Building a Sustainable Design Structure with Less Energy and Materials

By Sudeep Kolte, VP Sales & Marketing, Saint Gobain India Pvt Ltd –Gyproc Business

On this World Architecture Day, as we celebrate the global theme of “Architecture for Resilient Communities,” it is imperative that we reflect upon the profound impact of sustainable building practices on the our communities. In recent years, a growing awareness of the need for a better world has prompted people to make conscious changes in their lifestyles. While we conscientiously opt for greener alternatives within our living spaces, it is equally vital to extend this ethos to traditional masonry. Shockingly, buildings contribute a substantial 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Recognizing this significant impact emphasizes the urgency to transform the construction sector into a more sustainable entity, where the choice of environmentally friendly building materials plays a pivotal role. Moreover, with major brands enforcing green building certification, embracing sustainable practices is now a necessity rather than an option.

When we widen our view, the choice of materials emerges as a crucial factor in the realm of green building. Embracing modern building technology and materials, as opposed to traditional brick and mortar, can propel us toward achieving our sustainability goals. Gypsum, being the core material in creating gypsum ceilings and wall partitions, also known as drywalls, is a pertinent example. It finds extensive use in enhancing the interiors of both residential and commercial structures. Gypsum boasts several advantages such as fire resistance, cost-effectiveness, and versatility in application, making it a highly efficient material. Importantly, drywalls are recognized as one of the most sustainable alternatives, characterized by properties like minimal water usage (resulting in an impressive 99% water saving), reduced turnaround time, and being made of natural materials, contributing to LEED, IGBC, and GRIHA rating points. Additionally, gypsum’s low carbon footprint and widespread availability help meet green construction targets concerning transportation, manufacturing, recycling, and disposal of building materials.

Highlighting the advantages of sustainable products, it is crucial to acknowledge the primary benefit of green buildings—implementing methods to mitigate excessive carbon dioxide emissions—while simultaneously reducing overall maintenance costs for owners. Green architecture is meticulously designed to endure without constant upkeep or renovations, operating in harmony with the environment. Therefore, by prioritizing green buildings, we take a deliberate step towards a more sustainable and efficient lifestyle.

Understanding the importance of fully embracing green building practices is critical. To achieve optimal outcomes, it’s imperative that this mindset is integrated right from the project’s inception, influencing every facet of the construction process. A notable example of this integrated approach can be observed in the consistent efforts of organizations, like Saint Gobain Gyproc. The focus on sustainability is not limited to specific projects but is a fundamental aspect of the brand philosophy, reflected across the entire lifecycle of their products. This approach applies universally across construction projects, spanning residential, commercial, industrial, and other sectors. Additionally, organizations like the Green Building Council in India have played a pivotal role for over two decades in promoting and supporting the nation’s transition toward sustainable architecture. The growing interest and participation in this transformation in India is evident, with a substantial 24.81 million gross square meters of LEED-certified space achieved by the end of 2018.

Considering all these aspects, green building is no longer an elusive dream but an achievable reality. Making eco-conscious choices paves the way for a greener future, offering personal benefits while positively impacting the world at large. Hence, green building stands as an essential reality we must wholeheartedly embrace moving forward.

In a nutshell, building a sustainable design structure with less energy and materials is not just a trend but a necessity. With the adverse effects of climate change becoming increasingly apparent, the construction industry has a vital role to play in reducing its environmental impact. Buildings, which contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, need to adopt greener alternatives for construction. This paradigm shift requires a comprehensive approach, integrating sustainability from the project’s initiation and utilizing eco-friendly building materials.

(The views expressed in the column are of the author, and may or may not be endorsed by the publication)

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