A green building concept focuses on the inter relationship between the building and its surrounding so that the building does not have any negative impacts. It does this through focusing on design which leads to reduced energy and water consumption by the inhabitants, healthy indoor environment quality and use of smart materials (which don’t consume huge energy). India ranks second as the country with the largest number of green buildings after US. Most of the Indian projects have demonstrated through their simplicity that green building and sustainability are not complex or high-tech ventures.
In particular, the retrofitting of old buildings demonstrates that it is an easy procedure which can be replicated with ease to transform some of old buildings in the country’s cities and towns. Green buildings may not be green just based on the materials and energy that goes into it, but it also depends on the location and the amount of recycling that has gone into it. For example, a new energy efficient building where nothing existed earlier will actually use-up 3-4 times more resources than an old abandoned building which has been retrofitted and made energy efficient.
The difference in green buildings is in the approach to its design, which focuses on a concern for extending the life span of natural resources: reducing operating cost such as for use of energy and water consumption by the inhabitants, providing human comfort, safety and productivity other typical features which include the use of non-toxic (for the inhabitants), recycled and environmental friendly building materials.
Green building is not just the one which is good for the environment, but it also is the one which creates profits to its users. Analysts estimate the differential cost to be no more than 3-5 percent for a green building. If you factor-in savings of 25-30 percent of water and electricity consumption bill in an average green building in India, the additional expense may not be recovered within five years, but such buildings can be profitable in the long run.
In fact most of the green buildings in India are non-residential commercial structures concentrated in a few of the big cities, and the common man still sees such homes as a luxury. Therefore, it is necessary to demystify the concept of Green and Sustainable housing.
There are several ‘Smart’ green building materials, which are cost effective and long lasting available for the modern home owner which would help them build or rebuild their homes, to a more eco-
friendly and sustainable habitat. Traditional construction materials now have greener and smarter substitutes such as crushed rock fines to replace natural sand. It helps in replacing natural sand usage in concrete and plasters. Crushed rock fines were once upon a time a reject waste which was dumped while producing stone aggregates for concrete.
It ensures a comparatively denser concrete than those made only with natural sand and quarry fines resulting in significant increase in compressive strength and durability. Using this alternative has not only helped the environment in just protecting it from huge dumps of this material, but has also helped to maintain the river bed levels, which used to be a challenge when sand was mined from it. When sand bed becomes deep, the flowing water has tendency to maintain the same profile, leading to faster scouring across and along the river bed.
Fly ash is another environmental nuisance which despite such huge consumption in cement and concrete, is lying in massive areas as rejects which cannot be used. This fly ash can replace clay bricks with a more eco-friendly, technical superior, fly ash based composition. Apart from the quality and mechanical properties, fly-ash based bricks are even and resource efficient bricks produced using cleaner production techniques and reduce carbon footprints.
The third important component is concrete, the versatility of which is well known in view of addition
of mineral and chemical admixtures. Concrete can be made green or sustainable by using ‘High Volume Fly ash Technology’ (HVFAC), wherein OPC component is only 40-60 percent and is more durable than normal OPC concrete. This special composition increases the concrete’s resistance to chlorides, sulphates, reduces chloride-ion penetration and carbonation.
The difference in green buildings is in the approach to its design, which focuses on a concern for extending the life span of natural resources
Anil Banchhor, Managing Director & CEO, RDC Concrete
Concrete can now be used to beautify by using stamping technology with beautiful patterns and colours on porch, paving, footpath and walkways. Whether the driveway to a garage or a poolside private access path, this product can help add a new colour to a mundane surrounding, complex patterns for a decorative patio or a naturally blending pathway in a garden. Not only is it durable and impact resistant, it is also weather-proof, making it easy and cheap to maintain.
Certain Concrete Can Drain Water:
Pervious concrete is a porous concrete which permits water drainage to lower surface, thus improving ground water table. The benefits of using this concrete is also to avoid water logging and allow drainage of water through the large pores present in its matrix. It helps keep the area dry and clean. Many municipal corporations are planning to make it mandatory to incorporate this concrete in a construction project along with rain water harvesting facility in cities.
Concrete Can Reduce Your Electricity Bills:
Concrete is now designed to provide thermal comfort in the premises. A layer of customized concrete can be applied over the top layer of the roof slab, which acts as an insulating layer and considerably reduces heat transmission inside the building. This kind of arrangement keeps the building cool in summer and warm in winters. The trapped insulation in the concrete layer provides a bed for energy control and the energy consumption is reduced to a great extent due to this mechanism. Additionally it helps saving the non-renewable resources like coal in power generation. It is durable and the benefits last a long time and it is usually a onetime work.