Sustainably designed and constructed buildings which are energy efficient could cut global energy consumption by as much as a quarter, says the architect charged with the task of designing India’s tallest building at Noida near Delhi.
Karan Grover, a strong advocate of traditional Indian architecture and the keynote speaker at a recent conference organised by the Institute of Indian Designers in Bhopal, India, says that buildings consume around 50% of the world’s energy – more than transport and manufacturing put together – and that there is enormous potential for sustainable buildings in cities like Bhopal and Indore to be at the cutting edge of change.
“About 70% of buildings that India needs by 2030 are not built whereas 70% of the building requirement for America is already constructed” Grover is quoted as saying in a report in The Times of India.
“This is the time for change”.
“If we [both India and the world] could design green and energy efficient buildings, we could cut global energy consumption by 25%”.
Referring to the situation in India, Grover says that to use an example, consider the proper use of sunlight and ventilation. This could result in energy savings of up to 62%, he says, which in 20 years would be sufficient to pay for the entire construction cost of the building.
Furthermore, thanks largely to rising energy costs (not to mention long term fears about energy shortages in the country), Grover says concepts such as the lifecycle cost of a building are becoming increasingly significant.
“[The cost] To run an average house for about 60 years takes five times the building cost” Grover says.
“Today we have technology to build structures which are green and people can take advantage of it”.
Grover says that India, which according to a report in The Times of India last year overtook Australia to now boast the second highest number of green buildings of any country, has the potential to overtake the USA as the leading producer of sustainable buildings by 2030.
Already, the country has listed 200 buildings under their Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) system, and whilst the majority of these are in major cities such as Mumbai and Delhi, efforts are underway to expand sustainable building beyond these areas.