Urbanisation has given us new opportunities to grow, but it has also left us with grave issues such as air pollution, global warming, health risks, and other adverse impacts on the environment. Even though we have started living in a digital era, we have been unsuccessful in sustaining our sources of life, i.e. the trees and the plants.
With the growing population in cities and the tremendous growth in the construction projects, the demand for affordable housing and infrastructure has also grown rapidly. Though we are living in societies that are brimmed with an abundance of facilities, we have still not learnt the real way of living. Our goal for living a beautiful life has turned into spending a life. One should realise that though construction and housing should shelter us and make our lives comfortable, the same should not be at the cost of life sources. There needs to be a paradigm shift in the way construction activities are being carried out and consequently, the lifestyle which the consumers follow needs to be changed.
Keeping in mind the unchecked construction activities, it can be said that environmentally sustainable homes are the need of the hour. Green housing is the future of real estate. The concept that has recently come into the picture seems to be the only way to practice a sustainable lifestyle. Housing should be developed in such a way where we can reduce waste, reuse most of it and probably recycle it. Some of the steps that can be taken to promote sustainable housing include making use of non-bio-degradable items in the form of home furnishings, doing plantation at the apartment level and then taking it to the next level, managing wastage of energy and water in smarter ways, rainwater harvesting and use of solar-powered equipment’s and vehicles. These practices are surely going to make our dream home safer for kids and ourselves in terms of health. In overall, green housing is the way out for the developers and the builders to attract more customers by demonstrating how much they care for them and their families.
Additionally, there is also the need for imparting training on supporting and building green housing culture by incorporating ideas such as vertical gardening, terrace gardening, waste segregation, waste management at the source, and planting trees by identifying empty places such as roadside dividers. These all will help a great deal in achieving environmental sustainability.
As per government sources, 40 percent of global energy and water consumption is generated from the building industry. The inhabitants create almost 48 percent of the solid waste. Therefore, for achieving sustainability, building projects should comply with internationally recognised LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards and GRIHA rating (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) from TERI. The environmental performance of a building can also be assessed with the help of GRIHA certified professionals and architects who specialise in green housing. Also, the government should advocate and enforce green housing projects and offer incentives to both builders and property buyers as per the green ratings and assessments.
To appraise, the Maharashtra government has been successful in enforcing and implementing the Maharashtra Green Building Policy which allows the owners of the construction projects to assess their projects for the well-being of their customers. Going ahead, it is important for us to explore the real benefits of green housing, understand the misconceptions around, and bring clarity into thoughts. This is the only way to ensure a healthy living in future.