Cutting pollution and reducing dependency on natural resources are important, to promote green living. The first step towards green living and ensuring that we do not exploit our natural resources, begins at home.
“India is home to over 200 million households, with a requirement rate of 11.5 million more homes every year, to fulfil the current housing demand,” points out KN Rao, director, energy and environment, at ACC Limited. “With booming urbanisation, economic growth, and rising consumption patterns in India, the use of natural resources has increased. Rising disposable income among the masses, has increased the demand for better standards of living. This has added to the already significant stress on the environment,” he cautions. Rao feels that urban residents can easily adopt energy conservation techniques, such as usage of efficient lighting, air-conditioning and heating systems, etc., to mitigate adverse effects on the environment.
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Sustainability is crucial Recycling and reuse of waste water, making use of organic as well as inorganic solid waste for composting, power generation, etc., are other measures that can convert an existing building into a green building, he suggests. According to experts, a green home is one that functions in a sustainable manner, minimises water usage, optimises energy efficiency, conserves natural resources, generates less waste and provides healthier living spaces for its occupants, as compared to a conventional building. An eco-friendly residential project is also characterised by its site responsiveness.
Site responsiveness in a green residential project, means that the fertility of the soil in the construction area has been properly preserved, and in fact, used in the landscaping/beautification process, explains Kishor Pate, CMD of Amit Enterprises Housing Ltd. “This responsiveness is also measured by the number of native trees that have been planted, to ensure that the landscape is perfectly balanced with its surroundings. Green home projects will often integrate reflective finishes on exterior surfaces, to minimise the heat entering the indoor premises and thereby, reduce the cost of insulation. Site responsiveness also includes project designs that reduce vehicle usage. If all basic amenities are located within walking distance, then, personal vehicles will only be used for longer transportation,” Pate elaborates.
Energy conservation techniques that can be easily adopted, to make a home greener: Usage of energy-efficient lighting, heating and air-conditioning systems. Conservation and efficient management of water. Effective use of natural light and air by re-orientation of doors, windows, and other openings. Using building materials that provide efficient insulation, to reduce heat convection and radiation. Using sensors to control lighting and air-conditioning, based on the occupancy of a space. Sustainable living is all about coexisting in harmony, with the elements that created us, maintains Pate. The investment that developers and home buyers make towards green homes, is completely worth it, as it promotes healthier and more responsible living and also increases the planet’s ability to accommodate human habitation, he concludes.