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Hyderabad: Sustainability, eco-friendly, and green are becoming the need of the hour. From sustainable clothing to eco-friendly food to green vehicles, the changing climate has pushed the new and old generations to think about our life choices more than before. And in this whole gamut of things, the need for sustainable homes or green-houses is also growing among home buyers – especially the new-age buyers.

While home buyers are looking at homes that have solar panels, recycling units, and methods that contribute towards saving the planet Earth, many developers are also focusing on providing homes that are good for the environment. The construction industry has a high carbon footprint constituting almost 39 per cent of global Co2 emissions. At the same time, the industry generates 30 per cent solid waste and 20 per cent water effluents, as per reports.

Keeping this in mind many developers and buyers are looking at green homes in a renewed manner.

“There are several ways we can make residential properties green. The most common among them is the use of low volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in the interior materials of a building. It ensures that the building has a continuous supply of fresh air. Conventional buildings, on the other hand, need purging of fresh air to maintain a healthy ambiance. Not only does this lead to less energy and water consumption in green buildings, but sufficient access to daylight and fresh air also has multiple health benefits,” says Naveen Mypala, MD, Urban Living.

India has the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) which actively promotes the concept of green building in the country. Mypala also added that developers are utilizing sustainability techniques like installing solar panels, recycling units, and other design and construction strategies to preserve natural resources and improve the overall life quality of residents.

The pandemic has also pushed the need for sustainable homes as people are keen to live in homes that can make their lives healthier.

“The concept of self-sustainable homes gained traction during Covid-19. These self-sustainable housing societies offer companionship, and a safe and secure environment while providing amenities that reduce the need to venture out. Developers are offering options like the installation of EV stations and green protocols. We are also seeing amenities like open green spaces and designated walking trails gaining traction. Many projects are focusing on landscaped gardens, jogging tracks, and dedicated play areas to enhance the overall liveability quotient. Most of the larger communities also tend to have advanced waste management and rainwater harvesting,” says Santhosh Kumar, vice-chairman of Anarock Group.

Kumar also adds that the concept of ESG (short for environmental, social, and governance) is playing an important role with the concept gaining prominence recently due to the growing awareness of climate change and environmental damage.

“There is greater focus by PE players/managers on projects/portfolios that focus on ESG parameters, wherein environment plays the most crucial component,” he said.

Mypala also opined that developers worldwide are coming up with creative ways to construct green and sustainable buildings, like Washington’s Bullitt Center by Miller Hull Partnership, and Vertical Forest in Italy by Boeri Studio.

“In India, we have Space Station Township in Hyderabad with an S-shape structure to give excellent ventilation and sunlight for all homeowners. An architecture firm Kennon is developing skyscrapers with solar skin to achieve net-zero energy in Australia, is another example,” he said.

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Author: Howard Caldwell