The rising sense of green among people has led to cost savings and creating sustainable living spaces, says PRAMODA KARKAL
Everyone is talking about 'going green' these days. However, the espousal of the environment cause dates as far back as India's independence era when Mahatma Gandhi famously said, "There is enough in the world for man's need but not for man's greed."
People are more conscious about the environment now and are aware of the different kinds of environmental hazards that could affect our future. So where do green buildings fit into this? As per the 17th Electrical Power Survey (EPS) of the Central Electricity Authority, given the spiralling urban growth, the number of buildings, energy consumption and the resultant carbon emissions being on a rise in the country, the electricity demand is likely to increase by 39.7% in 2011-12, by another 43.7% in 2016-17 as compared to 2011-12 and by yet another 37.5% in 2021-22 as compared to 2016-17.
Homeowners use up to 10 times more toxic chemicals per acre than farmers
By turning down your central heating thermostat by one degree, fuel consumption is cut by as much as 10%
Insulating your attic reduces the amount of energy loss in most houses by up to 20%
One tonne of carbon dioxide that is released in the air can be prevented by replacing every 75 watt light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs
Although we know that green buildings are environmentally friendly, how many of us know what exactly makes a building 'green'? According to the Indian Green Building Council: "A green building is one which uses less water, optimises energy efficiency, conserves natural resources, generates less waste and provides healthier spaces for occupants, as compared to a conventional building."
Green buildings have gained a lot of attention, right from leading commercial buildings to upcoming residential complexes. When it comes to commercial buildings, we recently released the results of the Energy Efficiency Indicator survey. This year's survey results provide a look at how business leaders in India are prioritizing and investing in energy efficiency compared to last year and to other regions around the world. According to the survey, 85% of business leaders in India considerenergy management very or extremely important. Strategies implemented for energy efficiency were installing onsite renewable energy systems and solar photovoltaic technology in new construction projects.
Evaluation is necessary to ascertain how green a building is. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ratings is the international rating standards for green buildings and GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) ratings developed by The Energy Resources Institute (TERI), is promoted by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) as the National rating system in India.
Energy efficiency will help us achieve a sustainable energy future. Owing to a rising sense of consciousness amongst consumers and real estate developers, with respect to how building techniques and materials impact all of us, the cost of many resources has reduced; thereby resulting in smart and cost effective residential green buildings. When energy efficiency increases in homes or buildings, it is not only the utility bill that goes down, but it also has environmental benefits such as reduction in green house gas emissions and air pollution.
There are many ways to adopt the green lifestyle at home, with the least amount of effort. The simplest step towards saving energy at home is to use energy efficient lighting systems as light takes up the maximum energy in any household. The compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), energy saving light, is the most easily available energy efficient bulb for homes, which not only consumes less energy but is economical as well, to suit your pocket. When buying new appliances for your home, always look for Energy Ratings. These products meet strict energy-efficiency guidelines and are often available at the same cost as less efficient models.
Energy efficiency solutions are simple and can be easily practiced by anyone and everyone. By reducing emissions, energy conservation plays an important part in lowering the impact on climate change.Adopting a green lifestyle is more about awareness and consciousness than about products. Going green essentially involves implementing environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and policies.
If you make it a goal to conserve energy, then even these simple steps can make a difference. Energy efficiency helps you save money, save energy, save water and save the planet!
GREEN BUILDINGS HAVE GAINED A LOT OF ATTENTION, RIGHT FROM LEADING COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS TO UPCOMING RESIDENTIAL COMPLEXES
Pramoda Karkal is the VP & MD
of Building Efficiency (India), Johnson Controls
The Times Of India 28 May, 2011