterns are changing, and populations are moving and growing. Onsite non-potable water reuse helps tackle and mitigate the effects of these issues before they become crises. Onsite water systems collect non-potable water which can include wastewater, stormwater, rainwater and more and treat it. It can then be reused in a building for non-drinking water needs such as irrigation, toilet flushing and cooling.

Sewage treatment: Ecologically designed sewage systems are a good example of sustainable design. They are energy-efficient, inexpensive, effective and environmentally friendly, and can be applied at any scale, from a single home to a large city.

Usage of recycled materials: There are really two ways to be eco-friendly in your home building materials. The first is to choose materials that minimise environmental impact. Materials like bamboo, recycled steel precast concrete etc serve this purpose.

Local sourcing: Sustainable building is an essential aspect of widening efforts to conceive an ecologically responsible world. A building that is sustainable must, by nature, be constructed using locally sustainable materials: i.e. materials that can be used without any adverse effect on the environment, and which are produced locally, reducing the need to travel.

How is the construction industry gearing up to embrace sustainable and eco-friendly structures?
Green buildings are built with a holistic approach to construction and design. In conventional architecture there are several alternative building materials that are gaining popularity. Sustainable living is gradually gaining centerstage in the real estate industry in India. Right from using fly ash bricks manufactured using sand and reclaimed materials to using recycled aluminum, the possibilities of adding sustainability to each and every aspect of building and construction is increasing day by day. Recycled metal in particular is a long-lasting material that does not need frequent replacement. It tends not to burn or warp, making it a viable option for roofing, structural supports and building facades. It’s also water- and pest-resistant.

Which are some of your recent projects which comply with global standards in construction and maintenance?
Our recent projects with respect to global standards of construction and maintenance are:

  • MMRDA
  • ONGC
  • Intellion IT Park for Tata Realty

As the world comes to terms with concepts of global warming and climate change, more and more people are keen to adopt an eco-friendly lifestyle and this is reflecting in architectural trends and designs.
Parish Kapse, Sustainable Designs and Architecture, Team ONE Architects.

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