Eco-township is of great importance for making the countryside beautiful. . Demands for energy, water supply, safe waste disposal and transportation management will drive towards Eco friendly infrastructure. We should improve the drainage system to minimize wastage and reuse it in other ways and use the energy of the sun to give the optimum heating and cooling effect in a room during different seasons, saving electricity. There are small scale wastewater treatment plants for purifying the sewer water and reuse it for gardening and washing purposes. We will design a green township rating system naturalizing preservation of the environment. To meet the needs of a healthy society in urban areas, there is a huge burden of resources. Thus eco-friendly and environmental sustainable practices are important tools in sustainable development.
A township is a combination of several communities which is a combination of several sectors, several townships from a city. Township ranges in sizes & land uses. Township can be predominantly commercial, industrial or retail but should necessarily comprise residential components. At least 25% of the total build-up area (in sq.m) within the township should be earmarked for residential use. Introduction of cities are the important components for social and economic growth of a country. The urban sector contributes nearly 50-60% to the nation’s GDP. Rising population growth, traffic congestion and improper waste management have resulted in a decreased level of quality of life and environment in urban areas. Indian Green Building Council has launched IGBC Green Township rating system. The rating system is an important tool which enables the design engineer to apply the Green concept to reduce the environmental impacts. However, it is to be noted that the rating system is not applicable for individual building and land parcels.
Benefits of Green Township
Benefits of green township application of IGBC Green Township rating system in large developments would address national priorities leading to benefits, such as efficient land use, habitat preservation and restoration, effective transport management, efficient use of resources and enhanced quality of life for the occupants.
Efficient Land Use
Now a day, development has become synonymous with physical expansion or growth. There is a need for significant changes in the pattern of land use and construction that will provide communities with better quality of life and at the same time conserve natural resources. Green Township rating system address the impacts of urban sprawl by encouraging compact, mixed-use developments and promotes higher urban densities without affecting the quality of life.
Habitat Preservation & Restoration:
Conventional development is generally insensitive to the natural environment. Such developments may scar the landscape; take prime agricultural land out of production or destroy biodiversity and natural habitats. The Green Township rating system is designed to facilitate restoration and preservation of the natural environment by encouraging strategies that aid the interface between the built environment & natural environment. This approach will not only enhance the fabric of the planned development but also provide environments conducive for living and working.
Efficient Transportation Management:
Traffic congestion, long distance commuting, rising levels of air and noise pollution are pressing issues in today’s cities, Efforts to relieve congestion such as, constructing flyovers, road widening etc., are good initiatives but may not address issues such as fossil fuel consumption and associated emission, ‘Green Townships’ rating system addresses these issues by encouraging effective and efficient transportation management strategies, Such strategies include increasing opportunities for bicycling, encouraging pedestrian friendly network; reduction in the number of automobile trips, promoting public transportation and use of alternative vehicles.
Efficient Use of Resources:
Perhaps the most challenging problem facing our cities today is to meet the ever-rising demand for power, water supply and waste management. Meeting this demand requires an enormous amount of investment infrastructure. Efficient and effective use of resources is thus vital in augmenting the existing infrastructure.
Most of the Asian countries are water stressed, and in countries like India, the water table has reduced drastically over the last decade. Green Township encourages use of water in a self-sustainable manner through reducing, recycling and reusing strategies and can save potable water to an extent of 30-50%.
Green Townships can reduce energy consumption of infrastructural equipment through energy efficient street lighting, motors, pumps etc. The energy savings that can be realized by adopting this rating programme in infrastructural equipment can be to the tune of 20-30%. Further, on-site power generation using various renewable energy technologies and other clean fuels can significantly reduce the load on grid power supply.
Waste Management: Green townships encourage effective waste management strategies by facilitating the segregating of waste at source and promoting the reuse / co-processing of products and materials.
The essential building blocks of a Smart city are:
- Development of effective broadband networks that support ICT and digital applications throughout the city.
- Deployment of embedded system, smart devices, sensors and actuators for real-time data management, alerts and information processing for the city administration.
- Providing Smart urban spaces that leverage ICT to deliver sustainable services like electric car charge points, energy-efficient buildings and Wi-Fi hotspots & information kiosks.
- Implementation of online services across different sectors including city environment, energy and transport services, security services, education and health services etc.
IGBC PLANNING GUIDELINES
The following guidelines are used as reference guidelines in India for planning of Eco town
- Site selection & planning
- Avoid Development of inappropriate sites
Do not develop buildings, roads or parking areas on portions of sites that meet any one of the following criteria:
- Within 150 m of any wetland or restrict development from wetlands as per regulation laid by state /central authority.
- Land whose elevation is lower than the maximum observed flood levels or 100 year flood level, whichever is higher.
2. Soil erosion and control
Adopt measures listed below to control erosion, during construction and post occupancy:
- Implement soil erosion control measures confirming best management practices highlighted in the national building code of India.
- For areas where the top soil is fertile, remove, stack & protect the top soil from the development areas and reuse for landscaping. For areas where the top soil is not available, provide a detailed narrative justifying the site condition.
3. Preservation existing trees & water bodies
- Preserve at least 25% of the existing trees within the project.
- For every tree that is uprooted, plant at least 10 new saplings.
- In sites having water bodies, protect and restore 100% of the existing water bodies.
- Retain natural topography
- Retain at least 25% of the total site area with natural topography.
- Local fruits & vegetable produce
- Create growing spaces for fruit & vegetable requirements to cater the community needs.
- Urban heat island effect
- For footpaths,pathways, roads, surface parking and other non-impervious areas within the township, provide tree cover (within 5 years) or use light colored/ high Alberto materials (reflectance of at least 0.3) or open grid pavements.
^ Land use planning
^ Land use optimization
- Design residential & non-residential to meet the FSI/FAR prescribed by the existing local bye-laws. Wherever permissible under the law, explore opportunities to exceed the required FSI/FAR.
- Earmark at least 25% of the total built up area within the township as residential areas.
4. Basic amenities within the community
- For residential areas , provide minimum basic amenities as listed below, within 800 meters from the center of the residential sector:
* Super market/grocery & stationery shop
* Medical clinic
* Electricity/water bills payment centers
* Parks with walking tracks
* Sports club/ fitness center
* Coffee shop / restaurant
* Internet cafe
* Beauty salon
* Hardware shop
^ Provide minimum 4 basic amenities as listed below, within 2 km from the boundary of the sector :
* Post office/courier service
* Fire station
* Police station
* Community hall
5. Housing typologies
* Provide at least two of the following housing typologies within each sector:
* High income group(HIG)
* Middle income group(MIG)
* Low income group (LIG)
6. Green buildings
* Design green buildings within the project with appropriate green building rating systems, such as IGBC and LEED India.
^ Transportation planning
^ Long term transportation plan
Develop and implement a long term transportation plan that includes the following:
* Planning measures to control future traffic volumes.
* Measures to mitigate the impacts due to vehicular emissions.
* Strategies to incorporate public transportation facilities such as MRT, bus service etc.
7. Public transportation facilities
* Provide bus stops within a distance of 1.0 km from the center of the sector
* All bus stop facilities should be sheltered with adequate seating capacity and display of bus routes & timetables.
* Provide restroom (toilets) at alternate bus stops.
8. Eco-friendly transportation services
* Provide 100% intra- city Eco-friendly public bus shuttle services.
* Provide Eco-friendly refueling facilities (CNG, bio-fuel etc.).
9. Pedestrian network
* Design pedestrian networks between local transit facilities, residential, commercial and other developments.
* Provide shades for footpaths and pathways through tree cover for comfortable pedestrian access.
IGBC Green New Buildings Rating System
IGBC has set up the Green New Buildings Core Committee to develop the rating program. This committee consisted of key stakeholders, including architects, builders, consultants, developers, owners, institution, manufacturers and industry representatives. The committee, with adverse background and knowledge has enriched the rating system, both in its content and process.
The rating system has been developed based on materials and technologies that are presently available. The objective of IGBC Green New Building Rating System is to facilitate a holistic approach to create environment friendly buildings, through architectural design, water efficiency, effective handling of waste, energy efficiency, sustainable buildings, and focus on occupant comfort & well-being.
Some unique aspects addressed in this rating system as follows:
- Recognition for architectural excellence through integrated design approach.
- Recognition for passive architectural features.
- Structural design optimization with regard to steel and cement. This is a developmental credit. Projects are encouraged to attempt this credit, so as to help IGBC in developing baselines for future use.
- Water use reduction for construction. This is also a developmental credit.
^ Prospectus of a township to achieve sustainable development:
- The aim to attain Eco-friendly Township is to provide urban transportation, solid waste management and sewer water recycling. Energy efficient processes include climate responsive design practices, reducing dependence on natural resources, identifying the levels of minimum energy consumption and increasing the use of renewable power. Energy costing should include life cycle costing with an attempt to achieve 40%-60% reduction in energy cost. The water management for sustainable township consists of water conservation and net water positive projects. Use waste material in place of construction material to utilize the agriculture and industrial waste.
Benefits of Eco-friendly construction
The advantage of Eco-friendly construction over the traditional construction methods – more efficient use of energy and reduction of human impact on the environment. There will be a continued rise of energy consumption which exclusively depends on the burning of fossil fuel. There are sustainable and environmentally friendlier sources of energy too, however, less than one fifth of global energy is obtained from renewable sources. Reduced energy consumption automatically reduces their carbon footprint and helps reduce the human impact on the environment. In addition, green construction typically uses environmentally friendly materials and construction methods which are good for both the environment and human health. Eco friendly buildings are a safer and healthier place to live in, while their renovation or demolition reduces or eliminates exposure to potentially hazardous materials. The only disadvantage of Eco friendly construction is perhaps initially higher investment, especially if opting for the type that includes generation of energy on-site. However, the initially higher investment for an Eco friendly construction pays off in the long term and it is less expensive to own an environmentally friendly house than a conventionally built home. There are, of course, less expensive Eco friendly construction methods too and an environmentally friendly home is not necessarily significantly costlier than conventionally built homes.
The term Eco-cities or sustainable cities have broad definitions based on the principle of sustainable development. The IGBC green township rating system promotes the creation of diverse, connected, affordable, safe and healthy communities that enhance social interaction and ownership. This paper has discussed the way of developing an Eco -town. By waste management, finding efficiency and limiting use of natural resources an individual can increase sustainability.
- IGBC Green Township Manual
- IGBC Green New building rating system (version 3.0)
Prof. Subhro Chakraborty
HOD, Civil Engineering,
University of Engineering &Management (UEM), Jaipur
Prof. Paulami Das Choudhury
IGBC Co-Ordinator, Civil Engineering,
University of Engineering &Management (UEM), Jaipur