Ten Materials which Contribute in making Energy Efficient Buildings

10 energy efficient building materials

Use of the sustainable material is a part of the sustainable development. Here we feature some of the most significant energy efficient building material.

Green buildings are ageless in the true sense. Green buildings are referred to as sustainable, intelligent, and reduced ecological footprint buildings. These buildings adopt building materials that increase energy efficiency and reduce water consumption. The green building practice is becoming popular among developers. The green building material market drives the demand for green building construction. Green building is one of the important solutions of sustainable development.

The sustainable building includes many strategies during design, construction and operation of a building project. Use of the sustainable and energy efficient green material is a part of the sustainable development. A green building is defined as the high performance building which uses less water, energy, generates less waste, maintains indoor air quality for the occupants and uses efficient building materials. The green materials are environmentally responsible materials as they help in reducing environmental impact. The sustainable building materials should have resource efficiency, indoor air quality energy efficiency and affordability.

A green building needs special materials and systems to adapt sustainability compared with a conventional building. In line with the growing trend of green building development, the industry of green building materials and services is also developing in India. The sustainable building incorporates many strategies during design construction and operation of building project. Using green building material is one of the sustainable design construction and operation strategies. The green materials are environmentally responsible materials as they help in reducing environmental impacts.

Energy efficient building material


One of the biggest influences on the energy efficiency of building is the type of roof that it has installed over it. Fundamentally, for a roof to be energy efficient, it needs to do a good job of blocking the heat out instead of absorbing it. When a roof absorbs heat, that warmth is transferred into the air inside the building radiantly, and pretty soon the entire interior has gotten much warmer.

Fibre Cement

Although fibre cement roofing resembles slate in most manners, it is considerably lightweight in comparison. This is made from a mixture of portland cement and special cellulose fibre. It is an efficient fire-retardant apart from being durable in all weathers.

Concrete Tiles

These tiles are made from Portland cement and rank quite low on the eco proof scale. However, their durability has led to them becoming remarkably popular in recent years. The weight is significantly heavier than others hence it has to be considered while designing the house.


Insulation decreases the exchange of heat (both heat gain and heat loss) through the many surfaces in a building—walls, ducts, roof, etc. In a well-insulated building, less warm air escapes during the winter, and less cool air escapes during the summer, reducing the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling. Insulation can actually be one of the most practical and cost-effective ways to improve a building’s energy efficiency: by improving the insulation in new and existing buildings, one can enjoy significant savings and reductions in energy usage.

Polyurethane insulation

Polyurethane insulation is used in many residential and commercial buildings. It is a solid, cellular polymer with a high thermal resistance. Polyurethane insulation comes in open or closed cell form, in varying densities. It is typically installed as insulation on the roofs, walls, floors and ceilings of new and retrofit buildings. It is also used to insulate appliances, pipes and a variety of other products. Polyurethane insulation is a sustainable material delivering real benefits to society facing escalating energy costs, diminishing fossil fuels and the negative environmental effects of climate change.

Polyurethane insulation is a sustainable material delivering real benefits to society facing escalating energy costs, diminishing fossil fuels and the negative environmental effects of climate change.

Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation

Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is an insulation product that is produced on-site and is typically applied by certified applicators. Two liquid components, polymeric MDI (A) and a polyol blend (B) are mixed at high or low pressure using a spray gun, and the reacting mix is sprayed onto the substrate. It expands and solidifies to form polyurethane foam that adheres well to the area it is applied to, providing a seamless seal. SPF insulation is ideal for roofs. It can also be sprayed into exterior wall cavities, or onto the exterior sheathing of commercial and residential buildings. SPF is compatible with many different wall types.

Construction chemicals

Construction chemicals improve the quality and durability of the buildings. Commonly used as bonding agents, tile adhesives, expansion & crack joint filters, and plasticizers, these chemicals increase the overall life of the construction work along with providing protection against environmental perils. Apart from adding more strength to the buildings, these chemicals bring down the volume of water and cement used in the construction process at an excellent rate.

Another key reason behind the improved adoption of construction chemicals is that it improves the performance of emerging building technologies like new thermoset hotmelts, structural tapes, and multi-purpose adhesives. Construction chemicals are one of the best things to be initiated in the building construction industry. Its astute use is sure to change the face of the global green building market.


Sealants used to block the passage of fluids through the surface or joints or openings in materials, a type of mechanical seal in other words, they seal top structures to the substrate, and are particularly effective in waterproofing processes by keeping moisture out.

When sealants are used between substrates having different thermal coefficients of expansion or differing elongation under stress, they need to have adequate flexibility and elongation. Sealants generally contain inert filler material and are usually formulated with an elastomer to give the required flexibility and elongation. They usually have a paste consistency to allow filling of gaps between substrates. Low shrinkage after application is often required. Many adhesive technologies can be formulated into sealants.


Water proofing admixtures can be broadly grouped as permeability reducers and water repellents or hydrophobic (water hating) agents. Permeability reducers are pore filling and porosive reducing materials which can be further classified into very fine particulate matters, workability and air entering admixtures, accelerators.

Water Proofers

Water repellent coatings, which can be applied on the concrete surface to impart water proofing to the concrete structure. Thermoplastic PU has been used in the water proofing of below grade structures building foundation, basements, reservoirs, ponds, walkways, tunnels, earthen shelters, bridge, abutments, retaining walls, landfills and water canals.  Acrylic compound polymer emulsion based additive for cement based coatings when mixed with cement gives excellent water proofing, excellent adhesion to concrete substrate, steel, asbestos, excellent resistance to ultra violet rays, excellent breathing properties and helps in reducing corrosion of reinforcement.  Styrene butadiene co polymer emulsion have also been used as water proofing coating for concrete, which also increase adhesion strength, chemical resistance and abrasion resistance.


Windows also represent the major source of heat gain/loss, visual and thermal discomfort. In residential and commercial buildings, a considerable amount of energy has been used to compensate the unwanted heat gain/loss through windows. Windows have undergone a technological revolution in recent years. Energy-efficient window are now available that can dramatically cut building energy consumption. These high-performance windows feature multiple glazing, specialized transparent coatings, insulating gas in between glass panes and improved frame. All these features reduce heat transfer, thus able to cut energy burden due to the window openings.

Low-e glass

Low-e glass stands for low-emissivity glass. This type of glass has a special metal coating which able to reflect much of the infrared portion of the solar spectrum while transmitting most of the visible. The low-e glass manages the sun’s heat by filtering the sun’s short-wave radiation. This cuts down the amount of solar heat gain into the building. Therefore, the energy efficiency of low-e glass is higher than that of ordinary clear glass.

Double Glazed Glasses

Double glazing glasses are nothing but a combination of multiple glass panes mostly two in number and can be three at times, these panes are having a separation by a spacer and a still layer of vacuum or gas which reduces the heat transfer while forming a part of building envelope. The thermal resistance provided reduces the artificial heating required leading to a reduction in the overall cost and also the ecological footprint. These glasses are also called as insulation glasses and the manufacturing of the same comes in with a thickness ranging from 3mm to 12mm or more depending upon its application.

source – https://aceupdate.com/2018/03/06/10-energy-efficient-building-materials/

GEM Rajasthan Chapter Formation – A New Green Movement started in Rajasthan by ASSOCHAM

GEM Rajasthan

Recently ASSOCHAM India has taken a step ahead and installed The Rajasthan Chapter of it’s Green and Eco-friendly Movement (GEM) Program in Jaipur on 3rd January 2019.

It was an Important step in creating awareness about the Green Building Movement in Rajasthan. Till now GRIHA & IGBC were working in Rajasthan by certifying the Green Buildings, Now GEM also entered in the movement.

The Event Partners were Metal Joints Manufacturing Private Limited, Kehems Technologies Private Limited & Panache Green the Major Players working in Sustainability Development in Rajasthan & North India.

Dr. K. L. Jain, Hon. Secretary General, RCCI Jaipur was the Chief Guest of the Event.
Mr. Pankaj R. Dharkar, National Chairman, ASSOCHAM ASSOCHAM GEM National Council Installed The GEM Rajasthan Chapter.
Ar. Tushar Sogani is the first Chairman of the Rajasthan Chapter and Ar. Nischal Jain, MNIT is the Co-Chairman.
Sh. Jayant Joshi, MD, RS India and Sh. Vinay Joshi are the Advisors of the Chapter.
Mr. Sudhir Mathur is the Secretary of the Chapter, Dr. Ravi Goyal, BSDU and Ar. Abhishek have taken the responsibilities of Education Chair and Program Chair respectively.
Ar. Shweta Choudhary, VGU, Mr. Mayank Sharma, Mr. Ankit Maheshwari, Mr. Ankur Gupta and Mr. Vipul Khandelwal are the Executive Members of the Chapter.
Mr. Neeraj Arora, Sr. Director, ASSOCHAM India will be the Treasurer of the Chapter.

ASSOCHAM has launched the “GEM Sustainability (Green) Certification Program” with the objective to promote environment friendly green building design and construction. GEM Sustainability Certification Rating Program is based upon BEE ECBC 2017 and NBC 2016. Through this initiative, ASSOCHAM do award the Sustainability Certification Rating to Housing, Urban Developments, Residential, Commercial, Hotels, College, Universities, Schools, Factory buildings and related developments.

All existing, new and upcoming buildings can participate in this program. 

GEM Sustainability Certification Rating Program –

GEM Sustainability Certification Rating Program aims to address the sustainability of a given development throughout its lifecycle from design through construction to operation. GEM Sustainability Certification Reference Guide provides design guidance and detailed requirements for rating a project’s potential performance.

Project team can go for a Certification of Intent (Pre-certification / Provisional Certification) rating during pre-design, design or construction stages of the project and Final Certification rating when the building is complete.

 GEM Sustainability Certification Rating levels –

GEM Sustainability Certification Rating is organized into Twenty Eight Principles that are fundamental to a more sustainable development. There are some Essential and Suggested requirements of each Principle. Points are awarded for each Suggested requirement achieved.

There is a 0-130 point scale. Project will achieve GEM 1 to GEM 5 rating levels as per the requirements fulfilled and scores achieved by the project. This depends upon the project design which includes building architectural and elevation design, materials used during construction, HVAC, lighting and plumbing system designs, water and energy consumption of the building.

To achieve a GEM Sustainability Certification Rating, all Essential Principle requirements must be fulfilled along with a minimum number of Principle points. GEM 5 will be the highest achievable rating level in this program.

Key benefits of the certification –

  1. Review of all design documents such as Architectural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Landscape by Sustainability experts for further value addition from green building perspective.
  2. Energy and water efficient building design that will reduce the energy and water consumption of the building.
  3. Design of a building that will utilize maximum daylight, fresh air and provide healthy environment to the building occupants.
  4. Sustainability Certification rating will give additional marketing mileage to the projects over other conventional buildings.

National Water Awards – Encouraging Stakeholders in Water Sector

national water awards

Ministry of Water Resources Introduced National Water Awards this year.

Water is one of the vital components of life. The rapid pace of irrigation growth, urbanization & industrialization has put enormous stress on water resources. The cumulative impact of increase in use of this precious natural resource has led to water scarcity in many regions of the country. Nevertheless, the climate change has also resulted in change in hydrologic cycle in the country. Hence, it is necessary that this scarce resource is protected by effective and efficient management on sound scientific methodology for its sustainable development.

The Ground Water Augmentation Awards and National Water Award were launched in the year 2007 with an objective to encourage all stakeholder including the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Gram Panchayats, Urban Local Bodies, Water User Associations, Institutions, Corporate Sector, Individuals etc. for adopting innovative practices of ground water augmentation by rainwater harvesting and artificial recharge, promoting water use efficiency, recycling & re-use of water and creating awareness through people’s participation in the targeted areas resulting into the sustainability of ground water resources development, adequate capacity building amongst the stakeholders etc.

Considering the fact that surface water & Ground water are integral part of the water cycle, it is felt necessary to institute unified National Water Awards with the objectives of encouraging the stakeholders to adopt holistic approach towards water resources management in the country.


Category of awards

Procedure for Submission
• Applicants shall download application forms for the respective category from –
• Duly filled and signed application form shall be uploaded on MyGov
• Applicants can provide link to videos (if any) in the “Submit task” text box

NOTE: The last date of submissions has been extended til 15th January, 2019

For any contest – related queries, please write to :

Solar Energy – Important & Main Alternative Source of Energy

solar panel
Solar Energy, as named the energy that we get from the Sun. Nuclear-powered fusion occurring in the sun releases enormous amount of energy in the form of heat and light. Several techniques are available for collecting, adapting and using solar energy.METHODS OF HARVESTING SOLAR ENERGYSome of various devices which can be used easily to generate solar energy:
  1. Solar cells or Photovoltaic cells or PV cells: Solar cells consist of a p-type semiconductor (Silicon doped with Boron) and n-type semiconductor (Silicon doped with Phosphorus) in close contact with each other. When solar rays drop on the top p-type semiconductor, the electrons from the valence band move to the conduction band and cross the p-type junction into the n-type semiconductor. A latent difference is created causing an electric current to drift. These cells are widely used in calculators, electronic watches, street lights, water pumps, radio and television etc.
  2. Solar battery: When several solar cells are connected in series, it forms a solar battery. These solar batteries produce enough electricity to run water pumps, street lights, etc. They are generally used in remote areas where electricity supply is a problem.
  3. Solar heat collectors: Solar heat collectors consist of natural materials like stones, bricks, or materials like glass, which absorb heat during the day time and release it slowly in the night. It is generally used in cold places where houses are kept in hot condition using solar heat collectors.
  4. Solar water Heaters:It consists of an insulated box, in which is painted black on the inside. It is provided with a glass lid to collect and store solar heat. The box installed with a copper coil painted in black through which cold water flows in, gets heated in the copper coil and flows into a storage tank. Finally, water from storage tanks is supplied.
  5. Solar energy is currently used to power satellites, watches, calculators, etc.
  6. A few applications of solar energy are: (i) solar water heater
(ii) Solar cooker(iii) Solar dryer and(v) Solar refrigerator.

What Are Active and Passive Solar Systems?

Modern solar energy systems harness the heat produced from the sun to power residential/industrial heating and cooling systems through the use of PV or photovoltaic panels. These are also called solar cells; such devices collect and convert solar energy into electrical energy. But how this energy is captured and distributed defines the real difference between the Active and Passive Solar Systems.1. Active Solar Energy Systems
These systems use external sources of energy to power blowers, pumps and other types of equipment to capture, store, and convert solar energy. After solar energy is captured, it is stored for later used. Dependent on the intricacy of the design, these systems can heat/cool a home or even provide power to an entire building/neighbourhood. Typically, small systems are used to supply electricity for heating/cooling systems in homes and other buildings, and hi-tech large systems can supply power for entire communities.
No need to worry about deriving power from sources other than the sun, this is because it utilizes the power of your external devices. It doesn’t release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.Heating of the PV panels helps keep them clean, even in bad weather conditions.No wind noise is generated from the solar panels.Demands expensive external equipment.High maintenance cost for the equipment.The fluids which most efficiently store heat can pollute the air by releasing toxic chemicals into the air.
The features of this system include:
  • Solar collectors are made up of flat-plate PV panels, that are normally stationary and mounted. In hi-tech designs, these panels are commonly connected with each other to form modules. These solar collectors are more complex than passive systems in both design and mechanism.
  • The solar collectors make use of liquid or air as conductors which store and convert energy. The ones which use liquid are called hydronic collectors, and the ones which contain air are known as air collectors.
  • Liquid conductors are more popular than the ones which are air-based, this is because a liquid is normally more efficient at conducting heat.
The advanced design of these collectors makes an active solar system most cost-effective in terms of dipping reliance on traditional energy sources.2. Passive Solar Energy Systems 
A passive solar system does not rely on external devices for operation. Simply put it doesn’t involve any mechanical devices or the use of conventional energy sources beyond what’s needed to regulate its control. Greenhouses, solariums, and sunrooms are classic examples of basic passive solar structures. Typically, the sun’s rays pass through the glass windows, which absorbs and retains the heat. The design and success of such systems depend totally on its orientation and the thermal mass of the structure’s exterior walls.Investing in a passive solar system is a great idea when you are looking to power a small residence or office building.
No external equipment needed, hence cheaper than active systems.It can bring down your energy expenditures by nearly 14 percent. A better option for health – because it doesn’t rely on radiators or furnaces which cause allergies or dry out your mucous membranes.Its effectiveness depends on the weather.Not suitable for locations having warmer climates, as it can potentially overheat your buildings. Demands a cautious choice in windows for extreme success.
The features of this system include:
  • Typically, passive collectors rely on south-facing windows to capture solar energy.
  • The design of the solar collectors in passive solar energy systems is based on the law of thermodynamics, that posits that heat transfers from warm to cool surfaces.
  • The easiest method of transferring the heat from passive solar collectors is through convection.

ECO Niwas Samhita 2018 – an Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings launched

With the growing awareness & the requirement of energy conservation practices, Government has taken an important step to further strengthen the Green Building sector.

Ministry of Power has launched the ECO Niwas Samhita 2018,an Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings (ECBC-R).The Code was launched on the occasion of National Energy ConservationDay 2018 in the presence of Chief Guest Smt. Sumitra Mahajan, Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha and R.K. Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New &Renewable Energy on 14th Dec 2018.

The implementation of this Code is will give a fillip to energy efficiency in residential sector. It aims to benefit the occupants and the environment by promoting energy efficiency in design and construction of homes, apartments and townships. This Code has been prepared after extensive consultations with all stakeholders, consisting of architects & experts including building material suppliers and developers.


The parameters listed in the Code have been developed based on large number of parameters using climate and energy related data.Initially, Part-I of the Codehas been launched which prescribes minimum standards for building envelope designs with the purpose of designing energy efficient residential buildings.  The Code is expected to assist large number of architects and builders who are involved in design and construction of new residential complexes in different parts of the country. Implementation of this Code will have potential for energy savings to the tune of 125 Billion Units of electricity per year by 2030, which is equivalent to about 100 million ton of Co2 emission.ECBC for commercial buildings was already in place and revised and updated version of ECBC for commercial buildings was launched in June 2017.

The Code is expected to assist large number of architects and builders who are involved in design and construction of new residential complexes in different parts of the country. Implementation of this Code will have potential for energy savings to the tune of 125 billion units of electricity per year by 2030, which is equivalent to about 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emission.


It is estimated that energy demand in the building sector will rise from around 350 billion units in 2018 to approximately 1000 billion units by year 2030.While launching this ECBC-R, Shri R.K.Singh stated that building sector will have highest growth in energy demand in coming 10-15 years. Government is encouraging all building professionals including architects, builders to generate awareness towards energy conservation while constructing new residential homes.



Ways to make your Construction smart & Sustainable

Green building econaur

Infrastructure Industry is the most Dynamic & Growing Industry in world, but in the way it is growing that is very dangerous for our environment as it is responsible for various reasons  like climate change, resource depletion, pollution, and peak oil. These issues are all accelerating rapidly, and all have strong links with the building industry.

The building industry is hugely dependent on cheap oil, from the manufacture and transportation of its materials, to the machinery and tools used in demolition and construction. In the UK, it uses vast quantities of fossil fuels, accounting for over half of total carbon emissions that lead to climate change. The built environment is also responsible for significant amounts of air, soil and water pollution, and millions of tonnes of landfill waste. This is a situation that clearly needs to change.

Reducing Energy Consumption

With the inevitability of declining fossil fuels, and the threat of global climate change, reducing our energy consumption is an essential survival strategy. Choosing to build green saves energy. The low embodied energy of green products ensures that very little energy went into their manufacture and production, with a direct reduction in carbon emissions. Eco friendly design methodology can further reduce energy consumption by minimising energy inputs for heating, cooling and light, and incorporating energy efficient appliances. Saving energy for the occupant also saves money – an issue that will become increasingly important as the cost of fossil fuels inevitably rises in the near future.

Eco-friendly construction can not only help to create a better outdoor environment, it can also help to build a healthier indoor environment. Conventional building materials and methods have been linked to a wide range of health problems. Chemical pollutants from paints, solvents, plastics and composite timbers, along with biological pollutants such as dust mites and moulds are known to cause symptoms such as asthma, headaches, depression, eczema, palpitations and chronic fatigue syndrome. Green buildings eliminate these problems through good ventilation design, breathable walls, and the use of natural, non-toxic products and materials.

There are many good reasons why we should use eco-friendly construction methods and materials. It can improve the health of our planet, and the health of our own lives. It also supports local business and helps strengthen the local economy, which in turn helps to build our communities into vibrant, prosperous and desirable places to live.

Green building is not only a wise choice for our future; it is also a necessary choice. The construction industry must adopt eco-friendly practices and materials that reduce its impacts, before we reach a point of irreversible damage to our life supporting systems. The UK Government is beginning to recognise this urgency, and is committed to integrating green specifications into building regulations and codes, but the process of developing policy is slow. The industry needs to take its own initiative and find alternative ways to build, using green, renewable energy resources, and adopt non-polluting practises and materials that reduce, recycle and reuse, before it is too late.

1.     Design of Building

Smaller buildings are generally more environmentally friendly and cheaper to run. Intelligent design means making the best use of space possible. It forces developers to start thinking creatively about space, and the future of infrastructure.

2.     Consider The Placement Of Windows

Something as simple as the placement of windows can make a great deal of difference to the atmosphere of a room. Innovative technology for builders assist in identifying the most strategic window positions to take advantage of sunlight and natural breezes.

The problem with poorly sealed doors and windows is they let air flow in and out of the home. This means that your heating and cooling systems have to work harder to keep the house at a constant temperature, which wastes energy and costs you money.

With quality certified windows, you could save $126-$465 per year when replacing single pane windows. When building a new house, choose quality doors and windows that won’t make your heating and cooling system work harder.

3.     Design the Insulation for Building

Insulation is another thing to consider when building an eco-friendly property. Investing in proper insulation keeps the area cool in the hotter months, and warm during the winter, minimising the need to run heating and cooling units regularly.Conventional buildings use insulation materials that contain toxic chemicals such as petrochemicals and toxic adhesives. Sustainable construction presents a range of safe, natural and readily available materials. Some of these materials are more affordable than their commercial counterparts. These materials include sheep’s wool, which is an affordable and sustainable material that can be used as insulation. Others include recycled cotton, which can be sourced from shreds of discarded clothing, representing a sustainable and non-toxic insulation option. Wood fiber can also be used as it is made from wood chips, which are a by-product of the timber industry. The chips are fused together using natural adhesives.

4.     COOL ROOF for the Building

In particularly North & South India, a building’s exposure to the sun can result in heat being trapped inside the roof, gradually warming up the interior of the building. Green roofs (Cool roofs)are an innovative solution to this problem. Heat-reducing methods such as using reflective roof paint, roof covering, tiles, or planting grass will result in a cooler building, and save the energy and money it would otherwise take to cool it.

5.     Assess Durability and Lifespan Of Foundations

Life expectancy in architecture and construction is growing in importance. Durable materials such as brick, stone, and concrete have a longer lifetime and are more eco-friendly during the demolition and disposal phase. Extensions, renovations, and refurbishments stretch the life of a building, especially when structures are built using durable materials.

6.     Use Sustainable, Biodegradable, and Recyclable Materials Where Possible

Reusing old materials where possible is an easy way to save money and reduce environmental impacts of your construction. Products like recycled lumber, plastic, and glass are less damaging than buying new. Biodegradable materials are also being produced with reduced energy costs and pollution.

7.     Water Saving Methods

Conservation of water is a very important element of sustainable construction, be it a residential, industrial or commercial. These strategies are often simple and can be implemented into any kind of construction project. Smart, eco-friendly techniques include rain water collection systems for example. If collected and stored, recycled rain water can be used for things like landscape irrigation. Additionally, water condensation from HVAC units can also be collected and used for similar reasons. Recycling water takes advantage of resources that are readily available, which would otherwise go down the drain.

Reducing water wastage is easily achieved by installing water fixtures to reduce the flow of toilets, showerheads and taps. Encourage clients to purchase eco friendly products by calculating their future water savings.

8.  Install Renewable Energy Sources in the Building

Solar power converts the sun’s radiation into energy. Installing solar panels may be expensive, but in the long run saves a lot of money and energy consumption. However, to take advantage of solar power, location must be considered, as well as the positioning of solar panels. Estimating software assists in determining how much power can be collected and saved.

With soaring energy costs, investing in solar power presents a long-term sustainable solution. Not only will this be a cost-saving measure in the future, solar power reduces your grid reliance and lessens the strain on electricity providers. Solar power transforms roofs of homes and buildings into generators that help to keep power and electricity flowing. To take a step further, photovoltaic windows can with solar cells can be used, creating window panels that adjust transparency and can help to control interior temperatures.

Another option for clean and renewable energy revolves around wind power. Turbine farms of all sizes can be used to help produce energy for any given building. These include vertical axis and helical wind turbines on rooftops which can reduce consumption. The greatest advantage of wind turbines is that they require little maintenance after it is installed. The interior of a building can also benefit from wind turbines, maintaining indoor air quality and reducing utility investments.

9. Locally Sourced Materials

Materials are sometimes transported over a long distance and a lot of energy is used in the transportation phase. With green construction, emphasis is placed on the use of locally-sourced materials. This is meant to reduce the carbon foot print, and creates a far more efficient construction process. Moreover, using materials that are available in any given city or town, construction companies can help support and grow local businesses.


The environmental benefits of eco-friendly construction are obvious. But there are other compelling reasons to implement green building practices that may not immediately come to mind. Examples:

  • Healthier and happier workers: Employees that work in green buildings report fewer headaches as well as improvements in asthma and allergies
  • Reduced energy costs
  • Ability to attract and retain top talent
  • Green buildings are generally able to sell for more money than standard buildings
  • Additional business opportunities by appealing to the ever-growing pool of conscious consumers

Monday Flashback 14 – Paliyam Palace, Kerala

Paliyam Palace, Kerala

Paliyam Palace is a Palace in Kerala Built more than four hundred years ago, it was in this Nalukettu that the Paliam family settled after shifting from Vanneri to Chendamangalam. This Nalukettu is a self contained double storeyed building with eight bedrooms in the south and kitchen and the well in the northeast corner. It houses the Ara, the strong room, for the safekeeping of the family heirlooms. Interestingly, below the Ara is the concealed nether room with a secret exit. It is built in the Kerala style. The beautifully laid out entrance foyer, purathu thalam , is still a great attraction, not only to the family members, but also the tourists who come here. There is a wide courtyard all around the Nalukettu. The benign presence of Paliam tharavad Bhagavathy is just nearby

The Paliam Palace was once used as the residence of the Paliath Achans, who were the prime ministers to the former Maharajas of the State of Kochi. During the 16th century, when the security of the Raja was under threat by the Portuguese, the then Paliath Achan ensured the safety of the Raja by escorting him to Chendamangalam. ). The Raja is believed to have stayed incognito in the place near the Kalari, hence the name Paliam Kovilakom (Palace). The Dutch in appreciation of the Paliath Achan’s services renovated this building in Chendamangalam and presented it to him.

The two storey (G+2) building can be termed as a highly efficient functional building of its times. In spite of minimum ornamentation it reflects the Dutch influence in the architecture. The building features, elaborately carved wooden staircases and balustrades and thick walls with splayed openings. A circulation space runs along the private area of the building, facilitating air movement, resulting in insulating the interior, making it cooler compared to the peripheral. In earlier times, women were not allowed inside. Only the elder members of the family could stay there. The Paliath Achans used to address the people of Chendamangalam from the Prasanga Peedum, which is on the top of the entrance passage of the Palace.

The Paliath Achans was the chief minister of the then maharaja who was ruling Kochi. During the period of 1600s the maharaja was dealing with issues of security threat owing to the presence of the Portuguese intruders. It was during this period that the raja was accompanied by the Paliath Achans upto Chendamangalam. After this incident, the Paliath Achans stayed under wraps for quite a long in a place near to Kalari. This further led to the establishment of Paliam Kovilakom palace in the 16th century. This approach of Paliath Achans impressed the Dutch rulers so much that they redesigned the Paliam Dutch Palace and gifted it to the Raja. Notably, during the ancient times i.e. 16th – 17th century women were restricted to enter the palace. However, the elder female were allowed to enter the monument. The building was extended by the elder family member during the year 1786 enable its use for the women of the family and the children. The big enclosure inside the palace has rooms where the family members used to gather together for dine and chat for hours. The entire used one kitchen within the palace to cook and eat at a common dining place together. There are general rooms within the fort that were used for the guests by the royal family. The entire family believed in community living. After the death of the last family member, the building was evacuated and took over by the ASI.

The number of tourist that attend the palace throughout the year is quite large in number especially owing to its ancient artefacts and the fusion of Dutch and local architecture. The weather within the palace is deemed to be quite suitable for the tourists especially the foreign visitors who are believed to be reluctant towards extreme weather condition. Furthermore, the portraits and art inside the monument is expected to catch the attention of the visitors and ensure their repeat visit.

Monday Flashback 13 – Talatal Ghar, Assam

The 300 years old Sustainable Building built in assam is Talatal ghar. The Talatal Ghar  is located in Rangpur, 4 km from present-day Sivasagar, in Upper Assam. Of all Ahom ruins, it is one of the grandest examples of Tai Ahom architecture. The Talatal Ghar is also the largest of all Tai Ahom monuments.

Swargadeo Rudra Singha shifted the capital of the Ahom Kingdom from Garhgaon to Rangpur in AD 1702-03. For about a century thereafter, Rangpur remained the capital. It is located in the western part of Sivasagar. The earliest constructions were commissioned by Swargadeo Rudra Singha in AD 1698. Rangpur was the capital of the Ahom Kingdom and served as its military-station.


Monday Flashback 12 – Kangla Palace, Manipur

Kangla Palace, Manipur

The Palace of Kangla is an old palace at Imphal in Manipur (Kangleipak). It was situated on both sides (western and eastern) of the bank of the Imphal River. But now it remains only on the western side of the bank. Only the ruins remain now. Kangla means “dry land” in old Meetei. It was the traditional seat of the past Meetei rulers of Manipur.

(Kangla)’ was the ancient capital of Kangleipak from the ancient times down to the year 1891 AD. It is located at the heart of the Imphal city almost intersected by 24°N Latitude, 94°E Longitude and it is 2,619 feet (798 m) above mean sea level. It is situated on the western bank of the Imphal River.

In ancient times, ‘Kangla’ was the royal palace since the reign of Pakhangba who ascended the throne in 20,000 BC according to Wakoklon Heelel Thilel Salai Amai Eelon Pukok PuYa

In pre-Nongda Lairel Pakhangba (23 BC) period, a ruling clan named Khaba ruled from ‘Kangla’. ‘Kangla’ is not only the seat of political power but also a holy place for religious worship and ceremonies. There are a number of ancient treaties/manuscripts especially “Sakoklamlen” “Chinglon Laihui”, “Nunglon” etc., which lay down the rules for the construction, worship, ceremonies relating to ‘Kangla’.these palace was surrounded by a huge channel called”kangla pat”.

The Government of Manipur, to translate into action the general desire and aspirations of the people, had allocated a place for the Assam Rifles at Mahakoireng and had also requested the Union Government frequently to shift the Assam Rifles from ‘Kangla’.

The State Government also engaged Prof. Nalini Thakur of School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi to prepare a Concept Development Plan (CDP) of ‘Kangla Fort’. The ‘CDP’ to develop ‘Kangla Fort’ as a unique Archaeological Park in the region has been approved by the State Government. The development of ‘Kangla’ has started recently. After completion of the development works, ‘Kangla Fort’ will become a unique Archaeological Park (Heritage Park), in the entire North-Eastern region.

The essence of ‘Kangla Development Project’ is the preservation of the state heritage and to restore ‘Kangla’ to its pristine glory. The salient features of the ‘Project’ are the development and beautification of the ancient historical ruins and sacred and holy places inside ‘Kangla’, including the Citadel and temples in ruins, the “Nungjeng Pukhri” and reconstruction of ‘Kangla Sha’ (the State emblem), which were razed to the ground by the British Colonial forces at the end of the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891.

Documentation of the ancient structures, holy and sacred places, publication of book on ‘Kangla’ with rare photographs are also one of the major target of the ‘Project’. Plantation of indigenous trees, medicinal plants etc., are other distinct features of the ‘Project’. Excavation of the inner moat, which is now lying as a dry ditch, conservation of the historical structures are parts of the ‘Project’ to restore ‘Kangla’ to its glorious past. Lastly, a majestic temple of Lord Pakhangba is also proposed for construction at a suitable place to fulfill the general wish and aspirations of the people of Manipur.

The Kingdom of Manipur developed at Kangla. Being a political and religious centre, Kangla grew into a formidable fortress city over the centuries. It is from this capital that the Ningthoujaclan gradually wielded enough political and military power to become the most dominant clan in Manipur. The royal chronicle of Manipur, Cheitharol Kumbaba, contains many references to the development of Kangla by successive reigning kings in Manipur.

The royal chronicle records that King Khagemba (1597–1652), the conqueror of the Chinese, constructed a brick wall at the western gate of ‘Kangla Fort’ in 1632. It appears that the art of brick making was acquired from the Chinese prisoners who were captured during the Chinese invasion of the eastern frontier of Manipur. His son, King Khunjaoba (1632–1666), carried out fortification and beautification work of Kangla Fort. It is believed that the king excavated a moat (Thangapat) on the western side of the Fort. The Fort was further enlarged by King Gharib Nawaz and other successive kings of Manipur.

It is famous in the history of Manipur. In the evening of March 24, 1891 British Gorkha troops attacked Juvraj Tikendrajit’s residence in the Palace Compound, killing many innocent civilians including women and children who were watching a Ras Lila dance. The Manipuris struck back and the British was put on the defensive. In the ensuing chaos, five British officers including Frank St. Clair Grimwood, the Political Agent, and James Wallace Quinton, the Chief Commissioner of Assam, were lynched by a mob. This resulted in the Anglo-Manipur War in 1891. The British forces finally defeated the Manipuri forces and hoisted the Union Flag in Kangla on 27 April 1892. It was occupied by the British, declaring it as the cantonment area or the ‘British Reserve’ till they left Manipur in 1947.

Its occupation by the Assam Rifles, an Indian paramilitary force was a major source of discontent of the local people. M. M. Jacob, the then Minister of State for Home in 1992 had announced in a speech that the Assam Rifles would hand over the historic fort to the state government. This finally came true on November 20, 2004, when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh handed over the historic Kangla Fort to Manipur state government.



Econaur took an intiative towards awaring people about the recent floods in Kerala, its causes and how can we prevent such happenings in the future.
Presenting a series of causes and measures of the Man-made floods faced by the Kerala people.

Chemical fertilizers or inorganic fertilizers are manmade soil enhancers used to raise the level of nutrients found in soil. The natural nutrients found in the soil essential to plant growth, such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, are manufactured synthetically from inorganic material and applied to soil in the form of chemical fertilizers. Although chemical fertilizers improve the growth of plants and increase the yields of fruits and vegetables in a relatively short period of time, there are certain disadvantages of using chemical fertilizers as opposed to organic fertilizers derived from natural sources.

The synthetic chemicals in the chemical fertilizers adversely affect the health of naturally found soil micro-organisms by affecting the soil pH. These altered levels of acidity in the soil eliminate the micro-organisms beneficial to plant and soil health as they help to increase the plants’ natural defenses against pests and diseases. These helpful micro-organisms consist of antibiotic-producing bacteria and mycorrhizal and other fungi which are found in healthy soil. The use of chemical fertilizers also jeopardizes the health of bacteria that fix the nitrogen balance in the soil. These nitrogen-fixing bacteria are responsible for converting the atmospheric oxygen into a form of nitrogen that can be used readily by plants.
Environmental pollution is a significant problem. But while most of the focus is placed on polluting industries, toxins like mercury and small particle traffic pollution, a major source of environmental devastation is caused by modern food production. Far from being life sustaining, our modern chemical-dependent farming methods: – Strip soil of nutrients – Destroy critical soil microbes – Contribute to desertification and global climate change, and – Saturate farmlands with toxic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers that then migrate into ground water, rivers, lakes and oceans.

Non-organic fertilizers mainly contain phosphate, nitrate, ammonium and potassium salts. Fertilizer industry is considered to be source of natural radionuclides and heavy metals as a potential source. It contains a large majority of the heavy metals like Hg, Cd, As, Pb, Cu, Ni, and Cu; natural radionuclide like 238U, 232Th, and 210Po [1-2] . However, in recent years, fertilizer consumption increased exponentially throughout the world, causes serious environmental problems. Fertilization may affect the accumulation of heavy metals in soil and plant system. Plants absorb the fertilizers through the soil, they can enter the food chain. Thus, fertilization leads to water, soil and air pollution.

Use of fertilizers is seen as a necessary agricultural technology. Because soil restores nutrients. However, firstly soil analysis should be performed carefully. After then, fertilizer should be given to soil. The structure and chemical content of the soil should be identified and the most appropriate type of fertilizers should be selected. The most suitable method should be processed. Otherwise, the fertilizer should be noted that errors will result in the loss of both energy and finance. Fertilizing should be done in time, should not be inappropriate times.
Heavy rainfall to the seasons, fertilization, fertilizers water will mix with the surrounding soil by leaching. For this reason, fertilizer will be lost from soil, as well as pollution of surrounding water and therefore it will result in eutrophication i.e excess of nutrients to the water which results in an explosive growth of algae.

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