Real Estate Boom And Environmental Degradation

Increasing urbanization and favorable demographics have resulted in the real estate sector boom.
  • The environmental effect of real estate projects is visible during their constructional, operational and demolition phase as they consume resources in the form of energy, water, materials, etc. and emit wastes either directly in the form of municipal wastes or indirectly as emissions from electricity generation.
  • Due to this, there has been a growing consensus to ensure that all real estate projects being developed in accordance with prescribed safety standards and consistent with environmental compliances and do not lead to any environmental hazard, specifically with respect to those projects which are constructed in close proximity to natural resources such as forest, wildlife, coastal zones and other eco-sensitive areas.
  • Buildings are one of the major pollutants that affect urban air quality and contribute to climate change. This calls for construction of green buildings that depletes as little of natural resources and addresses all pollution-related issues of a building in an integrated and scientific manner.
  • The aim of a green building design is to:
- Minimize the demand of nonrenewable resources and maximize the utilization efficiency of these resources when in use.
- Maximize reuse and recycling of available resources
- Utilization of renewable resources
- Maximize the use of efficient building materials and construction practices
- Use efficient equipment to meet its lighting, air-conditioning, and other needs
- Optimizes the use of on-site sources and sinks by bio-climatic architectural practices
- Use efficient waste and water management
Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA)
  • GRIHA attempts to quantify aspects such as energy consumption, waste generation, renewable energy adoption, etc. so as to manage, control and reduce the same to the best possible extent.
  • It is devised jointly by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
  • GRIHA is a rating tool that helps people assess the performance of their building against certain nationally acceptable benchmarks and is suitable for all kinds of buildings in different climatic zones of the country.
Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC)
  • Developed by the Ministry of Power and Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), ECBC 2017 prescribes the energy performance standards for new commercial buildings to be constructed across India.
  • ECBC 2017 sets parameters for builders, designers, and architects to integrate renewable energy sources in building design with the inclusion of passive design strategies.
  • In order for a building to be considered ECBC compliant, it would need to demonstrate minimum energy savings of 25%.
  • With the adoption of ECBC 2017 for new commercial building construction throughout the country, it is estimated to achieve a 50% reduction in energy use by 2030.

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