Understand the need of increasing the Temperature of our Air Conditioners !

Keep your AC temperature at moderate to high levels in order for power saving as well as cutting your electricity bill

A move by the power ministry to increase the default temperature in air conditioners to 24 degree celsius will help you save almost Rs 4,000 on annual electricity bills, apart from reducing energy consumption.

The Ministry of Power (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) has said that all room air conditioners (AC) will have to ensure a default temperature setting of temperature in the appliances at 24 degree celsius from January 1, 2020.

How you save

A common misconception is that setting the thermostat at 18 degrees will cool down a room faster. However, that’s not true. It will take the same amount of time for the room to reach 26 degrees—which is significantly cooler than the average current outdoor temperature of 40 degrees in Delhi—whether you set the temperature at 18 degrees or 26 degrees. Of course, 18 degrees will be much cooler than 26 degrees, if that’s what you prefer.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (a body of the Ministry of Power) has said that the reduction in AC temperatures to 24 degrees from the conventional 18-21 degrees can result in 24 percent of energy savings.

Countries like Japan and the US have already put in regulations for the functioning of air conditioners. Japan introduced a default setting for air conditioners at 28 degrees celsius. In the United States, some places have enforced limits on lowering the air condition beyond 26 degrees celsius.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency estimates that, considering the current market trend, the total connected load in India due to air conditioning will be about 200 GW by 2030. This may further increase as only 6 percent of households are using one or more air conditioners at present.

If the measures are followed by all consumers, India can save about 23 billion units of electricity. The total installed capacity of air conditioner is about 80 million TR (tons of refrigeration or amount of cooling required to convert 1000 Kg of water into one tonne of ice in 24 hours), which will increase to about 250 million TR in 2030. The demand for room ACs in India is expected to touch one billion units by 2050, compared to 6.5 million units right now. On the other hand, ACs account for 10 percent of global energy consumption.

Would it be feasible to have the AC temperature at 24 degrees in a humid weather?

The Normal human body temperature is 36-37 degree celsius. Hence, to take a temperature closer to 24 degrees is considered to be healthier for individuals in tropical regions like India. The ministry says that, as per the comfort chart, temperatures up to 25 degrees are quite comfortable for human body, along with the desired humidity and air movement values.

According to ASHRAE Standard 55-2013 Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, The thermal comfort zone is the condition of mind which expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment. This condition is defined using temperature, humidity level and air flow experienced by the human body, apart from individual parameters such as clothing and metabolism. Technical analysis indicates that, in order to achieve the desired comfort level at a steady state, the temperature setting can be 24-25 degree celsius.

Things to remember

The power consumption of an AC doesn’t just depend on the temperature you set it at. How much power your AC consumes depends on its star rating, the outside temperature, the hours of usage, size of the room, number of people in the room, insulation in the room, etc.

If you are setting the AC at low temperature and using a quilt or a blanket, it is not only unhealthy, it is also pure wastage of energy.

Normal human body temperature is approximately 36-37 degrees and putting your body through extreme high temperature on the outside and low temperature on the inside can affect your health.

So increase the temperature of your AC and keep it at moderate levels in order to not only conserve power, but also save on electricity bills.

To choose which is better between Cement brick & clay brick ?

Building your new home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make and, regardless of your budget, the exteriors of the home deserve more attention than the interiors – hence it is one of the best areas to consider good investments in. Now, if you want your investment to be a smart one you have to understand that the exteriors of your home should be built in such a way that it can provide you higher resale value in the future. And yes, the immediate benefits come along, which includes better protection and lesser maintenance cost or need for repairs due to continuous wear and tear. There are several options available that you can choose for exterior cladding, and it can be quite tempting to select the lesser expensive option. Again, you have the fact that sometimes saving a few extra bucks could cost you more expenses down the road. Today in this blog we are going to compare the two most commonly chosen wall cladding materials for your home’s exterior i.e., Cement Bricks Vs Clay Bricks.

Top 5’s For Cement Bricks Vs Clay Bricks Which Is Better

Here’s a 5-pointer comparison for the Cement Bricks Vs Clay Bricks:

1. Natural Vs. Artificial – Aesthetics

The moment you see your home you should get that proud feeling, isn’t it? And you get that feeling when you successfully create and maintain an excellent curb appeal; something that guarantees you a good return on your investment.

One interesting thing about clay brick masonry homes is that it promises you higher resale value. You may ask why; this is because of brick’s natural durability. Also, the aesthetic value of bricks doesn’t fade, break, crack, age, or grow dated. On the other hand, cement bricks are prone to fading, these have visible seams, can display cracks in the caulking, and has a ‘plasticky’ look which can nowhere match the charm of rustic bricks.

One more thing to note with Cement Bricks Vs Clay bricks is the color options available. Fiber cement siding does come in numerous colors, but clay bricks are available in limitless options with dozens of shades and textures. Clay bricks give us the option to be added even on creative details like around windows and doors, on porches and arches, and much more.

2. Installation Procedure

The brick installation process is tried and tested over generations now, but fiber cement brick installation is known for its complexity. Yes, if not done correctly cement masonry walls may face unsightly and expensive moisture problems. You can do quick research on common cement masonry installation errors to understand more information around it. Our point here is that any faults in the installation can create opportunities for moisture damage resulting in swelling, delamination, crumbling, and loss of paint adhesion.

3. Strongest Vs. Mediocre – Safety And Durability

A brick home provides superior protection from storms and fire. The Brick Industry Association provides this helpful web page with videos and studies that show how well brick performs to keep you, your family, and your investment well protected.

4. Energy Efficiency

Clay brick masonry homes unquestionably lead the way when it comes to energy efficiency. They are known for excellent thermal mass that provides and protects your home’s interior temperature from both cold and heat. Hence, you would save enormously on heating and cooling irrespective of the climate you stay in. Brick wall assemblies involve thermal mass and air space that create its remarkable energy performance.

5. Maintenance

To keep a cement brick masonry, look good, you would need to paint it at regular intervals of 5 – 7 years on an average. Painting your exteriors involves huge expense, along with this you would also need to regularly inspect the caulking used for joints, edges, around windows, and trim; caulking is prone to cracking and wearing down over time. And, if you need to do repairs, it’s hard to keep the entire exterior looking uniform. If you experience damage from accidents, sun fading, or storms, paint touch-ups might end up looking patchy too.

Compare this work to never having to clean, repair, or replace your brick exterior – that’s saving time and money!

Exterior cladding is perhaps the biggest portion of your budget. Brick is generally considered a more expensive option, but when you compare Cement Bricks Vs Clay Bricks along with the benefits the incremental difference could be huge in terms of longevity and returns – Basically brick saves you time and money over the years.

You can look upon Porotherm blocks. These are hollow clay blocks designed to provide better efficiency, durability, ease of use, and a host of other benefits that aid in cost-effective exterior wall construction.

Source – https://gosmartbricks.com

Ecological disturbance caused due to Climate Change is behind the Uttarakhand Tragedy!

The latest Calamity in Uttarakhand has once again turned the spotlight of the impact of Ecological disturbance and the raising concerns on climate change in our society. On February 7, a portion of Nanda Devi glacier broke off, leading to severe floods that washed away villages and damaged power plants. Around 200 people are still missing, and many of them are now feared dead.

States and the Centre need to take a long-term approach on infrastructure project-planning. This will have to start with the mapping of vulnerable areas and choosing the least disruptive, least environmentally-exacting course of action, even if it means dedicating significantly higher resources.

Scientists are yet to conclude what caused the sudden flooding of the Dhauli Ganga river in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district on Sunday—150 people have been reported missing and the entire Tapovan hydel project has been washed away. Experts cited in various media reports, however, say the blame squarely rests with the failure to draw a balance between fragile ecosystems & topography and development imperatives, compounded by climate-change effects. While ‘glacial lake outburst flooding’ triggered by a recently reported avalanche in the region has also been suggested, some experts are sceptical since no big glacial lakes have been mapped there.

Even so, the possibility that warming could have led to formation of hitherto undetected proglacial lakes would indicate some role played by climate change, which could have been exacerbated by development projects upsetting a topography that is sensitive to what may seem as minor changes.

In July 2020, experts had warned about melting of glaciers in the Nanda Devi region. A study by IIT Kanpur and Dehradun-based Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology shows nearly 26 square kilometres of the glaciated area of Nanda Devi region was lost in 37 years.

“Also study reveals that the glaciers of the valley lost 26 km² (10%) of the glaciated area between 1980 and 2017. The total glacierized area in 2017 is 217 km², which is 26% of the total area. However, during the same periods (1980-2017) the Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) of the glaciers fluctuated between 5200 and 5700 m asl (meters above sea level). The present study suggests that the glaciers in the region have responded to deprived precipitation conditions since 1980,” the study published in July 2020 said.

The shrinking of the world’s ice is now following the worst-case climate change scenario outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; a study by researchers at the University of Leeds has found that the world has lost a whopping 28 trillion tonnes of ice between 1994 and 2017.

For perspective, that is over 1.2 trillion tonnes of ice lost per year over a little more than two decades, while the ice-loss figure was 800 billion tonnes till then. Various experts, both government and private sector, cited in an article in the Times of India, have voiced concern about climate change effects in the Himalayan ecosystem, saying there are clear signs of temperature increases that add to the risk of glacier-related flooding.

Against this backdrop, the construction of hydel projects, and related development activity, in vulnerable regions needs closer scrutiny and careful weighing against alternative models. In the 2013 floods in the state, scientists had raised questions over the assessment of environmental impact of such projects and their role in exacerbating natural disasters.

The role of unplanned development was also flagged in Kerala floods of 2018 and the Kashmir floods of 2015. Indeed, a Supreme Court appointed committee, as per media reports, had warned against hydel projects over an altitude of 2,000 metres, saying such developments could result in disasters; it had recommended the cancellation of 23 out of 24 projects under way at the time.

Without reassessing the environmental cost of development—more so in hilly regions—and factoring in much-earlier-than-anticipated effects of climate change, India is likely to see more such disasters. States and the Centre need to take a long-term approach on infrastructure project-planning. This will have to start with mapping of vulnerable areas and choosing the least disruptive, least environmentally-exacting course of action, even if it means dedicating significantly higher resources.

As India tries to change course on energy production, it will also need to aggressively push a climate-forward agenda for the rest of the globe. Reducing the carbon output of the national economy may be ‘doing our bit’, but the time for piecemeal action is long over.

Green technology is essential for Future Construction

Builders all over the globe are gravitating towards greener technology methods that can make buildings energy-efficient and sustainable. Homeowners are also showing interest in projects that deploy raw material and construction techniques with a lower carbon footprint and that are not detrimental to the environment. These techniques are being extensively used in modern construction right from the inception phase and in every aspect of the project construction; design, selection of raw material, the systems that run the construction, and the operation.

Renewable power

Pic Credits: https://www.treehugger.com/

Renewable energy sources help in the creation of self-powered buildings. These structures generate their own power to support their energy requirement. In most cases, it is done through solar and wind power. The use of solar power isn’t a new technology. It has been around for long, but now it is widely used by builders as an effective and green alternative to traditional energy sources. 

Using the sun’s energy in active solar power generation involves using the solar panels to generate electricity. Passive solar power generation, on the other hand, uses the sun’s rays to heat the houses using the strategic placement of windows and heat-absorbing surfaces. Wind power is being used by skyscrapers that have wind turbines mounted on the rooftops. The strong air currents at high altitudes propel the turbine blades which results in the generation of power.

Green Insulation

Pic Credits: https://theconstructor.org/building/

Thermal insulation of a building plays a very important role in improving the quality of life of the people residing or working there. Using hollow clay bricks like the Porotherm Thermo bricks is one such greener technology innovations in the field of modern construction for green insulation. These bricks are eco-friendly, made from easily available raw material that is clay, and rank high on the sustainability meter. 

Sustainable raw material

Pic Credits: https://greenbuildingelements.com/

Using bio-degradable raw material is one of the ways of creating a sustainable structure. A lot of waste products and toxin materials are generated during the construction of a building. This waste piles up in landfills for centuries before degrading. We can avoid this by going in for bio-degradable raw materials like bamboo, recycled glass, and organic paints. A relatively newer but effective sustainable material that can be used is eco-concrete. It is practical, durable, strong, and acts as an air purifier with its smog-eating properties. These raw materials do not pose any threat to the environment and improve the productivity and health of people. 

Water-efficient systems

Pic Credits: https://www.homeonline.com/hol/home-tips

Using water-efficient technologies in the construction process is one of the green and sustainable ways of making the structure adhere to green standards and green technology. These technologies include re-use and application of efficient water supply systems and deploy methods like rainwater harvesting, dual plumbing, grey-water re-use, and water conservation fixtures. The use of these water-efficient technologies can lower water wastage by as much as 15%.

Cool roofs and smart glasses

Pic Credit: https://energyhawksusa.com/

Cool roofs reflect more of the sun’s rays than other roofs and prevent the warm or cool air inside from escaping through the top of a building. A cool roof keeps the temperature inside a building low (a cool roof can cut that down by more than 50 degrees) that reduces the strain on the air conditioning systems. This, in turn, reduces the emissions from the heating and cooling units. 

Smart glass is an electrochromic glass that uses a tiny burst of electricity to charge ions on a window layer. It controls the amount of light that the glass will reflect. It is different from the low emittance windows that block partial radiation of the sun as with smart glass, you can choose the amount of light you want to block. This technology is especially beneficial for skyscrapers that use a lot of glass in their façade. The smart glass windows tint automatically during peak sun hours and become transparent in the evenings, night. This glass is expected to reduce HVAC costs by almost 25 %.

A structure becomes great not only by its design but also by its impact on the environment. It is time for the buildings to enter into a symbiotic and healthy relationship with the environment by using green technology-based construction methods. 

Source – gosmartbricks.com

Understanding all about Roof Insulation & its importance

The insulation of a roof is just as important as the outer material. Insulation is important to the longevity of your roofing system and has been used for centuries. Over the years, insulation has changed and adapted, but its purpose is the same; keeping heat inside when you need it and outside when you don’t.

The Importance of Roofing Insulation

Insulating the roof of your building 2saves you money every year. By controlling the internal building temperature insulation saves the need for energy. You no longer need as heating and air conditioning. Insulation reduces the amount of energy needed to run the building. Using less energy means you are keeping money in the bank and protecting the environment by leaving behind a smaller carbon footprint.
Roofing is exposed to more environmental pressures than any other part of the building, especially weather. Rain, snow and sun exposure wears away roofing and can cause damage which interferes with insulation and energy savings.

1] What Is Roof Insulation?

Unquestionably, the roof is an integral part of any building structure as it protects the structure against extreme weather. Without it, the walls and even the foundation of any structure are defenseless to damage. A roof that is well-maintained can act as an excellent defense element for the building shielding it from all harsh elements – hence roof insulation is imperative.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy heating and cooling home accounts for approximately 48 percent of the overall energy consumption. And a typical house loses nearly 44 percent of the available energy to poor insulation. Explaining in simple words, deprived of any material blocking it, warm air would rise upwards naturally and cold air will descend – Resulting in abrupt interior temperatures. There may also be significant heat gains through roofs during the summer. This means that insulating a loft, attic or roof is a simple and effective way of reducing heat loss, the size of heating and cooling systems, energy usage and so carbon emissions. Hence if you wish to improve energy efficiency in a home, you would need to work on your home insulation.

Here is a simple video that explains roof insulation:

2] Different Types Of Roof Insulation

There is a range of different materials available that are easily available for roof insulation, a few of which are comparatively cheap and can be installed without any specialist expertise:

·Blanket Insulation Or Matting Insulation

One of the most common and easiest to install is blanket insulation. These generally come in foil-backed rolls or rafters, and are held in place using timber battens between the rafters or joists. Blanket insulation is usually made of glass wool or mineral but sometimes these are also made from plastic fibers and natural fibers like cotton and sheep’s wool.

·Foam Boards

Rigid panels of insulation that are first cut and then fitted in place. Commonly foam boards are made of polystyrene, polyisocyanurate, and polyurethane.

·Radiant Barriers

Radiant barriers constrain heat transfer by thermal radiation and are more effective in hot climatic conditions. These can be easily stapled to the underside of the rafters. According to studies, this type of roof insulation can significantly gain heat.

·Blown-In Insulation

This type of insulation involves cellulose mineral fibers being blown into a void in the roof space. These demand specialist equipment and expertise, but again, these are very quick to install and are very effective for spaces that have limited access, like the gaps between roof joists.

·Spray Foam Insulation

Here, spray foam is formed of polyurethane, and then it is sprayed as a liquid which slowly expands to up to 100 times its original volume. Once it sets, it creates an effective thermal and noise insulating layer.

3] Advantages Of Insulation

As a homeowner, there are multiple reasons to insulate, here are a few:

  • Energy and cost efficiency – With efficient insulation, you will save energy and money. Around 30 percent of a building’s heat loss is in the roofing. When an efficient insulation system is properly installed, you are saving both.
  • Adds an additional layer of protection – It prevents damage in the long run that can potentially come from moisture and ice dams.
  • Reduces carbon footprint – Insulating your roof is one of the most important energy-saving projects you can complete in your home. Studies suggest that efficient insulation reduces CO2 emissions which aid in combating air pollution.
  • Prevents the growth of molds – Insulation is the best tool to prevent molds from forming. Because insulation manages the temperature and moisture of a building, it directly affects the growth of molds.

Roof insulation may add to your expenses during construction for now, but soon you would see that you are getting more returns in the term of savings in the long-run.

4] Roof Insulation – Inside Vs Outside

The insulation of your roof can be done either from inside or outside:

Insulating your roof from the outside has many advantages. In addition to avoiding emptying any rooms in the attic, insulation from the outside does not cause a decrease in your living space and limits the risk of thermal bridges. This is a preferred solution if you are renovating a facade or roof. Among other benefits, this technique leaves the frame apparent from the attic.

Insulation from the inside is a suitable solution, mainly in new construction. This roof insulation method is ideal if you have not yet fitted out the attic and allows you to keep the roof covering system unscathed.

5] Things To Consider Before A Roofing Insulation Installation

If you feel that you need roofing insulation, here are a few things you should know and consider more things to know.

  • Insulate Flat Roof From Above

A flat roof should if possible be insulated from above. A layer of rigid insulation board could be added either on top of the roof’s weatherproof layer or directly on top of the timber roof surface, with a new weatherproof layer on top of the insulation.

  • Decide Whether To Insulate Your Attic Floor Or Roof

If you plan to utilize your attic space as a bedroom, you need to keep it warm as the rest of the house. In that case, insulate the roof. But if you don’t use your attic, you can insulate the floor. This option is easier and more affordable. Insulating both the attic floor and the roof is possible. Just keep in mind that this process is difficult and expensive.

  • Get A Roof Replacement During The Fall Season

Fall makes a perfect time to replace your old roof. Your roofing contractor can do a roof insulation foam installation at the same time. This prepares your roof for the winter. With new roofing insulation, you save on winter heating.

  • Beware Of Fire Hazards

Find a qualified and legit roofing contractor that knows how to install roof insulation foil or your preferred material. Incorrect installation can create fire hazards.

Source – Gomsmartbrickc.com, adcoroofing.com

Sustainable Future Buildings : After the Post Covid Era

Buildings : After the Post Covid Era

Year 2020 will be the year called as the year for Phase Transition not only because of a fight from virus but also the Transition in various sectors and how it will be different with the future scenarios. Its impacts are felt in every facet of society, from an individual’s emotional and social health to the broader consequences felt in the built environment, i.e. in architecture.

(Source: The New Yorker)

The hygiene levels demanded by COVID-19 simultaneously require a cleaner, more pollution-free environment something that begins at home. Therefore, sustainable homes that promote environmental consciousness are on the rise as harbingers of clean air and lower environmental impacts.

The Current Scenario

As we shift to work-from-home environments (with many companies indicating a permanent shift), the importance of the home comes into focus. Working from home does not mean that we suddenly have more than 24 hours in a day. It simply means we spend more time within the four walls of our homes, hoping that we are safer from the virus.

Eco-friendly homes, in this regard, offer a double benefit: they clean and purify the air indoors, reducing the risk of airborne diseases, and they reduce the overall environmental impact. Architecture has long been a contributor to global warming, with Ed Mazria, the founder of Arch2030, saying that buildings will account for 60% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Therefore, urban and architectural planning will undergo a radical shift post-COVID. The goal will continue being providing the safest possible spaces that protect humans from COVID and any potential future virus of this magnitude. The built environment was not previously concerned with social distancing, therefore not accounting for it during the planning process. COVID changed this and is now causing indoor gardens, more partitions, and fewer open-plan spaces. These are all indicative of green or healthy housing techniques by preventing high-density crowding and giving people the feel of the outdoors from their homes.

Therefore, several consequences may be here to stay in the post-COVID world of sustainable homes.

The Future of Eco-Friendly Homes

(Source: World Green Building Council)

Although we have already mentioned a few possibilities, these remain the tip of the iceberg. People are more vigilant about their homes while trying to create the feeling of being outdoors. Staying cooped up at home all day can take a toll on one’s mental health, otherwise. With this in mind, we want to present some predictions for the critical changes that will stay in a post-COVID world.

Open Spaces 

Open spaces allow for the 6-feet apart mandate that prevents the virus from spreading. However, they also make places look bigger and lessen crowding. Such positive factors are in line with the WHO’s 1988 report that spoke of urban centers being hotspots for infectious diseases – something we see now in 2020.

Therefore, open spaces are the first aspect that we believe is here to stay. In sustainable homes, open spaces in the form of verandas, porches, balconies, etc. will be covered by buyers more than floor space. Additionally, the comorbidities caused by a lack of Vitamin D can make individuals more susceptible to COVID-19. This additionally makes open spaces more desirable for homebuyers.

Natural Ventilation

Artificial ventilation can cause air staleness. If the temperature is not regulated adequately through this ventilation, it can also lead to condensation on calls, leading to mold and other such problems. Natural ventilation allows for a literal breath of fresh air to continually flow through the house.

Incorporating natural ventilation also reduces the need for air conditioners and other such mechanisms that adversely impact the environment. This automatically paves the way for eco-friendly homes.

Building Materials that Promote Health

The kind of building materials determines the home’s insulation ability and temperature regulation. Depending on the climate the house is built in, designers will have to choose materials that will not place the occupants at risk. All-natural alternatives are an excellent way to ensure this.

Using all-natural paint, for example, prevents the likelihood of toxic fumes being released into the environment, automatically erasing a chance of illness. Therefore, the occupant stays safe and, as long as the paint is a light color, stays cool in our tropical climate. Similarly, using clay bricks or terracotta tiles promotes cooler indoor environments – something particularly necessary during Indian summers – while ensuring sustainable homes.

Office Spaces

As we previously said, work-from-home is set to become a norm of the post-COVID era. Therefore, functional, stress-busting office spaces are necessary. Incorporating greenery and lighter paint tones create stress-busting, calmer environments while creating eco-friendly homes that keep the indoor air pure in a natural, healthy way.

Meanwhile, using studies instead of desks can create more functional spaces. Here, ensure that you purchase eco-friendly furniture since furniture glue can adversely affect the air quality.

AI and Touchless Technologies

(Source: Echelon | Ai)

Saying we entered a new digital era with COVID-19 would be an understatement. AI and touchless technologies prevent virus transmission by reducing contact. They also automate environments, introducing the idea of smart homes.

Smart homes are safer while being sustainable homes in their own right. Using motion detectors to turn on lights, automatically open doors at the touch of a button, etc. are ways in which homes can evolve to meet the demands of an increasingly digital world.

Conclusion

Architecture and house planning will be different in a post-COVID world. The advantages of smart housing and sustainable living are here to stay. They offer a higher level of safety against diseases like COVID-19 while also presenting more aesthetic and less stressful spaces for occupants to use.

Methods for Natural lighting in our buildings!

Lighting Natural Sustainable Buildings

Natural lighting, also known as daylighting, is a technique that efficiently brings natural light into your home using exterior glazing (windows, skylights, etc.), thereby reducing artificial lighting requirements and saving energy. Natural lighting has been proven to increase health and comfort levels for building occupants.  

Daylight is the source of beneficial vitamin D which our body needs to stay healthy. A building could be designed in such a way that there is maximum natural light inside the house. Some of the fundamental benefits of daylight are:

  • Sunlight during the day helps in healing the body
  • It’s good for strong bones as it contains vitamin D
  • Keeps the environment inside the house clean and pleasant.
  • Builds good immune system of the members of the family
  • Daylight also keeps the happy mode on inside the house for every member of the family

There can be various ways of modeling a  house with a  good amount of natural light and ventilation. Discussed below are the sources that could be used to do so-

1. Design of the house

The house could be designed by the architect in such a way that the shape and size of the windows can be defined clearly. The shading and glazing styles must be in such a way that it suits the building. The windows must be planned in such a way that there is maximum daylight inside the house.

Daylight 1

Image Source: cloudfront.net/

2. Directions of the Windows

The placement of the windows in the house must be in such a way that natural light could comfort the house throughout the day. Windows facing north can give maximum daylight. However, the thermal heat is lost during the winters. South facing well-glazed windows can bring in a good amount of heat and be beneficial during summers and winters.

Daylight windows

Image Source: kechdesignstudio.com/

3. Use of Glazing 

Glazing is the most effective way of getting maximum natural light inside the house. Few small strip windows in the ceiling could be designed which will increase the natural light and give a trendy look to your house. Around 30 percent of the ceiling can be used for glazed windows.

Skylights natural light

Image Source: techomecontractor.com

4. Roofing Techniques

Solar panels could be installed on the roofs to generate electricity to reduce the consumption of electricity in the house. The monthly electricity bills reduce because of such panels and it is a good option to pledge for green living. These panels absorb heat during the sun hours and store it in such a way which can be used during the night. The solar panels can also be used to generate electricity in case of power shutdowns. There could be the use of tubular Skylights. These natural light saves lots of electricity as they are installed on the roof. It absorbs the natural light and then flows in a tube and brings in natural light inside the house.

daylight solar panels natural light

Image Source: logic-sk.com/

5. Use of Sober Colours

While getting your house painted use of sober colours helps in giving a bright look to the house. Light colours could be helpful in keeping the house cool. The trim of the windows can be painted in white which can help in giving an elegant look to the house.

Daylight windows 1natural light

Image Source: remcuaminhdang.vn/

6. Jali wall design for your home

A jali is a commonly used element of Indian architecture. Jali walls have numerous advantages over a solid wall since jali walls can be used in places where there is no need of a solid wall. From providing privacy to cooling the indoors, jalis make for a sensible design element particularly suited for our climatic conditions. And also saves materials and increase the speed of construction.

Image Source: architecturaldigest.in

Natural light is an essential and free resource. This resource is given less importance. However, it has maximum advantages if the house is well planned with lots of sunlight helps to keep the home environment fresh, clean and keeps the members of the family healthy.

source – Go Smart Bricks

Is Natural Ventilation Really Exists for Buildings ?

We breath oxygen and exhale carbon-di-oxide (CO2), this is called the respiration process. When we are indoors, the level of CO2 in the air increases due to the respiration cycle. Along with CO2, body odor, moisture and other pollutants within the house make the air inside stale. Breathing stale air is unhealthy. To maintain freshness in space, the stale air must be replaced by fresh air regularly. Fresh outdoor air, is taken from the external environment, and the replaced indoor air in turn carries away with it the pollutants from inside your home. This process of replacing stale air inside your home with fresh air from the environment outside through windows and door openings, without the use of fans is Natural Ventilation.

Almost all historic buildings were ventilated naturally, although many of these have been compromised by the addition of partition walls and mechanical systems. With an increased awareness of the cost and environmental impacts of energy use, natural ventilation has become an increasingly attractive method for reducing energy use and cost and for providing acceptable indoor environmental quality and maintaining a healthy, comfortable, and productive indoor climate rather than the more prevailing approach of using mechanical ventilation. In favorable climates and buildings types, natural ventilation can be used as an alternative to air-conditioning plants, saving 10%–30% of total energy consumption.

In hotter places natural ventilation also help bring the room temperature down. This cooling effect can help reduce use of fans, coolers and avoid air-conditioners to significantly bring down your energy bills. You can employ the following strategies to improve the natural ventilation in your home:

  • We can design openings (such as windows) in your home’s building envelope so that they are in the path of wind flows from outside.
  • These openings must be placed at a suitable height in the direction of the natural breeze outside your home to allow air to flow through your rooms at body level to help make you feel more comfortable.

    Winds flowing at suitable height improve comfort
  • Place windows to facilitate wind circulation throughout the space. When wind flows in from one side, circulates through the space and exits from an opposite side, it is called Cross Ventilation. Cross Ventilation improves ventilation by distributing the flow of air throughout the space.

    Strategies to improve ventilation through appropriate window placement
  • You can enhance the flow of air inside your home by using ‘jaalis’ (lattice wall) and ventilators. Smaller windows funnel air into your home. Air passing through these small windows speeds up towards a larger opening in the opposite wall that serves as an exit. This engineered wind flow makes your home cooler. Traditionally, this was practiced in hot climates with ‘jaalis’. ‘jaalis’ are small apertures, that aid in accelerating passing wind passing to enhance ventilation.

    Winds speed up as they pass from smaller to larger windows.
  • High openings such as clerestory windows and ventilators act as effective exhausts for the hot air that accumulates near the ceiling of your home. Warmer air is lighter than cooler air, and therefore it rises up. This concept of rising hot air is called the Stack effect.

    Windows near the ceiling aid in removing accumulated hot air.

In humid climates such as in Coastal regions, ventilation can bring in much needed relief, because cool breeze replaces moist warm air faster away from our bodies causing the sensation of comfort. In desert like climates, natural ventilation can bring in unwanted heat as well which can cause discomfort. Wind passing over water bodies or through ‘khus’ pads, like in desert coolers, can provide cooler air. In colder areas, cold winds can cause discomfort. Obstructions around the house may be used to slow the cold winds. In the plains, which see both hot summers and cool winters, the in-between period is especially suited for natural ventilation when ‘Natural cooling’ can help avoid use of air-conditioners.

Naturally ventilated buildings should be designed to provide thermal comfort, to achieve adequate moisture and contaminant removal, and to meet or exceed Government Energy Conservation Performance Standards.

Understand all about Disinfection and its properties

“DISINFECTION” has proved it’s importance in the current world scenario. Almost everyone has a good understanding of disinfection Disinfection Hygiene Covid and it’s mechanisms due to the plethora of information floating around on the social media.

There are two basic methods of disinfection-

1.    Dissolving the pathogenic micro-organism using strong solvents like alcohol or soap

2.    Oxidising (much-localised burning / disintegrating) the pathogenic micro-organism.

The first method of dissolving the outer walls of the pathogenic micro-organisms is well applicable and can be put to use by application of hand sanitizers, soaps, etc. However, this method is not useful on surfaces prone to frequent contamination. As the soap needs water flush after dissolving the pathogen or a sanitizer will / may need a wipe to remove the remains of the disintegrated leftovers on the surfaces which may not be always possible.

To resolve this for disinfection of surfaces and contact points like handles etc. It is recommended to use oxidisers as disinfectants.

There are many known oxidisers been used for the disinfection processes depending on applications. Chlorine, Ozone, Sodium hypochlorite, Chlorine Di-Oxide, even non-chemical methods of disintegrating the pathogens like UV and IR also used many times, especially for water purification.

While having a cup of tea with a teabag type process Harshad Bhide and Vaibhav Raut, enthusiastic entrepreneurs, struck with an idea of creating something very unique in the present pandemic situations which will be easy to transport, making it very easily ready to use a product from the least nature harming disinfectant.

  1. The solution made as shown above is meant for surface disinfection only and not for human body disinfection.
  2. The concentration in 500 ml water when freshly made will be about 1000ppm
  3. A good range for disinfection is said to be 250ppm to 1000ppm
  4. The CLO2 is sensitive to UV, Hence keep it away from direct sunlight otherwise, the concentration depletes rapidly.
  5. You can use the mixture for up to 4-5 days from the day of preparation as the concentration will drop at about 50 ppm per 24 hours.
  6. Do not allow children to handle it though it is not toxic, can cause irritation to eyes and nose.

Ooops, least nature harming disinfectant???

I am not an expert in the chemistry of it so tried searching through the “Google world” to know more about it before we offer it to customers. And the following is what I came across in different knowledge bases-

“When compared with other oxidising biocides, Chlorine Dioxide has a significantly lower oxidation strength – this means that it reacts with fewer compounds, such as organic compounds and ammonia, yet is strong enough to attack the disulphide bonds found in the membranes of bacteria and other biological material. Chlorine dioxide will not react with many organic compounds, and as a result ClO2 does not produce environmentally dangerous chlorinated organics such as THMs and HAAs are not produced as a result of disinfection using chlorine dioxide. This process of “selective oxidation” allows the Chlorine Dioxide biocide to be targeted where it is needed most, disinfecting areas quickly”

It is important to note that the disinfection by-products’ of chlorine dioxide are easily manageable and do not present nearly the same scale of the problem as found with other biocides with a higher oxidation potential.

So we decided to use the Chlorine di-oxide as disinfectant agent. WHY?

How Chlorine Di-Oxide acts? Getting a bit technical…

Compounds within the cells and on the surface of cell membranes that contain oxidisable material react with chlorine dioxide, causing cell metabolism to be disrupted. Chlorine dioxide also reacts directly with disulphide bonds in the amino acids and the RNA in the cell. Unlike non-oxidizing disinfectants, chlorine dioxide kills microorganisms even when they are inactive. The oxidative load placed on the cells by the action of chlorine dioxide mean that most microorganisms are unable to build up resistance to chlorine dioxide.

How Chlorine Di-Oxide is made?

NaClo2+Acid = CLO2

While chlorine dioxide has “chlorine” in its name, its chemistry is radically different from that of chlorineChlorine and chlorine dioxide are both oxidising agents (electron receivers). However, chlorine has the capacity to take in two electrons, whereas chlorine dioxide can absorb five.

Chlorine dioxide can be used as oxidizer or disinfectant. It is a very strong oxidizer and it effectively kills pathogenic microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria and viruses.

Chlorine dioxide is a chemical compound with the formula ClO2 that exists as yellowish-green gas above 11 °C, a reddish-brown liquid between −59 °C and 11 °C, and as bright orange crystals when colder. It is an oxidizing agent, able to transfer oxygen to a variety of substrates, while gaining one or more electrons via oxidation-reduction.

ClO2 has been approved in most countries for use in drinking water and in large industrial processes is rapidly replacing chlorine. The generation of gaseous chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is one of several techniques available for the remediation of structures impacted by microbial growth (US EPA 2007). ClO2 can destroy all manner of microorganisms, including bacteria, spores, fungi, viruses, and even protozoan’s (Taylor and Butler 1982; Chen and Vaughn 1990; Sivaganesan et al. 2003; Loret et al. 2005). Gaseous ClO2 has been approved by the US EPA as a disinfectant, sanitizer and sterilant for the paper, fruit, vegetable, dairy, poultry, and beef processing industries (US EPA 2000), and for the processing of industrial wastewater (Lee et al. 2006).

Various experimental studies have confirmed the efficiency of ClO2 in deactivating Bacillus endospores. (surrogates for B. anthracis spores) (Buttner et al. 2001; Young and Setlow 2003; Cortezzo et al. 2004).

Reference Wikipedia: Chlorine dioxide has many applications as an oxidizer or disinfectant. Chlorine dioxide can be used for air disinfection and was the principal agent used in the decontamination of buildings in the United States after the 2001 anthrax attacks. After the disaster of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the surrounding Gulf Coast, chlorine dioxide was used to eradicate dangerous mold from houses inundated by the floodwater.

In addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has posted a list of many disinfectants that meet its criteria for use in environmental measures against the causative corona virus. Some are based on sodium chlorite that is activated into chlorine dioxide.”

In practical terms however, few bacteria live alone, and they are most often found in water and on surfaces in the form of a “biofilm” which is a close association of many millions of bacteria. Many biocides have particular problems in penetrating this biofilm, due to the polysaccharide “glue” that is secreted by bacteria such as Pseudomonas to hold the biofilm together. Unlike most biocides, chlorine dioxide can effectively penetrate the polysaccharide layer of biofilm without being used up in reacting with the inert sugars. This allows the ClO2 to act on the bacteria themselves, destroying the biofilm.

“Science Direct Paper: Chlorine dioxide was found to increase the permeability of outer and cytoplasmic cell membranes and consequently resulting in the release of vital nuclear materials which strongly correlated with loss of cell activity or death.”

For more information or queries explore more here

Reference:

https://www.scotmas.com/chlorine-dioxide/how-does-clo2-kill-bacteria.aspx

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorine_dioxide

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2214714418302836

Eco-Friendly Products in Window and Door Segments

Design trends in nonresidential buildings are increasingly making energy efficiency and eco-friendliness a priority. In few markets is this more evident than in the commercial window and door market. 

How is the commercial market different from the residential market?

The residential market is more directly impacted by building standards, such as those of the IGBC, GRIHA & LEED program. These are regularly updated and often come with some incentives by various state government. Additionally, homeowners immediately benefit from the energy bill savings and more comfortable indoor environments associated with efficient windows and doors

In the commercial market for windows and doors, the adaption of energy-efficient products has been slower — building owners typically pay for window and door replacements or upgrades, while building tenants reap the benefits of lower energy costs. However, environmental friendliness is becoming a greater priority, and products available for the commercial market come with a wide variety of technologies and certification programs.

How does the commercial window and door market go green?

  • Installing curtainwall can make buildings attractive and energy efficient. Glass building fronts with well-sealed panes and frames allow natural light to penetrate buildings, reducing the need for indoor lighting and creating a sense of the outdoors.
  • Tinting glass products, such as the electrochromic glass and the thermochromic RavenWindow allow daylight to come in while reducing glare and solar heat gain.
  • Energy efficient and uPVC windows and doors have become increasingly available in stronger, more durable designs that can be used in many light commercial settings.

Why do commercial building owners choose energy efficient products?  

Commercial building owners and tenants increasingly want to be perceived as environmentally friendly companies. Energy conservation is important, particularly when it can also save costs. Energy efficient window and door products can pay for themselves in utility bill savings. Additionally, the number of commercial buildings that boast LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) qualification, a well-known standard for environmentally friendly buildings, or meet the standards of other green building programs is on the rise.

The United States Green Building Council’s (USGBC) recently developed LEED v4 rating system will become the only set of standards used by LEED. The new standards revised existing LEED standards and expanded ways for buildings to earn credit toward green practices. In the window and door market, the new standards allow for a wide variety of products to be used to qualify for LEED points in various categories. 

For example, windows and doors can earn points toward LEED certification via the Energy and Atmosphere category by being well-insulated, limiting the energy consumption of a structure. Additionally, windows and skylights that provide daylight — reducing the need for artificial lighting — can help earn Indoor Environmental Quality LEED points. Window and door products can also earn points under LEED v4 by being manufactured close to the construction site and by offering a sustainable product lifecycle.

For more information about glasses visit Lingel Windows Store

How do eco-friendly paints contribute in lower down carbon footprint?

Changing the color of your homes is perhaps the fastest way of bringing in a complete makeover. With the rooms being just the same, repainting your home walls will feel like a completely different space and this, consequently, has been a favorite tool for both homeowners and interior decorators. However, it’s not as easy a choice when it comes to choosing the kind of paint you finally bring home. It will be important to note that we aren’t talking about color here. That is as vast a topic in its own right. Right now, we are concerned about the kind of paint materials you have to choose from. Of course, the first factor in this choice will be your budget. But if you aren’t too worried about the investment, eco-friendly paints would be the perfect suggestion.

Eco-friendly paints – What does it mean?

In simple terms, eco-friendly paints refer to natural paints that have low levels of volatile organic chemicals or VOCs. If you have ever opened a can of wall paint, you must remember the sharp smell it gives out. That’s VOC. It’s the chemical you actually smell and not only does this make you cringe for a moment, but it comes with adverse health effects in the long run. The toxic chemicals will linger in the room for a long time after a paint job is complete and in some cases, will be gradually releasing themselves for the whole lifetime of the paint itself. This is the reason why painters will tie a mask while working and insist on a well-ventilated environment.

Most paints available in the market today are oil and latex-based and according to Waste Management Inc., they fall under the “hazardous” category since the color pigments are mostly made from heavy metals such as lead.  Sometimes, paints specifically meant for outdoors also contain high amounts of fungicides. Today, most local paint brands will integrate some amount of biocide in the product to increase the shelf life and as per Green America; these can be detected even after five years of the initial paint job. All of it sounds disastrous since a home is where you are meant to raise a family, be happy and stay healthy. It’s easy to get fooled by the color but it is a responsibility to understand what lies beyond the looks!

This is where eco-friendly paints come in. A rather recent trend, these paints are generally made from a huge range of naturally available materials including milk proteins, clay, balsam, citrus, and natural minerals. The milk-based paint, for instance, is made from a combination of casein (milk protein) and lime. Though these are gradually coming into a trend, natural paints like this have actually been used for hundreds of years now. If you go to any Indian county side today, you will be astonished by how smooth they have been able to paint the walls using mud and select natural wastes. While clay mixed with cow dung has been a prominent choice of paint for village homes in India, modern technology has given rise to more sophisticated alternatives like milk paints.

Strictly for interior walls, products like milk-based paints are very low in VOC levels and are completely safe to be used in homes.

How to know if it’s eco-friendly?

Strict standards have been set by organizations like EPA to ensure that a paint product passes the eco-friendly criteria. When shopping for eco-friendly paints, it is necessary that you look for:

  1. The VOC label
  2. An organic certification (check on the internet for authentication)
  3. Check for chemical ingredients of the paint.

However, it’s not just chemicals you are getting rid of your homes by choosing eco-friendly paint products. Here are some added benefits to natural paints that should be considered:

1. Minimized environmental impacts

Natural or eco-friendly paints are strictly water-based paints without any oil base. Consequently, they aren’t toxic even when put to waste. Easily biodegradable, they leave very little impact on the environment. Over the years, technology has been improving and we now have amazing products with a range of colors for natural paints.

2. Natural raw materials

Natural paints are derived from plant extracts, lemon peels, bee wax, seed oil and the kind. This is what primarily defines the nature of eco-friendly paints. Consequently, producing natural paints don’t lead to unsafe emissions and nor does it require precautions when you are applying it in your homes.

3. Health benefits

The young generation of homemakers is quite upbeat about eco-friendly paints today. Thankfully, this is the generation that does take the environment seriously and does their bit in fighting the global climate crisis we are facing. While natural or eco-friendly paints do cost a tad bit more, they do balance out the extra costs in the health benefits they provide. Being non-toxic, they do not lead to any kind of illness, normally seen with chemical-based paints.

4. Fewer coats

Another reason why natural paints offer a good cost advantage is that they need fewer coats for the job to be done. Qualitatively superior to chemical-based paints, natural paints also provide better color retention properties, better coverage with fewer coats, minimal abrasion and an extensive choice when it comes to the range of shades.

5. Minimal waste

Made from natural products, there is very little waste generation in the natural paint production process. In the cases of chemical-based paints, several toxic by-products are produced during manufacturing and this alone leads to the toxicity of the environment. A more serious concern with the same is that these toxic wastes continue to harm the natural resources for several years to come. However, eco-friendly paints don’t come with any such bi-products.

A home is supposed to be the sanctuary for a family. This is a place where you bring kids into your life and see them grow. It certainly is a good practice to go for natural products, especially when it comes to the wall paint you are using. They are the part of the household that you most interact with and you can leave it to chance for an illness to creep underneath.

Follow these measures to reduce your Electricity Bill

When we make our own home, It is very important to think about the energy consumption for that. When we make home we already decide on all the external fittings and appliances that you would like to install but we don’t think about the measures to reduce electricity bill. These might include things like fans, LED bulbs, curtains, cabinets and other furniture, but have you spared a moment to become aware of the materials used in your walls?

In general, people just think about the type of paint that they would like to use externally so that it looks good, without giving a thought to the actual walling material used. We spend a major portion of our lives in our house. It is important for us to understand how using better construction materials can make a big difference in terms of living comfort and cost savings while contributing to the lowering of global climate change. Let’s talk about some measures to reduce electricity bill

RCC, Concrete Bricks or Porotherm Bricks?

Traditionally in India, builders and construction companies use concrete bricks or RCC shear walls, because they are cheaper and easily available. Bringing down the cost of the project for them. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency is introducing new legislation to make the use of green energy materials in the construction industry mandatory. Newer measurements of sustainable building materials factor in measures like U Value and RETV. (Residential Envelope Thermal Value)

RETV – What Is It and How Does It Matter?

The ‘U value’ measures the thermal conductivity or transmission of any material. The lower the value, the better the thermal comfort. RETV is an extension of the U Value, used to measure the thermal performance of the building envelope (external-facing wall, doors, windows and glass surfaces), or it can be seen as an indicator of thermal comfort. In short, if the RETV is lower, the house will be naturally cooler in summer and warmer in winter, without any use of external air conditioning. Globally, the RETV value of 15 or less is considered to be ideal for use in walling materials.

More Than 24K INR in Savings – Too Good to be True?

A recent report conducted by GKSPL ( Greentech Knowledge Solutions Pvt. Ltd.), did a comparative study on the different available walling materials. The report is titled “Calculation of RETV for Residential Projects: A Comparative Study of Different Walling Materials for Various Climate Zones” and is available here. (Add a link to the report )
The findings of this report are an eye-opener for consumers, who had no idea of the cost savings

Involved in using RETV compliant walling material. For a typical 100 m2 (appx. 1080 Sq. Ft) built-up area, the walling area is approximately 150 m2. It is assumed that 1725 bricks are required.

The study found the RETV value of the clay-based Porotherm bricks to be between 6.9 to 10.5 across different climate zones, while the corresponding values for concrete blocks and RCC walls were between 13.5 to 22.5. A huge difference!


By using RETV compliant bricks like Porotherm, the temperature in the house was lower, in the range of 3° C to 7° C between the Porotherm house and the Concrete block house. Using a Coefficient of Performance of 3.0 for the air conditioner, for the same built-up area, RCC shear walls would consume 6,233 kWh units annually, while Porotherm Thermobricks would consume just 3,400 kWh units, which makes a difference of around 2,833 kWh annually. This leads to a direct annual cost saving of ₹ 26,913. (Electricity unit rate in Hyderabad is ₹ 9.50 / kWh)

Conclusion

It is imperative to talk to your builder, contractor, or architect to ensure that they use RETV compliant walling material. It results in savings of more than 24K INR, along with the reduced need for external air conditioning. These materials also provide better circulation and superior air quality in the house. Do your bit to save our planet and your own hard-earned money. Go green!

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