The festival of light and delight is finally here and everyone is in high spirits to celebrate Diwali. Every year, this festival is celebrated with great zeal and excitement by one and all. However, many people think that it is perfectly alright to turn this celebration into the festivities of pollution and misuse of resources.
Diwali is not about making the world a more polluted place, it is about celebrating the arrival of Lord Rama after his glorious victory against Lanka king Ravana.
Instead of opting for electric lights this Diwali, you can go for handmade earthen diyas. It is not just a heartfelt gesture but also a great way to celebrate the festival in an eco-friendly way.
Use dried leaves and flower petals to make a rangoli. It is a biodegradable way to create a festive design and very cost-effective as well.
Avoid using crackers altogether if you can. For a cleaner and greener future we need to stay away from crackers altogether, but if you still want to go ahead with it then you can opt for green crackers.
Instead of plastic decorations, choose either paper decor or you can even opt for bamboo decor.
This festive season, you must opt for handmade paper wraps for your gifts instead of plastic wraps. It is one of the most eco-friendly ways to celebrate Diwali.
Always make sure that you recycle the items that you can. If you have old candles lying around or old decorations in the house, then don’t shy away from using them.
If you are hosting a Diwali bash this season, then instead of plastic plates and other cutlery, use biodegradable things instead. It will make a huge difference.
Diwali means Diwali cleaning, so make sure you dispose of the waste in an eco-friendly way.
New research suggests that the greatest pollutants of office air are humans, who unwittingly carry and disperse unhealthful volatile compounds by wearing deodorant — and even by breathing.
How do humans negatively affect office air quality?
There is a lot of concern about the negative effects of air pollution on health.
Exposure to polluted air can contribute to the development of cancer, lung disease, and even heart disease.
Generally speaking, however, when we think of air pollution, we think primarily of the air we breathe when out on the streets of metropolitan areas.
Yet in the India and elsewhere in the world, people often spend as many as 45 hours per week at work, and many individuals likely spend much — if not most — of that time in an office environment.
Thus, the quality of office air can be just as instrumental in predicting whether or not individuals continue to experience good health. How can we tell if office air quality is adequate, and what are the greatest pollutants of office air?
Humans are ‘dominant source’ of pollutants
“The chemistry of indoor air is dynamic. It changes throughout the day based on outdoor conditions, how the ventilation system operates, and occupancy patterns in the office,” Boor explains.
To find out exactly what affects office air quality and how humans may contribute to indoor air pollution, Boor and colleagues set up a complex sensor system in the shared office spaces at the Living Labs at Purdue University’s Ray W. Herrick Laboratories.
The researchers even added temperature sensors to desk chairs to find out exactly when they were occupied and how human presence may affect air quality in an indoor environment. They also used a highly specialized device called a proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer.
One of the top volatile compounds that reduces air quality is isoprene, a flammable substance present in essential oils. The researchers identified isoprene in the breath of people working in the office.
Another pollutant, called ozone, comes from the outside. However, the researchers explain that once it enters the office environment, it may become even more harmful — in part because of simple human acts, such as peeling an orange.
Ozone, the researchers say, interacts with monoterpenes. These are a class of compounds present in abundance in the peel of oranges and other citrus fruits.
Through this interaction, ozone mixes with the monoterpenes, forming different particles so small that they can penetrate and get stuck deep within lung tissue. This could render them a threat to health.
The researchers also add that volatile chemicals present in deodorant, makeup, and hair care products could equally affect office air quality and the quality of air outside the office. This is because ventilation systems extract them and eject them outside.
To reduce the effect of work and other chemicals that we consume we need to start using organic products and Air flow products that can provide fresh air & ventilation
Quality versus cost is not about being fancy and always buying the most expensive version of everything or being cheap and always buying the least expensive version of things. It’s about making sure what you buy lasts as long as possible so you don’t have to spend more money constantly replacing the same item. It is also making sure that what you invest in, as an organization, serves the larger picture and not an immediate need with a shorter life cycle.
Cost of poor quality (COPQ) is defined as the costs associated with providing poor quality products or services. There are four categories: Internal failure costs are costs associated with defects fouled, before the customer receives the product or service.
Being frugal doesn’t just mean saving money—it means spending your money wisely. That also means some things may be cheap now, but actually cost you more in the long run, while other times it makes sense to spend more now for a better, longer-lasting experience.
Coming from a purely construction background, it makes sense for me to elucidate on this matter with respect to this particular industry…
In my view quality can mean the difference between excellence and disaster. When it comes to time and watching the cost – the overall cost and time of completing poor quality work are usually the same as doing it correctly and within the time limits. And yes, not forgetting the additional cost that involves rectifying poor quality work.
What is Quality In Construction?
Building the project as per the construction drawings and design details.
Ensuring the project meets the local bylaws and codes.
Meeting the code and specification demands of the state or country.
Meeting the construction company’s standards.
Not forgetting sustainability
But most importantly meeting your own standards – Ask yourself – ‘Would I buy or accept this quality?’
Now, The Real Cost Of Bad Quality Construction
The construction market is one saturated marketplace with heavy competition, and competition means shrinking profit margins. Another thing, opportunities in the construction market is growing, but so is the project complexity. Sustaining the competition involves investment in new technologies, dealing with labor shortages and productivity issues and having better business practices.
Let’s face it, poor quality work costs money. So, when a project is of bad quality, correcting its mistakes will cost enormous amounts of money. Repairing cost is not the only hazard, their other risks too:
Disrupted cash flow
Destroys client relationships
Increased chances of accidents
Employees deliver poor standard work
Callbacks after project completion
Knock-on negative effect on the next project
Simply put, the quality of the work cannot be compromised for profitability. It, in the long run, it could cost you your goodwill and your business too.
India is home to 18 percent of the total world’s population, but it has access to only 4 percent of the world’s freshwater resources. Reports by the think-tank of the Indian government i.e. NITI Aayog states – India is facing the vilest water crisis in its history. This 2018 report predicts, 21 Indian cities, including major metros like Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore will run out of groundwater by 2020. This situation is extremely alarming, as 2020 is just a few months away.
The drought situation in few parts of the county, in times when good monsoon showers are expected mirrors clearly that waning climate change is all set to cause mayhem. By now, most of the parts of the country should have been experiencing good amounts of rainfall but the reality is far more disturbing. Severe drought threatens the country, and poor infrastructure is making it worse. But there are potential solutions one of which is ‘Catching the Rains’ with different types of rainwater harvesting systems.
Rainwater Harvesting – What Is It?
Rainwater harvesting is a technology used to collect, convey, and store rainwater from relatively clean surfaces like the roof, rock catchment, or land surface – essentially for later use. This collected rainwater is either directed to recharge groundwater or stored in a rainwater tank.
Rainwater harvesting isn’t some modern technology, it has been practiced for over 4,000 years throughout the world. Traditionally in arid and semi-arid areas, rainwater harvesting systems have provided water for domestic use, drinking, livestock, and small irrigation purposes. Today, rainwater harvesting is gathering a lot of significance as a modern, water-saving and simple technology.
Why Rainwater Harvesting?
In many regions across the globe, clean drinking water is not easily and readily available. For potable water, huge investment costs and expenditure is needed. Rainwater is one free water source and comparatively clean; with proper treatment, it can be used for several non-potable uses. Rainwater harvesting relieves the pressure on sewers and the environment by mitigating floods, soil erosions and replenishing groundwater levels; also it helps in saving the high-quality drinking water sources by reducing the consumption of potable water.
There are so many reasons why we should start collecting rainwater. From doing our part for the environment and saving money on water bills to having constant access to water – collecting rainwater can be beneficial in so many ways.
Below mentioned are the different types of rainwater harvesting systems:
1. Water Butt
One of the most basic types of rainwater harvesting systems; water Butt collects rainwater in a container from natural rainfall and/or drain pipes. The collected water is used mainly for watering the garden.
Another very common and professional type of rainwater harvesting.
Submersible – Used particularly in domestic settings and is the easiest systems to install. The pump is placed within the underground tank and the harvested water is pumped directly to WCs or other appliances used daily for domestic purposes.
Suction – In this system, the pump is located within the control unit of the house (e.g. utility room). This unit also deals with backup from the mains water supply, hence there is no need to direct mains water down to the underground tank.
Most rainwater harvesting systems need pumps to transfer the collected rainwater from storage tanks to the point of use. Submersible pumps are generally more efficient than suction pumps and do not suffer from the same limitations.
3. Indirect Pumped
This type of rainwater harvesting system doesn’t rely on gravity to supply water to the outlets. Instead, it pumps the harvested water to a tank which can be at any level in the building. Furthermore, a booster pump is used to provide a pressurized water supply. One of the most significant benefits of this system is that it offers great flexibility to tailor the booster pumps to adjust the flow and pressure requirements of a building.
4. Indirect Gravity
This system ensures water is supplied to the outlets by gravity alone. For this, the harvested water is first pumped to the header tank, i.e. high-level tank and then allowed to free-flow. In Indirect gravity systems, the pump works only to fill the header tank.
5. Gravity Only
In few conditions, a system which functions purely through gravity may be needed. Such systems do not demand pumps hence involves no energy use. With such an arrangement, water can be collected only when collection tanks are located below the level of gutters, yet higher than the outlets which it will supply. Here the only power of gravity is needed to feed collected and harvested water to various parts of the household. Gravity only is one of the most energy-efficient rainwater harvesting systems.
6. Retention Ponds
Retention ponds are used to collect surface runoff water and improve the quality of water by natural processes like sedimentation, decomposition, solar disinfection, and soil filtration. This type of pond normally has a mud bottom, but in some cases, it may be lined with concrete. The most common use of water collected and harvested by pond harvesting is watering livestock, however, it can also be used for groundwater recharge, irrigation or any other purpose other than potable uses.
7. In-Ground Storage
Underground storage tanks are very popular in areas where the majority of rainfall occurs in one single season. These underground tanks are insulated and have a very low rate of evaporation. In addition, the water stored in these doesn’t freeze if it is buried below the frost line, this is a huge advantage that surface storage tanks do not offer. Underground tanks need to be connected to an electric pump to ensure supply of the stored water to the outlets.
Rainwater Harvesting Is Crucial For The Future
It is the human’s unfriendly attitude towards nature which has poisoned our water-bodies and turned them unfit for any use. We are stretching our local water resources to provide for the exponential population growth and economic development. Turning to new water supply strategies and paradigms are indispensable to meet this demand.
Today most of the parts of the world are facing scarcity of water, taking up rainwater harvesting is necessary for survival. Natural resources come in abundance but they cannot be produced – attempts need to be made to collect and harvest it at an individual level.
But, you can save water in another way. use Water Saving Products of Eco 365. Explore a wide range of water-saving products.
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Zerodor:-Zerodor is a revolutionary waterless urinal technology which can save over 151000 liters of water per year per urinal. That is one whole year of 14 families getting access to water.
What we do and how we do it? How Econaur the only green building platform works ?
If you still don’t know what exactly we do, well don’t worry here you will understand what we are doing here and how we do it.
What we do?
Econaur is India’s first online aggregator platform that provides one-stop solutions for green and energy-efficient buildings by providing the materials, products, technology, and expert guidance. Econaur is the only green buildings platform.
It has made an easy online green building platform for everyone who needs to know about sustainable and green construction and also can contribute their ideas, projects, and vision about what further can be done in sustainable construction.
Sustainable Product Companies now have an easy online platform where they can not only showcase their products but also find out that about the new sustainable technology & projects undergoing in the market by connecting with community of green building professionals can find out what the user needs for a sustainable construction.
Our vision is simple, we know that tons of resources are getting wasted in construction everyday and if we go wasting the resources at the same speed than sooner we are going to extinct our resources and become endangered. So our efforts are towards raising the awareness about sustainability and green construction, which is an alternative solution for using resources in the most efficient manner.
Our intention of having a community of stakeholders, architects, consultants, and manufacturing companies is this only, so under a single Econaur’s green buildings platform anybody can communicate with anyone and know what more can be achieved in sustainable construction. We believe in working together, and no better way can be there to connect every member from the building industry at a single platform.
How we do it?
The major thing we keep in mind before showcasing any information or product on our platform is that, the product doesn’t have any harmful impact on the environment. As long as the product is sustainable and minimize the harmful effects on the environment, we are always whole-heartedly open to showcase the product.
Even if you want to share any information or post anything related to green building, new sustainable products or about environment then also we give you a community article section where you can share anything related. Not only you can share but come to know about more sustainable innovations going on all around the world.
We personally too share regular content in our blog section about new technologies, construction products and news about the green building.
Perhaps you ask, ‘How can I afford green building materials?’Although you may be on a tight budget, there are creative ways to build a green home or office without compromising quality. We’re aware of the challenges and invite you to take advantage of our expertise in order to get the look and quality you want, at a price you can afford. We’ve done it with our own home and with hundreds of others — and we’re confident we can help you, too.
How do eco-friendly and sustainable products compare in cost to toxic products?
As a rule, natural and non-toxic products (e.g. wood, bamboo, cork, wool carpet, natural linoleum, marble/granite/limestone/porcelain, natural finishes, etc.) tend to be our favorites. They are sometimes more expensive than other products initially, but that’s not the whole story.
Sustainable products tend to:
create a pleasing, healthier environment for residents
Non-sustainable products, on the other hand, tend to:
require more maintenance
exhibit toxic and foul smells for many months, with some out-gassing undetected for years
compromise the health of individuals and the environment
provide only short-term pleasure
sit in landfills almost forever
In the long run, the life-cycle costs of sustainable products are usually less expensive. Plus they bring greater satisfaction during installation and for generations of use.
Many of our clients forced us to find natural products that would compete in price with cheaper, unnatural products. This was a challenge, but we did it.
A new trend
Non-toxic products used to be more expensive to manufacture than their toxic counterparts. This was due, in part, to the newness of the products and the small numbers of people using them. This trend has changed in the last few years; prices have fallen due to the widening market and the improvement of manufacturing techniques.
Demand for environmentally-friendly products is at an all-time high, not only in the building market but in the clothing and food markets as well. As the world wakes up to the lasting value and joy of using healthy building materials, we fully expect this trend to continue for a long time to come.
In addition to understanding the nature of eco-products, we’re also involved on the local level in using these products to help build a sustainable future. We promote healthy building environments in several ways including belonging to trade and environmental associations, sponsoring conferences, earth days and eco-fairs, donating a portion of our earnings to non-profit organizations that create peace and better the environment, and consulting with clients nationwide who personally test and use green building products.
Comments and Suggestions
If you still have any question or query about anything which is troubling you then you let us know. Also if you have any suggestions about any new sustainable product or new technology then also let us know. We appreciate your feedback.
Econaur listed as Best Sustainability Blog on feedspot.
According to the United Nations definition, agricultural wastes are waste produced as a result of various agricultural operations. It includes manure, wastes from poultry houses and slaughterhouses; harvest waste; fertilizer run-off from fields; pesticides that enter into water, air or soils; and salt and silt drained from fields.Also, the quantity and composition of agricultural waste are dictated by the geographical and cultural aspects of a country or a region and also the extent of land used for agriculture. Regions into organic farming may produce less of water-polluting chemicals. Animal manure is mostly used up. Highly populated developing regions are bound to produce more of harvest waste due to lack of infrastructure, need for multiple planting of crops and lack of awareness.The economic aspect of waste management is the biggest spoilsport in our land. Pollution of the Northern part of India is mainly due to farm-fires. Farmers in many states don’t have any option but to burn crop waste leading to heavy pollution. It seems that there is no incentive to save this green-gold but to burn it.A Nov. 08 NASA satellite image captured the farm fires in red dots:
Stubble burning is practiced by Indian farmers to easily get rid of the leftover crop following the harvest and ahead of the next sowing season.Several solutions to use crop wastes exist but none of them are actually linked to the starting point. For example, agricultural wastes can be used to make alcohol using a patented technology by an Indian company but neither the company has any enthusiasm to go to the farmer nor does the farmer have economic resources to take his waste to the plants. Some farmers have come out with innovative solutions like watering the fields and then using rotavator, zero drill or happy seeder which can take out the stubble and mix it with soil or seed along with stubble.If the huge quantities of crop waste was somehow quickly taken out compacted and stored manually by farmers away from the fields it would give them time to plan, use and sell this very important resource. Only Monetary gains by selling this waste will motivate farmers not to burn it.Waste coming from agricultural and industrial areas is one of the major environmental problems that leave an adverse effect on the environment. This waste either dumped into the sea or burnt openly in the air which spreading harmful gases and pollution. Briquette and Baling is the first step towards saving this resource which takes care of convenience and time factor both. Bailing means to compress the waste that occupies excess space and becomes difficult to handle.
Manual version of these machines can be used by anyone, are lightweight and economical and do not require electricity. Waste processed in bales or briquettes need less storage land and are easier to handle. Bales and briquettes can be used for fire or sold off easily giving a source of extra income for rural families especially women.
There are numerous sources to produce renewable energy but this the best source to produce energy in an economic and biodegradable way. Briquetting machine gives biomass in a log that is cylindrical in form through the usage of high pressure. Biomass briquettes produce are an alternate source of fuels in comparison to orthodox sources of fossil fuels like oil, natural gas, wood, diesel, etc. In this low energy, fuel can be transformed into high-density fuel at a briquette machine. It is a method of converting waste material into the best product without creating any environmental problem. Bio fuel briquettes are a cheaper source of energy and used in various industries for their different purposes.According to environmentalists, the biofuel generated from agro-waste material is a great source of income for poor farmers in India. Making farmers aware of the existence of such simple machines and the monetary gains from waste is needed.(Author-Darshil is marketing head SK engineers one of the leading companies in the engineering industry. S.K. Engineers works with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Foundations and various social organizations that work for the cause of rural upbringing and SDGs. The company provides solutions for the proper management of various types of waste including Agro/Forest Waste, Paper/Plastic/Cardboard Waste, Food Waste, etc.
construction are responsible for 39% of global energy-related carbon emissions.
World Green Building Week, taking place from September 23 to 29, this year aims
to raise awareness of the carbon emissions from all stages of a building’s
lifecycle. ECONAUR is Celebrating the Green Building week and the campaigns for the week with a specific day wise themes.
Heating, powering, and
cooling buildings (in-use) contributes 28% to global energy-related carbon
emissions, while 11% of these emissions refer to carbon released during the
construction process and material manufacturing (embodied emissions).
Themed #BuildingLife this year,
World Green Building Week is seeking to explore how to create a green, healthy,
and climate-resilient built environment for all.
To date, the building and construction industry’s
focus has been on operational emissions and how buildings actually perform
However, in order to
fully decarbonize by 2050 to keep global warming to below 1.5 degrees, the
building and construction sector must also tackle embodied emissions from the entire
building lifecycle, according to the World Green Building Council (World GBC), Econaur
being India’s First Integrated Platform for Green Building Solutions working to
promote the Sustainable Solutions for making a Green Building and also
showcasing the New technology available.
Themes for the week:
Every Day we have a Theme depicted to our
Envrionment and Buildings where we will be Highlighting some stories, Case
studies of some projects Offers and Discounts for Sustainable Products and also
some exciting offers in which any one can participate. Below you can find
themes for the week :
September 23 – Energy Efficiency
September 24 – Water Efficiency & Quiz
September 25 – Building Envelope
September 26 – Waste Management & Practices
September 27 – Soil & Resources & Social Campaign
September 28 – Renewable Energy
September 29 – New Sustainable Technology & Launch of New Product
Do Visit and share your projects, stories or
any new technology related to buildings and start the writing here – https://econaur.com/sign-up/. Do visit Econaur
for other updates related to Sustainable Buildings.
With the current rate of urbanization
and the subsequent increase in energy demand, energy efficiency in buildings
has a significant role to play in contributing to energy security in developing
countries. Energy consumption patterns can be substantially reduced by energy
conserving measures, particularly during the phase of building design. Space
heating load can be reduced by about 50%, when economically-viable insulating
measures are applied to the building envelopes, i.e. to ceiling and walls. In
conventional Indian buildings, energy consumption is 200 kWh per sq. meter.
This energy consumption can be reduced to 120 kWh per sq. meter by applications
of energy efficient building techniques. Energy efficiency measures for
buildings are approaches through which the energy consumption of a building can
be reduced while maintaining or improving the level of comfort in the building.
They can typically be categorized into:
Reducing heating demand;
Reducing cooling demand;
Reducing the energy requirements for
Reducing energy use for lighting;
Reducing energy used for heating
Reducing electricity consumption of
office equipment and appliances;
Climate and the need to heat or cool
a building plays a major role in the design of the external envelope –
transparent elements like windows and sunspaces, walls, roofs and floors of a
building. By improving the building envelope, passive solar strategies can be
developed to improve comfort and reduce energy demands . Mechanical
ventilation and air conditioning tend to be electrically-driven and operational
throughout the building’s occupied life, which makes them both expensive to
operate and, depending on the combined efficiency of national power generation
plant, a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Removing them from the
building design and replacing them with passive designs will have a significant
impact over the life of the building. For instance, it is estimated that
air-conditioned office buildings consume approximately 250 kWh/m2 per annum,
while naturally ventilated office buildings consume 120 kWh/m2 per annum.
Similarly, with day lighting reducing the need for artificial lighting, the
life-cycle impact will be substantial.
In passive solar building design,
windows, walls, and floors are made to collect, store, and distribute solar
energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer.
This is called passive solar design or climatic design because, unlike active
solar heating systems, it does not involve the use of mechanical and electrical
devices. The key to designing a passive solar building is to best take
advantage of the local climate. The elements to be considered include window
placement and glazing type, thermal insulation, thermal mass, and shading.
Passive solar design techniques can be applied most easily to new buildings,
but existing buildings can also be retrofitted.
Energy Conservation Building Code
Building energy codes for new
buildings are an important regulatory measure for ushering energy efficiency in
the building sector. They are particularly relevant for countries like India
where the building stock is rising rapidly. India has begun the gradual
introduction of energy efficiency solutions in the building sector. In 2001,
the Indian Government introduced the Energy Conservation Act (Bureau of Energy
Efficiency, 2011). As an outcome of this act, a first generation building code,
the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), came into effect in 2007.
Currently, ECBC applies to buildings that have a connected load greater than
100 kW or contract demand greater than 120 kVA (Bureau of Energy Efficiency,
2011). In practice, ECBC requirements are generally only applied to buildings
with air-conditioned floor areas of over 1000m2. In principle, the ECBC also
applies to large residential complexes, when their connected load or contract
demand exceeds the thresholds. The Energy Conservation Act, 2001 empowers the
Government of India to prescribe ECBC in India. Bureau of Energy Efficiency
(BEE) an autonomous body under Ministry of Power, with support from United
States Agency for International Development (USAID) under its Energy
Conservation and Commercialization Project (ECO- II Project) launched the first
version of ECBC for its implementation in commercial and office buildings on a
voluntary basis. As the first stand-alone National Building Energy Efficiency
code of India, it sets minimum energy performance requirements of Commercial
Buildings and their components. ECBC has been developed by extensive data
collection and analysis of different building types, materials, services and
usage patterns. Different climatic zones in which building would be constructed
were also taken into account. Base case simulation models were then developed
for buildings using this background data in these climatic zones. The code is
applicable to five major areas of energy consumption in buildings which are:
Heating, Ventilation and Air
Service Water Heating
Electric Power and Motors.
The successful implementation of the code requires development of compliance procedures (compliance forms and development of field-test compliance forms and procedures), in addition to building capacity of architects/designers/builders/contractors and government official in States and Urban and Local Bodies (ULBs). It is also dependent on availability of materials and equipment that meet or exceed performance specifications specified in ECBC. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) with the support of USAID ECO- III Project is promoting ECBC awareness and voluntary adoption through training and capacity building programmes, pilot demonstration projects, and identifying steps for compliance check and monitoring of ECBC. ECBC User Guide was developed to support ECBC implementation by providing detailed guidance to the users on how to comply with the Code. Four ECBC tip sheets on Energy Simulation, Building Envelope, Lighting Design and HVAC are also available and provide useful information on Code compliance at the system level and through Whole Building Performance approach that require knowledge of energy simulation to model the proposed building.
The ECBC provides design norms for:
Building envelope, including thermal
performance requirements for walls, roofs, and windows
Lighting system, including
daylighting, and lamps and luminaire performance requirements
HVAC system, including energy
performance of chillers and air distribution systems
Water heating and pumping systems,
including requirements for solar hot-water systems.
The benefits involved for ECBC
Compliant Buildings are:
Reduce energy consumption
Reduce CO2 emissions
Lower costs through energy savings
Accelerate deployment of
Use of energy efficient equipment.
Awareness and importance of Energy
Better use of Natural Resources
It is of vital importance for India
to develop energy-efficiency strategies focused on the residential sector to
limit the current trend of unsustainable escalating energy demand. The
production of residential building stock in urban areas is shifting quickly
toward multi-storey residential buildings from the earlier mode of building
individual homes. It is expected that, with the economics of land and the need
for cities to be geographically compact, multi-story residential buildings will
be the dominant form of meeting the demand for housing in urban areas. This
will be the trend for housing for people across the socio-economic spectrum,
from low-income to the middle and high-income categories. The initiation of the
Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings (Part I: Building
Envelope Design), addresses this category of residential buildings. The
Ministry of Power has announced the ECO Niwas Samhita 2018, which is the Energy
Conservation Building Code for residential buildings (ECBC-R). The
implementation of this code is expected to boost energy efficiency in the
residential sector, its occupants, and the larger environment by promoting
energy efficiency in the design and construction of homes, apartments, and
townships. Implementation of this code is expected to save 125 billion units of
electricity by 2030.
The Part-I (Building Envelope Design)
of the ECBC has been launched which prescribes minimum standards for building
envelope designs with the purpose of designing energy efficient residential
buildings. Its early and immediate introduction is to improve the construction
and design of new residential building stock, as it is being built currently
and in the near future, to significantly curtail the anticipated energy demand
for comfort cooling in times to come. This critical investment in envelope
construction and design made today will reap benefits of reduced GHG emissions
for the lifetime of the buildings. The code is expected to assist large number
of architects and builders who are involved in design and construction of new
residential complexes in different parts of the country. Implementation of this
code will have potential for energy savings to the tune of 125 billion units of
electricity per year by 2030, which is equivalent to about 100 million ton of
Co2 emission .
The ECBC-R aims at limiting heat
gains/loss from building envelope and for ensuring adequate natural ventilation
and day lighting. To limit the heat gain/loss from the building envelope, the
Maximum value of Residential Envelope
Transmittance Value (RETV) for building envelope (except roof) applicable for
four climate zones, viz. Composite Climate, Hot-Dry Climate, Warm-humid Climate
and Temperate Climate.
Maximum value of thermal
transmittance of building envelope (except roof) for Cold Climate zone
Maximum value of thermal
transmittance of roof (Uroof) for all climate zones
To ensure adequate natural
ventilation, the code specifies.
Minimum Openable window-to-floor area
To ensure adequate day-lighting, the
Minimum Visible Light Transmittance
(VLT) for the non-opaque building envelope components
The code is applicable to all
residential use building projects built on plot area = 250 m2. The type of
building projects includes, but not limited to:
Group housing projects: Building unit
or units constructed or to be constructed with one or more floors having more
than two dwelling units having common service facilities where land is shared
and commonly used by the dwelling units, and the construction is undertaken by
Mixed Land Use Building projects:
With buildings partly used for non-residential uses and partly for residential
Multi-dwelling unit building on
Buildings are responsible for an enormous amount of global energy use, resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Architectural design based on environmental preservation is the only option for maintaining quality of life and preventing lasting environmental damage. Pollution reduction, waste minimisation and energy conservation can be furthered through environmentally friendly architectural design and construction. There is vast potential of energy saving possible through implementation of ECBC. An urgent need to implement ECBC is required as lots of buildings in the country are yet to come and incorporating ECBC design strategies at planning stage is economical than applying it on old buildings. During the development of ECBC, analysis conducted through energy simulation indicated that ECBC-compliant buildings may use 40 to 60% less energy than similar buildings being designed and constructed at that time. The ECBC 2017 prescribes the energy performance standards for new buildings to be constructed in India. It prescribes standards for current as well as future advancements in building technology to further reduce building energy consumption and promote low-carbon growth by setting parameters for builders, designers, and architects to integrate renewable energy sources in building design with the inclusion of passive design strategies.
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A recent question posed by our user — is a brick building more sustainable? While this may seem a simple enough question, the answers are really not as straight forward. It is true, the first thing that occurs in the minds of most people is that brick is natural and therefore must be more earth-friendly. The foremost criteria for evaluating the sustainability of a wall or building envelope material is thermal insulation. This is measured by the unit R-value — which is a measure of how well a two-dimensional barrier, such as a layer of insulation, a window or a complete wall or ceiling, resists the conductive flow of heat. According to Inspectapedia, basic brick walls have an insulation value, or R-value, of 0.2 per square inch. Conventional 8-inch concrete block walls have an R-value of 0.08 per square inch. In general, the greater the R-value, the greater the resistance, and so better is the thermal insulating properties of the barrier. Therefore, this far, the brick is faring as a better performer. However, adding a layer of insulation or an air gap greatly changes the performance of brick and concrete. It is common in today’s marketplace to have aerated concrete blocks or insulated concrete blocks that are readily available. Insulated concrete blocks can increase their R-value to about 1.2 per square inch, and aerated blocks can have R-values as high as 3.9. Bricks, on the other hand, suffer since very few values adds are made to them to have new products which are easily sourced in our material markets. It boils down to know-how and masonry techniques. Using techniques such as the architects favorite ‘rat-trap bond’ can improve thermal insulation. So, what are these ‘bonds’ and what specifically is a rat trap bond?
A brick bond is the pattern in which bricks are laid. It applies to both brick walls and to concrete block and other types of masonry construction. There are many different types of brick bonds and each has its own look, installation challenges, and structural considerations. A ‘rat trap bond’ is a method of wall construction, in which bricks are placed in a vertical position instead of conventional horizontal position there by creating a cavity (hollow space) within the wall. Architect Laurie Baker introduced it in Kerala in the 1970s and used it extensively for its lower construction cost, reduced material requirement and better thermal efficiency than conventional masonry wall, without compromising strength of the wall. However, no performance data exists on the R-value of a rat trap bond brick wall — this is an assembly not a product and therefore becomes a bit trickier to ascertain. But despite the lack of data, one can make the following assumptions with some surety — an aerated concrete block wall is a better performer than a standard brick bond wall and a rat trap bond brick wall is better than any type of concrete wall!
So, the next time you are choosing to build, start with the fundamentals — brick may not always be the most sustainable, it has to have a right bond to give a great performance. BRICK, A SUSTAINABLE PRODUCT Brick is a natural, quality, user and maintenance-friendly product, that is durable during all phases of its life cycle. In the construction phase from the use of raw materials, production process to packaging. During the operational phase through comfort, maintenance, flexibility, and safety. During demolition through reuse and recycling of bricks. Thermal comfort The porous structure of bricks offers a huge advantage: the ability to accumulate heat. In winter, during sunny days, bricks can store heat from the sun and radiate the energy back when necessary. During the summer they can buffer the heat and thus avoid overheating of the building. Maintenance-free Bricks require no maintenance. After a while, external brickwork even obtains a certain luster. It adds charm to a residence. Because no maintenance is required, the impact of the building on the environment is much smaller. Mechanical resistance Bricks are very stable. Temperature changes do not cause them to expand or shrink. Because of this mechanical resistance, bricks are well suited for buildings of ten or more stories. Fire resistance Brick is a non-flammable and non-combustible material. It reduces the chances of fire. When exposed to fire no toxic gases are emitted. Often, after a fire, a brick facade is structurally still sound and can be incorporated in the renovated building. Adaptable and flexible Brick buildings are very flexible. During the construction process and the building’s lifetime, the layout of the building can be customized.
RECYCLING AND REUSE The decision to demolish a building is usually not because of the state of the external bricks, even if it is a hundred years old. Often the old structure no longer meets the current requirements and the decision is made to reconstruct the building. After demolition, bricks can be recovered and recycled or reused. Reuse After removing the remains of mortar, bricks remain reusable for restoration or for new homes and projects. Recovered bricks give a building an exceptional appearance and character.
Recycling Because of their mineral structure, bricks from demolition sites can be used after recycling as: * Filling and stabilizing material for infrastructure works. * Aggregates for poured and precast concrete and mortar. * Aggregates for calcium silicate bricks. * Red “crushed brick” as gravel on tennis courts. * Plant substrates. Because bricks only consist of natural raw materials, they have no harmful side effects when they come into contact with ground or surface water.
In this week’s Monday Flashback we feature the Flashback Sustainable Story of Bombay House, Bombay House is a historic privately owned building in Fort, Mumbai, India that serves as the head office of the Tata Group.
Situated near Flora Fountain, it was completed in 1924 and has been the Tata Group’s headquarters ever since. The building is a four-story colonial structure built with Malad stone and was designed by Scottish architect George Wittet, who designed over 40 buildings for the group and later became the head of Tata Engineering Company Limited, now Tata Motors.
The building houses the office of chairman and all top directors of Tata Sons, the holding company. Core companies of the group-Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Tata Power, Tata Industries, Tata airlines, and Trent-operate out of the Bombay House.
Bombay House — located on Homi Modi Street ((after the noted industrialist and banker associated with the Tatas) in Fort — was built on the two plots of land bought by Sir Dorabji Tata, the group’s second Chairman and Jamsetji Tata’s elder son, from the Bombay Municipality in 1920. The building was designed by the well-known architect, George Wittet, who was also the architect of the Gateway of India, the Prince of Wales Museum (now called Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya) and other iconic buildings of Mumbai.
The overhaul of the Bombay House office was led by architect and urban conservationist Brinda Somaya, of Somaya and Kalappa Consultants. In March 2014, it became the first heritage structure in the country to get a gold rating as a green, environmentally friendly building, awarded by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), the Indian chapter of the US Green Building Council.1/4
The staircase at Bombay House, Mumbai
Inside the Renovated and Hi-Tech Bombay House
The ground floor of Bombay House has been converted into a shared space housing an in-house coffee lounge, informal breakout places, and the Tata Experience Centre (TXC). TXC, a digital museum, is aimed at giving visitors an immersive experience into the world of Tata using digital technologies for effective storytelling. In a first for Bombay House, a kennel has been created for the canine friends who have been an integral part of the building for decades. The four floors of the building house offices of major Tata organizations. The historic boardroom on the fourth floor has been restored to its original beauty with only technology being a new addition.
The new technology set up in the building has been designed to create digital workplaces with seamless integration. Each floor has digital meeting rooms with immersive technology to enable seamless collaboration. A custom-made app has been developed to bring together all the technology controls through an intuitive and simple interface. The four-story Bombay House is owned by The Associated Building Company, part of the Tata Group.
Bombay House is the only heritage building in the country to receive ‘Platinum Rating’ by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), under their Existing Building rating system, Bombay House has received this rating for continuously implementing measurable strategies and solutions in five categories: site & facility management, water efficiency, energy efficiency, health & comfort, and innovation.
The project was implemented with the support of occupants of the building, The Associated Building Company Limited (ABCL), a Tata group company, responsible for the building, and Eco first Services, the sustainability arm of Tata Consulting Engineers Limited, which works in the area of building retro-commissioning and facilitation.