The reason for building greener homes is really quite important. We need to live more lightly on the earth, because the degradation of our environment is compromising not only our survival, but the survival of most other living beings on this planet. We can no longer ignore the impact we have on the earth’s ecosystems. The way we live, the choices we make in providing for our needs, will have an enormous influence on the quality of life of those who will follow us. Now is the time to take responsibility for the consequences of our life styles!
How we build our homes, both in design and choice of materials, is one of the most significant ways that we can affect our future. Much of the concern boils down to the use of energy. How much energy is embodied in the building materials themselves, in their transportation and assembling? Then once the home is built, how much energy does it consume to keep its inhabitants comfortable? Consumption of energy has a direct influence on environmental quality, because of the inherent pollution through greenhouse gasses and other emissions. Then there is the loss of natural beauty, ecosystems and basic resources associated with the extraction of fossil fuels and building materials. The combined effect of this is staggering.
Quite a bit of attention has been focused on the issue of green building materials. What makes a given product “green”? How do you evaluate the relative greenness of different products? How do you find green products? More important, perhaps, manufacturers are asking, “How can we make our products greener?”
A natural building is usually on a smaller scale and tends to focus on the use of natural materials that are available locally. Other commonly used terms include sustainable design and green architecture.
With the IGBC having indigenized the LEED rating called as ‘LEED India,’ Green Building in India is poised for a major growth; the visible impacts and investments in this direction has moved up distinctly over the years. The Indian Government has also launched a massive project called the ‘Indian greening project’ to increase the green cover in India to over 33 percent by 2012.
After posting an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23% through 2006, the market for green, or environment friendly, building materials is expected to continue growing from almost $2.2 billion in 2006 to $4.7 billion in 2011, although at a slightly slower rate of 17%, according to Green Building Materials in the U.S., a new report from market research publisher SBI.
Green building bring together a vast array of practices and techniques to reduce and ultimately eliminate the impacts of buildings on the environment and human health. It often emphasizes taking advantage of renewable resources, e.g., using sunlight through passive solar, active solar, and photovoltaic techniques and using plants and trees through green roofs, rain gardens, and for reduction of rainwater run-off. Many other techniques, such as using packed gravel for parking lots instead of concrete or asphalt to enhance replenishment of ground water, are used as well.
Effective green buildings are more than just a random collection of environment-friendly technologies. They require careful, systemic attention to the full life cycle impacts of the resources embodied in the building and to the resource consumption and pollution emissions over the building’s complete life cycle.
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) plays an active role in promoting sustainability in the Indian construction sector. The CII is the central pillar of the Indian Green Building Council or IGBC. The IGBC has licesensed the LEED Green Building Standard from the U.S. Green Building Council and currently is responsible for certifying LEED-New Construction and LEED-Core and Shell buildings in India. All other projects are certified through the U.S. Green Building Council. There are many energy efficient buildings in India, situated in a variety of climatic zones. Many architects from India are adopting green building techniques.
Considering the tremendous potential available for green materials and equipment, India would be the destination for several manufacturers; helping real estate developers like us go green. This has, of course, coupled with favourable policies of the government that provide the right impetus for advancing the Green Building movement in India.