World Environment Day: Sustainability is the Buzzword in Building

5 Jun, 2021 16:27 IST|Sakshi Post
In an exclusive interview with Sakshipost, Dr. Prashanth Reddy Managing Director of Fundermax India breaks down the concept of using sustainable building materials to ensure a greener world and minimise damage to the environment. A World Environment Day special. 

Q1. Studies have found that buildings account for more than one-quarter of the total greenhouse gas emissions, are builders in India aware of this?

Yes, Awareness is certainly there among Builders due to efforts of USGBC, IGBC, Architects, PMC  and also some customers preference for environment-friendly buildings.

Q2. How many builders are making a conscious effort to use sustainable building material?

Considering the awareness about greenhouse gas emission; the usage of sustainable building material has grown over the past decade. Still, there is a huge scope of improvement in terms of adapting to sustainable building material though sometimes these are premium materials and cost could be a deterrent for Builders.

Q3. How sustainable building material helps the environment and what is the extent of damage it can minimize?

It helps in 2 steps

  • At the manufacturing stage: Manufacturing is done to minimize wastage and to avoid landfills. The raw material is sourced responsibly to avoid any damage to the environment.

  • Usage of sustainable material for eg., in Facades / Cladding application, could provide thermal efficiency and low maintenance costs.

Fundermax products are derived from Sustainably managed forests that are FSC or PEFC certified. There are no harmful VOCs that are released from the panels during their use, thus making it perfect for use as interiors also. Proper choice of reflectance properties also ensures that the Heat-island effect is mitigated in the areas surrounding the building. It needs minimum maintenance and in turn lesser water for cleaning thereby saving water.

If we are to mitigate the effects of having more buildings on the environment, following green-rated materials could be highly helpful.

Q4. Façade is an important element in sustainable construction. How does it work?

There is no doubt that sustainability has become the buzzword for any building’s façade system. To influence this trend Fundermax provides a rain screen façade system that improves building protection by enhancing the functionality of the façade concerning heat and noise reduction and better weather protection. We can increase the thermal efficiency of the building with an effective design. A well-designed façade reduces the thermal bridges, condensation of water vapour, protecting the building and increasing sustainability.

This unique and innovative façade system by Fundermax is a sustainable model and is compliant with green building technologies.

Q5. Is the real estate sector to implement measures to improve building’s environmental behaviour? What’s the current scenario in India?

The real estate industry has come forward in the recent past and has acknowledged the necessity for environmentally sustainable buildings.

In our opinion approx, 50% of new commercial buildings in 2020 are “green”, compared to only 2% in 2005. Source (weforum.org/docs/GAC16/CRE_Sustainability.pdf)

Q6. Could you name a few green building materials that can help minimize environmental damage?

Fundermax high-pressure laminates for interior and exterior applications, Precast concrete slabs, Bamboo, AAC blocks etc.

Q7. Anything organic has become expensive. The moment we say this is green or sustainable then the cost is higher. How cost-effective is the green building going to be?

That’s right, quality and sustainability will definitely have their cost. Sustainable material will have a higher cost as compared to other products. But we have to clearly do the payback analysis to check the reduction in other costs like maintenance cost or the operational cost over the period of time. In the beginning, it will look like a higher cost and it would be recovered over the years.

Q8. What’s the message to builder on environment day?

Yes, because we are now at the cusp of the ‘green revolution’ where there is willingness from people to do their bit for the environment and also standards and guidelines supporting them - GRIHA, LEED ratings for buildings and BEE ratings for appliances. 

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