Friday, February 19, 2010

From April 1, eco-housing will be made compulsory

"Only eco-friendly constructions will be given building permissions from April 1 onwards," Ashok Chavan, C M, Maharashtra
During a eco-housing meet in Mumbai on Tuesday, Chavan said that in view of environment degradation, climate-friendly steps, such as making eco-friendly constructions, were needed.

It may be noted that in 2007, Pune had introduced its eco-housing programme, one of the first cities in the country to implement it. However, it was voluntary in nature. Also, developers executing this plan were given rebates in premium charges incurred from developers while giving building permissions.

Meanwhile, though the basic details of the scheme have not yet been made by the state government, city builders said that a public debate must be held before implementing the same.

Speaking to TOI, municipal commissioner Mahesh Zagade said the state government’s decision was out of concern for global warming.
“From April 1, eco-housing will be made mandatory, which has been voluntarily in Pune till now. The state will be conceptualising the exact rules which will govern the scheme and is very serious about implementing the plan — which is to be made a part of development control rules by April 1. However, at this point of time, we cannot say what norms the ecohousing scheme will lay down,” Zagade said.
Director of Science and Technology Park (STP), which has been appointed by the PMC to monitor and assess eco-housing projects, Rajendra Jagdale said that as of now nine big projects in Pune have been given the eco-housing certificate.
“Another 13 projects are being scrutinised. A total of three million square feet of project area has eco-housing certification, since most of these housing projects are of a large scale,” Jagdale said.
However, he said that making eco-housing schemes mandatory is likely to burden customers.
“I don’t think it will be a good idea to make the scheme mandatory, since the burden will eventually fall on customers. Also, it is important to understand what king of eco-friendly building material is being spoken about here. Another point of concern is whether smaller cities, like Kolhapur or Sangli, will be capable of implementing this rule. Do we have enough expertise?” Jagdale said.
When contacted, Satish Magar, president of Credai, Pune, said that one must keep in mind the cost which will be incurred in constructing eco-housing projects.
“We need to see the cost-effectiveness of the scheme, because eco-housing is an expensive affair.

However, we must also wait and watch how the state plans to go about the implementation and how the mechanism for supervision is worked out. The PMC has worked out a good way of certification.

The state must first hold a public debate and ask for suggestions from various groups before actually going ahead with it,” Magar said.


SITE PLANNING: Preserve and reuse nutrient-rich topsoil and landscaping

EFFICIENT BUILDING MATERIALS: Reuse/recycle waste products and prevent landfills

WATER CONSERVATION: Reduce water consumption, recycled water for lawns etc.

Construction safety measures should be in place

ENVIRONMENT ARCHITECTURE: Energy efficiency, thermal and visual comfort

Segregation of waste should be done

Energy-efficient lighting

Solar water-heaters are a must

To read more, please, visit The Times of India

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