In a study titled ‘Assessment of Residential Apartments for Green Building Compliance’ initiated by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and executed by the Environmental Management and Policy Research Institute (EMPRI), it was found that most of the apartments surveyed in Bengaluru adopt green principles which include efficient use of energy, water and other resources.
Researchers Dr N Hema and Ms Vinutha R from EMPRI and students from the Civil Engineering Branch RV College of Engineering carried out the project.
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The main objective of the project was to assess the apartments designated for green building compliance in the city of Bengaluru and to score and rank the apartments according to the highest level of compliance with green components. A total of 95 apartments with over 500 apartments were identified to complete the survey, of which 54 apartments performed reasonably well in terms of integrating environmental components.
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The highest score was obtained by the Army Welfare Housing Organization (AWHO) Sandeep Vihar, located on the Whitefield-Hoskote road. “The apartment exhibited some of the important environmental and ecological components of the buildings. The wastewater treatment plant installed has a treatment capacity of 400 KLD of wastewater and is based on the technique of sequential batch reactors (SBR). Treated water from the treatment plant is reused for rinsing and gardening. The sludge from the sewage treatment plant is used as fertilizer for the plants in the landscaped area of the apartment premises. Solar energy is used for lighting purposes and collectors are used to prevent energy loss. Solar panels are used for water heating. Awareness programs were conducted with residents on plantations, disposal of solid, biomedical, hazardous and electronic waste,” the study states.
The apartments have been studied for some of the important environmental characteristics such as sewage treatment plant, solid waste management, hazardous, biomedical and electronic waste management and installation of rainwater collection, solar energy, awareness of environmental issues and initiatives adopted for environmental conservation. .
“Based on data obtained across all apartments, eighty-nine percent of respondents felt that they reused STP’s treated wastewater for gardening and rinsing purposes. To promote effective waste management nearly all apartments had facilities to collect and separate different types of waste About ninety-one percent of respondents compost wet waste generated on their premises Fewer residents throw wet waste away to private contractors involved in apartment waste collection,” the study says.
The study also highlighted that several respondents said that lack of awareness or higher costs of building environmentally friendly structures were the barriers preventing them from choosing green buildings over conventional ones.
The study in its closing remarks said: “It shows that the majority of respondents are aware of the environmental concepts of buildings. However, there are shortcomings which can be improved by ensuring proper monitoring of the processes instilled in the apartments. However, more emphasis needs to be placed on integrating green elements into apartments.