Methods for Natural lighting in our buildings!

Lighting Natural Sustainable Buildings

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

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

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

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

1. Design of the house

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

Daylight 1

Image Source: cloudfront.net/

2. Directions of the Windows

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

Daylight windows

Image Source: kechdesignstudio.com/

3. Use of Glazing 

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

Skylights natural light

Image Source: techomecontractor.com

4. Roofing Techniques

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

daylight solar panels natural light

Image Source: logic-sk.com/

5. Use of Sober Colours

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

Daylight windows 1natural light

Image Source: remcuaminhdang.vn/

6. Jali wall design for your home

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

Image Source: architecturaldigest.in

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

source – Go Smart Bricks

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

India Naval Services Initiative- Organic Waste Management.

On January the 10, 2020, with the environmental initiatives from INS Chilka, and technical collaboration with Ekam Eco, Vice Admiral Anil Kumar Chawla, AVSM, NM, VSM, ADC, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command inaugurated the Wet Waste Processing Station at INS Chilka on the premises of INS Chilka, a unit under Southern Naval Command. This is the second facility where Ekam is operating the composting process for naval command, the first one for INS Circars, Eastern Naval Command.

There is no automated machinery except a set of shredders and incubation baskets. The process is a completely natural and manual process. This means apart from the natural composting process, we also generate local employment. This composting setup will reduce the load of waste dumped by almost 30 tones per month.

This waste will be converted to close to 3000-4500 kilos of nutrient-rich (Nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium viz. NPK) compost. The process is accomplished by an efficient aerobic culture used for composting, “Compost CARE Aerobic”, a Zerodor CARE product. The consortium of bacteria known as “Odo CARE RTU” helps in eliminating the foul odour in the process of decomposition.

Kitchen waste composting has a very tangible impact on the climate and the environment. It eliminates the formation of ethane and methane types of greenhouse gasses from garbage dumps. It eliminates contamination of groundwater and soil due to highly acidic Leachate formed from garbage dumps. The soil conditioners of the output as compost from the process enhances the capacity of the soil to hold moisture and reduce water runoff.

The compost formed also brings back the natural nutrients like NPK and is a rich source of carbon for the soil while also conserving landfill space. The compost also adds benefits of nitrogen-fixing microbes in the soil while maintaining the pH balance of the soil.

We are grateful to be awarded this opportunity and hope that we make more impact in the days and years to come.

Organic Solution Cleaning Solution
Drain Care Restroom – Drain CARE Restroom Represents The Next Step In Technology For The Biological Treatment Of Drain Lines.

EcoClean Active Urinal Cleaner- EcoClean is an environment-friendly cleaner that removes urinal bad odor and yellow stains also add fragrance to the restroom for the pleasant experience.
Natural Floor Cleaner- Surface CARE– Surface CARE Enzymic is a natural, organic, non-toxic fully degradable deep cleaner, sanitizer, and odor controller surface cleaning solution.

Surface Care Enzymic – Surface CARE Enzymic Is A Natural, Organic, Non-Toxic Fully Degradable Deep Cleaner, Sanitizer, And Odour Controller Surface Cleaning Solution.

Does Single-Use Plastic is the Culprit ?

Does Single-Use Plastic is the Culprit ?

Plastic packaging has pervaded every sphere of human life. From food and cosmetics to commonplace household products, one can hardly get around without finding it involved in some way. Plastic has earned such favour owing to its many qualities. It is water-proof, non-reactive, light, cheap to manufacture and easily available.
Despite these benefits, there is no denying that fast-paced consumerism has led to a plastic problem. India generates 9.46 million tonnes of plastic waste annually. The size of the problem is mammoth in itself. However, it is made worse by a lack of proper waste management. 40% of this plastic remains uncollected, littering streets and water bodies. 43% of the plastic used for packaging is single-use. Now here lies the real culprit. Per their name, single-use plastic can be used only once and cannot be upcycled/ recycled. It also needs extra inputs to dispose of properly. Otherwise, it becomes a choking hazard for animals and drains. Most of the plastic used in India ends up either in landfills or in the natural environment. This way, it pollutes several elements of nature, like water, soil, groundwater, marine, and terrestrial life.So is there something that we can do to reduce our contribution to the plastic waste problem? On an individual level, making small changes in the way we consume can make a cumulatively large impact. The convenience that plastic packaging provides is not easily replaceable. Many times, people prefer glass as a better alternative. At the front, it may seem so. But when we look at the complete lifecycle analysis of glass as an alternative, it doesn’t seem to have the same effect. Let me explain to you a few points which you might want to discuss/ argue more-
  1. The glass melts at 700 deg C to 900 deg C whereas plastic is moulded at 160 to 200 deg C, so glass needs more carbon emission for the same one bottle manufacturing by burning a higher amount of fuel.
  2. The packaging needed for plastic bottle Vs. packaging required for glass bottle has an exponential difference. Glass also needs protections like hermocol / bubble wrap or the thicknesses of paper /board etc. required is significantly higher.

Instead, recycling of plastic takes the much lesser load. There is no such detailed study I have come across for this comparison, but my logical mind suggests that plastic indicates no compatible alternative as of now.

But changes in consumption patterns can help consumers achieve the best of both worlds. Smaller units of products purchased frequently increase the single-use plastic in landfills significantly. Refillable options for such products help to eliminate plastic that would be generated in buying new units. Sadly, such products are not as widely available currently, to be able to make a mark.Ekam wants to change that. With a multi-pronged approach, we intend to make cleaning safe and sustainable. Among others, we offer the CARE range of enzyme-based organic cleaning solutions. They contain active microorganisms that fight odour, and once drained are not harmful to the environment.Taking our commitment to eco-friendliness forward, we now offer CARE products in 5-litre cans. Owing to the active ingredients in our products that can degrade most other packaging materials, we offer them in plastic bottles. However, on re-ordering, we provide you with a Reduce-Reuse policy. You simply have to order a 5 litre can once your product finishes. We ship it to you, along with a small tool-kit. This allows you to refill your smaller bottles and continue to use the cleaner. This way, you resume using the same bottles, while also reducing your plastic footprint.Responsible consumers will lead the way to a sustainable future.Explore Organic Products Now:Drain Care Restroom – Drain CARE Restroom Represents The Next Step In Technology For The Biological Treatment Of Drain Lines.EcoClean Active Urinal Cleaner- EcoClean is an environment-friendly cleaner that removes urinal bad odor and yellow stains also add fragrance to the restroom for the pleasant experience. Natural Floor Cleaner- Surface CARE– Surface CARE Enzymic is a natural, organic, non-toxic fully degradable deep cleaner, sanitizer, and odor controller surface cleaning solution.Surface Care Enzymic – Surface CARE Enzymic Is A Natural, Organic, Non-Toxic Fully Degradable Deep Cleaner, Sanitizer, And Odour Controller Surface Cleaning Solution.

The Provisions for Sustainability in Budget 2020-21 !

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

Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE)

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

Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MOEFCC)

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

Emissions:

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

Water:

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

Agriculture & Allied Sectors:

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

Climate Change

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

Rajasthan Government Launches Solar, Wind & Hybrid Energy Policy to Promote sustainability in the state !

Rajasthan has released its Solar Energy Policy, 2019, which aims to achieve a target of 30 GW of solar power by financial year (FY) 2024-25. Of this, utility or grid-scale solar parks will account for 24 GW, distributed generation is expected to account for 4 GW, the solar rooftop will total 1 GW, and solar pumps will make up the remaining 1 GW.

The state has also unveiled its Wind and Hybrid Energy Policy, 2019, which aims to achieve 2 GW of wind power capacity to fulfill the renewable purchase obligation (RPO) by FY 2024-25 and 3.5 GW of hybrid power projects by FY 2024-25.

Rajasthan - Solar, Wind & Hybrid Energy Policy Targets Up To 2024-25

Solar Policy

The state government is planning to develop 33 district headquarters as ‘Green Energy Cities’ in the next five years by installing 300 MW of solar rooftop systems.

Net metering will be allowed for rooftop solar systems of up to 50% of the capacity of the distribution transformer of the area.

According to the new policy, solar rooftop systems can also be set up under the gross metering regulations as per the guidelines prescribed by the state or central government. Solar rooftop systems up to 1 MW capacity will be allowed under this.

The state will promote setting up of decentralized solar power projects with a minimum capacity of 0.5 MW and a maximum capacity of 3 MW in the premises and vicinity of 33 kV grid sub-stations for the sale of power to DISCOMs.

The state will also promote stand-alone solar systems to provide electricity to households in remote villages and solar PV pumps for pressure irrigation systems.

The policy also talks about encouraging solar projects for captive use under various scenarios and the exemption of transmission and wheeling charges and electricity duty.

Rajasthan Solar Park Development Company Ltd., a special purpose vehicle of the RERC, has been established for the development of infrastructure and management of solar parks. The RERC will develop solar parks in Rajasthan on its own or through any other SPV, which may be created as required.

The state is also keen to support solar projects with storage systems like battery storage, pumped hydro storage or any other grid-interactive storage system. The DISCOMs plans to procure up to 5% of their RPO target from renewable energy projects with storage systems at a tariff discovered through competitive bidding in addition to the RPO target.

The state will give extra attention to the development of solar parks by the private sector. The solar power park developer will be allowed to acquire agricultural land from the titleholder for developing solar parks above the ceiling limit per the provisions of Rajasthan imposition of ceiling on Agriculture Holding Act, 1973.

The state is also planning to support electric vehicle charging in the state. The charging infrastructure will be developed as per the guidelines and standards issued by the Ministry of Power (MoP) and the Central Electricity Authority.  The EV charging stations may be established by the state or central public sector undertakings, private operators, or under the public-private partnership (PPP) models.

The state will also promote solar power projects on private land. Developers will be permitted to set up solar power projects on private agriculture land without the requirement of land conversion per the provisions of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act 1955 and the Rajasthan Land Revenue Act 1956.

The government aims to encourage manufacturing facilities for solar equipment in Rajasthan, leading to the development of the solar energy ecosystem and employment generation.

It is interesting to note the setting up of the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Development Fund. In the future, solar projects set up in Rajasthan for the sale of power to entities other than state DISCOMs are mandated to contribute to this fund. Projects commissioned by March 31, 2024, have to contribute ₹200,000 ($2,814)/MW per year. The contribution amount increases by ₹100,000 ($1,407)/MW per year after that.

Wind Policy

The state aims to achieve 2 GW of wind power capacity to fulfill renewable purchase obligation (RPO) of state DISCOMs as determined by the RERC up to 2024-25. In addition to this, the state is also planning to install 2 GW of wind power projects for captive consumption.

The state will aid wind power projects in the state for the sale of power to the Rajasthan DISCOMs through competitive bidding to achieve its RPO target.

The state will also facilitate wind power projects for captive use or third-party sale for consumers within the state. The maximum permissible capacity for captive use will be limited to the contract demand of the consumer.

The state will also allow setting up wind power projects of any capacity for captive or third-party sale outside the state or through power exchange.

The state will encourage the repowering of existing wind turbines that have completed ten years in operation. In case of power being procured by state DISCOMs through existing PPA, the power generated corresponding to average of last three year’s generation before repowering would continue to be procured on the terms of PPA and the remaining additional generation may be purchased by DISCOMs at a tariff discovered through competitive bidding in the state at the time of commissioning of the repowering project.

The government land will be allotted to the wind power projects as per the provisions of Rajasthan Land Revenue Rules, 2007. For setting up of wind power projects, the maximum area which may be allotted to the developer will be 3 Hectare/MW.

Hybrid Policy

The policy aims at a target of 3.5 GW of projects by the financial year 2024-25, out of which hybridization of existing wind or solar projects will account for 200 MW, new wind-solar hybrid projects will account for 2 GW, wind-solar hybrid with storage systems will account for 500 MW, and hybridization of existing conventional projects will account for 800 MW.

The state will promote setting up of wind-solar hybrid power projects for optimal and efficient utilization of infrastructure and land and achieve better grid stability. The maximum permissible capacity of an individual project for captive use within the state will be limited to the contract demand of the consumer.

The state will encourage wind-solar hybrid power projects with storage systems to reduce the variability of output of renewable power into the grid and to ensure the availability of firm power for a particular period.

The state will also provide support to the hybridization of existing conventional thermal power projects by allowing the setting up of renewable power projects by the conventional power generators for using its thermal power or renewable power to meet its scheduled generation from the specific thermal generating station.

For setting up of wind-solar hybrid projects based on different technologies, the maximum land area which can be allotted is as under:

  • 3 hectare/MW for SPV on crystalline technology
  • 5 hectare/MW for crystalline technology with tracker
  • 5 hectare/MW for SPV on thin-film/amorphous technology with or without a tracker

For the wind-solar hybrid power projects with a storage system, additional land will be allotted as per the rules prescribed by the state’s revenue department.

According to Mercom India Solar Project Tracker, Rajasthan accounts for 4.4 GW of large-scale solar projects in-operation, while nearly 1.9 GW of projects are under development pipeline as of November 2019. According to the MNRE, Rajasthan has 4.3 GW of wind power capacity as of Oct 2019.

Recently, the government of Andhra Pradesh issued a notification amending the state’s policy for wind, solar, and wind-solar hybrid projects, taking away some vital incentives from the renewable generators. The amendments have changed or canceled many existing provisions in these policies that deal with transmission charges, energy banking, and tariff determination.

Atum-The Solar Roof – Various applications of a hybrid roof !

In early 2017, Visaka Industries has made a cement board named, ‘V-Next,’ which would go on to form the base of ATUM by Visaka Industries. Solar Roof Tile is one of its products.

“We developed this board using fly ash, cement and recycled cement bags. It is strong and can be easily substituted for plywood, gypsum boards and sand/water-based construction materials, and is already being used by several people who wish to build sustainable homes,” he says.

Then, over three years ago, they decided to come up with solar roofs. After about 2.5 years of research and development, the ATUM integrated solar rooftop was launched in December 2018.

The ATUM rooftop was made by fixing 72 solar cells on V-next. It serves all functions of a traditional roof while also regulating the temperature with high thermal conductivity. Unlike traditional solar panels, ATUM does not have to be mounted upon surfaces and can be placed right next to each other, allowing maximum utilization of space.”

The 7ft x 3ft ATUM rooftop can generate about 320W of power. It needs to be placed like tiles depending on the dimensions of the roof of a particular home. It is sturdy, rustproof, leak-proof, can bear a load of up to 300 kgs and withstand fire for almost 2 hours and 57 minutes.

ATUM walkways consist of eight panels of 2.5 kW that charge four batteries of 150 Ah each

Also ATUM – integrated hybrid solar-roofing system is now been recommended for sustainable off grid, air-conditioned walkway, has been favoured by Air India SATS Airports Services Private Ltd, a gateway services and food solutions provider.

It is expected to provide better levels of comfort to all customers and smooth access to people with reduced mobility while they board the aircraft. The ramp walkway will be established in the AISATS Hyderabad station, according to Ramanathan Rajamani, CEO of the Air India SATS Airports Services.

ATUM will function as a traditional roof whilst giving 20 per cent more output than conventional solar panels.

It has integrated solar panels with a fibre cement base made of Vnext boards that regulates temperature with higher efficiency.

Features

AISATS ATUM walkways consist of eight panels of 2.5 kW that charge four batteries of 150 Ah each.

This off-grid solution can work up to six hours with holding a weight of over 300kgs on the roof, and powers two air-conditioners of 0.75 tonnes each.

This fire-resistant and shock-proof walkway can also withstand winds up to 200 kilometres per hour. One of the topmost requirements of Air India SATS was that the walkway survives varying wind conditions at the apron.

Vamsi Gaddam, Joint Managing Director, Visakha, said, “ATUM will be an essential roofing solution in the near future for any application that require power and a roof.”

Atum is used in various other applications as well, it can be used in various sectors as well as a alternate energy source. Stay tuned for more info about Visaka Atum, its use and applications.

Meet the Young innovators who created the briquetting machine to manage the agri waste

We are in the 21st Century today, where we utilize all the advanced technologies and yet, if you go out into rural India, you find a totally different scenario. Rural India has a lot of undiscovered wealth. If you look at the current scenario in the villages, you find that there are a lot of resources such as agri-waste generated in the farms, sawdust, waste paper, cow dung cakes etc., which is seen as just waste due to lack of proper knowledge about its potential.

Agri-waste management in rural farms

In contrast, waste management has always been a herculean task in urban cities, while in villages, it is totally neglected. Household garbage and agri-waste either ends up piled on the roads or burnt carelessly as there is no proper solid waste management system in place. This leads to a lot of pollution. Despite various schemes by the government to provide LPG connections at subsidized prices, rural women tend to use firewood for cooking, which has a lot of ill effects on their health and also the environment. On the other end, there is a lot of agro-waste being generated in farms. Can’t there be a solution that helps the rural communities to turn the waste into a resource?“Yes, it can be”, emphatically says Darshil Panchal, Managing Partner of S K Engineers. Darshil pursued Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from New York University, USA and returned to India to join his family-owned company, S K Engineers. Established in 2011 by a group of technocrats, it is a company based in Vapi Industrial Estate, Vapi, Gujarat.

During his company’s work with NM Sadguru Foundation, Darshil worked closely among rural communities and observed the lack of a reliable source of cooking fuel. In the search for a solution to this problem, Darshil came across boilers that used briquettes instead of coal. Agricultural waste is being generated in abundant quantities was procured from the rural communities by briquetting plant owners who in turn make briquettes out of it and supply it to boiler plants. On the other hand, rural farmers burn away the agricultural waste generated at their farms without realizing its potential.

Understanding this, Darshil ideated on manufacturing a manual version of a briquetting machine to manage agri waste, which could prove to be a boon to rural India, especially women. Since   S K Engineers work closely with various NGOs and voluntary organizations that work for the cause of rural upbringing, they came up with an appropriate solution for the effective management of various types of waste such as agro waste, fodder, kitchen waste, paper/plastic/cardboard waste, etc.

S K Engineers innovated three different models of the manual briquetting machine:

  • Briquetting Lever Press – ‘BLP’
  • Briquetting Jack – ‘B-JACK’
  • Briquetting Hydraulic Jack – ‘B-HACK’

Briquetting machine to manage agri waste

All kinds of household and agro-waste material such as kitchen waste, sawdust, fodder, cow dung, trash paper and others are first shredded into tiny pieces. This mixture is then blended together with little water and cow dung to create a slurry. Once the slurry is ready, it is poured into the cylindrical cavity of the BLP machine and the lever is pressed to start the compression process. Then the compressed slurry is removed and dried in the sun and the briquette is ready. These briquettes can be directly used at home as an alternative fuel for cooking or can also sold in the market at a price of INR7-10 per kg to earn extra income.

Product Company Named as S K Engineers.

The briquettes produced are pretty light in weight and can easily be stored or transported. Compared to uncompressed waste, briquettes burn comparatively for a longer duration. This lightweight machine can be easily installed by anyone at any place and also be dismantled for transportation. The ready waste available at farm location becomes the raw material and input to this machine and various briquettes are formed. So, BLP brings extra income to rural families and improves their economic condition.

Technical Specifications

Briquetting Lever PressBriquetting JackBriquetting Hydraulic Jack
Capacity / hr20-25 briquettes35-40 briquettes48-56 briquettes
Daily production40 Kg64 Kg90 Kg
Price (with GST)INR15,500INR21,000INR28,000

Quoted capacity is for 2 manual laborers working 8 hours per day

Working closely with rural communities helped S K Engineers to fabricate a few more innovative machines:

  1. Manual Dry Powder Blender (Required for mixing of dry powder)
  2. Manual Baler Machine
  3. Manual Nursery Seeder Workstation

They designed these handy equipments with the following properties:

  • Power: No electricity requirement
  • Mobility: Compact enough to easily store & transport
  • Lightweight: Can be lifted with ease even by women (BLP only)
  • Negligible after-sales service expenses on the customer side
  • Briquette size: Large enough to burn for comparatively long time
  • Design: The products are specially engineered to suit the purpose

Manual Baler Machine

Generally, plastic waste, multi-layered plastic packaging, paper waste, cardboard, farm waste etc., do not have much value since they are too bulky to transport easily. Understanding this problem, Darshil Panchal innovated a new type of manual baler machine that helps to effectively manage waste and transport them in an organized way. This product can be used by any waste recycler or rag picker communities to manage waste in an organized manner and sell it to companies to earn more income.

This Manual Baler Machine can be easily transported since it has the provision of wheels. It is easy to operate and highly economical as there is no maintenance required for it. Effective compression enables it to remove voids and compress the maximum amount of waste material which in turn helps in the reduction of empty space during transportation.

Tech Specs for Manual Baler Machine

  • Average size of waste that can be baled – 600 mm x 600 mm x 600 mm
  • Bale weight – upto 40 Kg
  • Time taken to produce one bale – 10 minutes
  • Daily production – 1,280 Kg
  • Price – INR30,000

These machines are unique since they need no electricity and very less manual power and are easily installable & operable. With the Briquetting machine, the agri waste is turned into resources and used as cooking fuel and also earn income by selling the excess briquettes produced. And the Baler machine is another income generator as the waste is managed and transported effectively. The only resource needed to put in is human energy. Not much financial capital is required for setting up the machines.

Already numerous NGOs and rural development organizations have bought these machines and utilized them for waste management and income generation.

Submit your query for briquetting machine here.

How Insulation contributes in saving the energy of a Building ?

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.

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.

Find A Range of Insulation with Polybond

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 top

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.
Let’s Explore Insulation Range:- Building Insulation

How Econaur is contributing to making Sustainable Buildings

What we do and how we do it? How Econaur the only green building platform works ?

If you still don’t know what exactly we do, well don’t worry here you will understand what we are doing here and how we do it.

What we do?

Econaur is India’s first online aggregator platform that provides one-stop solutions for green and energy-efficient buildings by providing the materials, products, technology, and expert guidance. Econaur is the only green buildings platform.

It has made an easy online green building platform for everyone who needs to know about sustainable and green construction and also can contribute their ideas, projects, and vision about what further can be done in sustainable construction.

Sustainable Product Companies now have an easy online platform where they can not only showcase their products but also find out that about the new sustainable technology & projects undergoing in the market by connecting with community of green building professionals can find out what the user needs for a sustainable construction.

Our vision is simple, we know that tons of resources are getting wasted in construction everyday and if we go wasting the resources at the same speed than sooner we are going to extinct our resources and become endangered. So our efforts are towards raising the awareness about sustainability and green construction, which is an alternative solution for using resources in the most efficient manner.

Our intention of having a community of stakeholders, architects, consultants, and manufacturing companies is this only, so under a single Econaur’s green buildings platform anybody can communicate with anyone and know what more can be achieved in sustainable construction. We believe in working together, and no better way can be there to connect every member from the building industry at a single platform.

How we do it?

The major thing we keep in mind before showcasing any information or product on our platform is that, the product doesn’t have any harmful impact on the environment. As long as the product is sustainable and minimize the harmful effects on the environment, we are always whole-heartedly open to showcase the product.

Even if you want to share any information or post anything related to green building, new sustainable products or about environment then also we give you a community article section where you can share anything related. Not only you can share but come to know about more sustainable innovations going on all around the world.

We personally too share regular content in our blog section about new technologies, construction products and news about the green building.

Perhaps you ask, ‘How can I afford green building materials?’Although you may be on a tight budget, there are creative ways to build a green home or office without compromising quality. We’re aware of the challenges and invite you to take advantage of our expertise in order to get the look and quality you want, at a price you can afford. We’ve done it with our own home and with hundreds of others — and we’re confident we can help you, too.

How do eco-friendly and sustainable products compare in cost to toxic products?

As a rule, natural and non-toxic products (e.g. wood, bamboo, cork, wool carpet, natural linoleum, marble/granite/limestone/porcelain, natural finishes, etc.) tend to be our favorites. They are sometimes more expensive than other products initially, but that’s not the whole story.

Sustainable products tend to:

  • last longer
  • wear better
  • clean easier
  • smell better
  • create a pleasing, healthier environment for residents
  • be biodegradable

Non-sustainable products, on the other hand, tend to:

  • be short-lived
  • require more maintenance
  • exhibit toxic and foul smells for many months, with some out-gassing undetected for years
  • compromise the health of individuals and the environment
  • provide only short-term pleasure
  • sit in landfills almost forever

In the long run, the life-cycle costs of sustainable products are usually less expensive. Plus they bring greater satisfaction during installation and for generations of use.

Many of our clients forced us to find natural products that would compete in price with cheaper, unnatural products. This was a challenge, but we did it.

A new trend

Non-toxic products used to be more expensive to manufacture than their toxic counterparts. This was due, in part, to the newness of the products and the small numbers of people using them. This trend has changed in the last few years; prices have fallen due to the widening market and the improvement of manufacturing techniques.

Demand for environmentally-friendly products is at an all-time high, not only in the building market but in the clothing and food markets as well. As the world wakes up to the lasting value and joy of using healthy building materials, we fully expect this trend to continue for a long time to come.

In addition to understanding the nature of eco-products, we’re also involved on the local level in using these products to help build a sustainable future. We promote healthy building environments in several ways including belonging to trade and environmental associations, sponsoring conferences, earth days and eco-fairs, donating a portion of our earnings to non-profit organizations that create peace and better the environment, and consulting with clients nationwide who personally test and use green building products.

Comments and Suggestions 

If you still have any question or query about anything which is troubling you then you let us know. Also if you have any suggestions about any new sustainable product or new technology then also let us know. We appreciate your feedback.

Econaur listed as Best Sustainability Blog on feedspot.