What makes green architecture buildings important in today’s world? Spanning the world at large, green buildings and green architecture are gaining momentum across the world. Take for example, Australia’s iconic Pixel building, which is the country’s first carbon neutral office. At first glance, the green building sported panels with eye popping colours that maximized daylight while providing shade and supported wastewater processing, a roof that captured rainwater and had vertical wind turbines.
Another notable example is the world’s tallest building – yes, the Shanghai Tower, known to be not only an architectural wonder but a sustainable green building model which uses less power than other skyscrapers and also comes with a platinum LEED certification.
So, what’s creating the buzz for green architecture in India?
And more importantly, for the Indian context that is riddled with multiple challenges at various levels, what exactly does green architecture imply?
What is Green Building Architecture?
According to Varun Pahwa, President, Desiccant Rotors International (DRI), “Environment-friendly ‘green’ sustainable designs, architecture and construction have become institutionalised with the availability of several building certification programs. These certifications provide a framework and targets of energy footprints to be achieved. We can now measure outcomes in real time and validate how green a building is. The adoption of new technology, tools and software with the aim of enhancing productivity and providing innovative energy smart solutions has become an essential part of ‘green’ architecture, as the need to reduce carbon and emissions footprints continues. This is valid across residential, commercial and industrial projects.”
Why is Green architecture important?
According to Dikshu C. Kukreja, Managing Principal, C. P. Kukreja Architects, which ranks among the world’s top 100 architecture firms, “Green architecture uses sustainable design practices for construction, utilizing locally available building materials and climatologically responsive techniques to derive best possible design solutions. This approach has significantly gained momentum in the past few years with a growing concern of harmful effects of building construction on the environment.
He adds, “As we look around, we realize that more and more cities across India are very soon going to be unlivable. I believe it is as much the responsibility of an Architect to design a new building as it is to be able to disseminate information and knowledge across society, on pertinent issues which affect us today or shall, in times to come.”
Notably, India’s hospitality industry is taking new strides in this regard. Recently, ITC Hotels became the world’s first hotel to achieve LEED Zero Carbon certification! This is a stellar example of how India’s hospitality industry is demonstrating excellence in reducing carbon footprints and nurturing impactful, sustainable practices.
Setting the global context on reducing carbon footprint and highlighting the role of technology in achieving sustainable golds, Varun Pahwa, President, Desiccant Rotors International (DRI) told Financial Express Online, “With the focus the world-over on control of emissions, there is growing recognition that resources are scarce, and the move towards reducing carbon footprints is no longer an option but a necessity. Innovation and technology are playing key roles in achieving these goals, right from the conceptualisation and design stage and in compliance with international standards and norms. Indian markets have already seen growth in sustainable solutions across sectors. As the move towards achievement of UN SGD goals becomes more pronounced, ‘green’ is the need of the hour.”