Greener alternatives in real estate construction - Brigade Group
When it comes to concepts such as green living or energy-saving, we don’t usually talk about the construction sector. However, this narrative is changing, and sustainable real estate is gaining popularity among both builders and homebuyers. A report by the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction states that the green buildings market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 14.3% between 2020 and 2027.
Modern eco-friendly homes combine various practices, techniques and initiatives that have the ultimate aim of reducing the negative impacts of building on the environment and health of those living or working there. From using sustainable construction materials to using renewable sources of energy such as solar panels, green roofs or rain gardens, the new generation of homebuyers is quite aware of the economical and environmental advantages of a sustainable property.
Why green construction is the need of the hour?
The energy consumption of a building is the highest in the construction phase. Building eco-friendly homes is not just about making them efficient. It is also about optimizing the use of locally sourced materials, considering the local ecology and reducing power, water and material requirements to a big extent. Initiatives to create more sustainable building materials with science-driven approaches are gaining traction in India.
Green buildings automatically translate into bringing about a healthy environment and ecological balance. They have been found to reduce energy consumption by 20-30% and water usage by 30-50%.2 Though the initial cost of eco-friendly construction is higher by 10-15%, the operational costs, in the long run, are comparatively low.
The global construction sector is estimated to contribute around 40% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.3 The urbanization that is happening on a large scale will also add more pressure on the construction sector to address environmental concerns. The government is also on board with green construction and is offering incentives and subsidies for sustainable real estate.
Top green building practices in 2022
- Carbon-neutral buildings
Widely known in the construction sector as net-zero buildings are structures with energy consumption that equals their energy output. The goal of developing this type of sustainable property is to minimize carbon emissions, water consumption and solid waste transported to landfills.
- Climate-resilient structures
A top green initiative is incorporating construction measures to increase weather resiliency, minimize weather damage and insurance and reduce costs, such as claims for flood or fire damage. Both the public and private sectors should focus on climate-proofing, invest in climate-ready projects and provide scope for revision of designs and operations of infrastructure to keep pace with climate change. The new projects under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) and Smart Cities Mission, offer an opportunity to mainstream climate risks and nature-based solutions (NbS) into infrastructure.
- Green star certification
The building receives a rating from an independent panel of sustainability experts. The ratings can be for design and construction to operation. All projects registered under this certification must achieve a certified rating within 2 years from the project completion.
- LEED certification
LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is the most widely used sustainability rating system in the world, certifying 1.85 million square feet of construction each day. Points are awarded on the basis of some parameters. 26 – 32 points earn basic LEED certification, 33 – 38 points earn a silver-level certification, 39 – 51 points earn gold-level certification and 52 points or higher earn platinum certification.
- Distributed energy systems (DES)
With the use of sensors, meters and actuators, the system can oversee a sustainable property’s heating, cooling, lighting and more. The benefits of DES can be reduced costs, enhanced reliability, and the opportunity to secure additional revenue through on-site generation and dynamic load management.
- EDGE certification
Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies is a certification that looks at maximizing construction efficiency in terms of energy, water, building materials and waste. EDGE certification is globally recognized and backed by the World Bank Group.
- Green building materials
Using alternative building materials such as bamboo, recycled plastic, wood, engineered wood, cob, steel frame, insulating concrete foam, grasscrete which is layering concrete flooring that allows grass and flora to grow, or hempcrete made from hemp wood, water and lime.
From construction to completion, the optimization of every step to ensure minimum ecological harm is a key responsibility of both developers and residents. A large number of our projects have been Green Building Certified.
Brigade Group has always been an advocate of a sustainable way of life. Our properties have eco-friendly initiatives such as state-of-the-art rainwater harvesting systems, bio-retention ponds to recharge the aquifer, smart meters to monitor water usage, wastewater recycling plants, triple plumbing systems, waste segregation, urban forests and EV charging stations.