Delhi

Not a costly affair

At first glance, the house at H-1456 in South Delhi’s Chittaranjan Park with its white and slightly narrow façade looks like any other beautiful house in the city. That is, if you don’t know that it is the first green house in the country with a five star SVAGRIHA rating to flaunt. Named ‘Green One’ by its owner Prasanto K Roy, a media consultant by profession, pulled down his existing house to build a green one from scratch and received the country’s first five star Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) for an individual house.

The material used to build the house was sourced locally and is recycled, such as fly-ash bricks. Lighter weight autoclaved aerated concrete (ACC) bricks were used to build the outer walls. The house was built keeping in mind optimum use of daylight to cut energy costs while the glass panels retain the solar heat, while bringing in the light. Rainwater is stored and waste-water is recycled for non-potable uses. The house also has a compost system for kitchen waste.

The idea of a green home first struck Roy when ‘ITC Green Center’, a green building with LEED platinum certification came up near his office in Gurgaon. “When I decided to move to Gurgaon with my wife and daughter, we explored green-rated buildings but not one builder had them,” Roy said. “Green? We have a golf course...and many trees, a leading developer told us,” he said.

“We moved into a rented place in Gurgaon but decided to redevelop my parents’ house in CR Park, where I’d lived for 30 years, into a green home,” Roy said.

The going wasn’t easy. The LEED and GRIHA systems were designed for large buildings and didn’t seem practical for a standalone house.

“We went to TERI and told them of our plans to build the first rated, certified green homes, and asked if TERI could not simplify the TERI GRIHA system. They too have been thinking about this and agreed readily,” Roy said.

The total cost of constructing the five-storey Green One came to under three crore rupees. Roy says that despite some electrical fittings that are expensive, the total construction cost per sq foot turned out to be less than 10 per cent higher than a conventional building of similar dimensions.

“My wife was really supportive through all the time and effort needed to get this project going. My daughter was six years old when we moved in and she was very excited, and read up about green buildings and spoke about them at school,” Roy said.

“People mistakenly believe a green building costs a lot more. The extra cost isn’t much but you save money on electricity and water,” he said.


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Printable version | Jul 19, 2021 12:10:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/green-homes-not-a-costly-affair/article7598972.ece

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