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Green building practices: Key o future urban development

Bhavesh Jha, CEO Root Logix

Economic development, expanding cities, increasing population in metropolises are altogether putting an additional burden on the urban economy as well as its natural and social environment.  The added up population will have to survive with the available natural environment (Air, Water, Soil) per capita. 

 The rapid urbanization has resulted in the environmental degradation and production of huge amounts of toxic waste, which has been a great cause of concern in urban planning. 

 The infrastructure and construction sector, for instance, contributes significantly to the economy, employment, and GDP in any economy. In India, the sector’s contribution to GDP is around ten percent. Building and construction sector has a major role to play in creating improved urban living conditions.  However, targeted initiatives and a policy-based approach is called for in mitigating the ill-impacts on the environment from the urban expansion. 

The Real Estate sector has been one of the major energy consumers and emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs). The sector has more than 50% share of resources, also accounts for more than one third waste generation worldwide.” observed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Study 2005. Growing urban pockets and population makes it very challenging to address some of these concerns. Pollution levels in many cities are going high, due to evergoing construction as well as building activities. There are many other contributing factors as well.

Make cities green

  The particulate matters and the other hazardous substances used and emitted during construction activities contribute to environmental degradation. The non-recyclable materials such as mercury, fluorescent bulbs, batteries, hazardous waste, and lead-based paints etc pose serious threats to the environment as well as health.   It calls for building green cities and green buildings. Can we not transform our cities greener? 

Green building practices 

Green Building Practice provides a solution and key to sustainable performance-based urban development. Ensuring resource efficiency is key to the approach.  Energy, water, and materials are to be used with caution.

 The process of reducing the building’s impact on human health and the environment is critical. Buildings have to emanate less heat, adoption of energy-saving materials, conservation of energy by appropriate designs and kind of materials used are all aspects.   Governments have been providing special provisions and subsidies to encourage Green Building and construction practices. 

Why Green building

The building and construction industry has a major share of energy and resources consumption. They are responsible for about 25-40 % of energy consumption, 30-40 % of material resource consumption, 30-40 % of waste production and 30-40 % of the greenhouse gas released globally. Inefficient and improper garbage disposal systems, shortage of water and other civic services are imposing an unbearable burden on urban and already burdensome city life.

Green Construction: A collective responsibility

Environment degradation, climate change, and impact on the ecological system are now known to everyone. The micro and macro economy with its unsustainable practices and irresponsible consumption pattern put a great concern over human sustenance.  The increasing man-made influences on the environment is suffocating the sustainable growth of the economy as a whole. Sustainable environment and development is being the prime objective in this polluting era. 

Building and Construction Industry as a whole is a very high GDP contributing sector for all the economies. The sector is the backbone to economic progress but also a high job providing segment. Various stakeholders involved should adopt a sustainable approach. 

Due to increasing infrastructure demand towards urban clusters, there has been a greater need for available amenities and resources. The government planners will have to look after the increasing demand and satisfy the needs and want of the local amenities. A long term approach, for instance, planning and visualizing for 50 years ahead or more is key to addressing these issues. The development practices and behavior at both societal, state and national levels, which is ethical and environmentally friendly, for a long-lasting existence, is needed.

Environmental challenges: a glocal issue 

The environmental degradation is a glocal issue, which is required to be challenged with local solutions. Every locality has its dynamics and the traditions, which would be useful in mitigating the impacts. The governments, policymakers, planners, architects, residents and other stakeholders must come together to address the issue. We need to find a solution to make our urban ecosystem where we live more livable. 

A local approach is what is called for. Here there is a role for building and infrastructure development enterprises, architects and engineers, consultants, small and medium enterprises working in the sector as well as local, regional and national governments. 

Root Logix with its focus towards a responsible environment and social development mechanism strives for the best of the industry technologies and solutions to help mitigate the ill impact of environmental degradation and the effects of global warming. Various services include vertical garden, energy, and daylight simulation studies, ECBC (Energy Conservation Building code) Report, Energy Audit, Environment Audit, Water Audit, Waste Audit and green building certification viz. LEED (Leadership in energy and environment design), GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) and IGBC (Indian Green Building Council). For more information or requirements, please write to us at bd@root-logix.com or visit us at www.root-logix.com        

Bhavesh Jha, CEO Root Logix

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