How to be Smart and Eco-Friendly
Smart cities are fast becoming the talk of the town with the various initiatives taken by the government. Although builders are promoting many new flats in Chennai, they have also started giving importance to suburban areas and developing cities in the state.
Smart cities seem viable to the Indian scenario however we should be careful as to if this concept can be sustainable on also. The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) has taken the vision one step further by launching the Township Rating System that will assess cities on how green they are and how sustainable. The rating system uses a balanced approach that addresses environmental, technical and social issues. The main aim is to ensure that the smart and green cities have mass rapid urban transportation, proper water and waste recycling systems and also use smart grids and smart metering. Other ways to make the cities sustainable is to use climate responsive building design, identify minimum levels of energy consumption, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase renewable power usage.
The green rating tool can be used to apply criteria that can reduce measurable environmental impacts. It is designed to address large developments and it is mandatory to include residential development as part of the township. The system addresses green features under the following categories - site selection and planning, land use planning, transportation planning, infrastructure resource management, and the innovation and design process
Green Buildings can be financially viable too as well executed green developments have less operating costs and also increase the over-all living standard of the people. The immediate benefits include reduction in water and energy demand right from the initial stages of operation. The energy savings range from 20-30 per cent and water savings 30-50 per cent. Other benefits include reductions in maintenance costs, resource consumption, and waste generation. There are few codes which the green buildings should follow and these codes will in turn provide a proper ranking to them.
The green projects must be regularly audited to see that they are properly maintained and all resources are properly functioning. The working of such buildings should also be disclosed to people so that there are no further discrepancies related to the same.