Ecologically accountable and resource-efficient buildings in current times have become an essential part and future of the real estate industry. Today the government, developers, builders and end users recognize the need and importance of green buildings and are implementing sustainable practices at a fast stride. Home buyers comprehend the significance and connection between eco-friendly properties, cost savings and healthy way of living, hence are keen on investing in green homes. Real estate developers too are adhering to sustainable principles during the construction of properties.
Sustainability in the context of real estate does not just limit itself to the conservation of energy but also embraces usage of resources, influence on the immediate environment and living circumstances for residents. Green buildings integrate viable and conservation features like effective energy and water usage, diligently making use of the available renewable energy, salvaged and recyclable resources, proper use of landscapes and constructing well-organized management systems. The greatest advantage of green buildings is they generate less waste, thus augmenting a better living environment. The complete profits of green buildings depend totally on the magnitude at which sustainable features are spoken in the initial planning and design phase. A green building is most probable to flourish in its objective if ecological features are proposed and amalgamated right at the start. Adding another feather to the hat of Indian real estate is the futuristic trend of Net- zero buildings which are the way forward, particularly in the expedition towards sustainable and green development.
What exactly is a net-zero building?
Zero energy homes in current times are undoubtedly the most prevailing and dominant trend in the Indian property market. With the global climate alteration becoming a chief pressing issue of present times, it demands meaningful and immediate action be taken. It is nothing but the vertical architectures that are mostly accountable for consuming a wide chunk from the total energy production. Taking this into consideration, the existing scenario calls for an instantaneous action pointing towards a condensed and abridged carbon future, which in turn needs net-zero energy homes as the keystones, one that is not dependent on fossil fuels.
Net-zero energy constructions start with designs that are energy-conscious with most of the features that operate without an energy source. These buildings come equipped with sustainable features like rooftop systems that enable to collect rainwater to decrease the use of treated water. Heat recovery systems, solar panels, geothermal heating and wind turbines are among the other technologies that are used to attain a net-zero status.
Reasons to go zero
Nearly about 40 per cent of the energy in India is consumed by residential and commercial buildings. The total energy that has been consumed can be reduced by bringing in energy-efficient plans during the stage of design, construction, and operations.
Net Zero Energy buildings are designed and built with a wide range of energy-efficient features, such as denser walls and windows that are triple-paned to enable it to create as much energy from its solar collectors as the residence makes use of over the course of a year – causing in a zero “net” energy bill. The measures of energy efficiency encompass of design tactics and features that lessen the demand- side loads such as air barrier systems, daylighting, sunlight control and shielding devices, prudent selection of windows and finishing, passive solar heating, natural ventilation and efficient conservation of water resources. Once the efficiency measures have been integrated, the residual energy needs can be met by making use of renewable energy technologies.
Net Zero Energy building are inexpensive and totally energy-efficient
The net-zero energy building consumption enables one to save loads from the power bills. They deliver advanced indoor air quality through an Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) or Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) system that filters and cleans the air. Buildings have a massive effect on the environment, human health and economy. The energy that has been utilized to heat and power our buildings contributes to consumption of huge amounts of energy, mostly from burning of fossil fuels, natural gas, oil, and coal, which are responsible to produce significant amounts of carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas. The positive implementation of green building strategies can make the most of both the fiscal and conservational performances of buildings, thus leading to a green future.
The green net-zero buildings are essential for sustainable development
These buildings bestow end-users with a lot of rewards in the long term over old- style building constructions. One can cut down the dependence on public services such as the power grid owing to the utilization of solar panels for energy and save up to fifty to seventy-five per cent on the costs of heating and cooling. This also decreases the reliance on fossil fuels and lessens the levels of atmospheric contaminants.
Additionally, the air circulation in net-zero buildings is a lot purer, unadulterated healthier, cleaner and fresher as there are no poisonous materials used during the construction stage. Planting pollution fighting trees and plants to purify air is another sustainable initiative that can be undertaken by the Indian realty sector in their premises. This would not only recover the air quality in and around the area but will equally aid in condensing air contamination on the whole. Since our cities are slowly moving towards becoming more vertical, another possibility to increase the greenery is through vertical gardening.
The Need for change
Just as every industry familiarises itself to fluctuating times, the Indian property segment needs to progress and transform too. Nowadays, realty developers and builders are scouting for out-of-the-box ideas to construct ecological and viable abodes as well as commercial set-ups while being watchful of Mother Nature. According to the studies conducted by Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), green building results in energy savings of up to forty to fifty per cent and water savings of up to twenty to thirty per cent as compared to traditional buildings. This type of expansion is optimistic and constructive in nature and offers a block of concrete and sustainable solution for meeting the ever-growing housing demands.
Amalgamating an innovative design and superior building system, the net-zero homes are here with energy competence and on-site solar panels to deliver a better home. The modern-day consumer is progressively getting familiarized with the zero-energy concept as a smart investment. The exceedingly maintainable homes with no energy bills and zero carbon releases definitely seem to be a promising investment. Moreover, net-zero buildings will contribute to dropping down the carbon footprint and total energy savings, thus putting an end to the ongoing battle of safeguarding the environment, thus contributing to saving the earth for future generations.
By Aditya Kedia, Managing Director – Transcon Developers
(Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author is his own. AT takes no responsibility for the same.)