Are eco-friendly homes a possibility in luxury developments?
Ram Raheja, director, S Raheja Realty, explains that they can be
The aftermath of Covid19 will have an enormous impact on the choice and preference of homebuyers. The amenities and lifestyle quotient will get another element to share space with, and that will be the concept of green buildings or green developments. The idea that was coined with the backdrop of sustainable construction practices is also being looked upon from the health and lifestyle perspective. More than ever, we are working proactively to become a better version of ourselves, and are consciously aware of the environmental impact of the choices we make and the lifestyle that we are living.
The most important question is: Is it possible to curate green homes in luxury developments, in cities like Mumbai? The answer is YES! The pursuit of an environment-friendly lifestyle has taken precedence in current times. Sustainability is the new luxury, right from food to fashion. There’s a need to dive into the details and understand the requirements of a sustainable development; where the conventional methods, materials and resources needs to be intelligently used.
What can developers do?
Developers are leaning towards the green-building concept at a great pace and the progress has been commendable, especially in Maharashtra. In order to truly create a sustainable development, the developer/ architect needs to plan it right from the initial stage of planning. Some of the key elements that are required to be kept in mind while planning the development are as follows:
• Thorough study of the site to gauge the possibilities and challenges
• Climate conditions of the location and the surrounding environment and the sun-path of the site location
• Cross ventilation to ensure fresh air flow – a pivotal factor, cross ventilation ensures optimum use of fresh air and minimalised usage of air-conditioners
• Reflective double-glazed glass for windows – to ward off the sunrays; prevent over-heating; and, at the same time, enable inflow of sunlight adequate to naturally light the space
Developers are and must continue to use minimal-energy materials across all phases of the construction process, be it civil, landscape or interiors and design. Developers are providing ample ‘green’ amenities like rain-water harvesting, efficient solar-heating and conservation and recycling of storm water for relevant purposes. Along with this, conserving natural resources and minimising waste to landfill, developers are significantly reducing carbon footprint and delivering green developments.
What can homebuyers do?
Transitioning from the larger scale of the overall development to being apartment-specific, this macro aspect is largely dependent on the buyers themselves. It will depend on how they can transform their own homes and lifestyle to make them green and sustainable. It is of great essence to understand that ‘a green home is a broad term from which relevant elements can be implemented as per the need and budget’. Based on this, it is essential to list what aspect of our home we are looking to convert to eco-friendly. Some of the key factors are mentioned below:
• Energy-efficient lighting – enables minimal use of power and is far more durable as compared to its traditional counterparts
• Reclaimed wood furnishing – reduces the need for new logging and enables conservation of natural resources
• Usage of eco-friendly interior décor materials – to add that effect of green elements, people can have indoor plants, prevent the use of synthetic fabric wherever possible, etc.
• Usage of recycled materials in all aspects
In case of old developments, a lot of societies in Maharashtra today are trying to adapt eco-friendly techniques in existing developments. Although we can’t go all eco-friendly while living in this concrete jungle, these effective steps can and are proven to bring about a green transformation both within the home and overall development. The future is green and it is here to stay!