Sustainability of Construction Industry Through Green Building Concept and Optimum Utilization of Resources

Dr. Y. P. Gupta, Advisor, Naini Bridge Information Centre, COWI-DIPL Consortium, Allahabad

Introduction

Green Building Concept is about optimum utilization of resources, reduction of Green House Gases (GHG) and minimum operational cost. Consumer perception, durability, energy consumption and basic cost are some important factors in the Construction Activities which directly affect the resident. Worldwide construction, real estate and consumer sector have awakened to the environmentalism boom which is the result of heightened public awareness about climate change and energy efficiency. The tsunami in late 2004, the hurricanes that devastated the US west coast in 2005 and east coast in 2011 and 2012 most recently, the increase in temperature in summer, the melting of ice-bergs have all played a significant role in increasing awareness of this threat. Construction agencies across the world are developing strategies to sustain themselves in the wake of climate change and resource sustainability. This has to follow in India too and thus have to adopt two-pronged approach to combat sustainability.

First by working towards developing a low carbon landscape: Construction industry has to make efforts to optimize the energy efficiency of infrastructure to match with mandatory or TERI norms and voluntary compliance as per ECBC user guide about electric consumption etc. Moving forward with stricter GHG targets, there will be growing demand for new low carbon solutions which must have steps to understand how they modify the existing material resources; products and reposition them to ensure their sustainability in the real estate industry. Construction material manufacturers must also start working on these lines. Cement industry became the first to attain such status to use the waste products like fly ash from power plant and blast furnace slag from Iron Industry etc and thereby bring out Portland Pozzolana Cement or blended cement and thus reducing the carbon footprints and save resources in such product/operation.

Second, by building new low carbon construction setup: In tandem with the efforts mentioned above, there is a move to develop new radically-effective low-carbon generating raw material & thus construction. Builders across the World including India have awakened to this requirement. Green initiatives include green buildings; efficient planning & lighting and air conditioning systems, the use of renewable power such as solar, wind and biomass and promotion of green materials are some of items for use in Green Buildings.

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