Sustainable Future Buildings : After the Post Covid Era

Buildings : After the Post Covid Era

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

(Source: The New Yorker)

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

The Current Scenario

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

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

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

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

The Future of Eco-Friendly Homes

(Source: World Green Building Council)

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

Open Spaces 

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

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

Natural Ventilation

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

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

Building Materials that Promote Health

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

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

Office Spaces

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

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

AI and Touchless Technologies

(Source: Echelon | Ai)

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

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

Conclusion

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

Residential Buildings Adapting the Sustainable way

The push toward sustainable and green buildings was triggered out of necessity but customers are fast realizing that it will be the best option in the years to come. As the effects of climate change are getting more visible across the globe, developing nations like India are switching to sustainable building engineering. Today, the green building concept has evolved into a trillion-dollar industry across the globe and India has been consistently ranking in the third position in the top list of countries. According to the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBC) and US Green Building Council (USGBC), India already had about 899 LEED-certified projects. This adds up to more than 24.81 million sq meters of green building space and this statistic is from the end of 2018. By the year 2022, the country is expected to reach the 10 billion sq ft target. 

Basically, the concept of green building is about sustainable and “environment-friendly” living and commercial spaces. The focus of these spaces is on the efficient use of natural resources including energy (sunlight), water and construction materials. The ”Sustainable and Green building” approach ensures minimal negative impacts on the natural environment of the space as opposed to traditional construction that have been exploitative and wasteful. Also, green homes are meant to be cost-effective, self-sustaining and have low maintenance needs. Some of the ways in which this is achieved include:

The sheer benefits of “green Buildings” easily translate into lower energy bills, healthier environment and comfortable living. Today green buildings have become the leading trend in home and office space investment and thankfully, the idea has get a favorable push from both the Central and State Governments. State including Rajasthan, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Odisha Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra are already offering encouraging incentives to projects that aim at a LEED Certification. 

For a country with a population above 1.3 billion people, it is definitely not easy reaching sustainability targets. However, it is still incredible how the IGBC has reached its goal of 5.27 billion sq ft by the end of 2019. This is already half of its target by the year 2022.

The global construction industry is one of the top contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn is leading to rising temperatures, rising sea levels, flooded coastal areas, more frequent forest fires and so on. Lives are already being lost in the thousands due to the direct effects of climate change. Cities like Johannesburg are already running out of drinking water and the crisis has even knocked doors in states like Bengaluru in India. buildings across the globe are already contributing 40% of the greenhouse emissions and for a country like India, where the demand for real estate is increasing exponentially, green building is the key to fighting the crisis.

Sustainable & Organic Solutions

  • AIROXY – WATER SAVING SHOWER HEAD – AIROXY – WATER SAVING SHOWER HEAD (BLACK / BLUE), This water saving shower head can mix air with water to spray water effectively to maintain equivalent water pressure compared to regular shower heads.
  • DualThreadAerator :- With 3 LPM straight shower flow aerator you save water and reduce water bill.
  • Leave It Pot Small Composter:- Perfect for people who have space & do not like lifting weights! Also a companion pot for your Kambha in case you are generating more than 1 kg waste per day.

Impact of COVID-19 on Construction Industry in India

In this challenging time where the effects of the pandemic are being felt in every part of the world, the real estate sector has been widely affected. 

Countries from all over the world are applying strict and extreme measures to break the chain of CoronaVirus. Currently, India is in the Phase-2 status of COVID-19 which has led to businesses experimenting with digitalization through Work From Home model. There are mixed opinions about the real estate sector in India.

As experts suggest, India is already set for an economic slowdown to a record 11-year low. The lockdown in the country would lead to a further decline as well. Towards the end of the Financial Year 19-20, there were several measures taken by the government to enhance the growth and demand of the real estate sector. However, due to the CoronaVirus spread, there are chances of decreased demand in the realty segment which includes sales, project launches as well as price growth. 

Compared to last year, residential property sales have plunged majorly in the first quarter of this year. From 78,510 units in 2019 to 45,200 units in 2020. Even though RBI announced a 75-basis-point repo rate cut bringing it down by 4.4%, the benefits of this are more likely to be seen in the long term. 

According to various sources, housing sales declined by an average of 30% in major metropolitan cities. In Mumbai, there was a significant decline of 42% in the sales units and on the other hand, Bengaluru, Pune and Hyderabad’s sales decreased by 25%. 

Major reasons for the decline

  1. Job Security
    Many potential homebuyers in the country are also a victim of job instability due to the pandemic. Businesses are being pushed towards scaling down their workforce which leads to a delay in the decision-making process of buyers. They are unsure about their ability to repay a loan and also don’t want to go through the burden of it.
  2. Delay in supply
    There is a reduced supply of the construction materials as well as a shortage of labor that can further push project timelines and may also lead to a reduced profit margin. Most of the developers are willing to complete their ongoing projects and are quite skeptical about moving to new projects in the current situation.
  3. Remote working
    In the commercial real estate sector, remote working has affected the demand as well as sales. More and more businesses are incorporating a work from the home model as an effort to minimize social contact and reduce the spread of the pandemic. 
  4. Retail closures
    In the entire country, entertainment venues, malls & real estate are closed down as they can majorly affect the spread of COVID-19. This leads to reduced future demand for commercial spaces.

New project launches are most likely to decrease by 15-20% in the festive season of the first quarter. Homebuyers in India mostly make a purchase around the time of major festivals at this time of the year including Navratri, Akshaya Tritiya, Gudi Padwa and Ugadi. This makes it a potentially profitable time for real estate companies but this year, the festivals were celebrated indoors without any purchases made by the residents of the country.

Other than that, with businesses shifting to digitalization, the real estate sector is also moving to digital platforms for promoting their companies, their projects as well as new launches in the future. 

Overall, at this point, the future prospect is very uncertain in the real estate sector. Niranjan Hiranandani, the national president of NAREDCO, states that “Salvaging Indian realty, the second-largest employment generator is critical, not only from the GDP growth perspective but also for employment generation, since the sector has a multiplier effect on 250-plus allied industries.”

Some Unique Sustainable Construction Materials

  • Perlcon Colour Putty Colorputty is a unique formulation, which combines the advantages of Perlcon’s special lightweight, feather smooth putty and paints to add color for the beautification of walls. Like Perlcon’s Maskaputty, Colorputty too is easy to mix, spread and also gives 25% better coverage than ordinary putties.
  • Perlcon Sandfee Cement – Perlcon Sandfree Plaster is a unique cement-based formulation developed specifically to overcome sand related problems like availability, quality, labor and time.
  • PERLCON’S: VERTIGRIP – Perlcon Vertigrip is an extra strength, sand-free, self-curing, special tiling mortar for vertical surfaces.

Sources: Economic Times, housing.com, Financial Express

Adapting the old methods’ in future Construction!

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

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

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

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

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

Top Green Building Materials Of 2020

1. Adobe

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

2. Cob

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

3. Bamboo

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

4. Earthbag

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

5. Poured Earth

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

6. Rammed Earth

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

7. Cordwood

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

8. Strawbale

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

9. Earthship

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

10. Clay Bricks

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

In The End …

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

Until next time, let’s keep it green!

Conserve Resources In Construction Using Modern Technology

It’s no secret that modern technologies are literally revolutionising every aspect of life. Our construction industry, incessantly being upgraded and updated with latest and modern technology, is one evident example of this.

Green building is on the rise, in fact, it is has become a critical part of the world today. The World Green Building Trends recognized the benefits of green building which drew an increasing number of businesses into sustainable construction: Greater health and productivity topped the list while, energy saving, water use reduction, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and natural resource conservation followed. With this increasing need and craze to build green today, several new construction technologies are being developed to keep up with this escalating shift to sustainability and save our rapidly depleting natural resources. From increasing the use of renewable resources to curtailing carbon footprint, whether in building a new building or greening an existing one, modern technologies can help us achieve our aim to save the planet.

6 Modern Technologies In Construction That Help In Saving Resources

Let’s highlight the top green construction technologies which could help largely in saving resources.

1. Sustainable Construction Materials

Building construction consumes huge volumes of resources, this is exactly where the integration of biodegradable, recycled and sustainable materials can make a huge difference. A healthy living environment demands the use of the right building materials. In general, building materials can strongly influence the indoor climate and quality of living. Clay is the oldest known versatile building material which has lasted for centuries sustaining its value and utility, it is the most plastic and workable material as it takes shapes of a toy to a material used for making high rise buildings THE BRICK. Sustainable materials are great as they help in preventing quickly exhausting natural resources.

Another example are steel beams, these are made from recycled metal. Biodegradable materials like natural paints, which are void of the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) help in eliminating indoor pollution. These decompose naturally without contaminating our planet.

2. Zero-Energy Buildings

These are specially engineered and designed building structures that depend on renewable energy sources, like solar and wind power. This allows them to operate independently of the electric grid. Such green scheme not only aids in saving energy but also thwarts additional greenhouse gas emissions.

Zero-energy designs efficiently use solar cells and panels, bio-fuels, and wind turbines, among others, and fulfills the building’s electricity and HVAC needs. Well, such construction is more expensive, but in the long run benefits of energy-saving and sustainable business practices induce businesses to consider it a sound investment.

3. Water Efficiency Systems

Buildings use 15 trillion gallons of the world’s potable water every year. Systems designed for water efficiency can help in lowering water usage by nearly 15 percent. Such systems include rainwater harvesting and grey-water reuse to make use of recycled water, water-conservation fixtures to efficiently manage water consumption, and on-site sewage treatment to remove contaminants from wastewater.

4. Storm-Water Management

Storm-water management purposes are to mitigate erosions in rural areas and floods in urban locations which can arise due to sudden downfalls of rain or snow. This can be done by landscaping the areas to manage the huge volumes of water on occasions of heavy storms. Currently, there are many storm-water management practices, detention ponds, onsite detention tanks, and incorporating plants through green infrastructure are few to name.

5. Low-Emittance Windows

Green version of windows is known as low-emittance windows. These are typically coated with metallic oxide which helps in blocking the sun’s severe rays during the hot summer months which can help in bringing down the HVAC costs.

6. Cool Roofs

Just like low-emittance windows, cool roofs reflect heat and sunlight away. These roofs are made of special tiles and coated with reflective paints and have very high levels of thermal emittance and solar reflectance which work as a force and allow very less absorption of heat. Ultimately, cool roofs are a great way to keep the building interiors cooler and significantly reduce energy use. In addition to that, they also reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.

Final Thoughts

Going green adds up too many advantages that businesses cannot ignore. Irrespective of the fact that, few modern construction technologies involve more upfront investments, businesses reap benefits in the long run. Furthermore, modern and sustainable construction technologies are rapidly being developed for affordable and wide-scale adoption. And yes, the increasing demands for green buildings means these technologies are going nowhere, but will sooner or later advance and aid in building a greener tomorrow.

Originally Published On LinkedIn By Kundan Dighe (Associate General Manager – Sales & Product Development at Wienerberger India Private Limited)

  • 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.
  • Dual Thread Aerator :- With 3 LPM straight shower flow aerator you save water and reduce water bill.
  • SandFree:- Perlcon Sandfree Plaster is a unique cement-based formulation developed specifically to overcome sand related problems like availability, quality, labor and time.

Choosing the right sustainable door for our homes !

Sustainable Door Most of us think all doors are created equal, but this is one completely wrong notion as they are definitely not. When you start planning the interiors of your new home, you will discover that there are so many types of doors to pick from. When in the process of selecting, the first thing that comes to mind is the material i.e. do you want a glass door or a wood door? then comes the style; do you wish to go paneled, French, or maybe Dutch. While the choices are endless and baffling, there are few common designs that you can consider. Here we break down the 7 common types of doors for your home.

Types Of Doors – 7 Common Designs

Below listed are 7 types of doors based on their materials:

1. Wooden or Timber Doors

This is a go-to door. Wood or timber as a material are the pillars for door/window construction. Regional accessibility of the product and the ease with which it can be used by the regional carpenters are the primary benefits of using this material. These days wood is readily available in the market in an assortment of ranges. You would need to choose it based upon the demand for your property and your plan for total spending. They can be utilized for all places in the home, they are best positioned for outside places.

2. Metal Doors

For years, steel or other such metal materials are used in building and construction as strength and sturdiness can be banked upon them. This material is a very strong alternative for outside and interior doors alike. Metal doors can be both solid or hollow and are a great alternative to wood. These can likewise be made in high quality in cold rolled moderate steel, accuracy crafted. They are long enduring and demand minimum upkeep.

3. Glass Doors

Glass doors normally comprise of panels of glass fixed into a wooden frame. Ideally, glass doors cannot be used in the main entrance due to privacy considerations. They can be used in common areas or for the back of the house where views will be most apparent. One area where glass doors absolutely excel is with the amount of Natural light they let in; but again, these are very hard to maintain and more expensive than other types of doors.

4. PVC Doors

Poly Vinyl Chloride is a plastic material very commonly used for making products like pipes, water tanks, fittings, etc. Currently, PVC is extensively being used in the manufacturing of doors. Today a large variety of PVC doors are available in the market, all of which come in diverse colors and designs. The biggest advantage of using these doors is that they are extremely light in weight, termite-proof, moisture resistant, and anti-corrosive. Also, they can be easily installed and fabricated.

5. Fiberglass Doors

Fiberglass is a glass which is drawn into fibrous form and woven into cloth. It is strong, light and non-flammable and has high tensile strength. Fiberglass doors are doors with insanely low upkeep. These are super durable, have high insulation, and are tough to dents. Also, fiberglass doors can be installed with wood panels, can be stained or painted. Above all, they are great options for interiors and exteriors.

6. Aluminum Glazed Doors

Aluminum has been one of the most common materials used in the construction world. A huge number of items like doors, windows, partitions, drape walls and much more… aluminum is one metal that has been put to a large number of uses due to its lightweight.  Aluminum frames for doors have the unique benefit of enduring tough ecological conditions. These frames are not impacted by termites and last for ages.

7. Bamboo-Jute Composite Doors

With a maturity cycle of 3-4 years, bamboo is one of the fastest renewable plants and a great natural resource when compared to other forest hardwoods. This material is a good substitute for wood as it offers great potential for processing it into composites. Laminates made of Bamboo can replace timber in many applications including doors, windows, and their frames, etc. Jute-coir is another great alternative for wood which can be effectively utilized in the manufacturing of doors. Bamboo-jute composite doors have the lead of being water-resistant, corrosion-resistant, termite resistant, eco-friendly, bio-degradable and cost-effective.

Go Sustainable With Doors

While designing the perfect ‘Green Home’ or transforming the one you already own – one thing you would need to focus on is the doors. Green doors play a huge role in the home design as they automatically increase the energy efficiency of a home.

One great thing about opting for the environmentally-conscious movement is that unlike earlier, today there are many different options being developed for those interested in sustainable green materials.

source – Gosmartbricks

Wake up call to humanity and need to make Sustainable Buildings !

Can we humans be all ready to any natural disaster coming our way? Can our disaster management plan run along way when crises arise, what kind of futuristic technology solution needs to be applied to make India full proof with respect to alarming global warming calamities coming our way? These are some of the big questions which the media is talking about so do us as humans. India is second largest growing economy in the world with growing population at a faster rate of 1.3 % and energy consumption at 4.3 % and vanishing natural resources. The construction sector in India is one of the major consumers of energy. Land which is an essential natural resource & most demanding, both for the survival and prosperity of humanity and for the maintenance of our ecosystems has been heavily exploited beyond its potential which is glaringly evident in many developing cities of India. We all aim to live in a developed city, but where has development taken us, exploitation of the resources. The world outside is talking about green revolution, carbon neutral & low carbon footprint. We all are still far more to catch the race, all are year’s old ancient understanding and livelihood with basic needs have vanished with the competing world.

We demand for more & more development but as humans are we not thinking what’s going to stay for the future generation. Considering all these problems, it can be seen that the root cause for the present deploring environment is the lack of effective social & green responsible policies. In reality, each of these issues has risen owing to the collusion between demand & development, mainly the construction industry. Owing to huge demand put up by the rising Indian population for housing and supporting infrastructure, builders are continuously building to meet the demands without considering the tremendous pressure exerted upon the existing environment. Man, in his pursuit to have an effective built environment suiting his needs has resulted in extreme destruction of the natural environment which also leads to unhealthy living conditions. This is quite evident in developing Indian metro cities. What one needs to understand from all this is that, though infrastructure is important and totally justifiable in a city, aiming to gain “developed city” status, it should not occur at the cost of environment which will cause disastrous consequences on nature. In fact, the occurrence of unplanned urban development with complete disregard for nature will always backfire like the very recent Kerala floods. What new strategies need to be planned looking at this changing scenario is the bigger question? The true success of any developed country lies in striking a chord between development and environment; in achieving sustainable development.

The year old 100 smart city mission is yet to be caught up in the pace of mainstream construction. Planning, Implementation, Monitoring & Governance is what needs to be in place. A developed city is not only the integration of advanced technologies, but a blend of modern era, human behaviour, responsive approach & adaptation to changing climatic conditions, variety of local diversity and integration of different cultural aspects. In simple language, a City in which a newly born baby and a senior citizen can live happily with good quality of life. Good quality of life means, a responsible and Green living where equal importance is given to respect our valuable resources as well as our own needs. We as young entrepreneurs can always dream for a change to happen, but the change we wish will not be sudden. We should educate our surrounding to focus on small outcomes towards responsible citizens & adapting green sustainable initiatives in our society. A small effort will always be rewarded that’s what it always says. Social responsibility towards the environment should be inculcated in all younger generation as the future of the country lies in the young hands.

The right way of development is a gate way to the future we all wish to have, it offers a systematic framework to generate economic growth, achieve responsible & social justice, exercise environmental stewardship and strength governance. Development of the city lays in turn hands of people the only way forward if we all dream to be sensitive towards our environment and for that we all need to get involve with it. Every time when I visit the seashore or the mountains or a quite forest, I look at it and say this is one reason wherein we all should try to preserve our environment; it’s a gift which we all have received. Sooner or later we all need to believe that we humans cannot live with green environment, but earth can live without humans. For right way towards responsible development and health environment we don’t need to sacrifice strong economy. It’s never too late to return to nature for good & healthy living.

The Article is submitted by our Community member Ar.Mellissa Pereira Assistant Professor M.Arch (Sustainable Architecture) CEPT University.

Sustainable Solutions For Your Homes

AIROXY – WATER SAVING SHOWER HEAD – AIROXY – WATER SAVING SHOWER HEAD (BLACK / BLUE), This water saving shower head can mix air with water to spray water effectively to maintain equivalent water pressure compared to regular shower heads.

DualThreadAerator :- With 3 LPM straight shower flow aerator you save water and reduce water bill.

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.

Roof Vent is Important for a Sustainable Building!

Roof vents are also called attic vents; these vents ensure there is a good amount of airflow and ventilation in your attic. Roof vents play a critical role in the proper functioning of your entire home for a number of different reasons.

Air intake and exhaust vents are used in ventilating steep-slope roof assemblies to provide a means of allowing outside air to enter and exit attics and ventilation spaces.

Intake Vents: Air intake vents are used to allow outside air to enter into attics and ventilation spaces. Intake vents should be located along a roof assembly’s lowest eave at or near soffits or eaves.

Intake vents are best used with exhaust vents that are located at or near a roof assembly’s peak. This configuration of ventilation air intake along low points and exhaust at high points takes advantage of natural convection.

These increase the life of your roofing, permit the proper functioning of your heating and air conditioning system (HVAC), etc. Also, improper or insufficient ventilation can make your home prone to mold growth from locked-in moisture – this in turn, may lead to serious health issues. Furthermore, poor ventilation also increases energy cost – which in other words means higher electricity bills. Owing to its importance, let’s find out what roof vents are all about and their significant role in making your home, energy-efficient and keeping you and your family healthy.

Why Is Ventilation Important When It Comes To Your Roof?

The very need for roof ventilation wasn’t documented well until the early-to mid 20th century. That is when organizations like the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers (formerly ASHVE) and Forest Products Laboratory documented that building condensation hitches could be produced by poor roof ventilation. Let us highlight the main purpose of Roof Vents:

  • Proper Roof Ventilation Helps To Keep The Attic Cool And Dry

Normal household activities like taking a shower, washing clothes and running a dishwasher, all produce moist, warm air, which rises into the attic. When the warm and cool air hits, it condenses and wets the framing and insulation. If this wetness continues to build-up without drying, it may result in the development of mold on the insulation and rafters of the roof. This can lead to extreme respiratory issues, and eventually, cause structural damages to the home’s roof.

When the roof is properly ventilated with the right type and number of roof vents, it can help in preventing moisture and heat issues.

  • Reduces Energy Costs.

When the outside temperature rises, we all wish to stay cool inside. If a house has a properly vented roof, it efficiently allows the heat to escape – this reduces the workload on your air conditioner.

So, it’s quite simple – when an air conditioner runs less it means lower electricity bills.

  • Extends The Life Of Your Roof

Extreme weather conditions take a huge toll on the roofs. Properly ventilated roofs benefit the roofs when it’s tremendously hot or cold outside.

When the outside temperature rises, it heats the roof – In fact, the temperature on the rood can nearly double. And a hot roof shed over badly vented attic results into an increasingly hot attic. You may ask why? This is because poorly ventilated attics do not have an escape route for the heat which eventually builds up. This continuous heat built up can damage the roof shingles inside out – decreasing the life of the roof. When a roof is evenly vented it allows the hot air to escape keeping both the roof and attic cooler – ultimately causing less damage to the shingles.

In colder regions ice damming happens when heat from inside the attic mixes with heat from the sun to melt the snow in your warm roof. This melts the snow and the resulting water runs to the edge of the roof, and it begins to refreeze. As the ice and water build-up at the edges of the roof, it can back up behind/underneath the roofing materials, causing damage to your whole roof system, your attic and even inside the walls of your home.

A properly ventilation of the roof helps this warm air to escape before it gets the chance to melt the snow and ice on the roof. All in all, poor ventilation causes damage to the roof, hence it is crucial to ensure the roofs are properly ventilated.

You May Ask How Ventilation Works In A Home?

Ventilation works only when air flows. There are 2 main methods to create airflow within an attic:

  1. Mechanical – that requires a power source
  2. Natural – Whenever possible, natural roof ventilation is used. Here the stack effect and the wind effect work together to naturally circulate air.

The stack effect transpires when hot air rises and produces a higher pressure at high points in the attic. Hot air that escapes is known as exhaust. However, this hot air cannot escape without an inlet for cooler, low-pressure air. The cool air that enters is referred to as intake. When the wind blows against the outside of a roof and increases the volume of intake and exhaust, it is known as the wind effect. Intake and exhaust generate the natural flow of air to create a well-vented attic.

Types Of Roof Vents

Typically, there are 2 basic kinds of attic/roof vents i.e. intake vents and exhaust vents.

1. Intake Vents

These are placed along the soffit to allow fresh air directly into the attic. The common types of intake vents are:

Gable – This type of vent is found on either side of your home, beneath the peak of the roof, and on the siding. They can help the airflow out of your attic while preventing moisture or snow from entering.

Static – These are made of a sheet metal cylinder with a flashing collar and a metal hood to keep rainwater out. Holes are cut in the face of the roofs and these are installed in rows. The effectiveness of static roofs depends on how many are installed; one of the biggest disadvantages of this roof is penetration, as they are prone to leakage.

Soffit – A soffit vent is perforated but installed the same way that a solid soffit is. They are either fitted continuous or between the rafter tails. These offer improved airflow during the summer and protection against ice and moisture buildup in the winter months.

2. Exhaust Vents

These are installed in the upper third of the roof to allow attic air to escape. The different types of Exhaust vents are:

Static vents – these include ridge vents which allow the air to escape. These are installed along the ridge of the roof. They offer uniform ventilation through the home’s attic. These are available in several lengths and widths and can be fit to work with a range of roof pitches. Ridge vents are considered the most efficient and cost-effective.

Power ventilators – This type of roof vents suck out air from the attic. They are turbine vents which consist of a turbine mounted on a sheet-metal cylinder. They are installed like roofline vents along the face of the roof. When the wind blows, it spins the turbine, which in turn draws air up out of the attic. Their effectiveness, naturally, depends on whether the wind is blowing or not.

Understanding how roof vents work is highly technical, it is advised that if you don’t know how your roof vents work, or if you’re unsure about your attic ventilation in general, then you should talk to a roof inspector about your current system and any inherent weaknesses that may be at work. The risk/reward for having no ventilation or poor ventilation, along with the negligible cost of installing a good-working ventilation system makes them one of the unforgivable sins of home maintenance negligence.

Want to improve the indoor air quality of your home, Buy or Submit Inquiry for products. Check here.

Monday Flashback – Super Tree Grooves, Singapore !

We are back again with the another Flashback this Monday, This week we are featuring the Sustainable Architecture of 20th Century “The Super Tree Grooves”

Indian heritage is rich with architectural designs that promote space, an aura of freedom, power, and reverence. This time on visiting Singapore, we happened to visit the Super Trees for the night show. Here this week story is contributed by our community member, Shweta Agarwal from Noida.

Though they are not residential spaces, still I was impressed by the way they have given space to billions of plants in a small area. This thought process is not new, as the world is screaming for trees. I went ahead and found out how they have done it. Maybe we can incorporate this style in our latest projects.

The Plan of Super Trees.

There is an inner structure (vertical in shape, feels like a chimney from inside). The material used to build this 25-50 meters tall vertical structure is reinforced concrete. A steel frame envelops this reinforced concrete structure. Panels are placed in this steel frame, which are cloaked with several exotic varieties of plants and magnificent flowers from the Mediterranean and semi-arid subtropical regions. They are providing shade during the day and come alive for the breathtaking night-show at night. The climbing plants especially flourish here.

The exotic plants from the Mediterranean and subtropics are not commonly seen in this part of the world and are of high conservation value. They need a cool and dry climate to survive.

Some more innovative steps that have been taken are:

1) HEAT AND LIGHT CONTROL:


The specially selected glass panels allow optimal light in for plants but reduces excessive amount of heat. This is made possible by placing sensor-operated retractable sails that open automatically to provide shade to the plants when it gets too hot. Some also have photovoltaic cells on their canopies to harvest solar energy for lighting up the Super trees for the night show.

2) COOLING:

They have strategized cooling of only the lower levels. Chilled water pipes cast within the concrete slabs enable cool air to settle at the lower zone while the warm air rises and is vented out at high levels.

The panels are well maintained, and they breathe with lush and healthy hues. This is truly an inspiration and compels one to think that why can’t each house have at least one outer wall designed the similar way.

A Skyway suspended at 22 meters height between the iconic Super trees, is a creative contraption which allows you to admire the most ravishing scene

3)ENVIRONMENT SUSTAINABLITY:

The lake system near the Super-Trees gardens functions as a living ecological system.

Water run-off coming from the gardens is captured by the lake system. The water flow is reduced, and the sediments settle down. The aquatic plants absorb nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus in the water. In this way the water gets filtered in a natural way. A reduction of nitrogen levels is critical to minimizing alga bloom and ensures better water quality.

The water thus cleaned is discharged into the main water reservoir. The same water is used in the built-in irrigation system for the gardens.

These are habitats for fish and dragonfly. A diversity of aquatic plants is dropped in for, good water circulation and aeration. This keeps in check potential problems such as mosquito breeding.

If you have any sustainable building story or know any of the historical monument with a sustainable architect, fill this form and if we find it suitable as per our criteria we will feature in any of the monday flashback.

To know more about monday flashback and other stories visit here

Need to reduce the impact of Cost on Quality of Construction

Need to reduce the impact of Cost on Quality of Construction

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:

  • Time overruns
  • Cost overruns
  • Disrupted cash flow
  • Destroys client relationships
  • Increased chances of accidents
  • Environmental harms
  • 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.

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