With World Environment Day 2019 being celebrated on June 5, communities worldwide are launching their efforts to beat environment pollution with fanfare and focus.
Indeed, the celebration of this day provides an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment.
We, at CONSTRUCTION WORLD, too constantly endeavour to save and protect our environment from harsh construction practices. Over the years, CW has done several stories on this topic – be it on combating construction and demolition (C&D) waste, technologies for solid waste management, combating river pollution, green-certified projects, etc. In fact, we have also been stalwarts in awarding the industry for its green practices through the CONSTRUCTION WORLD Architect & Builder Awards.
Here’s a glimpse of a few of the many stories, highlighting the industry’s contribution to the environment – something that we recognise regularly, and are proud to celebrate this World Environment Day!
Construction and demolition (C&D) waste will enhance the building material supply chain and support Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in India, says Sonia Rani, Environmental Engineer & Sustainability Expert, The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI).
The shift towards urbanisation in India has been brisk, leading to the development of countless infrastructure projects, in turn spiking demand for raw materials. Rapid urbanisation in India would greatly impact the consumption of natural resources through excavation, mining, quarrying, etc, to meet the demand of upcoming construction, and the unscientific manner of their extraction is putting enormous pressure on resource reserves.
The Power of (Net) Zero!
From a handful of about seven net-zero buildings listed in India, Godrej & Boyce’s Plant-13 Annexe Building in Mumbai is among the firsts to be formally certified Net-Zero Existing Building (NZEB) by the IGBC.
Sustainable buildings have always been the way ahead for the Godrej Group. Having created several benchmarks in this area, Godrej & Boyce recently achieved the ‘Net-Zero Energy Rating’ from the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) for its Plant-13 Annexe Building, which is part of its Vikhroli campus in Mumbai. This multiuse, office-cum-convention centre has won many accolades like the ‘IGBC-EB Platinum Rating’ and the ‘BEE 5-Star’. “Last year, when we partnered with the World Green Building Congress (WGBC) to further the cause of ‘Net Zero’ in the Asia-Pacific Region, we were determined to demonstrate that in our own campus, and here we are!” says George Menezes, COO, Godrej Electrical and Electronics. “I have no doubt that this will be the harbinger for many more ‘net-zero’ buildings to follow in the country.” He shares more on the green features and the net-zero mark.
The Platinum Hit!
Ashok Leyland becomes the first Indian office and fourth in the world to bag the LEED v4.1 Platinum certification for its sustainable features that ensure occupant well-being and contribute to enhancing the environment.
One of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in India, Ashok Leyland has been awarded the LEED v4.1 Buildings Operations & Maintenance Platinum certification for its corporate office building in Chennai, thus becoming the first office in India and fourth in the world to receive this certification. Built in 2009, the project was already LEED India 2009 Gold certified. With a built-up area of 192,000 sq ft, the sustainability measures implemented at that time have been retained, monitored and sufficient maintenance (calibration of temperature and pressure gauges in AHUs), modifications (retrofitting of EC BLDC motors in AHUs), retrofits (LED lighting in all floors) and renovations have been performed to ensure smooth operation and efficient performance of the systems. Suresh Kumar, Head - Facilities and Office Services, Ashok Leyland, shares more on the measures taken to upgrade the building’s green features.
Pre-certified as a 4-star project, the Milestone Experion Centre was eventually upgraded to GRIHA’s 5-star owing to its adherence to green efficiency principles.
Milestone Experion Centre, a mixed-use development in Gurugram, has secured a 5-star provisional certificate rating, the highest national rating for green buildings, by Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA). Developed over about 4 acre with a total built-up area of about 40,000 sq m, the 12-storied multi-user commercial development offers retail and commercial spaces with all requisite amenities. Significantly, the pre-certification rating for the project was 4-star but was eventually upgraded to 5-star, subsequent to an elaborate compliance exercise. BK Malagi, COO, Experion Developers, shares more on the measures taken to increase the green efficiency of the building.
Lighting and Productivity
Mili Majumdar, Managing Director, Green Business Certification Institute (GBCI), India, elaborates upon the importance of circadian lighting for wellbeing.
It speaks for itself when the 108th Nobel prize in physiology was awarded to a trio of American scientists for their discoveries on the molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythms—in other words, the 24-hour body clock. Maintaining our body clock helps regulate sleep patterns, feeding behaviour, hormone release and blood pressure. Light, more specifically daylight, has a significant influence on our body clock and thus on circadian rhythm. In simple terms, our body’s circadian system is a blue sky detector. Exposure to lots of blue light tells the body to be awake and alert. As we are aware, the dominant colour of the sky and daytime sunlight is blue and shorter wavelength blue light has a greater impact on our circadian system than long wavelength red or warm light. We need a cool white light with a high blue content and high illuminance to remain more alert and active during the day. We need warm white light with greater red content in evenings to have a good quality of sleep. We wake up with daylight and sleep with sundown. Light plays a larger role in our daily lives beyond its function to allow us to see objects.
Jade Vedant in Mumbai focussed on using smart materials and ensuring optimum daylight, leading the project to achieve the LEED Platinum rating by IGBC.
Crafted with the intent to provide spacious apartments, the vision for Jade Vedant, a redevelopment project in Mumbai, was to create well-defined spaces for tenants as well as buyers in the lush green lanes in the heart of Mumbai. The IGBC Platinum-certified building consists of 19 floors, with four floors of parking. Designed in line with Mumbai façade norms while adopting contextual elements, the façade has been endowed with a contemporary identity. Sachin Goregaoker, Principal Architect and Partner, GA design, and Umang Kuwadia, Joint Managing Director, Happy Home Projects, share more on the measures taken to increase the green efficiency of the building that made it achieve the LEED Platinum rating by IGBC.
With a growing need for green housing and adoption of eco-friendly techniques, The Promont extends its efforts in reducing the overall carbon footprint.
Tata Housing, one of the leading real-estate development companies in India, has been awarded Platinum certification from the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) for its project, The Promont, in Banashankari, Bengaluru. With 312 crafted residences and penthouses across four towers, The Promont features zero discharge, extensive green coverage, rapid usage of renewable material, wide usage of locally procured building material (over 70 per cent), and application of low VOC-based material usage like paint, adhesive, sealants, etc.Udaya Suriyan, Deputy Corporate Head Projects, Tata Housing Development, shares its green features, methods used for designing and construction, amenities, challenges and more....
Good Air to Breathe: A Right for All!
Whether it is a home, office or any other space, maintaining good indoor air quality is of utmost importance, explains Mili Majumdar, Managing Director, Green Business Certification Institute (GBCI), India.
The built environment has a profound impact on our health and happiness. Clean air and clean water are basic necessities for survival. Increased urbanisation, vehicular emission and several other human-led activities have led to deteriorating air quality, particularly in urban areas. And the quality of outdoor air has a deep correlation to quality to indoor air in all spaces, whether they are naturally ventilated or mechanically conditioned and/or ventilated. In addition, interior fit-outs also add to pollutant levels in a space; at times, indoor levels of pollution may actually be five to six times higher than outdoors. Research has proven that employees in spaces with high levels of circulating outdoor air and low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) performed 101 per cent better on cognitive tests than workers in conventional workplace settings. In fact, the increase in cognition can generate as much as $ 6,500 in improved productivity per person per year, according to a study by Harvard University.
Construction: Ban or Back?
The Supreme Court’s stay on construction activities in three states and a Union Territory can have drastic consequences. CW connects with industry experts for possible solutions.
The Supreme Court has stayed all construction activities in the states of Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh and the Union Territory of Chandigarh for not having a solid waste management (SWM) policy under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. However, the court lifted the stay imposed on Maharashtra and Uttarakhand, after the two states submitted rules for SWM policies. For some members of the builders’ fraternity, the judgement still remains clouded with ambiguity and they believe it will have a colossal impact on the real-estate industry, particularly ongoing projects. To quote the Supreme Court judgement, “It is unfortunate that some states and Union Territories have not yet framed any Policy under the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.” It further states: “In case the states have the interest of the people in mind and cleanliness and sanitation, they should frame a Policy in terms of the Solid Waste Management Rules so that the states remain clean. The attitude of the states/Union Territories in not yet framing a Policy even after two years is pathetic, to say the least.” The apex court has instructed the matter to be listed on October 9.
Rx for Rivers
CW explores solutions and technologies to address the persistent menace of river pollution owing to sewage dumping.
“We hope to clean 70-80 percent of the Ganga by March 2019,” said Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, during a conference in New Delhi, according to a report on the PIB website. That said, consider this: A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in Bombay High Court last year regarding the sewage being discharged through big sewage pipes along the coastline at Marine Drive directly into the Arabian Sea. Filed by an NGO, the PIL has reportedly sought directions to frame appropriate laws to stop the flow of sewage into Mithi River, by laying a drainage system in the vicinity and upgrading sewage treatment plants (STPs). Here’s another case relating to Gujarat High Court’s notice to the Gujarat government and Gujarat Pollution Control Board. As reported by the petitioner, Narmada River is being polluted with a high quantity of sewage (millions of litres per day) by various local authorities situated on the bank of the river in Madhya Pradesh. The excreta of 2.2 million people is reportedly released in the water of the Narmada, which is being used by millions of people in Gujarat and Rajasthan.