February 22, 2012
The construction industry is a major contributor to global warming. Thousands of participants at the Green I conference during Anokha learned more about the role of green buildings that can help mitigate global warming.
The Chief Guest of the occasion was Mr. Rajesh B. Lund, Chairman, India Green Building Council (IGCB), Coimbatore Chapter.
IGBC has developed green building rating programs for commercial, residential and factory buildings and is entrusted the responsibility for certifying all new construction in India.
The certification approach followed by IGBC incorporates five classical elements of nature viz. earth, water, fire (energy), air and sky. Sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, material selection and indoor environmental quality are the main areas emphasized.
“A green building is one which uses less water, optimizes energy, conserves natural resources, generates less waste and provides healthier spaces for inhabitants, when compared to conventional buildings,” the Chief Guest explained.
The next conference speaker, also from IGCB, was Mr. Anand, Senior Counsellor.
“India has a legacy that is thousands of years old in sustainable building practices. How can we bring it back? How do we blend tradition and technology? Rediscovering the Indian ethos is one of the challenges in the 21st century,” he stated.
Highlighting traditional design principles such as central courtyards, usage of local materials, intelligent integration of daylight in building interiors, building water bodies such as ponds and air towers, he said, “Any building can go green.”
In his conclusion, the speaker emphasized that economic growth, lifestyle changes and demand for greater comfort is consuming a lot of resources today. “This is what makes green building practices more important than ever before,” he emphasized.
“The next generation should not remember us for the wrong reasons,” pointed out Mr. M. Selvarasu, Director, LEED Consultancy and Engineering Services, India.
LEED provides a global standard for the design and construction of green buildings.
In his talk titled Green Buildings Make Business Sense, the speaker also elaborated on the problem of water scarcity. “Water tables have plunged to several hundred feet, there is irregular rainfall, water bodies are vanishing in villages,” he noted.
“As a child, I remember seeing a wide variety of butterflies in my native village. Today, when I take my kids there, they can no longer see any butterflies there,” he lamented.
His presentation concluded with a powerful rendering of a Tamil folk song that brought out man’s deep yearning to live in harmony with Mother Nature.
More green and sustainable building practices such as high performance glazing, innovative trends in air conditioning and development of wind turbines were highlighted by other conference speakers.
The last speaker in the conference was Mr. Nityanand Jayaraman, an environmental activist and journalist who shared his thoughtful insights. Societal problems today are converted into engineering problems. This does not address the root cause, that is lifestyles largely geared towards consumerism,” he underlined.
“Our main aim was to create a platform where different people could come together and exchange their ideas regarding sustainable solutions. We are very that we succeeded,” stated student organizer, Siddharth Kannan, third-year BTech student of Mechanical Engineering.