As there has been tremendous growth in the economic activity across the globe which is actually placing a lot of pressure on us on how efficiently we can use our resources, and save it up for the future as well because of the rapid increase in the population since the last few years. We contribute a lot to our country. The rising concern for the environment is driving thinkers to seek sustainable solutions. The real estate industry has a major role to play towards global warming due to extensive emissions of greenhouse gases. The major energy consumers are the real estate industries and they are the exact same who have been emitting greenhouse gases. Hence real estate industries play a very important role in the environment and the resources. This will bring us to a conclusion on how important it is for us to start developing green buildings in our country. Many problems start to arise when we actually think of green buildings as the cost of construction for these buildings are slightly higher compared to the normal construction techniques, when you look at the positive side for this is just that though it is expensive it is definitely a lifetime investment. There has been an increased human activity and the concerns for sustainability are more in recent times. Sustainability is not just by providing some trees and water bodies, sustainability is when we know how to conserve energy, use natural resources, impact on the neighboring environment and working conditions, and how long a certain building or space would last. This has led to the development of green buildings.
Sustainability emphasizes the reduction of environmental impacts through a holistic approach to land and building uses and construction strategies. A green building uses less energy, water, and natural resources than a conventional building. Sustainability creates a sense of a healthier living environment for people living inside it compared to the conventional building. The overall benefits of green buildings mostly depend on the extent to which sustainable features are addressed during the initial planning and design. The design has to take into consideration the various conditions starting from the different material choices, use of different technologies which will help in working towards sustainable/ green buildings.
Different myths and challenges
There are different myths and challenges regarding green building implementation. One of the myths that everyone believes is that sustainability costs a lot more than normal construction techniques. It must seek to create a healthy balance between its environmental, social, and economic. It is not just about green buildings but it’s also about creating a healthy community and sustaining a quality of life. Green buildings have made tremendous strides in the past few years. Some also have different misconceptions that green buildings are usually more about sustainability but lack in the aesthetic of the building, green buildings are usually very hard to find which will delay in the process of construction, these buildings are usually very difficult and complicated, it is also difficult to convert existing conventional buildings into energy-efficient buildings.
The GRIHA rating system
The GRIHA rating system is done by TERI which is called the green rating for integrated habitat assessment. They have developed an instrumental tool to evaluate the environmental performance of the building. GRIHA helps in evaluating the building based on how efficiently they have been using the resources. They have various points to cover in order to get this rating system done for a certain building/ structure. They have different variants like SVAGRIHA and GRIHALD for larger developments. This makes GRIHA applicable for the buildings, irrespective of their area.
One of the best examples that I have come across so far is the TERI building in Bangalore which helps in the research on the environment. They strongly believe that sustainability is not just about the building it comes from within a person. The architect of this building is Sanjay Mohe. All the TERI buildings have followed one thing in common: the concept behind this using the main elements of nature. The site initially itself had a foul smell coming towards the south and since the natural light and wind was through the north direction the planted more trees which will act in the opposite direction of the building which will help the building with natural ventilation and natural lighting without the mark of the drains in the south direction. They tried getting in as much as natural ventilation and lighting because they wanted to save up energy as much as possible. They made sure that air conditioners were used if only needed. They believe that the building itself should be cool by itself so they have solar passive features. They have made sure that there are no windows in the east and west but then the sun will directly hit the building. Northside will have a lot of windows allowing natural light into the building. Soft paving is used and not more concrete. They have made sure that the rainwater is collected into the building and will help in keeping the entire site cooler. For the vegetation they have used tropical trees, bio ponds it’s a natural process and not much maintenance is needed and keeps the surrounding cooler no matter what the weather conditions are. They have a lot of skylights in the building. Towards the foul smell of the site, they have covered it and used Kadappa stone. They have a stack effect happening in the building. This has been one of the best buildings which have a GRIHA rating based on the different techniques used in order to make the building sustainable.
Hence, green buildings play a very important role because of this growing crisis it seems very important for people to use their resources naturally. There are various people working towards the rating and making the building sustainable. People are realizing now how important green buildings are.