India Poised to Build Green Homes

Teresa Madaleno

A fifth of new housing developments in India will be green homes. This is the commitment being made by top builders in the country who want to promote sustainable development and help the country meet ambitious climate goals.

Of course this is the type of news that Sparta is watching with great interest as the company is considering various options for development of a green community. The India initiative is led by the Sustainable Housing Leadership Consortium and includes five of the major homebuilders in the country. The Ministry of Housing backs the pledge from the builders.

While the plan is in its infancy, Reuters reports that the builders will be using local and recycled materials, and will be designing the homes with water and electrical conservation. They will also be using natural light and wind patterns. The team is still investigating other energy-efficient construction methods.

India is the world’s third biggest greenhouse gas emitter. Since the construction industry has a large carbon footprint, the builders felt they could no longer ignore the impact and needed to take action. As it turns out, the real estate sector is responsible for close to a quarter of India’s carbon dioxide emissions. Most of those emissions come from making the materials to build homes. This includes steel, cement and bricks.

Since India’s economy is growing, demand for housing is growing too. Right now, the government reports that there is a huge shortage of housing in urban areas. Some people suggest that shortage is estimated to be around 20 million homes.

Builders in India say that there was a time when “green homes were built at a premium” and therefore only appealed to a certain segment of the population, but new technologies have narrowed the costs between traditional homes and more sustainable homes so the demand is greater today.

Early reports out of India suggest that green homes will create a savings of 198 kWh per year in electricity consumption and 108 billion liters in water savings. This will help reduce India’s carbon footprint by about 0.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

As India works towards more sustainable development, countries around the world explore the concept of greener homes – yet another sign that consumers everywhere are demanding change.