Green Building

Greenness is a way of life. Simple it may sound but the purview is quite broad, rather infinite. In the simplest of terms, anything you do which saves energy or adds to the welfare of the environment is termed as green. For instance, by discarding your leisurely drives in favour of walks or strolls, you are saving non-renewable energy like petrol. Similarly, by choosing the staircase over the quick paced elevator, you are making sure that the electricity bill doesn't exceed your affordability. On the other hand, by leaving the windows open you are allowing more sunlight to enter the portals of your dwelling thereby bringing down the usage of electricity. Well, greenness reflects in all these endeavours.

If your building is rendered green, then you are the owner of a coveted possession. And the reasons are more than one. Firstly, people who reside in green buildings feel good about themselves and it shows in the way they conduct with others. Secondly, since such buildings enhance the welfare of environment, they become models which many in the society would want to emulate. And talking of the real estate market, green buildings are priced higher as compared to their traditional counterparts.

The Indian Green Buildings Council has made the green connotation quite simple. The apex body says that a green building is one which uses less water, optimises energy efficiency, conserves natural resources, generates less waste, and provides healthier spaces for occupants, as compared to a conventional building. Well, personal happiness, community welfare and environmental care are the proirities. Higher the adherence to these criteria and higher will be the LEED points.

The following list unveils Some products which embody the green criteria and are making headlines across the globe.

Greenness Up for the Grabs!

Room ventilation made easy

Room ventilation
A properly ventilated room is something that many a homeowner vouches for; nonetheless, it's quite easier said than done. Taking cognizance of this, Germany-based Paul Wärmerückgewinnung has come up with a Multi- Heat Recovery & Ventilation (MVHR) unit Novus 300 which ensures that a dwelling has just the right amount of air.

Suitable for all residential areas with a living space of up to 220 sqmt, Novus 300 is fitted with a reverse flow duct heat exchanger and can be installed vertically or horizontally on mounting bases as well as wall mountings. The device comprises power coated steel and polypropylene which ensure optimal heat and sound insulation. And perhaps the most striking feature of this system is the energy efficient heat exchanger which is designed to maintain the requisite levels of humidity. Easily operable, Novus 300 can be controlled either through a LED control unit or through a touch-screen.

Easitex is here!

Innovative Vinyl Flooring
Globally renowned flooring solutions provider Gerflor has added Easitex, an innovative vinyl flooring, to its kitty. Around 4.2 mm in thickness, Easitex is thermally and acoustically advanced, durable, and is available in an attractive range of designs and colours. What makes the flooring eco-friendly is the fact that it's made of recycled fibres thereby ensuring sustainability.

While sound and heat resistance are Easitex's notable credentials, the flooring also makes a stroll hassle free as it's slip resistant. Easy to clean, the flooring minimises sub-floor preparation and provides an adhesive free installation. Needless to say that cost savings are an integral part of the package!

Bid adieu to your electricity woes

Energy Wastes
Few would disagree that when it comes to costs of living, rising electricity bills draw paramount concern. No wonder, people across the globe, in whatever way they can, have embarked on an endeavour to consume less electricity. But, no matter how hard one tries, there are some plugs which are left unplugged!

However, with ThinkEco's Modlet, a homeowner can schedule the power supply to electronics and appliances. How the gadget works is quite simple yet notable! It runs on a software that needs to be downloaded through the Internet. The two-socket Modlet is then plugged into a standard wall outlet, and then the electronics device or devices that one wants to control are plugged in. Controlled wirelessly, the gadget uses a two-week baseline test to gauge the energy wastes. Simple programming enables users to optimise electricity usage.

Wastes make good insulates

Wastes Make Good Insulates
Made from plant waste, Greensulate, is an environment-friendly substitute to polystyrene for a wide range of uses including household insulation and packaging. Evocative Design, the US-based firm which developed the product, has used agricultural byproducts like rice hulls, cottonseed hulls, and buckwheat hulls, and bonded them through fungal mycelium.

Since the raw materials are agricultural wastes, it's rather understood that Greensulate is cost-competitive. And although the product is designed to decompose in a compost pile or a garden, it will neither break down nor attract pests when used in buildings. According to Evocative Design, Greensulate reduces the initial building expenses quite considerably.

Ensuring the right quantum

Energy Conservation
Lighting controls major Lutron has left an indelible mark across the globe for its remarkable efforts in energy conservation. And the company's Quantum Light Management System is an ample testimony to this fact. Ideal for office buildings, hospitals and large compounds, the system maximises the efficient use of light to enhance comfort and productivity.

Quantum dims and controls all electric lighting, and at the same time ensures optimal inflow of daylight using automated shades. It is equipped with a metering system that provides real-time, accurate energy measurement of lighting, HVAC, and/or plug loads. User friendliness is a hallmark of this ingenious system as it can be operated through the Persona PC Control Software. If statistics are to be believed, a mammoth quantum of electricity is wasted in offices, but with the advent of Quantum this might soon become a myth!

It's a watery affair!

Greywater Treatment System
Water, they say, is the most precious and yet the most wasted natural resource. Merely flushing the toilet or leaving a water tap turned on while getting ready for work results in an unfathomable aquatic wastage. But while these are the necessary evils which are integral to a modern day existence, what can rather be done is reusing the used water. And the Aqua2use Greywater Treatment System does just that! It collects the domestic wastewater from shower, laundry, hands wash basin, and makes it reusable for toilet flush, laundry, car wash and garden irrigation. What's rather notable is the fact that no hazardous chemicals or disinfectants are used in the process. Furthermore, the system easily integrates well with the environment, has a long life and adjusts to fluctuating water flows and different levels of pollution.

In the nature's lap

concrete jungle
The SmartSlope Living Retaining Walls are designed to add a natural flavor that's usually missing in a concrete jungle. Made with recycled materials, these walls use 50% less concrete than traditional retaining walls and enhance erosion control and nutrient absorption. Easily and quickly installable, these retaining walls showcase a plethora of shrubs and flowers, can be built up to nine feet, and get stronger as plant roots establish.

The US-based Furbish Company, which has developed the product, is of the view that when it comes to aesthetics, there are no equals to natural environs. And it's this philosophy that has resulted in SmartSlope walls. Apart from cost savings, which result due to low usage of cement, these walls can also fetch LEED points for the user.

These bricks have muscle!

Clay Bricks
Building materials major Wienerberger's adherence to environmental care is aptly reflected in the company's Porotherm range of clay bricks. Under this range, the company offers complete systems for solid brick walls and ceilings. The benefits are aplenty.

Firstly, the usage of clay results in proper thermal insulation, thereby doing away with the need to spend on post construction insulation systems. Secondly, the bricks have a long life since the company maintains strict quality standards. Thirdly, a homeowner is assured of fire safety and is also relieved of the ever looming of post-earthquake perils since the tile installation is based on well researched masonry techniques. Furthermore, the quick paced installation leads to tremendous cost savings.

Making hay while the sun shines!

building green
The inflow of daylight is one of the prime determinants in rendering a building green. However, too much inflow of sunlight should not be the case. The idea is to zero in on just the right quantum. Sage Glass from Sage Electhrocromics can make this task simple.

It's an electronically tintable glass that provides architects and building owners the ability to control daylight either manually or through an automated system. The product is coated with ceramic materials that absorb unwanted heat and block the glare on sunny days. And during cold days the glass untints and facilitates abundant flow of sunlight into the dwelling. Remarkably, Sage Glass control can easily be integrated in a building's automation system and can work in tandem with light fixtures.