The air and water pollution and raw material wastes are a result of poorly designed buildings and inefficient construction practices. Therefore, the cities need to be designed more mindfully and through the right sourcing of raw material which does not affect human health and well-being.
Green buildings are built in harmony with nature. They consume less water, optimise energy efficiency, conserve natural resources and generate less waste while providing healthier living spaces for occupants as compared to conventional buildings. For residents, this translates into tangible benefits in the form of savings in water and electricity utilities, while intangible benefits include enhanced ventilation, adequate daylight, superior air quality and an overall sense of harmony and well-being.
What goes into a green building?
The ‘green approach’ ensures that the entire lifecycle of a building, from site selection to construction, occupancy and end-of-life phase, is resource-conscious. This incorporates green architecture, environment-friendly building materials and a sustainable supply chain.
- In this stage, the focus is on development of blueprint that encourages green living and manages the complex cause and effect relationship of resource efficiency.
- Selection of resource-efficient materials as part of the structure, fixtures and fittings as well as on-site infrastructure.
- Optimal use of daylight is achieved via design, orientation, type of glass, shading and the right mix of enablers to reduce dependency on artificial light during the daytime. The project is designed keeping in mind the sun-path to maximise daylight for residents. This also helps in reducing electricity consumption.
- Sustainable locations are selected that are in proximity to relevant social infrastructure and mass transit routes.
In this stage the focus is on:
- Use of resource-efficient equipment and procedures
- Reuse of construction waste to minimise waste and fresh consumption
- Use of fly ash in addition to bricks.The use of fly ash reduces dependencies on cement, which is linked to CO2 emissions. Fly ash also helps enhance the thermal efficiency of building envelopes, keeping interiors fresh in summer and warm in winter (resulting in reduced utilities costs)
- Minimising the use of river sand as much as possible. Instead, the focus is on crushed sand.
- Augmenting efficiency by using Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBS) in concrete.
The third stage entails:
- Development of sewage treatment plants, water treatment plants and rainwater harvesting systems.
- Installation of robust waste management systems, organic waste converters and waste segregation at the source
- Use of renewable energy such as solar PV (green source of electricity, on-grid/off-grid)
- Use of XPS boards to achieve lesser U-value.
- Use of solar water heating and solar street light.
- Installation of energy-efficient lighting such as LED and CFL to minimise wastage.
- Development of energy-efficient equipment such as lifts, pumps, motors.
- Use of low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paints, adhesives and insulations to maintain healthy indoor air quality.
- Development of specially designed terrace roof sections with high albedo material or reflective paint to reduce heat absorption and resulting energy demands for air-conditioning.
- Installation of low-flow and water-efficient fixtures to ensure healthier living.