Homes and gardens

‘Buildings should breathe’

Scot Horst, CEO of Arc Skoru Inc., explains the pollution mess

Scot Horst, CEO of Arc Skoru Inc., explains the pollution mess  

Experts urge incorporation of sustainability aspects right from the drawing board. By M.A. Siraj

Buildings should be breathing structures, not merely physical structures. The people living or working inside the buildings are more important than the structure and it is their lives that matter. Better buildings equal better lives. Green buildings are the ones that consume less energy and water, use natural light and air, generate and send out least waste, harvest rainwater, recycle and upcylce wastewater. These concepts should be incorporated in the planning stage and need integrated effort from developers, architects, project engineers and all other stakeholders.

Consensus revolved round these concepts at the Greenbuild India 2020 conclave in Bengaluru which brought builders, developers, architects and engineers together to discuss the sustainability aspects of construction and buildings.

Opening the conference, Mahesh Ramanujam, President and CEO, US Green Building Council (USGBC), said climate change does not spare anyone, not even those who contribute the least carbon to the atmosphere. “Africa is the least emitter of carbon, yet the most affected. Stakes are high, but so are the opportunities. Builders are required to take the green concepts from awareness to adoption.”

Ramanujam said urbanisation cannot be reversed and so sustainability aspects should be incorporated at every stage of development in order to maintain and safeguard living standards. “People, planet and profit”, he said, “constitute a triangle and every single among them is integral to the other”.

Scot Horst, CEO of Arc Skoru Inc., the company that was formed to support the USGBC, said, “Our focus at Arc is a score that allows everyone to compare how they are doing relative to themselves and to all others at a global scale”. Quoting studies he said humans added 475 million tonnes of carbon in the atmosphere during 2017 alone.

Speaking at a panel discussion on “Green Homes in India”, architect and Director, Environmental Design Solutions, Tanmay Tathagat, said the first 2,000 green homes were constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) under a Lucknow Development Authority project which got ready for occupation last month.

Shabbir Kanchwala, Vice-President, Raheja Group, said the rating system for green homes needed specific adaptation norms for India.

Sanjeev Saxena, Vice-President (Technical), DLF, said sustainability practices at the DLF’s 760-apartment complex ‘The Crest’ in Gurugram (which has been certified Gold LEED), has led to 10 to 15% reduction in power consumption and 30 to 50% reduction in water consumption. The project, with a 2.3 mn.sq.ft area, incorporated solar water heaters, rainwater harvesting, centralized STP and water chilling water system. Irrigation of the surrounding gardens and cooling towers within the complex were entirely done by the recycled wastewater. The complex also introduced shuttle bus service to the nearest Metro and bus station in order to reduce the overall carbon footprint. “The DLF is now partnering with EV-charging experts to cover the 100% parking space in the basement as EV is the fuel for the future”, Saxena added.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 3:36:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/homes-and-gardens/buildings-should-breathe/article30824015.ece

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