Increasing awareness of consumers and investors has resulted in a shift in demand for green properties, thereby promoting a more sustainable future for the real estate industry.
Arun Kumar - Senior VP - Architecture, Sobha Limited
Sustainable designs are the future. A 2022 study by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and the Environmental Management and Policy Research Institute revealed that nearly 50% residential complexes (of over 500 units) had achieved a high level of efficiency in using energy, water, and had cut down pollution by incorporating green architecture practices. The apartments were assessed on parameters such as operation of STPs, usage of treated water, solid waste disposal, rainwater harvesting, solar energy, e-waste management, and reuse of STP sludge.
The Indian government has pledged to make India energy-independent by 2047, besides promising to cut emissions to zero by 2070, which is in line with Sustainable Development Goal-7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all).
Across SOBHA properties, we have adopted green measures such as sewage treatment plants, rainwater harvesting, organic waste converter, sand filters, and water softeners to remove hardness from raw water. STP-treated water is recycled for flushing and landscaping. We have organic waste convertors, and the manure produced is used for landscaping. The surface rainwater harvesting can meet freshwater demand for up to nine months at SOBHA Lifestyle, Bengaluru, and for the entire year at SOBHA City, Thrissur.
We use specially designed roof tiles that reflect heat and light, leading to a cooling effect indoors. We use sensors in common areas such as staircases to help reduce power consumption. All our rooms and toilets are well-lit and naturally ventilated, which decreases use of exhaust fans and artificial lights. Open and green spaces reduce dependence on HVAC systems. Some SOBHA properties use solar energy to power the top floors and some common areas.
The decision to go green cannot depend on the zero-sum game, neither does it have anything to do with the financials of a project. However, it is crucial to take ample measures to ensure a sustainable standard of living. A World Bank report states that ‘master plans can play an important role in determining the shape of the urban environment’. When design keeps sustainability and related measures as the focal point, people are encouraged to become self-sufficient, and make their local habitat self-sustained, independent units. Besides, with an ever-changing and evolving population, areas need to be able to support this shift.