By Devika Batra – Coordinator, External Relations and Process Documentation, Arti M. Grover – Communication Associate
Our generation is leaving a massive footprint on the planet, rapidly accelerating global warming. Environmentally unsustainable buildings lead to fast depletion of fossil fuels, water, and other natural resources. Therefore, the need of the hour is to carefully manage the earth’s resources and reverse this negative impact. The term “Green Building” does not only apply to construction but also to construction strategies, design, operations, landscaping, maintenance and more. Green Buildings are designed and constructed to use less energy, water and other natural resources; create less waste; and provide a healthy working environment.
In 2009, the World Green Building Council conceptualized and implemented their campaign “World Green Building Week”. The idea was to encourage green building practices and address issues such as global warming and climate change. September 17-21 2012 marked the fourth annual World Green Building Week. Educational events, conferences, tours and gatherings were organized across 90 participating nations.
Sehgal Foundation, a rural development not-for-profit organization, housed in a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified platinum-rated green campus in Gurgaon, also marked the importance of the Green Building Week. Sehgal Foundation arranged educational tours for schools and colleges to promote the Green Building concept; educate students about easy to adopt green habits and technologies; and inform them about the features of Sehgal Foundation’s Green Building. Shiv Nadar School, Manav Rachna International School, Lady Irwin College and School of Planning and Architecture participated in Sehgal Foundation’s celebration of the World Green Building Week.
Ms. Pooja Sharma, a teacher at Shiv Nadar School, noted that “The students had theoretically talked about concepts like Rainwater Harvesting but, only some of them had first-hand experience of seeing this in action. The students were astonished to know that such concepts can be implemented at such a large scale.”
Sehgal Foundation’s Green Building is surrounded by high-rises in the millennium city Gurgaon. Sehgal Foundation Green Building’s simple design and environment friendly technologies make it unique. It is the eighth Green Building in India and the first in the development sector to receive the Platinum LEED certification from the United States Green Building Council in 2009, a distinction enjoyed only by a handful of organizations in India.
Through its Green Building, Sehgal Foundation leads by example, hosting green features like photo-voltaic solar panels on the rooftop generating 35 kW of electricity; solar water heaters; shading devices; a rainwater harvesting storage tank of 700,000 litres; on-site recycling of grey and black water; groundwater recharging (zero runoff site); courtyards maximizing natural light and ventilation; recycled wood; various endangered plant species; use of in-situ bricks; maintenance-free exteriors; insulated walls; use of rapidly renewable rubber wood and bamboo; double glazed glass and a highly reflective roof finish, among others.
Sehgal Foundation provides a platform for students, individuals and organizations to witness and experience the Green Building features in the hope that this concept inspires them to adopt a few, if not all, environment-friendly initiatives.
Tell us how you plan to do your part, how will you reduce your carbon footprint?