The Telegraph
Friday , June 6 , 2014
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Go-green message on Environment Day
PWD concepts for urban homes

Guwahati, June 5: The Assam public works department has taken up a green-building concept in Assam, with New Delhi-based Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) as its consultant.

“The state government recently signed a memorandum with TERI, which has agreed to provide green-building consultancy after collaborating with architects, and advice on energy simulation,” a PWD official told this correspondent today.

Dispur’s agreement with the institute took place under Green Rating Integrated Habitat Assessment (Griha), the country’s national rating system for green buildings.

The agreement focuses on the use of sustainable building material.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi had emphasised the need to ensure easy availability of cost-effective material to replace the conventional ones at Griha Summit 2014 in New Delhi in January this year.

“We have to find eco-friendly and cost-effective material for the construction of buildings, roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Knowledge is the key to invention of cost-effective and environment-friendly technologies that would mitigate the impact of climate change,” Gogoi had said at the summit.

Under the green-building concept, the state PWD has identified three core areas, eco roofs, green alleys and urban forestry.

“There are three forms of roofs — green, white and blue — that are essential for a congested city with a growing population like Guwahati,” the PWD official said.

“Green roofs refer to vegetation such as grass or small trees grown on top of roofs to keep the temperature under control. We can also have white glazed tiles on the roof to reduce the impact of heat. Blue roofs refer to rainwater harvesting, which helps to store water and recharge ground water,” he added.

The benefits of the green home concept are immense such as reduction of urban heat island effect, storm water run-off and electricity consumption, the official added.

“We cannot mitigate climate change but can adapt to the situation by coming up with green infrastructure that enhances quality of life, public health and mitigates disasters,” the official said.

On green pathways, permeable paver blocks can be used to increase evaporation and reduce floods.

“The department has opted for porous asphalt as a green pathway in a project in Jorhat,” the official said.

“We will also take up urban forestry under the green project to absorb pollutants and improve air quality, enhance evaporation and prevent waterlogging,” he added.