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Can you elaborate more on what exactly you mean by green building?from your post its not clear what construction material,foundation structure and other building aspects that are being used?can an existing house be converted?How feasible is it?In india most houses are built only in places where basic infrastructure like electricity, water connection, drainage is available.From the web i could find that more emphasis is on using renewable energy sources like solar, wind, biomass and usage of water treatment/recycling plant.
It would be helpful if you could compare the pros and cons of the existing technology against green building.CommentQuote0Flag
- green home
Can you be more elaborate on what you mean by green building.CommentQuote0Flag
- Help me in this regard - Green House
Is it possible to built these kind if houses in villages of India or only in big Cities... If its possible then whom i can approach..... wht will the over all cost... wht r the things we have to buy..... where we can get the materials required for it...... any permission required to construct these type of houses... will be a temp or perma houses.... where i can get all the details about it..... :bab (59):CommentQuote0Flag
- Sustainable realty: Miles to go
The real estate sector has emerged as one India’s largest drivers of economic growth. As a sector, it provides large scale employment and contributes significantly to the GDP. For decades, environmentalists have been warning that frenetic human economic activity associated with the breakneck speed of economic growth is placing a huge strain on the earth and its natural resources.
Of course, we keep pushing those limits back with clever new technologies; yet eco-systems are undeniably in decline. Since real estate is emphatically driving this growth, it is also directly impacting the environment. Sustainable development is all about minimising this impact and ensuring we keep the planet green and alive.
Sustainability is often misunderstood as curtailing use and stifling developmental activity. Nothing can be farther from the truth. The number of certified green buildings in India has witnessed a four-fold growth in the last four years. This is testimony to the growing popularity of the concept. If one goes by the published statistics by IGBC, there are currently 223 registered green buildings in the country.
As an absolute number the growth has been more than four-fold in the last four years, but is it enough? Hardly! The commercial real estate stock in the top seven cities alone is approximated at 310 million sq ft. Further, the forecast is that commercial real estate development will grow at an annual rate of 8-10 per cent. With this backdrop, the number of projects committed to green design and construction are minuscule.
So how does one transform ‘going green’ from a campaign of a select few to a mass movement? One obvious factor is awareness. The second most important factor is aligning corporate sustainability goals with real estate selection.
Green spaces not only allow for 14 to 16 per cent increase in productivity but also reduce the operational cost of the building, consume less energy, water and other resources, leading to office which more environmentally responsible and has a lower carbon footprint.
Thanks to the efforts of the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), awareness in the corporate world has increased and green space has increased from 20,000 sq ft to about 730 million sq ft since its inception. Though trend is commendable, there is a long way to go — awareness among end users is still limited and demand for green buildings needs to rise a lot more.
For greater all-round awareness, certain myths first need to be dispelled:
Myth 1: Green buildings cost more: The incorporation of basic green features, if done right at the preliminary design phase, will not impact the overall initial project costs by a large amount. Typically, the increase in cost will be between 5-15 per cent. Some project developers claim no increase in initial project cost because of diligent planning. The benefits of green buildings can be realised fully if the following points are understood in depth:
The returns must be calculated on “Total Cost of Ownership” (initial cost + recurring operation and maintenance costs) rather than only on the “Initial Costing”. Typically more than 90 per cent of the total cost of ownership of a building is attributable to its operating and maintenance cost. Energy accounts for 50 per cent of the operation and maintenance cost. Green buildings help reduce energy spends significantly. This itself ensures that the initial investment is recovered within a typical period of 5 years.
Some of the green building benefits (like improved indoor environment quality, improved productivity) are intangible, which affects the return on investment. These should be accounted for while formulating the cost and benefit analysis.
Myth 2: A certification is the only way out: Certification is a way to validate and rate the features one has incorporated in a project, by an independent body.
The certification is a voluntary process, and the project proponents may go ahead only by incorporating the green features without having to certify them.
Myth 3: The market demand for green spaces will wane: With the onset of growing awareness about sustainability and the rapidly increasing effects of climate change, the market demand is set to only to grow. It is only a matter of time before regulatory stipulates come into play. The Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) is already mandated for all new construction government buildings. If the ECBC is made mandatory for certain classes of buildings then it will become compulsory for each building to meet the baseline at least for conserving energy through optimal building design set by the government.
Myth 4: Green buildings are for other countries, not ours: India is the second-most populous country in the world and if experts are to be believed, it is en route to pip China from first rank by 2025.
This only points towards an ever increasing pressure on our already scarce natural resources. The growth forecast in the real estate segment is anywhere between 8 to 10 per cent annually.
India lies in the tropical zone with enough sun and precipitation (4,000 trillion litres) throughout the year, and it is imperative that we harvest both.
Therefore from both the opportunity and requirement perspectives this is ‘going green’ in our real estate developments is as important for us as it is for any other nation.
Corporates who have sustainability goals need to extend their efforts to real estate selection. For example, a sustainability-oriented corporate looking for an office space would only go for green space to account for reduction of their overall carbon footprint. Such extension of sustainability goals would lead to a further increase of green spaces.
Today, we have a star rating system in India for buildings based much on the same principle concept of energy star rating systems for consumer products.
The catch, however, is that today everything is voluntary. If one chooses to develop ‘green’ real estate, the options are aplenty, but it depends totally on the choice of the developer. To say up front that regulatory stipulates will help would be stating too much too soon. Incentivised performance is the key.
Incentives would surely act as a catalyst for the development and absorption of new green buildings, but some regulatory norms would be of great help to convert the already existing energy guzzlers. Moreover, norms for existing building would also help the new green spaces of the future to maintain their own standards throughout their life-cycle. Clearly, the buildings of the future will hold the key to restoration of the ecological balance that is so precariously perched on a knife edge today. We need to act now to prevent a downward spiral to complete ecological destruction.
Sustainable realty: Miles to goCommentQuote0Flag
- Green trends
Forget modern furniture and bright walls and fine drapes. The latest trend is to make the home eco-friendly and energy effiicient
Bought a new apartment or re-furbishing an old one? Go ahead, buy what you want but do things in sync with the environment. Become a new age eco-warrior and make some seminal changes in the way you live. By making relatively simple alterations in the way you use energy at home you can drastically cut your fuel bill and also the amount of carbon dioxide generated in the atmosphere. Here are some ideas to make your home less dependent on artificial energy.
Get in as much of the natural light as possible. Opening your curtains can cut your electricity bill considerably and save 125 190 kg of carbon dioxide annually. Sunlight will eliminate the use of artificial light and also make your home look brighter.
In winters it would be a great idea to abjure the use of electric heaters. The wind proofing of your windows and doors with simple plastic or metal strips can save you around 300 kg carbon dioxide emission a year besides making your home 'naturally' warm. You can make a geyser more energy efficient by insulating hot water pipes attached to it. This can save 60 to 125 kg carbon dioxide emission annually. In fact, insulating the full geyser will further reduce the emission of carbon dioxide by around 200 kg annually.
A bucket bath uses far more water than a shower. So get under a shower that uses one fifth of the hot water that is consumed in conventional bathing resulting in saving of around 125kg of carbon dioxide a year. If there is a dripping water tap in the bathroom or kitchen, it can waste a bucket full of water a day. So it is imperative to ensure that taps are turned off properly.
A powerful switch
Of course you can't have a house without lighting. Switch to CFL bulbs. Although they cost more, low energy CFL light bulbs use only half of the electricity of an incandescent bulb and last up to eight to 15 times longer than a conventional light source thus providing you with adequate light and savings at the same time.
Old electric gadgets can mean inflated electricity bills and high energy wastage. Exchange your old refrigerator and other electricity and power gadgets for new energy-efficient models. They can save you considerable amounts in electricity costs. Look for the new energy-efficiency label on these gadgets and buy only those that are most environmentally compliant. They may cost a bit more but will prove to be cheaper in the long run due to lesser electricity bills. The modern mantra is to use air conditioners as sparingly as possible. But if you must use them then buy one with temperature control. The idea being that whenever you don't want too much cooling you can turn down the thermostat which will save considerable electricity and save energy.
It is a great idea to replace the conventional toilet with a modern one having a pressurised low-flow alternative. This will save several litres of water a day while generating cost savings in terms of water bill.
You can also save water and electricity while using a washing machine. Whenever possible wait until you have a full load or use the economy programme if your washing machine has one. This will save a lot on the consumption of water and power.
Rain-water harvesting at home is the most cost-effective technique of natural replenishment of ground water. This water will not just come in handy on a non-rainy day but will also make the surroundings greener and more environment friendly.
As far as cooking is concerned you must remember that microwaves use less electricity than conventional ovens and are best for defrosting, or heating up cooked food.
Like pressure cookers, they are very fast in their job and take up just 10 per cent of the time as compared to other conventional methods.
So it makes a lot of sense to switch to as much microwave cooking as possible. It will save money as well as time.
Similarly, discard the conventional saucepan for the power of the pressure cooker. There is no difference in the taste but a lot of difference in the LPG bill. A pressure cooker will save you a lot of cooking gas as the time for cooking will be considerably shortened. Look around and you can think of many more ways of conserving electricity, water and energy around the home. This will not just cut costs but make your home eco-friendly and truly green resulting in lowers costs and a life as close to nature as possible.
- There are many ways to construct green homes. One of them is to use the following materials for constructing your home:
Bamboo, a member of the grass family, is one of the fastest growing plant. It is also strong and durable. Bamboo is water resistant, stronger than steel and has high flexibility.
Wood from demolished structures and damaged products is recycled and used in building construction. Reclaimed wood is highly durable when compared to the new ones as it is made of recycled plastic and wood fibre. The combination of two increases the strength of the wood.
The recycling process of steel consumes 75 per cent less energy when compared to the production. Along with this, using recycled steel frees up the landfill space used by the scrap metal.
Straw bale Straw bale is one of the most effective green building construction material. It is cost-effective and has the strength to withstand extreme cold or hot climate conditions. Its insulation is better than the regular wood.
AshCrete AshCrete is a great alternative to traditional cement. It uses fly ash, a by-product of burning coal. Use of fly ash is environment-friendly as it has low embodied energy. Also, fly ash has great strength and it reduces crack problems, permeability and CO2 emissions.
- You cannot wait for poeple to be the change. If we really want to move towards a greener society then we have to force it at least initially. So, for ex, it should probably be mandatory to use solar power or water harvesting techniques in housing projects to get plan approval. Gradual measures like these may eventually take us towards a green home.CommentQuote0Flag
- I don't know what people might say but the whole idea of green homes, solar power, harvesting and all cannot be promoted successfully before a generation of people who are responsible for destroying the greenery themselves in big or small ways. The thing is it should be need based and not the "trending" thing to do. The concept of green homes (I don't even feel good to call it so - a concept? It is a dire need) is being promoted as yet another landmark discovery to compensate for the loss of nature at our hands. Really? Is it nature's loss? We are galloping fast towards a time when nature would be at the serving corner and we, at the receiving.
So, we can make everything mandatory but what about the destructive mindsets that we have been having as a species? Still, something would be better than nothing at all and small changes might go on bring out big results.
And yes, @SubStrider we might have to force it initially as we have a history of performing well as a nation when forced to do things :)CommentQuote2Flag
- Well, the concept of green homes is not like putting up a lantern - it is simple, right? But going green isn't that simple at all. Why? Well, there is a lot that goes into the making of a green home - first you have to change the way of living in every aspect that you can. So it about going green on the outside too as much as you want to green inside the house. It is a habit to be cultivated at all levels.
There has to first an acceptance of he importance of such lifestyle. Only then can something be achieved. The concept of "green homes" in real estate is nothing but just an added amenity to sell off houses to a niche class of people who would like to showcase their "green homes" as a sign of their environment loving persona. It really doesn't make a difference at that level. Building a project worth crores of rupees and selling houses at a premium rate to a cream layer of people doesn't even count.
The real issue is at the local level and the effort should be made at that level.CommentQuote0Flag
- Exactly. We are interested, but don't know how to build green homes. Can you help?CommentQuote0Flag
- @khayal good to know that. What exactly is your idea of a green home and what have you implemented on a smaller level already?CommentQuote0Flag