In India, the number of eco-friendly homes is increasing
By Adnan Mahfuz
As a result of the COVID 19 crisis, peoples are beginning to realize the importance of their four-wall plan. An Indian architect is contributing to that trend by designing eco-friendly, cost-effective and comfortable buildings.
When someone looks up in New Delhi, will see examples of modern multi-stories buildings and poorly planned construction. Carbon emissions from buildings are often overlooked in climate disputes. But in India alone, buildings and their construction are estimated to emit about 40 per cent of carbon emissions.
As an architect, Nilanjan Voyal has been designing sustainable and efficient buildings for over 20 years. According to him, the need for such a building has increased a lot. But there is still a lot of confusion about the definition of ‘Green Building’ design.
“The biggest misconception people have is that a green home is a home with a lot of greenery. Nilanjan said, “If you plant a lot of trees and grass, the building will become green.
It is not right at all. Green buildings become more environmentally friendly when recyclable resources are used with respect to nature, waste, and resource use is reduced, and many materials are recycled.”
A shining example of success
A design by Voyal in New Delhi has been recognized as India’s first five-star ‘green’ accommodation. The building called ‘Green One’ has been made as environmentally friendly as possible.
With the help of big windows, a lot of light and air enters the room. The building is insulated using a relatively new ‘Double Glazing’ technology in India. As a result, despite the intense heat of summer, the inside remains cold.
The building also produces recyclable fuel and collects rainwater. As a result, about 75 per cent of the water demand can be met, and the use of electricity can be greatly reduced. In this way, even though the cost of construction is high, but the long-term benefits are ultimately high.
Nilanjan Voyal said, “In my opinion, even if the expenditure is 10 to 15 percent higher, the profit comes up within five years and then virtually everything goes for free. In other words, you are returning resources to future generations and the environment.
This time we are moving towards meeting the ‘Zero Carbon’ target. Those Buildings where more benefits will be returned than carbon emissions. Such a solution is needed now.”
At present, there are about 1.4 million modern ‘Green’ buildings in India, which is only five per cent of the housing sector.
The Green Building Council of India expects the number to increase to 10 per cent in the next two years. Some state governments have also started offering concessions on eco-friendly construction methods.
Learning from the traditional construction style
However, a large number of hand-built houses in rural India does not make a list. Such houses, however, are often quite environmentally friendly. “We always get inspiration from our old structure, “Nilanjan said.
“The way we used to build houses in the past, the best structure was built in a natural way. We are adapting that method to the modern age, so that all those elements can be utilized by using modern technology. Today they are relevant and maintainable” he added.
Nilanjan Voyal also renovated his residence in 2000. The traditional and environmentally friendly process inspired him. “I have used all the broken tiles in the toilet,” he said. That is, every broken thing has been used as an element of design. Most of the tiles are coloured, so they reflect heat.”
Awareness is the key
At present, more people have money for the initial investment. Awareness is also growing in India about the impact of its own decisions on the environment. Nilanjan Voyal thinks, “I believe that awareness about sustainable practices should start at home.
At first, it should be an eco-friendly lifestyle, then a green building. In my opinion, that awareness is rising. Whether there is an pandemic or not, this attitude will increase. I am sure that in the post-COVID 19 situation, the demand for simplification of houses will increase.
Right now there are requests from customers for more environmentally friendly measures. There is also a growing demand for environmental pollution by planting trees.”
Will India be filled with green buildings in the future? An architect like Nilanjan Voyal is working with such hope in his mind. They are ready to make their contribution in this regard.