Real Estate Industry Moving Towards Sustainability
The theme of “Only One Earth” that was adopted for the Environment Day 2022 is more than just a theme- it is an awakening, and a realization that needs to be in all our minds.
As we made long strides of development in all sectors, we lost sight of the fact that we are burdening the earth. Our reckless use of resources damaged the environment, and only now are we realizing the severity and repercussions of it.
Sustainability in Real Estate
The real estate industry in India is a crucial economic driver. It presently contributes 6-7% towards the national GDP, and is the second largest employment generating sector. One of the main reasons that it has attained such importance is the fast-accelerating growth of the industry, which unfortunately led to it contributing to environmental degradation. As per statistics, the industry has a contribution of 36% in total energy usage, and of 39% in process-related CO2 emissions.
The world as a whole has been made aware of the damaging consequences that can come from ignoring the need for environmental preservation, and mindsets are now changing towards attaining sustainability in all spheres. Since real estate is such an important sector in India, it has also become a part of this emerging movement. The pandemic further acted as a wake-up call for everyone, since people began realizing the need for a healthy-living environment. The trends of real estate have now shifted towards implementing ‘green building’, which is based on the conservative use of resources. A lot of top developers around the country are making their projects with more regard to its effects on the environment. The aim of this approach is to ensure that the least amount of negative impact is exercised on the environment due to real estate development.
To enable this idea of green building, there are certain parameters that are being adopted in real estate constructions:
1. Sustainable Construction and Project Designs
Project designing and construction are now being undertaken with an objective to minimize energy and electricity wastage. Smart facades are being designed which can be used to limit the energy consumption of properties, because they sense the external environmental conditions and adapt themselves according to it. There has even been a switch towards greener construction mechanisms, which are more sensitive towards the environment in terms of energy consumption, resource usage and disposal and emissions.
2. Improved Utilization of Available Resources
The real estate industry in India has improved the use of resources, both natural and man-made. With respect to natural resources like water and solar energy, systems are being devised to preserve and harness them better. The man-made resources of building materials are being reused and recycled to avoid their wastage, and materials which do not exert a direct negative impact on the environment are being preferred.
3. Effective Waste Management
Waste management and composting systems have become an increasingly common addition to most developments, since untreated waste is a big challenge to the ongoing green initiative.
4. Promoting EV Infrastructure
Another significant change towards sustainable construction has been made by promoting Electric Vehicle (EV) infrastructure. Vehicular emissions are among the biggest contributors to pollution, and developers are now making EV charging stations in their projects. This easy accessibility to charging stations will work towards increasing the use of such vehicles.
These changes have been instrumental in achieving sustainable real estate development, and are transforming the industry to make it more environmentally conscious.
Technologies and Systems that are Enabling Sustainable Real Estate
In its journey towards achieving sustainability, the industry has been facilitated by certain technologies and systems:
1. Building Information Modelling (BIM)
This is a process based on 3D modelling which is helpful in visualizing and analyzing the design and structure of a building. In terms of sustainable real estate development, BIM has been effectively used for various purposes:
- Accurate Energy Modelling to reduce requirements, which will in turn lead to reduced costs
- Daylighting analysis
- Logistics and site management to reduce the carbon footprint
- Informed predictions regarding the quantity of raw materials needed, which has reduced wastage.
2. HVAC systems
HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. Real estate businesses are now adopting green HVAC systems, which use efficient and environment-friendly technologies to allow for the conservation of natural resources. Due to the energy efficiency attained through green HVAC systems, there has also been a reduction in utility bills.
How Consumer Sentiment has Influenced Sustainable Real Estate
The real estate market in India is shaped by the demands and preferences of consumers. Of late, there has been an increase in awareness regarding environment preservation. As more and more people are being exposed to the rising dangers of unsustainable practices, they have become more conscious in choosing such products and services that are sensitive to the environment. Consumers are now demanding properties that are constructed with a view to be energy and resource efficient, and they are also willing to pay premium amounts for such properties.
With the ever-changing market trends and consumer sentiments, it is essential for developers to remain apprised of the latest insights. BeyondWalls– an integrated PropTech ecosystem can help developers with this, by providing accurate market information, enabling them to plan their projects in accordance with this information, and eventually market and sell it effectively. It provides complete, end-to-end services for all real estate requirements.
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