A smart township comprises a wish list of infrastructure and services catering to the aspirations and needs of today's customer
Tushad Dubash. Director, Duville Estates
Sustainable Living has been gaining significant importance owing to the mindset change among the environment conscious individuals. The rapid degradation of the planet and resulting ill-effects on the environment has sounded alarm bells globally. The call for sustainable living has come about due to rapid urbanization, and the cities turning into concrete jungles. The fast depleting green cover and open areas have given way to high rises and concrete blocks. There has been a growing concern among people to safeguard and protect the planet from self-destruction. Real Estate developers need to work cohesively towards building a sustainable future for the coming generations as well.
Sustainability is the need of the hour and the demands of the consumers have led to a rise in the number of green buildings built across the country. Presently around 155 cr sq.ft of green buildings are only under IGBC (Indian Green Building Council). IGBC also estimates that the market potential for green building products and technologies to be about USD 300 billion by 2025. As per LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the annual top 10 countries and regions, announced by USGBC (US Green Building Council), India is ranked third after China and Canada, with more than 752 LEED-certified projects. India now has an ambitious target of having 10 billion sq.ft green building footprint by 2022 and is expected to increase the green footprint by around 10 per cent.
A smart township comprises a wish list of infrastructure and services catering to the aspirations and needs of today’s customer. It takes meticulous planning and execution to construct green buildings. The approach towards green in this context seeks to ensure the entire lifecycle of a building – from planning, site selection and design, to construction, occupancy and end of life phase is sustainable. Be it using solar power for lighting up of common areas, rainwater harvesting, recycling and reusing water for flushing or landscapes, wet and dry waste segregation, these go a long way in creating a greener environment. Additionally, an overlooked detail such as the positioning of the towers also makes a lot of difference, i.e., a tower planned strategically to allow ample natural light and air to pervade through the residences will reduce the dependency on artificial lights and ventilation. These also help in overall cost savings for operations and processes by consuming less water, optimize energy efficiency, conserve natural resources and generate less waste, while providing healthier living spaces for occupants. While the initial capital investment might be on the higher side, these features are incomparable to the return on investment that is accrued over a period of 3-4 years.
Currently, green features are widely noticeable in luxury projects however with time, this trend is being passed on to mid-segment residential housing as well. There has been a growing acceptance and demand for green homes as homebuyers wish to live in residences that have been created without compromising on the natural surroundings. Many businesses and people globally are actively making a conscious effort to protect natural resources. Projects that are equipped with rainwater harvesting, solar panels, green surroundings, and effective waste management systems and provide enough natural light resonate more with today’s homebuyer. Additionally, with the cities already starved with vast open and green spaces, the presence of greenery in a project is often consciously desired. The initial costs of sustainable living may seem to be high but the long-term benefits are immense and immeasurable. Apart from the residential segment, there is a growing awareness and increase in the use of this concept in the commercial and hospitality sectors too.