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Exclusive India National News Opinion Sci-Tech

Green Buildings, Green Houses, Green concepts


• Green or sustainable building defines constructing healthier, more energy – efficient and eco- friendly buildings.

• A Green Building uses less energy, water and natural resources creates less waste and is healthier for the people living inside compared to a standard building.

We  go for green buildings:

• To reduce the impact on the earth’s ecosystems by man and man-made things.

• To reduce the release of harmful gasses from various production plants, industries etc., to prevent ozone layer depletion, acid rains etc.

• To prevent the loss of natural vegetation, forests, animals & endangered species, beautiful landscapes, ecosystems and natural resources available on the earth.

• To reduce the operating costs of residential and industrial buildings by increasing productivity and using less energy and water.

• To improve the overall health of people by improving indoor air quality.

• To reduce global warming phenomenon, by means of reducing the release of green house gasses which steadily increase the earth’s surface temperature.

The ways to construct green buildings

How to Plan & Design

• By proper orientation of the building to receive maximum sunlight and natural air.

• By providing adequate offsets around the building to allow the circulation of natural air and sunlight around the building.

• By providing doors, ventilators and large sized windows at appropriate places for cross ventilation and inlet for sunlight.

• By proper selection of materials for construction preferably materials that are available locally and materials which are a product of recycling or which can be recycled and reused later.

• By avoiding construction materials which consume natural resources such as clay, sand, blue metal etc., resulting in irreparable & permanent damage to the resources.

• By introducing the concept of gardening and landscaping both indoors and outdoors of the building.

• By adopting separate drainage systems for grey water from bathrooms & Kitchen and the solid wastes from toilets. The grey water can be recycled and used for gardening.

• By judiciously applying the concept of Rain Water Harvesting in and around the building to improve the ground water table.

• By adopting pervious concrete or packed gravel instead of concrete or asphalt for pavements and car parks around the building which allows the rain water to percolate into the ground.

How to Construct & Maintain

• By using PPC instead of OPC in all cement works.

• By judicious use of admixtures to obtain the required strength and enhanced durability in concrete using lesser amounts of cement, aggregates and water.

• By replacing Autoclaved Aerated Concrete Blocks & Fly Ash bricks instead of Clay bricks, which not only reduce the dead load of the building but also provide thermal & sound insulation to the building.

• Energy efficient glasses can be used for windows and doors instead of ordinary glasses. Double layered glass with an air gap in between them provides excellent thermal and sound insulation material.

• Renewable plant material products such as MDF & HDF Boards, bamboo and straw based products etc., can be used instead of wood. Synthetic products such as PVC, uPVC, Fibre Glass etc., which are strong and durable, can also be used for Doors and Windows. Care to be taken to avoid air leaks around the windows and doors.

• Water based paints and paints containing low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) can be used instead of oil based paints. Lighter shades are preferable compared to darker shades for external walls to reflect light and keep indoors cool.

• Heat reflective roof coatings can be provided for thermal insulation.

• CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) and LED based lamps can be used instead of Incandescent bulbs and tubes to save considerable amount of energy.

• Solar Water Heaters can be used instead of electrical based water heaters.

• Building Management System (BMS) is a computer based control system that can be installed in large buildings or complexes to monitor and control the mechanical & electrical devices fitted in the building to function in a coordinated manner thus minimizing the energy consumption and maximizing indoor comfort.

• BMS monitors lighting, power, air-conditioning, fire fighting system, security system, water distribution system, ventilation etc., thus making it a valuable tool for sustainable design.

• Sunlight can be effectively tapped from Roof tops by means of photovoltaic
techniques to produce electricity which can fulfill a portion of the energy requirements of the building such as External Lightings.


• One ton of Cement produced leads to 0.9 tons of CO2 emissions. Hence the need to find an alternative to cement is of paramount importance.
• Supplementary Cementing Materials (SCM) such as granulated blast furnace slag or coal fly ash or combination of both can be used to produce Green Concrete which emits less CO2.
The following are some of the green concretes that are used worldwide.
1) Geo-Polymer Concrete
2) Hyper Plasticized Concrete.
3) High Volume Fly Ash Concrete.
4) Self Compacting Concrete
5) Pervious Concrete
6) Recycled or Born-again concrete


• IGBC – Indian Green Building Council.
• LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.


LEED – INDIA certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest performance standards.

This involves

• (i) Registration, (ii) Credit Interpretations, (iii) Certification & Documentation and (iv) Certification of Award.
• Four types of Ratings such as CERTIFIED, SILVER, GOLD AND PLATINUM are awarded to the buildings based on the points.


GRIHA, an acronym for Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment, is the National Rating System of India. GRIHA has been conceived by TERI and developed jointly with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India. It is a green building ‘design evaluation system’, and is suitable for all kinds of buildings in different climatic zones of the country.


• Green Buildings consume 40 – 50 % less energy and 20 – 30 % less water than normal buildings.
• If all the structures in the world are constructed giving due importance to the ecosystem and energy efficiency, the harmful effects on the environment and the earth’s eco-system such Green House Effect, Ozone Layer Depletion, Global Warming etc., can be prevented or minimised.
• A Green building will definitely create delight when entered, serenity and health when occupied and regret when departed. Working in environment with access to day light, fresh & healthy air and views provides connection to the exterior environment.
• Maximum usage of products that are non-toxic, reusable, renewable will be used improving the efficiency and overall economy of the country.
• The green building movement is here to stay for the benefit of individuals, society and the country at large.