Green Buildings – How most of them are really made, the inside story.

03 Apr

Reams of paper wasted, air-condition switched on even when there is not a soul in the room designated as the architectural design office attached to the site  –  A Green Building which is pre-certified Gold is being built. Firm which is building it takes pride in announcing that all its buildings are LEED certified and it in now their CSR.

Sound familiar ? Welcome to the real World of building Green.

” ‘Green’ certification has become mandatory for buildings above certain meter square area. So, we are just following the law. How our building following guidelines will help save the World, I don’t understand when so many buildings being built are non-green. It is just another head-ache I tell you” – said the architect I befriended and was having an ice-cream soda with.

“So are you really following the guide-lines, like planting 3 trees to every one you need to chop down ?” – I ask.

“Sure we are’- says he, ‘only we have reported 7 trees instead of the actual 23, else we would be having a jungle instead of a building we need to build you know.

“Could you not have designed something which could have avoided cutting some, thus reciprocal planting could have been avoided?” – I asked.

“I could have,but I’m just an employee. The Bosses want a cost effective design and fast. So if we follow the all the guidelines as written, we would be finished. Say for example we  stack top -soil ; with the project taking 3 years to build do you really want us to maintain the top-soil and follow all those mandatory points and jack up the cost of construction? Get real man.We do what is minimum required for documentation purpose. Can’t follow all the rules all the time. We architects need to deliver, unlike you who have loads of money and don’t have the pressure to work and earn a living” – he said mockingly. Somewhere in his eyes I could see the designer who had visualised  a classic sustainable design, but it got quickly extinguished by the sound of his blackberry phone ringing.

The Client has sent back the good for construction design; they want some changes. It seems that they have just hired a new guy who will be in-charge of this project. Had worked in Dubai on tall buildings. Says the new additions will make the building have more saleable area.” – he said while folding and stacking up a neat bundle of size A-0, fine quality drawing sheets. ” Here take this for your baby daughter to draw, with the changes asked all these drawings are defunct.”

“Could you not have sent them soft copies? I mean, till all the drawings are frozen, why do you guys start building ? Have your client not have heard of 3-D walk through and all the modern design ideas. Buddy, I even wrote an article on it. Green Business Ideas : Virtual World Design can save the real world losses. Did you read it ? – I cried out.

“Ha ha ! You are a very funny guy. Your virtual design ideas are just that – ideas for the virtual world.  Welcome to the real world buddy. Here we still work in the  most practical and economical manner, with high degree of efficiency and work ethics. – He rose to leave, turned and said – “nice talking to you. Don’t mind, you are a good guy but your ideas are a little foolish. There is no such thing as Sustainable construction.”

He walked away. I got up and put back the CD, I had got for him to view the SREX  report and the Stern Review. Which gives the horrifying view of a World hurtling towards destruction of the  life-style we all know and live in. And all due to human induced Climate change.

Yes! there is no such thing as Sustainable Construction….not until we have a Fukushima happening on our very own land. And then perhaps a few more would be required. After all we are a large land mass, with an equally large population. The death of a few thousand …it’s just statistics. Easy to forget.


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10 responses to “Green Buildings – How most of them are really made, the inside story.

  1. VARUN MITTAL (@vrnmttl)

    June 8, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    I believe that in India we have made our first move and inefficiencies will be associated with the current rating systems and models designed but as we make progress on scientific and business front, we will be approaching more towards purely sustainable building concept.


    • Oyeta936

      June 8, 2012 at 9:41 PM

      Point well taken, Mr. Varun.The article is to make aware the inefficiencies and get corrective measures in place, as soon as possible so that the spirit and intent of a superlative effort does not go in vain.


  2. Siva Kishan

    April 6, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Most of them; or ‘All’ of them. 🙂


    • R. S.Prasad

      April 9, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      Come on! let us not be so cynical.I am sure there are authentic cases as well.In any case all of us who genuinely believe, sustainable buildings is the way forward,should strive to make it a reality,not a butt of joke!


      • Oyeta936

        April 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

        There was no joke intended. Sustainability is a serious business and one must think it as such. What has been documented is truth which is as always bitter. But with the intention that people like you and many others come together to let such things not happen.


      • Oyeta936

        April 9, 2012 at 1:28 PM

        Sure there must authentic cases. Therefore I have mentioned it as most and not all. However, these faults are found more in typical C.S case where the developer/builder would sell the property and get done with it. Not seen in N.C yet.


      • Siva Kishan

        April 13, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        I am most happy to be wrong on this. Apart from what you or I believe, if there are authentic cases, do let us know and I would be eager to publicise them and encourage others to emulate them. Until then, we will do what we believe in…


        • Oyeta936

          April 13, 2012 at 5:36 PM

          I am for you in this, of the numerous projects which I’ve visited, and there is immense mindset barrier which we need to overcome.
          The idea is not to deride genuine cases,and the ones which are true know so and would not be bothered, What we need to do is also uphold a mirror to ourselves to see if we can stand true to our beliefs and bring the change that is desired.
          Moreover even if 5% Green gets done it is better than nothing, but that it does not solve the purpose is equally true.


    • Oyeta936

      April 9, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      Most of them, especially in C.S which are developed by builders for sale.


  3. sathyanarayancv

    April 3, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Most of the certified Green buildings built today are very expensive and not green in practice.Building green always meant to factor in design content (built areas), site conditions,orientation,savings in consumption of water and energy as well as the choice of materials ( building with locally available materials ,contrary to what is being practiced by using green rated imported material from outside India) Green buildings are the ones designed by architects Doshi, Nari Gandhi, Sharukh Mistry to name a few.



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