Prashant Pitti explains that many companies today are more concerned with the materials used in their buildings – and using green items not only makes the building more sustainable, but will actually save company money on energy costs.
Global warming has led to a rise in demand for innovative industry products in architecture and building materials. The concept of green construction emphasizes on using the natural resources efficiently that includes eco-friendly building materials. While designing a building, it is necessary to pay attention to a lot of apertures to maximize air circulation and natural light. Besides this, energy-saving building design, high quality building, and environment-friendly materials are some other steps that can be adopted.
Construction industry in India is the second largest economic activity after agriculture. Construction and construction material are major areas where man has been dependent on natural resources. Recent awareness and focus on afforestation, control on mining of metal ores, stones, minerals, aggregates and sand has come after visible effects of environmental damage. There is a clear need to be more efficient in using our natural resources.
The construction sector at large and cement sector specifically has also done its bit to adopt greener technology to reduce and mitigate some of the damaging effects. Some simple and basic steps can have a dominant impact towards environment friendly construction and development.
As more eco-friendly materials hit the market and become more affordable, it’s more common for them to be used not only in home construction, but in building commercial buildings. Many companies today are more concerned with the materials used in their buildings – and using green items not only makes the building more sustainable, but will actually save company money on energy costs.
The Indian construction sector has well and truly moved out of its nascent stages. Government has identified Infrastructure as one of the key drivers of economic development in the country. This has proven to be major driving force behind growth of construction industry. Half of the demand for construction sector in the country comes from the infrastructure sector, while the rest comes from industrial activities, residential and commercial development etc.
The real estate business has recently started to realize the importance of sustainable projects – but an integrated approach needs to be adopted.
The ways of meeting the demand for cost-effective, yet environmentally friendly homes is through the use of alternate construction materials such as recycled fly ash, concrete blocks. This medium can be utilized to build budget housing of fairly high quality. By using alternate construction materials and methods, construction costs can be reduced by a minimum of 10-15 per cent in terms of materials and up to 20 per cent in terms of skilled manpower expenses and construction time.
Usage of appropriate building materials plays a vital role to make high quality environment friendly building. Several industry players have already made products with new innovation which minimize environment contamination, reduce energy usage and optimize alternative energy. Several technology innovations of production processes have been developed in order to make the materials industry eco-friendly. Apart from this, continuous construction activity undertaken by using alternative materials and energy source can reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
In last three decades, cost effective appropriate technologies have cross the borders of laboratory and research organizations and have reached real construction sites. Many experimental and demonstrative projects have been constructed across the country proving the strength and feasibility of these technologies. Like other materials, flyash bricks and blocks has been used in over 40 countries over the past 25 years to produce over 100,000 houses and apartments, schools, hospitals and commercial buildings and are made up of fly-ash (an industrial waste, which is abundantly available in India). These bricks are three times more capable of reducing heat and cold impact in the building, eco-friendly in nature as it’s made up of fly ash.
The LCB (Light weight Concrete Block) offers superior insulation, cost-effectiveness, durability and environment friendly compared to red bricks and other blocks.
The blocks help in reducing the weight of building up to 50 per cent. Moreover Blocks are ten times bigger than bricks, makes walls which will complete your building construction two times faster.
The blocks are made up of concrete, unlike soil used in red-brick. Hence, the blocks gain strength with time only making it stronger in future. The density ranges from 1800kg/m3, as compared to regular fly ash bricks density usually is 650kg/m3.
A number of cost effective appropriate materials and technologies have been developed, standardized and are being used in the field with success over the years. Many of them have even proved themselves.
(The author is Director, Ultimate Infra.)