Guidelines for Green Buildings in India

Green Structure Sarahan 2012

This image has been published under this creative commons license.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India has a website that provides information and guidelines for green buildings in India. You can access the green building website from here.

Green buildings are not necessarily green in colour, but they are green in nature! Have a look at the definition of green buildings as per the MNRE site,

“A building which can function using an optimum amount of energy, consume less water, conserve natural resources, generate less waste and create spaces for healthy and comfortable living, as compared to conventional buildings, is a green building”

Any building can become greener by incorporating a few green building principles. But, if a building is planned & built according to the green building concepts, it can utilize resources efficiently and effectively without reducing the comfort-level for people living inside.

Have a look at some Characteristics of Green buildings:

Green buildings,

  • Use renewable sources to generate electricity (solar panels, solar heating, micro wind mills, earth air tunnels, etc) and minimize the amount of electricity drawn from the grid.
  • Use natural lighting/ventilation as far as possible to maximize the lighting in the day, but still keep the heat to a minimum.
  • Use double-glazed windows, window shades, insulated light-coloured walls, heat-resistant roof-tiles, roof gardens, plants/trees that create a cooling effect, fly ash bricks for masonry walls, etc. to minimize the heat getting into the buildings during the summer.
  • Use recycled water (from kitchen, etc.) to water the lawn/gardens, use rain water harvesting methods to conserve as much water as possible.
  • Use energy-star rated efficient appliances, LED/CFL lights, motion-activated light-sensors, ambient light-sensors, timers, etc. prevents wastage of electricity.
  • Use simple building automation systems with sensors to measure light, temperature and water levels.
  • Convert organic waste into natural fertilizers or bio-fuels. For this purpose, they employ waste-segregation at source.

Needless to say, the running costs of green buildings are minimized to a great extent. Green buildings need to be combined with green-habits/practices by the people living in them.

Like,

  • Turning off stoves several minutes before cooking is completed, using pressure-cookers, using flat-bottomed pans, bringing refrigerated items to room temperatures before cooking, etc.
  • Turning off computers/monitors, switching laptops to stand-by mode when not in use.
  • Ensuring fridge seals are air-tight, de-frosting the freezers regularly, cooling hot foods to room temperature before placing them in the fridge, leaving enough space between the fridge and the wall behind, etc.
  • Using washing machines with full-loads, using an A/C with temperature cut-off mechanism, etc.

My personal wish is to live in a green-house, producing and storing my own electricity using renewable technologies, moving around using electric car powered by electricity generated through solar/wind energy, having a roof-top garden and a small garden all around, away from the noise/pollution/price-escalations of the city.

More I think of it, more I am convinced that cities are inherently unsustainable. But, I am fine with living in the corner-most area of the furthermost sub-urban location just outside the city – A location where I can find some green patches, and not just a concrete jungle. I am actively trying to change my life-style in order to follow the sustainable/green living principles.

What do you prefer? Living in the center of a city, living in sub-urban area, living in small-town or living in a village?

Destination Infinity

If you want a short introduction to some green buildings already built in India, have a look at the videos in this page.

(Visited 39 times, 1 visits today)

22 Replies to “Guidelines for Green Buildings in India”

    1. I don’t have a problem with living in villages as long as there is reliable power and reliable Internet connectivity! Your comment reminds me, a small farm house might just be perfect 🙂

      Destination Infinity

      1. I can tell you DI you dont need internet when you are there , its a world on its own and a beautiful one ..

        I have to take you to our village , it is perfect , our house is in our land , there is a little river tributary running right in front of our main gate , and then where the land finishes , are the Two Rajasthan feeders big rivers..

        it is perfect place ..

        1. We are from the opposite corners of the country, aren’t we? I can picturize the village somewhat from your descriptions, but nothing like visiting it in person 🙂

          Destination Infinity

  1. Green Buildings are so very eco-friendly and truly the need of our times!
    For me it would be small towns but husband would certainly go back to villages, if an opportunity comes by!

    1. Smaller towns are ok, as long as we don’t have to work for anyone in that town. I find their work culture to be pathetic, at least for people from larger cities! But living in small towns and working for clients across the world is just so fine! Perhaps the best option 🙂

      Destination Infinity

  2. Yes, Green is catching up big time? Is there an equivalent of LEED in India?

    And to the question ‘What do you prefer? Living in the center of a city, living in sub-urban area, living in small-town or living in a village?’ Certainly the latter – undoubtedly!

  3. I’ve lived in a city all my life, but I crave greenery. The suburbs of Mumbai are as crowded as central Mumbai – no difference. Especially since offices, factories are springing up in suburbs, suburbs are not what they were intended to be. And small towns will continue to aspire to be big cities resulting in greater chaos – so I would skip small towns..
    That said, I doubt if I would be able to live in a village forever — I need my own bathroom with running water — hot and cold (yes and it is true water is getting more and more scare – recyling water and rain water harvesting is crucial). Oh and I need a high speed internet connection 24/7
    How about living in a nice small cozy cottage in a hill station – with cool weather all year around – now that sounds nice (with the bathroom and internet connection thrown in). Strange how internet connections have become a necessity.

    1. I lived in Housing board apartments when I was young (in a sub-urban area) and the Govt. constructed the flats with more empty ground than constructed area! There was a large play ground, three equally large areas where plants/trees grew freely, etc. Some people had large gardens in these empty grounds. But now, they have extended the flats and made it into an urban concrete jungle. I heard that since they did not have enough car-parking space, they were reconstruct it with underground car-parking/shops, etc. Contrast that with the green/open-ground luxury we had!

      Hill stations are an interesting option, but too cold for me. Yes, Internet connections have become necessary but I guess we can get basic/slow Internet where ever we are. Fast Internet seems to be a luxury even in cities!

      Destination Infinity

    1. I too like sub-urban areas. There are some sub-urban areas like Avadi (and beyond) in Chennai that have a green cover. But I am not sure how long they will remain so!

      Destination Infinity

  4. This was a good read. K and I like suburban areas as well once we can even out some practicality (finance) issues. But we see ourselves in a farm, growing our vegetables, rearing our animals, making our own cheese and using cycles 🙂

    1. Buying a cycle has been on my agenda for long, but I am not sure if I will use it regularly! Me and my friend thought of buying cycles and going to places together but during that time, they had to shift their house!

      Farm with animals and cheese is an extreme version of green living 🙂

      Destination Infinity

  5. I prefer to live in a small town with basic facilities… I feel the living cost is partial if we move out of city, where we can live so healthy than inhaling the pollution in cities and visiting doctors often. I too wish for living in a green-house and I think more than the modern homes… the old style of building are so conventional on renewable energy.

    1. You made a good point. The mud/thatched houses of yester-years can actually regulate the temperature better than our current bricks/cement based houses. Our ancestors spent a lot of time planning for the right house for our climate but all we are interested in, is the glitter and grandiose! No wonder we are paying the price for it.

      Destination Infinity

    1. LOL @ Towers. Rich citizens and even common citizens should think about these green principles before building their houses. After all, these measures will save a lot of running/maintenance costs for everyone.

      Destination Infinity

  6. I loved your whole article Rajesh ! I wish I could find a green house in the city 😀 😀

    The reason I love living in the middle of the city, is that everything you want is within your reach at any point of the day ( By everything I really mean food 😛 )

  7. Traditionally Indian homes have been energy efficient. Mostly due to cost reasons nevertheless we can still do it. I don’t remember ever having to switch on the light in the day light. It is the modern “art decor” and interior designs that require it. The dark colored paint inside the house fad eats up the light and I have always hated it.
    Traditionally we always line-dryed our clothes and washing machine dryer was only used during the rainy season. We used to sun dry the chillies, papad….
    We re-used things. Be it clothes or other house-hold items. Bought much fewer things. Mostly prepared fresh food and didn’t rely on packaged stuff.
    As much as I enjoy the convenience of the modern lifestyle I miss so many things about the good old 90’s living!
    Enough of my ranting but what I meant to say is it is much more easier for Indians to go back to sustainable buildings and in general sustainable living. Just need some conscious effort on our part.
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the articles in sustainable living category. Kudos. Keep going!

    1. Thank you so much for all the comments. The difficult part for me is to switch over to a sustainable lifestyle. Converting the sustainability-consciousness to action seems to take a lot of time. But I will be there one day. And I will come in style 🙂

      Destination Infinity

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *