The real estate sector is one of the most globally recognised sectors. The housing sector in India is growing at a rapid pace and contributing immensely to the growth of the economy. In India it is the second largest employer after agriculture. The real estate sector comprises four sub sectors - housing, retail, hospitality, and commercial. The growth of this sector is well complemented by the growth of the corporate environment and the demand for office space as well as urban and semi-urban accommodations. The Government of India along with the governments of the respective states has taken several initiatives to encourage the development in the sector. Environmentally responsible and resource-efficient buildings are becoming an integral part and future of the construction industry. Developers, end users and the government have understood its need and importance and are adopting it at a fast pace. Many home buyers are paying attention to green homes and sustainable buildings by recognising the importance and link between green properties, cost savings and healthy living.
Green buildings incorporate sustainable features like the efficient use of water and energy, the use of renewable energy and recycling recyclable materials, and the effective use of landscapes and building management systems. A green building creates less waste and provides a healthier living environment.
The Green buildings in India are getting nod from all walks of society because of the string of benefits attached to them.
The main characteristics of Green Buildings in Indian Real Estate are:
The integrated RISDA plant includes a Wastage Heat Recovery System, thereby making it environment friendly, since the waste heat from the system gets utilised/recycled to generate power. The waste heat recovery system makes the Risda plant one of the most efficient in terms of electrical energy consumption.
Waste heat from cement kilns is usually used for the drying of raw materials and fuel.
Cement is the binding material that is mixed with an aggregate such as sand or gravel and water to form concrete.
Cool Roofs is a green building technology that is especially suited to the climate of India. It is a relatively cheap option with substantial benefits. It reflects away a percentage of the visible, infrared and ultraviolet radiation from the sun. This reduces the heat gained by the building itself and is called high solar reflectance, as a result, it reduces electricity bills due to lesser cooling requirement and AC loads.
Insulation refers to an energy savings procedure in construction, which provides resistance to heat flow. Naturally, heat flows from a warmer to a cooler space. By insulating a house, one can reduce the heat loss in buildings in cold weather or climate, and reduce the heat surplus in warmer weather or climate. In cold conditions, the main aim is to reduce heat flow out of the building, in hot conditions to reflect the heat for a cooler temperature in the house.
Smart glass is formed by the fusion of potash, lime and silica at high temperature. It has properties that can change in response to external stimuli. This 3-in-1 solution combines a window, a sunshade and a blind. When installed in buildings, smart glass creates climate adaptive building shells, with the ability to save costs for heating, air-conditioning and lighting.
Smart Appliances are generally connected to other devices or networks via different wireless protocols such as Bluetooth, NFC, Wi-Fi, 3G, etc. Some technology in lieu of smart appliances are smart lightning, smart air-conditioning, alarm-systems, speaker systems, etc.
Zero Energy Home are regular homes that are so air-tight, well-insulated and energy efficient that they produce as much renewable energy as they consume over the course of a year. They are ultra-comfortable, healthy, quiet, sustainable homes that are affordable to live in. They minimise toxicity, and also have a zero carbon footprint.
Straw Bales are used to create a home's walls as they naturally provide very high levels of insulation for a hot or cold climate, and are not only affordable but sustainable as straw is a rapidly renewable resource and abundantly available.
Grasscrete is a method of laying concrete flooring, walkways, sidewalks and driveways in such a manner that there are open patterns which allow grass or other flora to grow. The benefit is reduction of concrete usage overall and improved storm-water absorption and drainage.
Rammed Earth is an ancient construction technique similar to adobe that uses the raw materials from the Earth to form sturdy buildings through a simple process. The density of rammed earth makes it an ideal material for regulating the temperature of a building. It will stay cool in the summer and warm in winter.
HempCrete is a concrete like material created from the woody inner fibres of the hemp plant. The hemp fibres are fused with lime to create concrete-like shapes that are strong and light. The blocks are lightweight, and hemp itself is a fast-growing, renewable resource.
Bamboo is used for framing buildings and shelters, bamboo can replace expensive and heavy imported materials and provide an alternative to concrete. This has an advantage as, post-disaster rebuilding, and low-income areas with access to natural locally-sourced bamboo, cost effective, recyclable.
Mycelium are the root-like fibres of fungi which grow beneath the surface of the ground, Mycelium can form an incredibly strong material that is not only water-resistant, but also fire and mold-resistant. This is particularly useful because traditional insulating and packing materials tend to be non-biodegradable or poisonous in the case of asbestos.
Ferrock is made with waste steel dust left over from industrial processes. Ferrock is actually five times stronger. It can withstand more compression before breaking and is far more flexible. This unique material actually absorbs and traps carbon dioxide as part of its drying and hardening process - making it less CO2 intensive than traditional concrete.
TimberCrete is a blend of sawmill waste, cement, sand, binders and a non-toxic deflocculating additive. It's around 2.5 times lighter than concrete or clay and has a higher insulation value, lighter weight and higher fire resistance. Timbercrete is very environmentally friendly all the way from its raw ingredients through to its everyday use. It also has a good load-bearing capacity. Timbercrete has a lower density and therefore higher insulation value (R value) than clay fired bricks, mud bricks, rammed earth, concrete and concrete blocks.
Sustainable energy solutions are literally found in the air, deep underground and in our oceans. Each of the following can be tapped directly or indirectly by going green.