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A pond created using water harvesting techniques

Saturday, December 29, 2018

By 2021, India anticipates nearly 55 percent growth in green building sector of all projects, be it large residential communities, high-rise residential, or single-family residential communities. Creating healthier built environments in line with sustainability principles will help secure a future, which will be viable and focused on end-user well-being. Going green is no longer a trend. It is a long-term solution as all stakeholders in the residential sector aim for realistic benefits by adopting green strategies.  

Opting for alternate energy resources
Energy efficiency is efforts that will reduce the amount of energy used when creating products or providing services or while utilizing the products. One way to be green is to be energy efficient and to conserve energy. By selecting energy-efficient equipment within the community, residential communities can help reduce energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and more.

By ensuring alternative energy resources is available to meet on-site requirements, societies and residential communities will help eliminate the dependency in public utility availability as well as help alleviate running costs and maintenance fees. Alternative energy sources such as solar power and wind power is certainly a green effort that can be easily addressed within societies and communities.

With increasing market availability of solar power generation equipment, it is becoming more and more easy for new and old residential communities to install in their property.

Opting for responsible water conservation
Rainwater harvesting is the accumulation and deposition of rainwater for reuse on-site. Harvesting provides a substantial benefit by addressing on-site domestic water demand, reducing stormwater flow in the sewer system, and reducing stormwater runoff which causes soil erosion and localized flooding. Rainwater harvesting system can be designed with the intent of not letting water falling inside the site boundary to flow out of the project. Rainwater from the site can be collected from two sources, namely, roof rainwater & open spaces. Roof rainwater can be harvested in the rainwater collection sump & reused for domestic purpose with necessary treatment. Rainwater from open space can be harvested in a recharge sump with percolation bore well to direct recharge to the groundwater aquifer. With Rainwater Harvesting becoming a mandatory requirement in most communities, this is a solution that is easily adopted.

Opting for waste management
Waste management is categorized into solid waste management and sewage management. Strategies to effectively handle these wastes will create a better living environment for the residents and reduce operational costs in the future. Segregating waste at source as dry, wet (organic and inorganic) and e-waste is critical. Dry waste can be collected and handed over to the municipal authority or authorized local recyclers. Wet waste converted to compost/manure and can be used for gardening. Any toxic & excess waste should be donated to appropriate waste disposal companies or organizations. Domestic wastewater is normally 99.9% water and contains only 0.1% solids. If the 0.1% solids and other micro-organisms are removed, reusing this water makes perfect sense for on-site irrigation or janitorial requirements.

Reducing maintenance costs through green efforts
Studies are showing that investing in clean, green infrastructure can contribute towards reducing long-term maintenance expenses in residential communities. It is important to view any upfront capital costs from a long-term perspective. While capital costs are loaded upfront for 3-4 years, maintenance costs extend across the life of the project often spanning for 40-60 years. Keeping these factors in view, there are adequate indicators showing that life-cycle costing of sustainable technology for residential communities is beneficial for all end-users.k

Many reasons to adopt ‘Go Green’
There are multiple reasons for going green in residential communities, including but not limited to:

  •     Being responsible in terms of energy generation & consumptions
  •     Optimizing maintenance costs through green technology
  •     Improving air and water quality through a sustainable measure
  •     Reducing waste streams and create wealth out of wastes
  •     Conserving ecosystems and enhancing biodiversity
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