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The Green Mile – Green Buildings

November 13, 2010 Leave a comment

Green Buildings

 

Although several IT buildings are gradually joining the green brigade,the longevity of these buildings depends,to a large extent,on its maintenance.The big question then is: if sustainability is the way forward,how can a green building retain its character in the long run Radhika Ramaswamy explores

The words green and sustainable have come a long way in the context of real estate in India.Several large corporations and IT buildings across the country are realising the need to consume less energy and develop energy-efficient systems and processes.The challenge,however,lies in the sustenance of these processes in the long run.As Deepa Sathiaram,a city-based green consultant points out,”Right from efficient light fixtures,air-conditioning systems and sensors to metering equipments,green buildings use a lot of technology and sophisticated equipments.”These systems are adopted in the construction phase,as per the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) guidelines.If all the guidelines are met at the design and construction phase,the building receives LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.”Designing a green building is not as difficult as maintaining it.In the initial stages,green consultants are directly involved in the design and implementation of the processes;but after a year,everything is handed over to the facility managers of the building.This is when we face problems with respect to sustainability in operation and maintenance as well as occupancy usage,”says Deepa.
Builders should look beyond just certification and start seeing value in energy-efficiency and power consumption.Ajit Chordia,Managing Director,Khivraj Tech Park,the first green building in Chennai,says,”One shouldn’t rest in the laurels of having received LEED certification.There is a need to constantly upgrade and bring in new technologies to the fore.This will also e n – sure constant occupancy in the building.”

According to S Raghupathy,Director of IGBC,Hyderabad,”Since the concept of green buildings is a choice rather than a compulsion,only people who really see value in it come forward to invest in a sustainable project. This is why 99% of the green buildings have proposed requests for re-certification.We conduct regular audits and have installed monitoring systems in all the IT buildings that are LEED-certified.”The challenge for IGBC,as Raghupathy points out,is in ensuring that skilled people are roped in,to take this movement forward.”We are looking at roping in over 5,000 skilled developers and architects;we also plan to reduce the cost of the construction of green buildings by 5%,”adds Raghupathy.What architects and builders sometimes forget is the fact that sustainability has always been integral to the ancient architecture of the country. Kishore Pannikar,a citybased architect says,”There are so many elements from traditional Indian designs that can be incorporated in the modern-day construction of IT buildings.Instead,in the name of opulence and sophistication,several modern machineries,processes and equipments are being built across large IT spaces which are hard to operate and maintain.That apart,glass,that takes in a lot of heat (and which is unsuitable for Indian climate),is used haphazardly across IT spaces.In many ways,we are creating problems and then solving them. Instead,intelligent and sensible use of materials and equipments can facilitate maintenance of systems.

Absence of policies and lack of government intervention in the green building domain is another reason for disinterest among builders in terms of construction or maintenance.Rajkumar Reddy,Managing Director,Vishranthi Homes,that has built around four IT parks in the city,says,”One of the projects that I have built is green in every sense of the word but somehow I do not want to apply for certification,simply because it does not make any difference to me.Unless green buildings become a policy or a regulation initiated by the Government,it will never go forward.The Government should provide premium and subsidies;otherwise,green buildings will never see the light of day in IT spaces.

Times of Inida, property times, 13 Novermber 2010

Chennai, Akshaya realtor turns green

September 6, 2010 Leave a comment

Embracing green building concepts, city-based real estate development company Akshaya P. Ltd Thursday declared that all its projects will sport green building ratings.

‘It is a big challenge for us and for any developer to deliver on this promise. For instance, even the selection of a site plays an important part in getting the green rating for a structure,’ the firm’s chairman and CEO T. Chitty Babu told reporters here.

‘The project site plays an important role in green rating of a building. For instance, buildings to be qualified for green rating should not be near the river flood line or come up on an area where endangered species live. Further while rating a building, the reduction in carbon foot print will also be taken into account,’ M.Krithikha, a senior consultant at En3 Sustainability Solutions P.Ltd told IANS.

She said the other four criteria’s that are considered for green rating of a building are energy and water to be consumed in that building, construction materials used and the indoor environment.

Akshaya develops commercial as well as residential properties. While it sells the residential properties, it lets out the commercial space on rent so as to have a steady stream of income.

‘Both our residential and commercial projects will get the green building ratings,’ Babu said.

Detailing Akshaya’s new luxury apartment project 36 Carat, Babu said it will have 36 apartments each measuring around 2,806 sq.ft. and priced at around Rs.12,500 per sq.foot.

‘The project consists of two 10 storied towers. Each apartment will have living, dining, family and three bed rooms and servant quarters. The minimum price of an apartment will be around Rs.3.3 crore,’ Babu said.

While the company has got 200 registrations for the project, it will decide to whom the apartments will be sold.

‘The registrations were made by people without knowing the price and other conditions. We will be selling only to those who will be residing in the apartments and not for investors,’ he said.

Apart from the usual features (paved driveway, video door phones, club house, gym, jacuzzi and others) that come with all luxury apartments, 36 Carat will have an open, rooftop swimming pool.

He said the project will be completed in 24 months time.

Sify Finance