Green Buildings and Eco-friendly Constructions
A potted plant or two, and a decent amount of fresh air and sunlight – this is the idea that most of us have about an ecofriendly house or a green building. And in this fast paced world, this is all we have time for. But don’t you think we owe back a bit more to mother earth? And yes, it’s not as difficult as it may seem initially. The only thing is that you need to have some amount of planning even before conceptualizing the house.
What is a green building?
A building that has an environmentally friendly construction and operations can be classified as a green building.
Let’s look at a few commonly used and easy to implement green building construction practices.
- Constructing mud walls and usage of laterite stones or “vettukallu“ is a low cost and eco-friendly alternative for cement blocks. Baker model houses blend seamlessly with the environment and is a sustainable method of constructing a green building.
- Bamboo and hardwood are the most common eco-friendly options when it comes to floor tiling, thanks to it’s durability, availability and good looks. However newer materials are now available for floor tiling. Cork, linoleum, terracotta tiles, natural stone tiles, recycled glass tiles and rubber are cost effective ecofriendly options.
- While choosing painting materials, go for eco-friendly alternatives with lower percentages of lead. All major paint brands in India have come out with non toxic, lead-free varieties of paint. This is not only kind to the environment but keeps health issues at bay for the inhabitants.
- Make sure your bathroom fittings are chosen in an environment friendly fashion. Say NO to bathtubs and showers as it may result in using up a lot of water than necessary. Use water flow controllers and sensors to regulate water flow and minimize wastage.
- An eco-friendly house should have ample supply of fresh air and sunlight. Proper positioning of door and windows that support cross ventilation will add a whiff of freshness within the house.
- Installation of solar panels, though may be slightly expensive compared to the traditional power sources, may turn out to be more efficient in the long run. It can also help leave a positive impact on the environment. LED and CFL lights use less energy and last longer compared to incandescent bulbs.
- Rainwater harvesting is being mandatory in many cities across India. In Kerala, where there are ample monsoons twice a year, it would only be foolish not to harvest the rain water. Recycling of grey water will also protect us from water shortages during the harsh summer.
- Usage of moss tiles is something that is gaining attraction these days. They have a very high visual appeal and is a great option to create a touch of nature to your interiors.
Even after you move in to your new house, you can make small changes in your daily life that would help reduce your environmental impact.
- Reusing modified and polished furniture would not only enhance the elegance of your green building, but also reduce costs.
- Usage of Bamboo furniture is also an option worth considering. There are several designer choices available now in bamboo furniture.
- Use organic materials like cotton or linen for curtains and bedspreads.
- Keep the usage of plastic to a minimum. Use iron or mud vessels and claypots for cooking like our grandmas did. The food you cook in those definitely tastes better than the microwaved stuff.
- Maintain a few plants indoors. If you have a time crunch, go for the low maintenance ones like money plant or aloevera. Plants like tulsi and dracena purifies the air.
- Set aside some space and time for a garden and landscaping.
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The rate at which we are using up our natural resources is not very sustainable. It is important that we minimize the usage of these resources and resort to more environment friendly options. If not for us, for the benefit of the coming generations!!