KARNATAKA

Working towards popularising the concept of green buildings

Going Green:The installing solar power panels in homes is gaining popularity as more people are opting for off-the-grid, self-sufficient methods of using energy.— PHOTO: M.A.SRIRAM  

Is there a growing awareness among the people of Mysuru about the concepts of climate change and global warming consequent to drought and unprecedented heat in the recent past? Are people warming up to the idea of being environment-friendly and responsible in their life style?

The answer is yes, according to the Builders’ Association of India (BAI), which will conduct an exhibition of eco-friendly building materials to popularise the green building concept among the public. The exhibition will be held from July 1 to 3 at Jayamma Govinde Gowda convention centre here. “It is our perception that people are receptive to new ideas, but the only reason holding them back was cost. But this is no longer the case at least regarding installation of solar heaters and rainwater harvesting systems,” said N. Subramanya, chairman, BAI, Mysuru centre.

He told The Hindu that by and large, people are enthusiastic about the concept as it became evident in the previous editions of the exhibition. “The current trend is the installation of solar power panels to go off the grid and become self-sufficient and quite a few of our members themselves have installed the system,” said Mr. Subramanya, who expects more than 10,000 people to visit the expo.

There are concerns of high cost entailed but the products are becoming affordable and hence inquiries and response to the idea was picking up, according to BAI. Mysuru alone has about six to eight manufacturers of solar panels. However, the bulk of the demand is for installation of water heaters though there was increase in the inquiries about solar power generation, said Mr. Subramanaya. Other concepts like rainwater harvesting, biogas and even eco-friendly paints are gaining traction.

Rainwater harvesting

Most new apartments have solar panels installed as also rainwater harvesting system but more could be done. Though the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) made it mandatory for installation of rainwater harvesting system on new properties, it is yet to be implemented. However, there are examples worth emulating and this includes the Mysuru Zoo, which remained green and flush with water during this year’s torrid summer thanks to installation of rainwater harvesting facility. The Mysuru palace too has a similar facility, which reduces its dependence on water for secondary requirements.

Mr. Subramanya said the BAI plans to showcase 10 green houses, which are models worth emulating and constructed in the city. “These are individual residential units, which are completely green, have rainwater harvesting system, biogas, solar power and those interested will be given the contact number and addresses of these units when they visit the exhibition,” he added.