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

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

Adapting the old methods’ in future Construction!

For the past decade, sustainable building has been a buzz word for the construction industry. The idea of sustainable building includes and assimilates a variety of different strategies during the design, old methods construction, and operation phases of the building construction. And, the use of green building materials signifies one imperative strategy in the design of a building.

Green building materials offer explicit benefits to the building owner and its inhabitants. Among all, the most significant benefits are listed below:

  • Improved occupant health and productivity
  • Energy conservation
  • Lower costs associated with changing space configurations
  • Greater design flexibility
  • Reduced maintenance/replacement costs over the life of the building

You have to believe, global building and construction activities consume nearly 3 billion tons of raw materials every single year which is equivalent to 40% of total global use (Source: Roodman and Lenssen, 1995). Hence, using green building materials is crucial as these promote conservation of the fast diminishing non-renewable resources globally.

Today, several builders and property owners are exploiting earth-friendly materials and construction techniques in their building projects. Appraisers must become familiar with these innovative types of materials, hence we put together 10 such green building materials that will play a vital role in continuing construction whilst supporting our planet for a sustainable future.

Top Green Building Materials Of 2020

1. Adobe

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The simplest of green building materials, ‘Adobe’ is nothing but soaked earth. Normally it’s a humble mixture of clay and sand and sometimes straw is also added. Also, to provide additional weather resistance cement is added to the mixture. Further, they are shaped into rectangular bricks/blocks which are used to make walls or partitions. Benefits of adobe include energy-efficiency and protection from both weather extremes and fire; however, it doesn’t insulate very well.

2. Cob

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One of the oldest methods of building with earth and straw or other fibers. The basics of this building material are very similar to adobe; it includes a basic mix of clay and sand, but typically has a higher percentage of long straw fibers mixed in. Here, instead of creating uniform bricks/blocks to build with, cob is applied as non-uniform clumps by hand in large gobs (or cobs). Cob has lots of beneficial properties which lends itself into a comfortable home, but like adobe, it lacks insulation.

3. Bamboo

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Owing to its amazing rate of growth, bamboo is considered as one of the most sustainable building materials of 2020. You will be surprised to know that bamboo grows faster than it is harvested. It is incredibly strong, in fact, twice as strong as concrete and slightly stronger than steel. This green building material can be used for both structural and finishing applications.

4. Earthbag

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The earthbag construction technique can be defined as construction which uses locally available soil in combination with woven bags, which are filled (with earth or sand) and stacked to form an efficient building structure. The fill material can be earth from the site, or sand, or another material like crushed volcanic rock or rice-hulls. Stacking earthbags is just one part, further, the bags are covered on the exterior with plaster, adobe, or lightweight concrete.

5. Poured Earth

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Very similar to concrete, but instead of the standard sand and gravel aggregate, the mixture uses native soil. And just like concrete, the material is mixed and poured into forms. Poured earth is a very strong and weather-resistant material. Insulation can be inserted into the forms during pouring, which provides for an energy-efficient building structure.

6. Rammed Earth

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As a building material, this option is tough, cheap and Green. Rammed earth is a mixture of earth, clay, and water which is crammed into forms. Conventionally this was done by hand, but current rammed earth construction is categorized by the use of heavy machinery, which is faster and more effective at compressing the material. Out of the several benefits, the main lead of using this material is its low cost.

7. Cordwood

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Cordwood old methods construction loads up short, round lengths of wood into a wall. Using what would normally be kept aside for firewood, cordwood looks like a stack of wood you’d have behind your fireplace with the ends of the logs exposed. The cordwood is held together with mortar, creating a wall with both high insulation and high thermal mass.

8. Strawbale

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The thick walls of a straw-bale building are becoming increasingly popular in the world of green building materials. Bales of straw from the harvesting of wheat, oats, barley, rice, rye, or flax are used as the primary building blocks. Essentially, there are 2 types of strawbale old methods construction: load-bearing and non-load bearing.

9. Earthship

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Here, earth-filled tires are set into the ground, this is a basic form of rammed earth in which waste tires become the form into which dirt is packed. Homes built using Earthship incorporates the passive solar rewards of berming with the use of recycled materials (commonly, old automobile tires) to create an efficient home. These homes heat and cool itself on its own and do not consume any fossil fuels.

10. Clay Bricks

There are several advantages of clay for which it can be used in architecture. One of the main being the fact that Clay as a building material is ideal for tropical conditions in our subcontinent. Other than these natural clay – of which terracotta is made of, is the most flexible form of earth. It is essentially the least resisting material. Clay is the oldest known versatile building material which has lasted for centuries sustaining its value and utility, it is the most plastic and workable material as it takes shapes of a toy to a material used for making high rise buildings. Clay, when fired, leads to a porous structure which is filled with air when dry thus providing the best of the insulation properties largely useful to regulate the temperature (keeping cool in summers and warm in winters).

In The End …

We need to realize that the world doesn’t belong to us – it belongs to someone who is yet to come. To ensure our descendants reside a world worth living in, we need to make proper use of sustainable resources. Let’s pledge to minimize the suffering of those unfortunate enough to be born in the apocalyptic harsh environment that we’ve spent so long stoking. Which of these materials do you think will have the greatest impact in the future? Do drop us a comment!

Until next time, let’s keep it green!

The Provisions for Sustainability in Budget 2020-21 !

Sustainability in India’s Budget 2020-21: On 1st February 2020, Union Finance Minister Niramala Sitaraman presented the Union Budget for the year 2020-21 in the Lok Sabha. In her Budget speech, Sitharaman mentioned three critical elements of development: aspirational India, development and a caring society. All these are critical part of sustainable development goals.

Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE)

  • Over the past three years, the allowance for the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had stayed below ₹5,000 crores. This year, the allocation has gone up to ₹5,753 crores to the ministry.
  • The government would increase the capacity of renewables to 450 GW by 2030. As of December 2019, 86 GW of renewable energy—including 34 GW of solar and 38 GW of wind energy has been installed.

Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MOEFCC)

  • Budget 2020-21 allocated Rs 3100 crore for MOEFCC, out of which Rs 460 crore has been allotted to control pollution, which is the same as the money it received in the last budget.
  • Rs 4,400 crore has been allocated to give incentives to large cities (more than one million population) to formulate plans for ensuring ‘cleaner air’. MOEFCC will notify the parameters for such incentives.

Emissions:

  • Old thermal power plants that do not meet prescribed emission norms will be asked to close down and their land will be used for unspecified alternative purposes.
  • The Indian Railways targets to electrify 27,000 km of tracks. The government plans to power railways through large-scale solar farms on land near tracks. The measures are in line with the Indian railways’ aim to be a net-zero emitter before 2030.

Water:

  • India’s Budget 2020-21 recognised water stress as a serious concern and proposed comprehensive measures for 100 water stressed districts in the country.

Agriculture & Allied Sectors:

  • India’s Budget 2020-21 also mentions the need to use organic fertilizers and change the existing incentive regime that encourages farmers to use chemical fertilisers.
  • Budget 2020 proposes to put in place a framework for sustainable management and development of the ‘blue’ economy. India is the second largest exporter of fish and development of fisheries has to be done in a sustainable manner.

Climate Change

  • Reiterating India’s commitment to climate action, Sitharaman said a lot of work under the 2015 Paris Agreement would kick in from January 1, 2021, on the “best effort basis”. India would execute all its climate action targets under the 2015 Paris Agreement under the normal budgetary provisions,” she added, in line with India’s stand of urging developed countries to fulfill their financial commitments under global climate action.
  • India has consistently maintained that finance remains a major roadblock and that it has been fulfilling its targets by relying on domestic budgetary resources. “The two global initiatives of Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and International Solar Alliance (ISA) would help India to enhance climate action, disaster resilience and address various sustainable goals,” Sitharaman said.

Ways to keep our Building & Environment cool without an AC !

Unquestionably, bringing down indoor temperatures without an air conditioner can be one hard-hitting task. But, think of our older generations; they used simple methods to stay cool during the summers which worked wonders. And yes, we need to acknowledge the fact that most of those methods were non-polluting and cost-effective. Building on this, today we take you through a few of the most common eco-friendly ways of keeping yourself cool during the summers – Note without wasting electricity or harming the environment.

1. Green Shade

A hint of greenery always brightens our living spaces; sadly, most of us are living in concrete jungles where natural shade is totally absent. We have allowed a lot of direct sunlight to beat our windows and roofs during the hottest times of the day – resulting in exceptionally high indoor temperatures.

Trees if planted on the southern and western sides of your house provide a great deal of natural green shade. Also, these are great for the environment as it can offset some of the carbon emissions produced from your AC’s. Irrespective of the fact that most of us cannot afford to have a spacious landscaped garden around our homes; we can still have a few pots in our balconies and kitchen gardens.

2. Use The Window Advantage

Like we say – Let the air in….

We must use our Windows to the fullest as these are key in keeping your homes cool. Open your Windows to create cross ventilation through the house. Try opening your windows more during the morning time as the air is fresher.

Another important thing, add curtains as these play a role in regulating the temperature. Insulating curtains can help your home in both summer and winter; this is because these blocks hot air out in the summer and cool air out in the winters.

3. Whitewash Your Roof

This might sound strange, but whitewashing the roof with some light colors actually works in bringing down the indoor temperature by 5-10 degrees. Also, not just the indoors of the homes, if all the surfaces in a city are painted white, they can considerably bring the temperature down for the entire surrounding. This interesting technique is an ancient one, which is still used in parched regions like Rajasthan.

All you would need to do is apply a single coat of good quality exterior paint which is water-proof on your building roof every two-three years depending upon the amount of rain received in the region you stay.

4. Rooftop Garden

Did you know? Rooftop gardens can be installed on large and small commercial/residential buildings and even on vehicles having a roof. These interesting gardens help in creating a refreshing pollution-free environment and act as a mobile indoor air purifier – especially in congested cities where we stay. The thick layer of soil helps in cooling down the air below the roof automatically.

These interesting garden set-ups can bring back the lost bees, birds, butterflies, etc. which are no longer seen in the polluted cities we live in.

5. Khus Khus Carpet

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In small and medium-sized towns, Khus Khus carpets are one ultimate equipment that is used to beat the summer heat. These carpets made of khus khus are soaked in water and hanged from the ceiling, spreading across the terraces. The most interesting thing about them is that they do not allow the heat in the air to pass through, instead, it evaporates providing cool breeze for people living behind the layer.

6. Proper Insulation

This is more relevant for those who live in old buildings/apartments; Proper insulation can do wonders in keeping the cool air inside. And the most important aspect of proper insulation is ensuring your home is airtight i.e. air isn’t managing to escape through the doors or windows.

If you are planning to build a new home, identifying basic insulating materials are important. Here is a list of basic insulating materials; wool insulation materials, slag slabs, natural fibre insulation materials, porotherm bricks, gypsum board, vermiculite and perlite insulation materials, cementitious foam insulation materials, gasket cork sheet, insulation facings etc.

Stay Cool + Environmentally Friendly

With these tips in place, you can stay cool and harm the environment in the least possible way. Once you start implementing these tricks at your home, you will stay cool, save loads on your electricity bill and be gratified on the fact that – You are helping the environment.

source – Gosmartbricks

Sustainable Cooling Solution’s

EXCEL CoolCoat® is a water-based, high solids, PUD hybrid, Summer Cool coating for Roof. EXCEL CoolCoat® contains both reflection and nano insulation pigments for best in class heat protection. Along with it, the adhesion enhancer & Nano UV protectors prevent the coating from UV degradation delivering excellent weatherability and longer service life. EXCEL CoolCoat® is powered with micro-fibres for excellent water proofing & crack resistance.

EXCEL CoolTile is a heat reflective & insulation tile which will reduce heating effect of the buildings, save significant energy and adds on maintenance savings. The product is environmental friendly, commercially resourceful and suitable for various applications such as industrial projects, commercial buildings, houses, cold storages & any new/old terrace buildings

EXCEL StayCool is an advanced Nano-technology based transparent glass coating which insulates the glass, and it can effectively filter majority of the UV & IR rays emitted by the sun while still allowing most of the visible light to penetrate through the glass. It acts as a thermal barrier all-round the year, thus reducing upto 30% of air-conditioning and heating cost.

Let us understand LED lights contribute in Energy Efficiency of Buildings!

Light Emitting Diode (LED) and Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) bulbs have revolutionized energy-efficient lighting. Energy Saving LED vs CFL.

CFLs are simply miniature versions of full-sized fluorescents. They screw into standard lamp sockets, and give off light that looks similar to the common incandescent bulbs— not like the fluorescent lighting we associate with factories and schools.

LEDs are small, very efficient solid bulbs. New LED bulbs are grouped in clusters with diffuser lenses, which have broadened the applications for LED use in the home. LED technology is advancing rapidly, with many new bulb styles available. Initially more expensive than CFLs, LEDs now bring more value since they last longer.

The Status of Energy Efficient Lighting

With a burgeoning supply of far more efficient light bulb options, the EU began a phased ban of incandescents in 2009. Canada followed suit banning the manufacture and import of higher wattage incandescent bulbs beginning in 2014.

In 2007, the U.S. set new energy efficiency guidelines for all bulbs, which effectively phased out the least efficient incandescent bulbs. Incandescents are now available only if they meet the new energy standard.

According to Energy Efficiency Services Limited, India rapid adoption of LED bulbs would save hundreds of millions of tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.

Australia, China, and numerous countries in Asia and Latin America have likewise phased out or banned incandescent bulbs. These changes are estimated to save each country that switches to energy efficient bulbs millions of dollars annually.

According to the Bureau of energy efficiency, rapid adoption of LED bulbs would collectively save $265 billion over the next 20 years. This switch would also help eliminate the need to build 40 new power plants and save hundreds of millions of tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.

LED Light Bulbs

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are solid light bulbs that are extremely energy-efficient. When first developed, LEDs were limited to single-bulb use in applications such as instrument panels, electronics, pen lights and, more recently, strings of indoor and outdoor Christmas lights.

Manufacturers have expanded the application of LEDs by “clustering” the small bulbs. The first clustered bulbs were used for battery-powered items such as flashlights and headlamps. Today, LED bulbs are made using as many as 180 bulbs per cluster, and encased in diffuser lenses, which spread the light in wider beams. Now available with standard bases that fit common household light fixtures, LEDs are the next generation in home lighting.

A significant feature of LEDs is that the light is directional, as opposed to incandescent bulbs, which spread the light more spherically. This is an advantage with recessed lighting or under-cabinet lighting, but it is a disadvantage for table lamps. New LED bulb designs address this directional limitation by using diffuser lenses and reflectors to disperse the light more like an incandescent bulb.

The high cost of producing LEDs has been a roadblock to widespread use. However, researchers at Purdue University have developed a process for using inexpensive silicon wafers to replace the expensive sapphire-based technology. This has rapidly brought LEDs into competitive pricing with CFLs and incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs are now the standard for most lighting needs.

Benefits of LED Lightbulbs

Long-Lasting

LED bulbs last up to 10 times longer than compact fluorescents and 40 times longer than typical incandescent bulbs.

Durable

Since LEDs do not have a filament, they are not damaged under circumstances when a regular incandescent bulb would be broken. Because they are solid, LED bulbs hold up well to jarring and bumping.

Cool

These bulbs do not cause heat build-up; LEDs produce 3.4 btu’s/hour, compared to 85 for incandescent bulbs. Common incandescent bulbs get hot and contribute to heat build-up in a room. LEDs prevent this heat build-up, thereby helping to reduce air conditioning costs in the home.

Mercury-Free

No mercury is used in the manufacturing of LEDs.

More Efficient

LED light bulbs use only 2-17 watts of electricity (1/3rd to 1/30th of Incandescent or CFL). LED bulbs used in fixtures inside the home save electricity, remain cool, and save money on replacement costs since LED bulbs last so long. Small LED flashlight bulbs will extend battery life 10 to 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Cost-Effective

The cost of new LED bulbs has gone down considerably in the last few years and is continuing to go down.

Light for Remote Areas and Portable Generators

Because of the low power requirement for LEDs, using solar panels becomes more practical and less expensive than running an electric line or using a generator for lighting in remote or off-grid areas. LED light bulbs are also ideal for use with small portable generators which homeowners use for backup power in emergencies.

Choosing an LED Light Bulb

Many different models and styles of LED bulbs are emerging in today’s marketplace. When choosing a bulb, keep in mind the following:

Estimate Desired Brightness

Read the package to choose desired brightness level. You can use wattage to compare bulb illumination. For example, a 9 watt (W) LED is equivalent in output to a 45 W incandescent. However, wattage measures energy used, not the light output. The new method for comparing bulbs is lumens. ‘Lumens’ is the measure of perceived brightness, and the higher the lumens, the brighter the bulb. Bulbs with similar wattage may vary in lumens.

Do You Need a 3-Way Bulb?

New LED bulbs are available as combination three-way bulbs. These replace 30, 60 and 75-watt incandescent bulbs, while consuming 80% less power than an incandescent bulb.

Choose Between Warm and Cool Light

New LED bulbs are available in ‘cool’ white light, which is ideal for task lighting, and ‘warm’ light commonly used for accent or small area lighting.

Choose Between Standard and Dimmable Bulbs

Some LED bulbs are now available as dimmable bulbs. They will work with any standard dimmer switch.

Choose High Quality Bulbs or They Will Die Prematurely

Don’t buy cheap bulbs from eBay or discounters. They are inexpensive because the bulbs use a low-quality chip, which fails easily. Many cheaper varieties also don’t work inside enclosed light fixtures (see below) and will burn out within a year or less as they heat up.

Enclosed Light Fixtures Require Special LED Bulbs

LEDs have mechanisms to dissipate heat build-up, but these require more airflow than many common light fixtures permit. Bulbs designed for enclosed fixtures will last longer than standard LEDs. Look for explicit statements saying that a bulb works inside enclosed light fixtures.

Recessed, ‘Pot’ and Can Light Fixtures

Be sure to check the diameter of the bulb you’re considering against that of the can you’re filling. Your existing bulbs should say whether they are R20, BR30, or BR40. Look for these same numbers on the LEDs you’re purchasing. Because heat can also be an issue with recessed lighting, look for a description that indicates its suitability for recessed fixtures.

Floodlights, Spotlights, and Accent Lighting

If you’re replacing floodlights, spotlights, or accent lighting, be sure to consider whether you want the light to be diffused or focused. Omnidirectional bulbs will cast light over a wide area, while spotlights and floodlights will have a narrower band of illumination.

Benefits of Waterless urinals over traditional urinals!

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Saving of Water is not only required the need for Humans. But by saving water resources we are also helping the Wildlife and the Ecosystem near us to Develop.

Waterless urinals are the urinals which does not consume water and are water efficient

Water Savings. Toilets and urinals account for about half of a typical building’s water consumption. In the United States, almost five billion gallons of water are used every day to flush urinals and toilets, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Conventional flush-type urinals use about one to five gallons per flush, depending on their age. Because no-flush urinals use no water, one to five gallons of water is saved with each use.

Low Maintenance. Waterless urinals generally require little maintenance. The absence of a flush valve eliminates valve repairs and reduces opportunities for tampering. Additionally, overflow due to clogged drains and vandalism is not a problem because large amounts of water are not being flushed. According to the manufacturers, drain lines on waterless urinals are less susceptible to clogging as the mixture of water and urine, absent with no-flush urinals, causes encrustations to form in the pipes. Occasional flushing with a few gallons of water is recommended to keep lines clean.

Improved Hygiene. Many people think that urine is an unclean substance. However, it is generally a sanitary liquid, composed mainly of dissolved metabolic waste and excess water. Urine normally does not contain harmful microorganisms unless the person is harboring some type of urinary tract infection.

Water used by conventional urinals gives germs in the restroom the moist environment they need to grow. Manufacturers design waterless urinals to remain dry.

This makes them hostile to bacteria and viruses. Also, flushing tends to send these microbes airborne, spreading them throughout the restroom. In addition, because there is no handle, no-flush urinals are touch-free, reducing the spread of communicable diseases.

Mr. Sachin Joshi, Co-founder of Ekam Eco Solutions says “Waterless urinals would result in a significant improvement in public restroom hygiene in India”

Odor Control. The absence of a water-urine blend in the bowl lessens the prevalence of odors often associated with urinals, according to at least one manufacturer. { The sealant liquid filling the trap is designed to keep odors out of the restroom.

Environmental Friendliness. Waterless urinals contribute positively to the environment. First, the absence of water for flushing reduces the demand for water. Also, because no water goes down the drain, additional wastewater requiring treatment is not generated. Next, the special drain cartridges and inserts used in some models are recyclable. Finally, the sealant liquid composed of natural oils is biodegradable.

Rebates and Incentives. Some water utility companies offer rebates and incentive payments to owners installing waterless urinals. Payments range from a partial to full reimbursement for the cost of no-flush urinals.

Energy Reduction. Widespread use of waterless urinals could result in an overall reduction in energy use. Cities and other water supply agencies would not have to use energy to treat and pump as much water.

“Green Building” Credits. Many new construction projects are earning certification as “Green buildings” under the green building ratings program developed by the Indian Green Building Council. Installation of waterless urinals helps gain water conservation points.

User Acceptance. Some owners report initial reluctance on the part of users to psychologically accept waterless urinals. Two universities reported that signs posted near the urinals explaining how they work and why they were installed seemed to increase favorable responses.

Retrofits. When replacing conventional urinals, removal of flush valves and capping of water supply lines will be necessary. Some remodeling may be required to lower the drain lines where needed to bring the new waterless urinals to the proper mounting height.

Local Approval. Acceptance of no-flush urinals varies from city to city. However, acceptance of no-flush urinals is now ubiquitous throughout the country with only three states not yet having their plumbing codes changed.

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