Swati Sanyal Tarafdar
In 2009, in a report titled "Buildings & Climate Change: A Summary for Decision-makers", Sylvie Lemmet, the then Director, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, UNEP observes, "The building sector contributes up to 30% of global annual green house gas emissions and consumes up to 40% of all energy. Given the massive growth in new construction in economies in transition, and the inefficiencies of existing building stock worldwide, if nothing is done, greenhouse gas emissions from buildings will be more than double in the next 20 years. Therefore, if targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction are to be met, it is clear that decision-makers must tackle emissions from the building sector. Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions from buildings must be a cornerstone of every national climate change strategy."
While the global think-tank recently met in Paris to chart out region-specific policies to combat climate change, it is on the small to medium players in the Indian construction and real estate industry too to relook at the existing practices and systems and make the small and affordable changes that can go a long way to take care of our specie and the planet for the time to come.
With the transcending buzz around smart cities, and the increasing popularity of the 'smart' trends, every stakeholder in the construction and real estate industrial periphery are also adopting this magic word to promote their products. What is really smart? What can reduce energy waste and expenditure for the end user?
Opines Mr. Kshitij Batra, Director – Marketing, Schneider Electric India Pvt. Ltd to define the smart: Smartness changes with time, something that is smart today may not be so tomorrow. To keep up with the pace and smartness, one (a product or a company) has to constantly innovate and update. Smartness has three aspects – energy efficiency is only the third in the sequence. The first step to smartness is effective networking abilities and next comes optimum effect and control."
We speak to architects, academicians, and manufacturers to pull up a not-so-exhaustive list of components that can make a building smart, and at the same time, allow us to do our bit.