Chennai-based, and a `green architect' in the making

Elizabeth Alex bags first prize in CII- Green Buildings of India national competition

Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: A Chennai-based architecture student has bagged the first prize in a national competition on green buildings organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and Green Buildings of India.

Elizabeth Alex of the MEASI Academy of Architecture , received her award from President A.P.J Abdul Kalam at a glittering ceremony organised, as part of the International Congress on Green Buildings, in the Capital recently.

Ms. Alex says that her award has spurred her to become more interested in green buildings, which are fast becoming popular.

"In fact, I started reading up on the subject only after I decided to enter the contest. Earlier, I had learnt only of energy-efficiency," says the final-year student.

The highlight of Ms Alex's essay is on why the green buildings are important. "They offer building owners and developers a much lesser operating cost and give a higher return on assets. For the users, they give a healthy and safe indoor environment. For the community, there are smaller demands on local infrastructure like energy and water," she says.

There is also improved economic activity as workers in green buildings can perform better. Although the construction cost of these environment-friendly buildings are 10 per cent more than conventional structures, Ms Alex argues their maintenance cost is much less and their resale value higher. "These buildings can make people fully alive," concludes her essay, making out a strong case. A `green architect' in the making, Ms Alex hopes to make such buildings the subject of her thesis this year.

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