Have you ever wondered what it takes to make a green home? Is it to plant a lot of greenery around your house or use renewables to power your home or have your home run on hi tech machines?
To begin, let’s debunk myth #1. Building a green home or building is not more expensive than building a conventional one. And it pays back very quickly. In the long run, the savings are substantial. So when looking for your new home or remodelling your old one we may appeal to you to insist on going green. A green home is a type that focuses on the efficient use of design, energy, water, and other resources during construction and the output- the home ensures lower operating costs for residents for life! For example using energy efficient fittings and appliances multiplies the benefits many times over.
Some of the hallmarks of a green home are they are well-designed maximising the use of natural light and air. It keeps the building cooler in summer and warmer in winter. This automatically leads to lower energy costs for residents. A study done by U.S. Green Building Council shows that green buildings can save 25 to 30 % energy as compared to conventional buildings. Modern green buildings also provide for solar energy to power the common areas or at least provide for the adoption of renewable energy by residents. Green buildings enable water harnessing and ground water recharging. They could also provide for recycling of waste water to clean public areas and water gardens and landscaped sections of the property. The water fixtures used reduce the flow of water in a manner that doesn’t affect the efficiency of the operation being performed but ensures lower consumption of water.
During the construction stage also a green building maximises the use of environmentally friendly material while ensuring structural integrity. Use of by-products from industry, use of materials that do not lead to environmental damage during their sourcing and manufacture are some of the green aspects of materials used. The materials also enable higher energy efficiency of the building. The materials used inside the apartments for flooring, plastering, painting etc. enable a better indoor environment. This leads to a fresher feeling and healthier atmosphere inside the house.
The awareness of living in green spaces is growing. Those who are living in green buildings are experiencing the benefits of this technology. Two-thirds of India’s building infrastructure is yet to come up. If the demand for green buildings grows it will lead to greater supply and the energy savings will contribute towards reducing the carbon footprint of the country significantly. The Indian Government is also doing its bit by announcing various schemes to promote green construction, some of them are:
- The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), has issued a memorandum to fast-track environmental clearance for GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) pre-certified projects.
- Projects (on a plot of 5,000 sq. metres and above) in Noida and Greater Noida, can avail of free 5% additional Floor Area Ratio (FAR), for complying with 4 or 5-star GRIHA Rating.
- Similarly, the Jaipur Development Authority has notified that the buildings constructed on a plot area of more than 5,000 sq. metres will be eligible for an additional 5% FAR free of charge, upon obtaining a 4 or 5-star rating from GRIHA.
- In Maharashtra, the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation offers up to 15% rebate on property tax, for green buildings and up to 50% on the premium for builders who get their projects GRIHA-certified.
- West Bengal provides 10% additional FAR for green buildings, notified by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
The good news is that old buildings can be retrofitted to become green too. With water harnessing, LED lighting fittings, waste segregation, composting organic waste, using star rated appliances, treating the roof for energy efficiency, adopting or sourcing renewable energy, old buildings can become much greener than they are now and reduce their carbon footprint and operating cost.
The green building movement is well and truly on. Come join the movement and make India the greenest in the world in housing infrastructure.
Anirban Ghosh is the Chief Sustainability Officer at the Mahindra Group. He has been working with Group in Sales, Marketing, and Strategy since 1999 and has been recognized as a distinguished CSO in his current role. A gold medal winning engineer from Jadavpur University, Calcutta, Ghosh has pursued doctoral studies in Marketing Management at IIM Ahmedabad. He enjoys music, reading, traveling, driving, cricket and tennis. He is an active public speaker and has represented the nation at the Festival of India across multiple nations.
Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.
The CSR Journal TeamSubscribe