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Site Selection and Development for green building

Er. Parbhakar Dwivedi
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1.1 Site Selection

The intent of this criteria, in awarding requisite number of points for green building rating, is to check the uncontrolled growth of urbanization by sacrificing natural habitats of local species of plants and animals and green lands used for farming. The following steps and precautions will help while selecting the land:

a. It should not be fertile land used for farming.

b. It shall not fall under land specified by Wildlife Institute of India.

c. Development plan and various regulations shall be consulted and use pattern allowed there shall be strictly followed.

d. The land shall also comply with coastal zone regulations, heritage area regulations and water body zone regulations.

e. In order to cheek the infrastructure development requirement, it will be a simple technique to select the land which is nearer to, say within half to one kilometer radius of an existing market place bus stand, railway station, school, colleges and metro station.

1.2 Protection of Landscape

a. Comply with the provisions of NEC, Part 10 Protection of Landscape during Construction.

b. Top soil of an area is very important for growing local plant species. Hence this should be protected all throughout the construction. It may not be washed off by storm water runoff and/or wind erosion. This wash off can cause choking of drains and sewers due to sedimentation. Various techniques are in force like contour trenching, mulching and soil stabilization methods.

c. Construction activity shall be so timed that external digging and development work gets finished either before rain or is started after rains. During rain period, internal work can be carried out. In addition, effective sedimentation and erosion control measures shall be taken to prevent soil erosion.

d. Segregation bins to prevent mixing of waste and spilling on the site shall be provided. This also helps in treatment of waste and their final disposal as per guidelines. This also helps in efficient circulation of man and material on site.

e. A very important point which can help protect environment is by preserving existing mature trees or transplanting them at a different location. Regulation specifies to compensate the loss of trees by planting new trees in the proportion of 1:3 out of which 25% can be planted within the site premises.

1.3 Development of Site

a. Once the site has been selected, the architectural designs shall ensure to harness the wind and solar energy so as to minimise dependence on air conditioning and artificial lighting. This is what we see in old monumental buildings where enough of air movement and lighting was allowed to give comfortable environment to the occupants.

b. The direction and orientation of a building has a great bearing in achieving thermal and visual comfort. VAASTU designs were simple architecture of olden times to trap the resources of nature for one's advantage. Table 15.2 shows the solar radiation in summer and winter for various latitudes. It is evident that radiation is maximum in east and west while it is minimum in North and south. It is thus obvious that building shall be so oriented that.

Total solar radiation (direct plus diffused) incident on various surfaces of buildings in W/m2/day for summer and winter seasons

Orientation (1) (2) 9°N (3) 13°N (4) 17°N (5) 21°N (6) 25°N (7) 29°N (8) Latitude
North Summer Winter 1494 873 1251 859 2102 840 1775 825 2173 802 1927 765
North-East Summer Winter 2836 1240 2717 1158 3144 1068 3092 1001 3294 912 3189 835
East Summer Winter 3344 2800 3361 2673 3475 2525 3598 2409 3703 2211 3794 2055
South-East Summer Winter 2492 3936 2660 3980 2393 3980 2629 3995 2586 3892 2735 3818
South Summer Winter 1009 4674 1185 4847 1035 4958 1117 5059 1112 4942 1350 4981
South-West Summer Winter 2492 3936 2660 3980 2393 3980 2629 3980 2629 3995 2735 3818
West Summer Winter 3341 2800 3361 2673 3475 2525 3598 2409 3703 2211 3794 2055
North-West Summer Winter 2836 1240 2717 1158 3144 1068 3092 1001 3294 912 3189 835
Horizontal Summer Winter 8107 6409 8139 6040 8379 5615 8553 5231 8817 4748 8863 4281

Source: National Building Code-2005

Its usable areas are in the north and with sufficient shades in south directions to get maximum sunlight while less used areas like store, staircase, bathroom, etc. are placed in west directions.

c. The usage of glass has increased manifolds in recent times for giving a neat external appearance to the building and basically to use it as a marketing tool. Customer identifies the neatness of exterior of the building with sparkling glass without realizing the environmental concerns associated with its usage. Glass allows radiation heat through it requiring more air conditioning which is the biggest power consumer in the building segment. The glare inside the building becomes too high and is controlled by providing venetian blinds or other light dampening devices which could have been avoided in addition to high air conditioning load. Buildings of earlier period.

d. Steps can be taken to reduce hard paving at the site. Hard paving increases the heat island effect by absorption of heat by hard paved surfaces. This increases the surrounding temperature. At best, shaded hard paved surfaces can be provided. Net imperviousness of the site shall not exceed the factor prescribed by NBC 2005, Part 9 Plumbing services.

e. Total surface parking shall be within the local byelaws prescribed limits. Paving shall be pervious, open grid or grass paver, can be shaded, or made of material finish having high solar reflectance, say 0.5 or higher. Carpool can be promoted by providing preferred parking, providing alternate fuel vehicles such as those run on CNG and alternative fuel-stations.

f. Safety, sanitation, clean drinking water, urinals and toilets shall be provided for construction workers as prescribed in NBC 2005 and other codes.

g. The construction activity creates lots of dust in the atmosphere which is an area of concern for people working in surrounding areas. The air pollution shall be avoided by taking adequate measures.

h. Development foot print can be reduced even beyond the limits imposed by local bye-laws

i. Natural water flow slopes shall be disturbed to a minimum, due to construction activity and imperviousness shall be increased.

j. Reduce night sky pollution due to light. Use light fixtures which reduce sky glow, improve night sky visibility through glare reduction. Reduce lighting power densities for exterior lighting below that defined in ASHRAE and IESNA standards.

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