Estimates suggest that by 2030, more than 60 per cent of the world’s population will dwell in cities. This tectonic shift in dwelling patterns and the accompanying boom in urbanization bring with it issues that range from space constraints to water scarcity, transportation, and environmental degradation. These issues make urban planning and development one of the major challenges for the future.
The future of cities then will depend on our willingness and ability to find innovative solutions. In a country like ours, massive migration from rural to urban areas is already starting to impact the quality of our cities in the form of overcrowding, logjams, and sprawl. The shrinking of available land and natural resources means that innovative and sustainable solutions are critical to providing livability and economic opportunities for our people.
Finding innovative solutions will hence determine the future of cities worldwide, particularly in India where massive migrations from the rural areas to the cities are resulting in overcrowding and sprawl. Because of the lack of land and natural resources, innovative and sustainable solutions are critical to providing livability and economic opportunities for our people.
Rapid urbanization and a burgeoning middle class has seen a rapid demand for real estate across India. This has led to an exponential growth of the construction industry in the last decade. However, this boom has a significant environmental downside as well. Worldwide, buildings account for nearly 20% of all water consumption, 40% of all energy consumption, 35% of all greenhouse gas emissions, and 30% of all solid waste generation. As the industry steps up to meet the ever rising demand for developed real estate, these numbers are bound to go up sharply. It is obvious that the resulting scenario is highly unsustainable and will severely diminish the quality of life in our cities.
There is a growing concern with the environmentalists about the need to balance growth of human prosperity with the quality of our environment. Analysis of many experts shows that impact of construction needs to be brought down for a greener planet. Responding to this concern, real estate sector is slowly moving towards building eco-‐ friendly structures, termed as ‘smart’ structures. To minimize the footprint, land, water and power conservation tops the chart of priority in these smart structures. However, sustainable building techniques require the developers to fundamentally change the existing building paradigm and think through all the stages of the building’s lifecycle. Transitioning to a completely green building paradigm in a country like India is not yet economically feasible since the buyers are not sensitized enough to appreciate the long term cost benefits vs. initial price trade-‐off.
As the industry grapples with the challenges of balancing growth with sustainability, Sun Builders Group, with over three decades of experience in construction and real estate, have taken the initiative to explore green and eco-‐ friendly building techniques and have already started adding them to the mix.
Sun Embark, 4 BHK Sky Suites by Sun Builders Group, located near Sola Over Bridge on Ahmedabad’s arterial S.G. Highway uses green building materials such as eco-‐bricks to substantially reduce the carbon emission footprint of the project while improving the quality of construction.
Similarly, Sun Square, the latest commercial landmark on Ahmedabad’s iconic C.G. Road uses energy-‐efficient sun breakers to optimize the energy requirements of the building by reducing the energy needed to illuminate and cool the interiors.
This is just the beginning and there is a very long road ahead. The Indian Green Building Council has made tremendous efforts in spreading awareness of ensuring environment safety and has been receiving a positive response from the corporate sector. The rating grade in stars has become important for builders and buyers of homes who are sensitive to the environmental cause. In future, real estate is expected to significantly contribute in conserving resources for lasting development of a greener and healthier earth while ensuring that our growth does not come at the cost of the quality of our life.