How to go green

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RINI MUKKATH explores eco-friendly alternatives to wood, bricks and electricity that can help reduce waste and preserve natural resources

Bond with nature:A home built using Porotherm clay bricks
Bond with nature:A home built using Porotherm clay bricks

The journey from bee-hives to your door may seem a bit bizarre but the team behind HonECOre has made this possible.

These doors are made of high quality paper honeycomb that are lightweight, eco-friendly and durable. The doors predominantly have wooden frames with different faces such as moisture-resistant ply, MDF (medium-density fibreboard) or HDF to form a lightweight structure. “It is a product made from recycled honeycomb paper and eco-friendly adhesive and is hundred per cent bio-degradable and non-polluting. It is an alternative to wood and EPS even while preserving the key virtues of their usage. Using a HonECOre door means you are saying yes to green-living,” says Praveen Crasta, managing director of Lsquare Eco-Products.

Solar power

Besides eco-friendly construction material, houses can also be powered with solar energy.

Solar power unlike oil does not emit any greenhouse gases nor does its acquirement harms the eco-system through spills or dredging. Although solar cells are not inexpensive, the technology is improving, and will only get better as the cost of other forms of power increase.

At the recent Light Show 2012 organised by K-LITE, futuristic trends in lighting were showcased and there was an emphasis on green-lighting.

“The cost of solar panels is high but with increasing demand, it is coming down. Solar and LED are the way to go and they are a good combination of green lighting,” says Dilip Kumbhat, managing director, K-LITE.

Solar lighting with LED is also a great option for rural areas, gardens and residential properties.

“The basic and underlying principle is that the sun rays incident on photo voltaic cells produce electricity (direct current) that is stored in a battery and this power in the battery is used for lighting the lantern,” adds Kumbhat.

Clay bricks

Most often people pay little attention to the walls when building a house and the material used in constructing them seems rather an arbitrary choice.

Wienerberger India manufactures Porotherm, horizontally perforated clay bricks that are made from natural clay, sourced from de-silting of water tanks that have fallen into disuse. In the manufacturing process, only natural additives such as coal ash, rice husk and granite slurry are added and not toxic or chemical additives, making it hundred per cent eco-friendly.

Porotherm is free from toxic gases and fumes that can cause allergies and other health problems. It is available in varied sizes for different wall thicknesses.

“By using clay, a natural material, and production practices that have minimal impact on environment, Osian Chlorophyll Green Homes at Porur is taking a step towards green living,” says Hitesh P Kawad, managing director, SPRRG constructions. At their Green 201 project, there are a series of horizontal windmills that are operable even when the wind capacity is low. And also, instead of causing industrial waste, the project is employing pre-casting and these structures are being assembled in an industrialised set-up reducing any waste production on site.

Whether a house is new or renovated, the materials and construction practices that are implemented must lead the way for environmentally preferable products and processes that do not pollute or contribute to waste or deplete natural resources. As the growing global economy expands, the demand for raw materials is on a steady high, and it is no longer sensible to throw away much of what we consider construction waste. Being eco-friendly can start at the construction and design level, by simply incorporating the use of raw materials and elements that reduce our carbon footprint.



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