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Alternate MaterialsGreen Projects — Roadmap to a Sustainable Future

Alternate MaterialsGreen Projects — Roadmap to a Sustainable Future

Green isn’t just about plants, it’s a mindset

Imagine for a moment that you have worked insanely hard on a project and planning a state of the art infrastructure for your client. It is lavish and is going to be a masterpiece project for you and your investors. Everything is in place, you have a meeting with your client in an hour and you are all set to get approvals and get started. Just then, he tells you that you don’t have enough wood to get started. Or, imagine for a moment that the government just announced that the project management consultants or real estate developers can only have a certain long-term carbon footprint. It’s 2019, we are moving towards environment crises, things change rapidly. What would you do?

Now imagine, what if we told you that there are sustainable solutions which not only seem to be luxurious but are far more economical too? To add, given our rapidly changing environmental regulations, you would be one of the few companies who would be safeguarded.

We are living in turbulent times. In an era where people are watching, listening and incessantly reacting to everything around us. Environment is definitely one of the rising concerns and there are steps being taken every now and then to save it. Needless to say, the infrastructure development sector is deeply affected by it too. Most estimates reflect that real estate is the largest contributor of CO2 emissions at roughly 22%. However, the world, at large are taking maximum efforts to reduce these carbon footprints. Singapore, for example, is currently witnessing a green revolution of its own in the real estates. Over the past decade, Singapore has managed to green almost one-third of its building stock including improving energy and water efficiency, using eco-friendly construction material and creating healthier indoor space. There are plethora of examples of other countries adapting to green projects and embracing sustainable construction.

Status quo in India

It would be wrong to say that India is not making any effort. Ever since the formation of Indian Green Building Council, in 2001, developers have been putting in effort to make a shift towards the green projects. It has had its own challenges. As per a report by 99acers.com , there are presently only 3000 green projects in India, The biggest roadblock is that the input cost of these projects is high which increases the overall costs for the end customer. In certain cases, skepticism also exists in maintaining the quality of such projects. LEED certification adds up to 2% to 3% additional costs on the developers as well as buyers.

In such a condition, how does one mitigate the costs and does not impact the overall quality of the infrastructure. What could be the possible roadmap towards green projects? These are some of the questions that maximum project management consultants are struggling currently with.

The Roadmap

It is important that we march towards a space where green is not a mere luxury but a necessity. For achieving the same, it not only is essential to change infrastructure design, but also redefine sustainability Make it more accessible and educate the masses. What might have ordinarily been perceived as special projects, would gradually start to fall within the realm of environmentally sensitive projects. Yet, the questions remains that how do we achieve this without compromising on the quality, while at the same time keeping them economical.

#1 Cost Reduction — The Game Changer

A mere elimination of mechanical systems could reduce the construction cost by 7%. You can also reduce the annual energy cost by a whopping 80% by going for an all passive design. It is also possible to eliminate artificial paint and varnishes and substitute the same with natural stone pigments. You might be aware that any sustainable project runs on the concept of 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. You can use this mantra for every concept you come up with. To give you an example, a major construction cost of doors, windows and other additional accessories can be reduced to a great extent by using refurbished items, which you can pick as per your choice and use the creativity of your design team to make them look more attractive. Using waste or scrap stones for the flooring is also a great idea to reduce the costs. It can substantially reduce the flooring costs by up to 30% over regular flooring options, without having to compromise on the quality or the appeal of your design.

Green isn’t just about plants, it’s a mindset

#2 The aesthetics — non comprisable

It is the bitter truth of project infrastructure that the visual appeal of the project is one of the major selling points. Rightly so, since anyone would like to occupy the premises which appeals to them, whether it is for business or domestic use. Thus, it is imperative to ensure that the aesthetic appeal of the infrastructure is not compromised on. We live in in times where individuals are tilting towards traditional interiors; materials like metal and steel are steadily wearing away. Thus, using refurbished wooden items is always a winner. Designing one’s own furniture instead of outsourcing the same can be both cost effective and direct implementation of one’s own creativity. The floors made out of scrap can act as a walkway to remember and add a lot of value to your project.

Green isn’t just about plants, it’s a mindset

#3 Energy Conservation — An Absolute Must

Energy conservation is also one of the vital components of a green project. Installing solar water heaters for showers and PV panels on the roof for the supply of electricity can make your projects a net-zero energy infrastructure. You can further make use of solar chimneys that are designed to passively drive the entire air flow and provide cooling which can eliminate central air conditioning. You can lay down hume pipes, leaving openings in the slabs to allow the cool air to pass through and come out through the grills fixed at the bottom of the rooms. The overall idea is to ensure that your project achieves a comfortable internal condition without the use of any mechanical system despite the warm and mid climate of India.

AMs adopted sustainable measures to make their project more environmentally sensitive:

Green isn’t just about plants, it’s a mindset

The roadmap is an easy one. It is for us to understand when do we want to start building for the future. We have tried our best in one of our projects: Avsara Academy, which is a 4.3 acre lavish campus at Lavale, around 10 kms from Pune.

It is undeniable, that following the Paris Agreement which was effectuated from 04th November, 2016, sustainability is more relevant than ever. Regulations are bound to enter the project sector and we might soon see a time where net-zero buildings are a regulatory pre-requisite.

Of course, stepping out of the conventional business approach might be daunting to kick-start, however, with thought provoking leadership, a profound collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders and pulling up the socks for future regulations, the roadmap to sustainable development through green projects is sure a promising future.

Give us a shout if you ever want to know or understand more about sustainable construction and design ideas.

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