Building a sustainable tomorrow
It is estimated that 60 per cent (about 2.8 billion) of the world’s population will live in cities. As cities rise so will the pressure on space, ecology and energy. While this presents a major global challenge it also opens up an opportunity. Sustainable urban constructions can help address urban development issues related to housing and also contribute to a green environment with energy efficient solutions.
Building and living account for about 40 percent of global energy use. That figure can be reduced significantly, chiefly with more energy-efficient buildings. A city that does not consider how its actions will affect future residents is one that will certainly perish, but a city that adopts sustainable practices builds a foundation for a stronger economy today and retains a long-term advantage.
In fact, it makes the whole growth story of mankind sustainable. Some of the facets of green buildings are: heat reduction insulated roofs and walls that substantially reduce heat ingress thereby resulting in lower AC loads; cross ventilation with fresh breeze; goodbye to high energy costs solar lighting is safe for people as well as the planet; 100 per cent natural light all across, thereby cutting down usage of artificial light by 50 per cent.
A combination of economic, social, and ecological benefits: is what BASF along with Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) that organized a panel discussion on Sustainable Construction believe will drive solutions for greener buildings.
Green buildings do make economic sense, said Dr. PC Jain, Chairman, Indian Green Building Council. He added that early experiences did prove expensive because of the non-availability of materials and talent in the country. However, today both raw material and talent in the form of green building qualified architects and engineers are available much closer to the construction site. Moreover, green buildings can produce savings for property owners and tenants alike. By emphasizing cleaner air, natural light and other amenities, green buildings can cut tenant or employee turnover and absenteeism, and reduce overhead costs for heating, cooling, electricity and lighting.
From new building construction and renovation to interior fittings, solutions from BASF can be found in nearly every building project, said Prasad Chandran, chairman and managing director, BASF India Limited. “Sustainable construction is in providing meaningful, measureable, positive benefits to emissions, energy, materials, water, labor, health and safety over the lifecycle of a structure, while meeting or exceeding the performance required by our customers. BASF aims to head the technological development in sustainable building and to guide the industry towards sustainable construction,” he said. BASF had conducted an independent study in India that helped the company create customized solutions which considered the local climate and other social and environmental conditions.
However, the panel and the audience were in agreement that the campaign for sustainable construction can only catch steam when young architects with innovative design ideas equally value the green concept. Rajeev Mishra, Principal, JJ College of Architecture said that academics should and is playing a role to further the concept of sustainable building. Projects are rated higher if students incorporate green elements in their design and prove its working and effectiveness. Students are guided through the energy and environmental principles that balances established practices and emerging concepts.