Real Estate | VOL. 12, ISSUE 72, May-June 2012

A Green Home

An energy-efficient home is the new buzzword among those who want to reduce their carbon footprint on earth. The trend, which surprisingly is more popular in small towns, is also likely to impact the real estate industry in big cities facing a severe shortage of space. Architects today are designing and building eco-friendly homes that are comfortable, easy to maintain, reduce energy related greenhouse gas emissions, and are more easy on the purse in the long run than conventional homes. “The trend is slowly changing and is like a silent revolution,” explains Bangalore-based architect Chitra Vishwanath, 47, who alone has been responsible for designing and constructing over 600 eco-friendly houses in and around her city in the last decade. In fact, over 6,000 eco-friendly houses have come up in Bangalore and its vicinity in the last 10 years, with many architectural firms now offering clients eco-friendly, green or energy-efficient buildings. Eco-friendly structures mean using local materials, local skills and imply low-technological dependency. None of these buildings are more than two or three floors high and so power is not consumed for running lifts, for instance. Most of these buildings are made up of soil stabilised blocks, Balipatnam bricks (solid and hollow), stone masonry, tiled roofs and recycled wood, natural stones and clay tiles for the flooring. They use biogas for cooking, solar and wind energy...

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