Requirement and Need for Making Net Zero or Carbon Less Buildings

The scale of the challenge ahead cannot be underestimated. Over the next 15 years, the world is likely to invest US$90 trillion in infrastructure, which is more than the entire current stock. The decisions made by each country, business or investor today will directly impact global climate and development goals. If done right, we can secure a growth path that will, by 2050, feed 9 billion people as well as providing clean electricity access to all and infrastructure services to the over 6 billion urban dwellers that keep cities running as engines of growth.

The world has already started on the journey towards a zero-carbon, climate-resilient future – testifying to the landmark global agreements of 2015 and 2016 on climate action and sustainable development, strongly supported by actions by national, state and city governments as well as businesses, investors, and civil society [1]. And momentum is growing: In early September, I joined business leaders, policymakers and investors at the Business and Climate Summit in New Delhi where we discussed how low-carbon strategies can be good for business and good for development. But whether we shift to the right path in time to avoid the worst impacts of a changing climate depends on action on three fronts: clear and credible policy that can unlock capital at scale and unleash an era of low-carbon innovation.

Photo by Amar Ikhlasul/Flickr

International co-operation will be critical as a lever to strengthen and more effectively distribute the flow of new ideas and technical capacity, mobilise and scale up finance and help overcome concerns about loss of competitiveness and increase the scale of markets. By working together, countries, businesses, cities and others can move faster and achieve greater gains.

First, on the policy level, governments play a key role in delivering the right enabling conditions. For instance, collectively, they could signal decisively that high-carbon, highly polluting development comes at a significant cost. This could include, for example, the introduction of meaningful carbon prices and reform of fossil fuel subsidies which are estimated to have amounted to US$325 billion in 2015 alone.

Today, more than 42 countries and 25 sub-national regions have, or are actively planning, a price on carbon; and an estimated 50 countries have started or accelerated fossil fuel subsidy reform. But the carbon prices and coverage of emissions are too low in almost all schemes. A new OECD report on Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth, shows how the use of carbon pricing and other efficient climate policies, together with structural reforms, can enhance both short-term and long-term growth. Ramping up efforts, such as those led by the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, will be key to progressing the May 2016 announcement of G7 leaders to eliminate inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by no later than 2025.

 

Second, we need to mobilise and align finances so that the right kinds of investments are made. This includes utilising public finance in ways that can leverage private finance. Multilateral development banks play a key role in this, including mitigating risk, providing concessional finance and bringing private capital to the table, especially in less developed economies.

Again, there are promising signs of momentum towards low-carbon investment: as of October 2017, over 400 investors with US$25 trillion in assets under management joined the Investor Platform for Climate Actions. The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, the world’s largest at US$1 trillion, has divested from over 50 coal-related companies, in line with ethical guidelines it adopted in 2016. Over 100 businesses, including Unilever, Barclays and HSBC, have committed to implement the recommendations of the G20 commissioned Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure, translating into disclosing climate information as part of their mainstream financial statements. Countries are also aligning their policies with these efforts: France, for example, has mandatory corporate disclosure of climate information, which includes financial risks from climate impacts and carbon reporting across the supply chain. The Chinese central bank has proposed mandatory climate disclosure as part of a series of other reforms to help green its financial system.

Other welcome signs of momentum include initiatives like Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G), a green growth engine that creates space for partnerships of businesses, national and city leaders, financiers and community advocates to join forces in the development and deployment of targeted opportunities that can accelerate the delivery of sustainable development. They are offering practical solutions, and they also carry an important message: not only is the transition to a low-carbon economy possible, but it can be good for business’ bottom line.

Finally, the global community needs to invest in innovation. Energy-sector public R&D is less than half of what it was in the late 1970s in real terms, and still often goes to fossil fuel exploration and production. Yet, the transformative potential of what can be achieved is staggering. BNEF, for instance, forecasts such a rapid expansion for electric vehicles along with changing patterns around car sharing or pooling over the coming years that there may be an ‘iPhone moment’ of innovative disruption.

At its core, our efforts to secure a safe and sustainable growth path depend on coalitions of governments, investors, businesses and civil society working together to accelerate this transition: the opportunities are there, we just need to seize them.

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Monday Flashback 5 – Rani Ki Vav

This magnificent east-facing step well measures approximately 64 m long, 20 m wide & 27 m deep. A stepped corridor compartmented at regular intervals pillared multistory pavilions is a unique feature. It was one of the largest and the most sumptuous structures of its type. It became silted up and much of it is not visible now, except for some rows of sculptured panels in the circular part of the well. Among its ruins one pillar still stands which is an excellent example of this period of design. A part only of the west well is extant from which it appears that the wall had been built of brick and faced with stone. From this wall project vertical brackets in pairs, which supported the different galleries of the well shaft proper. The bracketing is arranged in tiers and is richly carved. The minute and exquisite carving of this vav is one of the finest specimens of its kind. Befitting its name, the Rani-Ki-Vav is now considered to be the queen among step wells of India.

There is also a small gate below the last step of the step well, with a 30-kilometre tunnel, currently blocked by stones and mud, which leads to the town of Sidhpur near Patan. It was used as an escape gateway for the king, who built the step well in the times of defeat.

Rani ki vav is an intricately constructed stepwell situated in the town of Patan in Gujarat, India. It is located on the banks of Saraswati River. Rani ki vav was built as a memorial to an 11th-century king Bhima I.It was added to the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites on 22 June 2014. Stepwells are a distinctive form of subterranean water resource and storage systems on the Indian subcontinent, and have been constructed since the third millennium BC. Rani ki vav was built in the complex Maru-Gurjara architectural style with an inverted temple and seven levels of stairs and holds more than 500 principal sculptures.

Rani ki Vav bagged the title of “Cleanest Iconic Place” in India at the Indian Sanitation Conference (INDOSAN) 2016 in New Delhi in October 2016. The monument was felicitated at the conference, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Most of the sculptures are in devotion to Vishnu, in the forms of Dus-Avatars Kalki, Rama, Krishna, Narsinh, Vaman, Varahi and others representing their return to the world. NagkanyaYogini beautiful women – Apsara showcasing 16 different styles of make-up to look more attractive called Solah-shringar.

Around 50–60 years back there were ayurvedic plants around this area, and the water accumulated in Rani ki vav was considered to be helpful for viral disease, fever etc.

The vavs of Gujarat are not merely sites for collecting water and socializing, but also hold great spiritual significance. Originally, the vavs of Gujarat were constructed quite simply, but became more intricate over the years, perhaps to make explicit the ancient concept of the sanctity of water with the addition of carved stone deities. Thus visitors enter Rani Ki Vav as if it is an inverted temple, where one steps down various levels to the water.

The steps begin at ground level, leading you down through the cool air through several pillared pavilions to reach the deep well below. There are more than 800 elaborate sculptures among seven galleries. The central theme is the Dasavataras, or ten incarnations of Vishnu, including Buddha. The avatars are accompanied by sadhus, Brahmins, and apsaras (celestial dancers), painting their lips and adorning themselves. At water level you come to a carving of Sheshashayi-Vishnu, in which Vishnu reclines on the thousand-hooded serpent Shesha, where it is said he rests in the infinity between ages.

 

 

Jahangir Mahal Orchha

Jahangir Mahal is Very well laid out, ventilated and organized Sustainable Building.

Orchha is an emerald of Madhya Pradesh, and has a proud to be the city of Rajputs. The town situated Northern part of Central Indian in Madhya Pradesh state. Rudra Pratap Singh was a Bundela Ruler who initiated the construction of Orchha, during the medieval times of 16th century, but couldn’t complete it as he had been killed while saving a cow from the clutches of a Tiger. As Rudra Pratap has no child so his younger brother Bharti Chand became king and continued the work. After Bharti Chand next king was his son Ram Shah (1592-1605). But turn around took place when Bir Singh Dev was declared as Maharaja of Orchha by Mughal Emperor Jahangir as he helped Jahangir during his revolt against Akbar. Just to give thanks to Jahangir, Bir Singh ordered to construct Jahangir Palace and later invited Jahangir to visit Orchha and stay here. The most dashing Bundela Ruler Bir Singh Deo built around 52 forts and other things across the region during his 22 years of odd age, in them famous were citadel of Jhansi, the rembling Narsingh Dev at Datia, apart from Sheesh Mahal, which is now converted into a Heritage Hotel.

ARCHITECTURE

This palace was built by Raja Bir Singh Deo-1 in between years 1605 to 1626. It was made in honor of Mughal emperor Jahangir. During that time Bundela rulers of Orchha maintains good relationship with Mughals. Here entire palace is constructed around a square shaped courtyard with side of 67.6 meter each. It is a three storied palace built mainly with red and yellow sandstone and have 136 rooms decorated with wall paintings. Being constructed to resemble the good relationship of Bundelas (Hindus) with Mughals (Muslims) here we can identify the confluence of both Hindu and Islamic architectures like in domes, rooms, entrance gates, terraces, corridors. It is a percy-brown monuments covering a square of 220 feet side and rising into an immense rectangular mass supporting 8 graceful domes. It encompasses all qualities that is expected in a medieval castle. Palace is built on the bank of Betwa river with surrounding of green forest offering picturesque and romantic surrounding view. Presence of elephant images and painting inside rooms gives a touch of hindu architecture in building. Behing palace their is a camel stable. Although whole building is dedicated to Jahangir and Raja Bir Singh Deo friendship but when Jahangir came here, he stayed here for just one night.

Monday Flashback 3 – Mohenjo Daro

Mohenjo Daro

Mohenjo Daro is an archaeological site in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. Built around 2500 BCE, It was one of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley civilization, and one of the world’s earliest major cities, contemporaneous with the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Minoan Crete, and Norte Chico.

Mohenjo-daro is located west of the Indus River in Larkana District, Sindh, Pakistan, in a central position between the Indus River and the Ghaggar-Hakra River. It is sited on a Pleistocene ridge in the middle of the flood plain of the Indus River Valley, around 28 kilometres (17 mi) from the town of Larkana. The ridge was prominent during the time of the Indus Valley Civilization, allowing the city to stand above the surrounding flood, but subsequent flooding has since buried most of the ridge in silt deposits. The Indus still flows east of the site, but the Ghaggar-Hakra riverbed on the western side is now dry.

This general view of houses in VS area shows the color of the brick walls after the use of mud brick and clay slurry for conservation. The lower parts of the walls have the natural reddish color of fired brick and the upper portion is oliveÐgrey mud brick.

West of the “citadel” mound are lush farmlands watered by modern irrigation channels. A levee protecting the site from annual floods divides the irrigated land from the salt encrusted sediments surrounding the ancient site. The high salinity of the site is the result of many different factors, but primarily due to increased irrigation and the lack of proper drainage.

The ruins of the city remained undocumented for around 3,700 years until R. D. Banerji, an officer of the Archaeological Survey of India, visited the site in 1919–20, identifying the Buddhist stupa (150–500 CE) known to be there and finding a flint scraper which convinced him of the site’s antiquity. This led to large-scale excavations of Mohenjo-daro led by Kashinath Narayan Dikshit in 1924–25, and John Marshall in 1925–26.[14] In the 1930s, major excavations were conducted at the site under the leadership of Marshall, D. K. Dikshitar and Ernest Mackay. Further excavations were carried out in 1945 by Ahmad Hasan Dani and Mortimer Wheeler. The last major series of excavations were conducted in 1964 and 1965 by Dr. George F. Dales. After 1965 excavations were banned due to weathering damage to the exposed structures, and the only projects allowed at the site since have been salvage excavations, surface surveys, and conservation projects. However, in the 1980s, German and Italian survey groups led by Dr. Michael Jansen and Dr. Maurizio Tosi used less invasive archeological techniques, such as architectural documentation, surface surveys, and localized probing, to gather further information about Mohenjo-daro. A dry core drilling conducted in 2015 by Pakistan’s National Fund for Mohenjo-daro revealed that the site is larger than the unearthed area.

Mohenjo-daro has a planned layout with rectilinear buildings arranged on a grid plan. Most were built of fired and mortared brick; some incorporated sun-dried mud-brick and wooden superstructures. The covered area of Mohenjo-daro is estimated at 300 hectares. The Oxford Handbook of Cities in World History offers a “weak” estimate of a peak population of around 40,000.

The sheer size of the city, and its provision of public buildings and facilities, suggests a high level of social organization. The city is divided into two parts, the so-called Citadel and the Lower City. The Citadel – a mud-brick mound around 12 metres (39 ft) high – is known to have supported public baths, a large residential structure designed to house about 5,000 citizens, and two large assembly halls. The city had a central marketplace, with a large central well. Individual households or groups of households obtained their water from smaller wells. Waste water was channeled to covered drains that lined the major streets. Some houses, presumably those of more prestigious inhabitants, include rooms that appear to have been set aside for bathing, and one building had an underground furnace (known as a hypocaust), possibly for heated bathing. Most houses had inner courtyards, with doors that opened onto side-lanes. Some buildings had two stories.

 

Chand Baori – The Largest Stepwell in the World !

The Chand Baori is a stepwell built over a thousand years ago in the Abhaneri village of Rajasthan. It is one of the largest stepwells in the world and also one of the most beautiful ones. Located in the eastern part of the province of Rajasthan, it was built by King Chanda somewhere in the 9th century. The Chand Baori is not an easy landmark to find, thus it is one of the hidden secrets of India! Stepwells, also called bawdi or baori, are unique to this nation.  The wells have steps built into the sides that lead down to the water.

The state of Rajasthan is extremely arid, and the design and final structure of Chand Baori was intended to conserve as much water as possible. At the bottom of the well, the air remains 5-6 degrees cooler than at the surface, and Chand Baori was used as a community gathering place for locals during periods of intense heat.

Chand Baori one was built during the 8th and 9th centuries and has 3,500 narrow steps arranged in perfect symmetry, which descend 20m to the bottom of the well.

Centuries ago, the stepwells were built in the arid zones of Rajasthan to provide water all year through.

Today, the construction is not used as a well anymore but its exquisite geometry attracts local and international visitors alike.

About 64 feet deep, it is India’s largest and deepest stepwells with 13 floors and was built in the 9th century for water harvesting.

Chand Baori inside viewIt was so named as it was built by King Chand Raja from the Gujara Pratihara clan, who claim to be the descendant of Lord Ram’s younger brother Laxman.

The Pratihara dynasty was at their peak during 6th-10th century AD, and also ruled over other parts of Rajasthan. Their capital was Mandore near Jodhpur.

The baori has a precise geometrical pattern, hard to find in this age.

The steps form a magical maze and the consequent play of light and shadow on the structure gives it a captivating look.

It has an enclosed rectangular courtyard kind of structure. Upon entering you reach a jharokha (windows).

Descending the stairs on the left, you can see the cavernous baori narrowing towards the bottom, criss-crossed with double flights of steps on three sides to reach the water surface down below.

The stairs encircle the water on the three sides while the fourth side boasts of a pavilion with three storeys with beautiful carved jharokhas, galleries supported on pillars and two projecting balconies enshrining beautiful sculptures.

Patwon ki Haveli – The Sustainable Architecture of Rajasthan in 19th Century

patwon-ki-haweli-head

An architectural wonder of the bygone era, Patwon Ki Haveli is one of the main attractions that one can look for in the city of Jaisalmer. The Patwon Ki Haveli is a cluster of five small Havelis, the exteriors of which are dipped in an enchanting shade of gold.

History of this magnificent structure dates back  to 18th century. Once the residence of rich traders of Jaisalmer Patwas, the Haveli was constructed in the span of fifty years by Guman Chand Patwa and his five sons. A true specimen of Rajputana sculpture, the Patwon Ki Haveli is famous for its exclusive mirror work and fine wall paintings.

Amongst the five Havelis which form the entire complex, one has been converted into a museum which displays a vast collection of antique furniture and decorative goods. Besides this, the third Haveli or mansion in the premises also houses rich items that include traditional art and craft work of the local craftsmen.

patwon-ki-haweli-head

The Patwon Ji ki Haveli is an interesting piece of Architecture and is the most important among the havelis in Jaisalmer. This is precisely because of two things, first that it was the first haveli erected in Jaisalmer and second, that it is not a single haveli but a cluster of 5 small havelis. The first among these havelis was commissioned and constructed in the year 1805 by Guman Chand Patwa and is the biggest and the most ostentatious. It is believed that Patwa was a rich man and was a renowned trader of his time. He could afford and thus ordered the construction of separate stories for each of his 5 sons. These were completed in the span of 50 years. All five houses were constructed in the first 60 years of the 19th century.

The havelis are also known as the ‘mansion of brocade merchants’. This name has been given probably because the family dealt in threads of gold and silver used in embroidering dresses. However, there are theories, which claim that these traders made considerable amount of money in Opium smuggling and Money-lending. This is the largest Haveli in Jaisalmer and stands in a narrow lane. This haveli is presently occupied by the government, which uses it for various purposes. The office of the Archeological Survey of India and State art and craft department is situated in the haveli itself.

Nevertheless, even after these encroachments and abuse you can find a good amount of paintings and mirror-works on the wall. The other important aspects are its gateways and arches. You will notice individual depictions and theme on each and every arch. Although the whole building is made yellow sandstone, the main gateway of the Patwon Ji ki Haveli is in brown color.

Role of Insulation in Buildings !

Insulation refers to an energy savings measure, which provides resistance to heat flow. Naturally, heat flows from a warmer to a cooler space. By insulating a house, one can reduce the heat loss in buildings in cold weather or climate, and reduce the heat surplus in warmer weather or climate. Insulating a house has several benefits such as energy savings, cost savings and increased comfort. Barriers to undertake energy savings measures may be split incentives, relatively high investment costs, and the time and effort required to realise the energy savings. There are several types of insulation against heat loss in cold climates, each with its own technical characteristics and financial costs and benefits. Insulation measures are generally one of the most cost effective energy savings measures.

Introduction 

By insulating a house, one can reduce the heat loss in buildings in cold weather or climate, and reduce a heat surplus in warmer weather or climate. Thus, insulation limits the need for heating or cooling the house. Heat losses or heat surpluses arise because of differences between the indoor and outdoor air temperature. Naturally, heat flows from a warmer to a cooler space, and the temperatures will converge to an equilibrium temperature, a physical phenomenon based on mechanisms like transmission (the heat flow through materials) and ventilation (heat flow by air). Insulation aims at reducing the speed of this convergence of temperature in order to decrease the need for heating or cooling.

This technology description focuses on insulation against heat loss, but includes some references on insulation for cooling.

Several types of insulation measures exist. Below insulation measures for residential buildings are described:

Wall, roof and attic, floor and soil insulation

Wall, roof and floor insulation may be done by fixing insulation material to the wall, roof or floor, either on the inside of outside, e.g. by using insulation plates. Different materials for walls, roofs and floors require different types of insulation measures. Buildings may for example have cavity walls consisting of two ‘skins’ separated by a hollow space. This space already provides some insulation but can be filled up with additional insulation material, e.g. foam, to further improve the insulation effect. Roof insulation for flat roofs differs from insulation for steeper roofs.

Floors are usually made of wood or concrete, each requiring specific insulation measures. Another option to reduce heat losses to the ground is soil insulation, for example by placing insulation material on the soil in a so-called “crawl space” (a very low basement).

The age of a building is an important factor determining the type of insulation and the way in which it is installed, e.g. if insulation is put on the outside or inside of the construction.

Window and door insulation

Windows and exterior doors have a large impact on the heating and cooling requirements of a building. New materials, coatings, and designs have led to significantly improved energy efficiency of new, high-performing windows and doors. New high-quality windows may be up to six times more energy efficient than lower-quality, older windows (Pew Centre, 2009). Some of the latest developments concerning improved windows include multiple glazing, the use of two or more panes of glass or other films for insulation, and low-emissivity coatings reducing the flow of infrared energy from the building to the environment (Pew Centre, 2009). Attention needs to be paid not only to the window itself, but also to the window frame, which can significantly impact a window’s insulation level.

Sealing cracks

Another insulation measure that reduces the amount of heat loss is sealing cracks in the ‘shell’ of the building. Cracks cause infiltration of cold air from outside or leakage of warm air to the outside. Strips or other material can be used to seal cracks in moving parts, such as windows and doors, and in places where different construction parts are attached to each other.

Feasibility of technology and operational necessities : 

Increasing insulation is technically feasible for almost all buildings, although it is most efficient to add insulation during the construction phase. Because of the diversity of insulation measures, a suitable option is generally available for almost every building, since most buildings have room for improvement with respect to insulation. Next to technical requirements, human preferences regarding comfort and aesthetics also play a role, e.g. for windows better insulation comes with lower insolation, i.e. less light.

In practice, the suitability of insulation measures depends largely on the current technical state of a dwelling. Specifically the insulation already in place limits additional insulation. This is due to the physical space left for insulation and the suitability of the existing construction (e.g. availability of a cavity wall or sufficient cavity width, enough frame space to install better insulated but usually thicker windows, enough crawl space under the floor), but also because the law of diminishing returns applies: Every additional layer of insulation yields less energy savings than the previous one.

The level of insulation that can be achieved by different insulation materials, i.e. the insulation value, is typically expressed as the R-value. The R-value indicates the insulation material’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation of a wall, roof or floor. For windows the value U is used, mathematically different but analogue to the R-value. Opposite to the R-value, the lower the U value the better the insulation of the window.

Status of the technology and its future market potential  

Insulation measures against heat loss are common practice in countries with frequent cold weather, where they are applied at the construction of new buildings, but also during the renovation of buildings. Older buildings commonly have a much lower level of insulation than newer ones, which in OECD countries are typically built according to the latest energy performance regulations. A large technical potential remains to improve insulation levels of the existing building stock using mature technologies. Many insulation measures would also be cost-effective due to savings in energy costs.

In the US, for example, more than 60% of single-family, residential houses are estimated to be “under-insulated”, i.e. by improving the level of insulation home owners could save costs, avoid GHG emissions, and improve indoor climate. In India only 5 % buildings are using Building Insulation and mostly for HVAC purposes

Common barriers why these measures are not implemented include: high initial investment costs, lack of financing options for the up-front investments, the time and effort required to undertake renovation measures in existing buildings, relatively long payback times for some measures, lacking knowledge and awareness, and split incentives, i.e. the decision makers who can / must decide on the level of insulation in a building and pay for the higher upfront costs are not the same persons who will reap the benefits of lower energy costs for heating and/or cooling.

Governments of India have introduced measures to reduce these barriers, including mandatory energy efficiency standards, building certification, voluntary labelling, and financial incentives to stimulate investments into increased insulation and other energy saving measures in buildings. Moreover governments, civil society and industry organisations use information campaigns to increase awareness and knowledge of energy saving options in buildings. In India MNRE & BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) the main regulatory framework to prescribe the use of energy labels for Energy Efficient buildings in India and also it is a requirement in the recent launched Energy Conservation Building Code – 2017 by BEE.

How the technology could contribute to socio-economic development and environmental protection 

Insulation leads to energy savings, which reduce the demand for fossil fuels and associated GHG emissions and other environmental impacts. It is estimated that improvements in the level of insulation of the existing building stock can reduce heating requirements by a factor of two to four. New houses built according to the latest available technology and design in various cold-climate countries use as little as 10% of the energy for heating than houses built according to the local national building codes.

For countries with milder winters, where heating is still required, as is the case in many developing countries, modest levels of insulation at a reasonable cost may already reduce the heating requirements by more than half of current levels, and in addition may contribute to reducing indoor temperatures in summer. If there is no air conditioning, lower temperatures in summer improve indoor comfort, or, if air conditioning is used, lead to additional energy savings.

Understanding the working & the need for Waste Water Management in India

Indian Cities do have Sewage Treatment Plants in India. In fact, After China, India is the only country which is working on the water treatment activities very efficiently and effectively. We all know, sewage water is the result of domestic activities, natural activities like rain and industrial activities. Regular flow of infected water may increase the flow of sewage which needs to clean. As if the water flows up on the roads, it haphazard the regular commutation.

Usually waste water is thrown over the roads or may be stored in big tanks which may recycled for further construction and agriculture work.

What is Waste Water? How is it generated?

Waste water is the water that emerges after fresh water is used by human beings for domestic, commercial and industrial use. This document will restrict itself only to the waste water generated due to domestic use.

By and large,it is fresh water that is used for a variety of domestic uses such as washing, bathing & flushing toilets. Washing involves the washing of utensils used in cooking, washing vegetables and other food items, bathing, washing hands, washing clothes.

The water that emerges after these uses contains, vegetable matter, oils used in cooking, oil in hair, detergents, dirt from floors that have been washed , soap used in bathing along with oils/greases washed from the human body. This water is referred to as “ Grey Water” or sullage.

Water used to flush toilets to evacuate human excreta is called “ Black Water” or Sewage.

Grey water is easier to purify as compared to black water, i.e sewage. However, the practice predominantly followed in India is to combine these two wastes to discharge into a public sewer or into a sewage treatment plant in a residential community/ building that has no access to a public sewer.

What are the constituents of waste water (sewage) ?

Waste water contains all the dissolved minerals present in the fresh water that was used and which became waste water as well as all the other contaminants mentioned above. These are proteins, carbohydrates, oils & fats. These contaminants are degradable and use up oxygen in the degradation process.

Therefore, these are measured in terms of their demand for oxygen which can be established by certain tests in a laboratory. This is called Bio Degradable Oxygen demand(BOD). Some chemicals which also contaminate the water during the process of domestic use also degrade and use oxygen and the test done to establish this demand which is called Chemical Oxgen demand (COD).

Typically a domestic sewage would contain approximately 300 to 450 mg/litre of BOD and COD on an average. Sewage also contains coliform bacteria (e coli) which is harmful to human beings if water containing such bacteria is consumed(drunk). E coli is bacteria that thrives in the intestines of warm blooded creatures such as humans, animals and birds.

Another feature of sewage is the high level of Total Suspended Solids (TSS). This is what gives the sewage a black colour ,hence the name “ black water”. If sewage is allowed to turn septic, it then also has a strong, unpleasant odour.

what is the need for treating waste water ?

Much of the water used for domestic purposes does not require potable ( suitable for drinking) water quality. For instance, water used for flushing toilets or for washing floors, yards or roads & gardening does not require to be potable. In a scenario where fresh water is getting increasingly scarce and when enormous volumes of sewage generated in the country are not being treated ,but goes unchecked to pollute fresh water from lakes, rivers and the ground water table, it must be treated.

Discharging untreated sewage into any drains other than an underground sewerage system, or into open land , is an offence and invites prosecution under the laws of all Pollution Control Boards in the country.

Sewage must necessarily be treated correctly and then re-used/re-cycled for various uses that do not need potable water quality. Recycling/re-using treated sewage can reduce fresh water requirements very substantially, by almost 50-60%.

In a scenario where fresh water availability itself is increasingly in doubt this is critical.

How can treated sewage be re-used/re-cycled ?

This requires plumbing to be laid so as to serve two sets of storage tanks on the roofs of any residential/commercial building. One set of storage tanks will be used to receive and store fresh water which will flow through plumbing laid to take it to bathrooms and kitchens where it can be used for drinking, cooking, washing & bathing.

The second set of tanks will receive treated sewage which will be connected by plumbing to all the flush tanks in toilets and to other points where the water can be used for washing yards, floors and also for gardening.

How is waste water treated ?

Sullage (grey water) which is mentioned above, if collected in a storage tank separately can be treated by aerating it to prevent it from turning septic, and then dosed with a coagulant, chlorinated and then subjected to filtration by pressure sand filtration followed by activated carbon filtration and stored in a separate overhead tank or tanks from which it can be used for flushing toilets and other uses where fresh or potable water is not required.

However, the current practice is to combine sullage and sewage (black water) and treat the mixture in an STP (Sewage treatment plant). This practice has come in predominantly to reduce the cost of construction of two separate plants and because space is now at a premium in any building.

why not consider grey water treatment seriously in spite of the extra space it requires ?

From the point of view of a resident it is worth considering as it enhances the water security of the resident. A builder’s priority is totally different, since the space taken up by the treatment system can not be ‘sold’ to a buyer, he will just not consider it, instead the builder will combine greywater with sewage in an STP. This enables the builder to save costs.

However if looked at from the residents’ view point, a separate grey water treatment system being easier to operate provides a facility to ‘fall back on’ when the STP fails.

 

How can common problems in Water water treatment plant can be avoided and/or resolved?

  • Modern designs for STPs which are modular are available from reputed companies which are in the field of water and waste water treatment. Such companies have standardized designs where,for instance an STP to handle 150 KLD ( 150,000 Litres per day) of sewage can be made up of 3 modular STPs each of 50KLD capacity. Such an installation would be able to handle the initial lower load of sewage with one module in operation with remaining modules being commissioned/started up as the sewage volume increases. Such a modular approach also makes it possible to handle sewage in the case of a break-down of the STP as it is extremely rare for all modules to break-down together. In short, there is a stand-by always available. For several years now a few companies have been offering microbial agents which can help overcome these problems if these microbial agents are added to the incoming sewage. Go in for Modular STPs & use microbial agents regularly.

 

  •  It is equally important to know and be able to control the volume of fresh water used in a community so that it does not exceed the design capacity of an STP. This involves installing water meters at all crucial points to measure water flow (consumption) & thereafter taking action to curb excess consumption of fresh water to prevent overloading the STP. Control excess consumption of fresh water and thereby prevent overloading of the STP

 

  • Builders are not expected to be experts in water or sewage treatment plant design, manufacture etc. They can however have tie-ups with reputed environmental engineering companies with sound technical experience and a proven track record, to make up for their lack of knowledge. This seldom happens since a builder’s interest ends with selling a completed project and then handing over the project to the Resident’s Association as soon as possible, often without even demonstrating actual, successful operation of the water infrastructure. Most builders link up with small, obscure local companies with inadequate knowledge and expertise in waste and water treatment,but will put up something for an extremely low price. The result is poor/ wrong operation of an STP leading to untreated sewage and unpleasant odours from it. Ensure supply of an STP from a reputed supplier and entrust operation & maintenance to a well trained professional team.

 

  • One of the major reasons for STPs not working properly is the fluctuations in input loads. Flow of sewage in a residential community is never uniform. It varies with peak flows in the morning (residents getting ready to go to work), very low or almost no flows later in the day with another peak in the evening. Raw sewage is collected in a sewage balancing tank(mentioned above) which should be sized to hold at least 6 to 8 hours flow of sewage. This ensures that the sewage collected in the balancing tank is homogenized, thereby avoiding input fluctuations in input load on the STP. Do not compromise on the size of a raw sewage balancing tank.

 

  • High noise levels from an STP are due to the operation of electric motor driven equipment such as pumps, air blowers, air compressors, etc. Old designs/makes of pumps, blowers , compressors , etc are still available at very low prices in the market and these are used in most of the STPs that have been put up. The noise levels of such equipment is very high as compared to modern, world class pumps and rotary motor driven equipment now available in India. These modern makes are almost noiseless and extremely efficient. The old designs are also the cause of high energy consumption in addition to very high noise levels. As per the laws in force in India, the noise level permitted in a residential area is 55 dB (dB= decibels of sound) during day time,i.e from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm and 45 dB during night time(10:00pm to 6:00 am).As compared to these limits, the actual noise levels are likely to be as high as 75 dB or higher. To reduce noise levels and high energy consumption, it will be necessary to replace most of the critical rotary motor driven equipment with the latest noiseless high efficiency equipment. Here it is advisable to choose a reputed company with an established reputation in sewage/waste water treatment to buy an STP. Such companies have constantly improved their designs to reduce the foot prints (space occupied) of their equipment and reduction in the power consumption of power by a very appreciable amount. Unfortunately, residents have no say in this as they face up to this crucial fact when it is too late as the STP has been ordered probably even before the residents bought a home in the property.

Population growth and particularly the development of megacities is making SWM in India a major problem. The current situation is that India relies on inadequate waste infrastructure, the informal sector and waste dumping. There are major issues associated with public participation in waste management and there is generally a lack of responsibility towards waste in the community. There is a need to cultivate community awareness and change the attitude of people towards waste, as this is fundamental to developing proper and sustainable waste management systems. Sustainable and economically viable waste management must ensure maximum resource extraction from waste, combined with safe disposal of residual waste through the development of engineered landfill and waste-to-energy facilities. India faces challenges related to waste policy, waste technology selection and the availability of appropriately trained people in the waste management sector. Until these fundamental requirements are met, India will continue to suffer from poor waste management and the associated impacts on public health and the environment.

What exactly Energy audit is and the benefits Involved with it

A Energy Audit for a Building is a service where the energy efficiency of a Building is evaluated by a person using professional equipment (such as blower doors and infrared cameras), with the aim to suggest the best ways to improve energy efficiency in heating and cooling the house.An energy audit of a home may involve recording various characteristics of the building envelope including the walls, ceilings, floors, doors, windows, and skylights. For each of these components the area and resistance to heat flow (R-value) is measured or estimated. The leakage rate or infiltration of air through the building envelope is of concern, both of which are strongly affected by window construction and quality of door seals such as weather stripping. The goal of this exercise is to quantify the building’s overall thermal performance. The audit may also assess the efficiency, physical condition, and programming of mechanical systems such as the heating, ventilation, air conditioning equipment, and thermostat.A energy audit may include a written report estimating energy use given local climate criteria, thermostat settings, roof overhang, and solar orientation. This could show energy use for a given time period, say a year, and the impact of any suggested improvements per year. The accuracy of energy estimates are greatly improved when the homeowner’s billing history is available showing the quantities of electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, or other energy sources consumed over a one or two-year period.Some of the greatest effects on energy use are user behaviour, climate, and age of the Building. An energy audit may therefore include an interview of the Building owner to understand their patterns of use over time. The energy billing history from the local utility company can be calibrated using heating degree day and cooling degree day data obtained from recent, local weather data in combination with the thermal energy model of the building. Advances in computer-based thermal modelling can take into account many variables affecting energy use.A Energy audit is often used to identify cost effective ways to improve the comfort and efficiency of buildings. In addition, homes may qualify for energy efficiency grants from central government.Recently, the improvement of smartphone technology has enabled homeowners to perform relatively sophisticated energy audits. This technique has been identified as a method to accelerate energy efficiency improvements.During an Energy Audit Equipments & instruments that are required are ultrasonic flow meter, anemometers, lux meters, DP manometers, temperature sensors, power analyzer and HOBO loggers to work at multiple sites simultaneously. We perform energy audit services for all types of HVAC systems, chiller plants, boiler plants, steam systems, compressed air pneumatic systems, refrigeration systems, lighting and electrical systems.An energy audit is recommended to determine the energy consumption associated with a facility and the potential savings associated with that energy consumption.From a general point of view, an energy audit provides enormous benefits in different areas:
  • It helps reduce energy costs in your facility.
  • With a reduction in production costs, the competitiveness of your company will be improved.
  • It helps reduce the dependence on foreign energy sources.
  • It helps reduce environmental damage and pollution.
  • It can increase the security of your energy supply.
  • It can reduce the consumption of natural resources.
  • It can reduce damage to the environment associated with the exploitation of resources.
  • It helps reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.
At a particular level, among the major benefits of doing an energy audit are:
  • It helps you to lower energy bills.
  • It enables you to increase the comfort of those in the facility.
  • It helps you to increase the life span of the equipment in your facility.
  • It discovers any unaccounted consumption that may exist at the facility.
In summary, an energy audit can identify energy consumption and energy costs of the facility and it can evolve over time to develop measures to eliminate waste, maximize efficiency and optimize supply energy.The energy audit affects three key factors:
  • profitability through optimization of energy expenditure
  • productivity through optimization of equipment and processes
  • performance, thanks to the rationalization of energy use.

Impact of Indoor Air Pollution in Buildings & need to improve the Indoor Air Quality

indoor air quality

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) refers to the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants. Understanding and controlling common pollutants indoors can help reduce your risk of indoor health concerns.

Health effects from indoor air pollutants may be experienced soon after exposure or, possibly, years later.

Immediate Effects

Some health effects may show up shortly after a single exposure or repeated exposures to a pollutant. These include irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. Such immediate effects are usually short-term and treatable. Sometimes the treatment is simply eliminating the person’s exposure to the source of the pollution, if it can be identified. Soon after exposure to some indoor air pollutants, symptoms of some diseases such as asthma may show up, be aggrevated or worsened.

The likelihood of immediate reactions to indoor air pollutants depends on several factors including age and preexisting medical conditions. In some cases, whether a person reacts to a pollutant depends on individual sensitivity, which varies tremendously from person to person. Some people can become sensitized to biological or chemical pollutants after repeated or high level exposures.

Certain immediate effects are similar to those from colds or other viral diseases, so it is often difficult to determine if the symptoms are a result of exposure to indoor air pollution. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the time and place symptoms occur. If the symptoms fade or go away when a person is away from the area, for example, an effort should be made to identify indoor air sources that may be possible causes. Some effects may be made worse by an inadequate supply of outdoor air coming indoors or from the heating, cooling or humidity conditions prevalent indoors.

Why are people suddenly talking about IAQ?

The reason is indoor air quality in India; especially Delhi has become very poor. Over a million people in India die every year because of indoor air pollution, among st the highest in the world. Unlike many western countries, India does not have any norm for indoor air pollution, which mandates emission norms for home appliances such as refrigerators, air-conditioners and bread toasters and a limit beyond which dirty air inside homes can be bad for one's health. The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that healthier homes and workplaces could prevent around 1 million deaths, globally, a year, and explicitly singled out indoor air quality as a factor.

Factors Affecting Indoor Air Pollution

Much of the building fabric, its furnishings and equipment, its occupants and their activities produce pollution. In a well functioning building, some of these pollutants will be directly exhausted to the outdoors and some will be removed as outdoor air enters the building and replaces the air inside. The air outside may also contain contaminants which will be brought inside in this process. This air exchange is brought about by the mechanical introduction of outdoor air (outdoor air ventilation rate), the mechanical exhaust of indoor air, and the air exchanged through the building envelope (infiltration and exfiltration).

Pollutants inside can travel through the building as air flows from areas of higher atmospheric pressure to areas of lower atmospheric pressure. Some of these pathways are planned and deliberate so as to draw pollutants away from occupants, but problems arise when unintended flows draw contaminants into occupied areas. In addition, some contaminants may be removed from the air through natural processes, as with the adsorption of chemicals by surfaces or the settling of particles onto surfaces. Removal processes may also be deliberately incorporated into the building systems. Air filtration devices, for example, are commonly incorporated into building ventilation systems.

Managing the Indoor air Quality in Buildings

Remodeling and Renovation

  • Use effective strategies for material selection and installation.
  • Isolate construction activity from occupants.

Painting

Establish a protocol for painting and insure that the protocol is followed by both in-house personnel and by contractors.

  • Use low VOC emission, fast drying paints where feasible.
  • Paint during unoccupied hours.
  • Keep lids on paint containers when not in use.
  • Ventilate the building with significant quantities of outside air during and after painting. Insure a complete building flush prior to occupancy.
  • Use more than normal outside air ventilation for some period after occupancy.
  • Avoid spraying, when possible.

Pest Control Integrated Pest Management

  • Use or require the use of Integrated Pest Management by pest control contractors in order to minimize the use of pesticides when managing pests.
  • Control dirt, moisture, clutter, foodstuff, harborage and building penetrations to minimize pests.
  • Use baits and traps rather than pesticide sprays where possible.
  • Avoid periodic pesticide application for “prevention” of pests.
  • Use pesticides only where pests are located.
  • Use pesticide specifically formulated for the targeted pest.
  • Apply pesticides only during unoccupied hours.
  • Ventilate the building with significant quantities of outside air during and after applications.
  • Insure a complete building flush prior to occupancy.
  • Use more than normal outside air ventilation for some period after occupancy.
  • Notify occupants prior to occupation.
  • If applying outside, keep away from air intake.

Establish and Enforce a Smoking Policy

Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is a major indoor air contaminant. A smoking policy may take one of two forms:

  • A smoke-free policy which does not allow smoking in any part of the building.
  • A policy that restricts smoking to designated smoking lounges only.

Managing Moisture and Mold

Mold thrives in the presence of water. The secret to controlling mold is to control moisture and relative humidity

  • Keep relative humidity below 60% (50%, if feasible, to control dust mites)

Keep all parts of the building dry that are not designed to be wet

  • Adequately insulate exterior walls or ceilings to avoid condensation on cold surfaces
  • Insulate cold water pipes to avoid sweating
  • Clean spills immediately. Thoroughly clean and dry liquid spills on porous surfaces such as carpet within 24 hours, or discard the material
  • Do not allow standing water in any location
  • Maintain proper water drainage around the perimeter of the building
  • Provide sufficient exhaust in showers or kitchen areas producing steam

Thoroughly clean areas that are designed to be wet

  • Wash floors and walls often where water accumulates (e.g., showers)
  • Clean drain pans often and insure a proper slope to keep water draining
  • Insure proper maintenance and treatment of cooling tower operations

Discard all material with signs of mold growth

  • Discard furniture, carpet, or similar porous material having a persistent musty odor
  • Discard furniture, carpet, or similar porous material that has been wet for more than 24 hours
  • Discard ceiling tiles with visible water stains

Conclusion

The direct impact of indoor air quality will not be readily apparent. It could be long to see a statistical change. But one thing we keep in mind that “People have the right to breathe clean and safe air everywhere”.

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