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Old 8th June 2011, 11:26   #16
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

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Originally Posted by plimsollmark View Post
Hi Guys,

I am looking to start construction of my bungalow in the next few months.

In a nutshell, its a 45 sq yd plot on which the home footprint would be about 20 Sq yards.
Both me and my wife are of the opinion that we must try and make the house as environment friendly as possible, and it shd be beautiful architecturally instead of jazzing it up with lavish fitments and furnishings. While the legal paperwork is in progress I am in the process of doing as much research as I can, some of which is the following -
1. Energy saving and relatively ecologically friendly ideas
2. Ways to enhance security (It will be a standalone house in a group of freehold plots)
3. Alternative ideas for cooling
4. Ideas for a low maintenance garden
5. Ideas for parking of vehicles as I wont be making a basement or stilt level.
6. Any ways to incorporate some form of pest control during construction
7. Low cost flooring options
8. Ideas for incorporating a courtyard and/or a watercourt, recirculation/filtering of water in the watercourt...
8. Much more that I probably havent even thought of !

Any inputs from fellow BHPians who have been through this or generally have something to share will be most welcome.

Cheers

Nikhil

(Mods, if necessary please move this topic in the correct section. Thanks)
Nikhil,
I recently bought a flat and renovated it. Some ideas about going green apart from LED lighting, water reuse etc.
1. Used/antique furniture - All furniture is mostly made of wood or wood products so re using them would be ECO friendly
2. Reclaimed wood flooring - This is not as inexpensive as you would want it to be but is made from timber obtained from demolished buildings
3. Re use doors and windows from old buildings - this is self explanatory.
4. Atthangudi tiles - These are hand made in the Chettinad region of Tamilnadu apart from providing employment to rural artisans they also are very low in energy consumption and also keep the home cooler in summers.
Some pictures: My way of going green
1. Atthangudi tiles
2. A reclaimed teakwood cane sofa
3. An old swing
4. Reclaimed wooden flooring
5. A pair of old reclaimed pillars and a beam
6. A rosewood crockery cupboard made from 2 old cupboards
7. Atthangudi flooring, old 4 poster bed, old dressing table, old writing table and a laundry box
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Old 8th June 2011, 12:19   #17
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

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Originally Posted by ssingri View Post
Nikhil,
I recently bought a flat and renovated it. Some ideas about going green apart from LED lighting, water reuse etc.
1. Used/antique furniture - All furniture is mostly made of wood or wood products so re using them would be ECO friendly
2. Reclaimed wood flooring - This is not as inexpensive as you would want it to be but is made from timber obtained from demolished buildings
3. Re use doors and windows from old buildings - this is self explanatory.
4. Atthangudi tiles - These are hand made in the Chettinad region of Tamilnadu apart from providing employment to rural artisans they also are very low in energy consumption and also keep the home cooler in summers.
Some pictures: My way of going green
1. Atthangudi tiles
2. A reclaimed teakwood cane sofa
3. An old swing
4. Reclaimed wooden flooring
5. A pair of old reclaimed pillars and a beam
6. A rosewood crockery cupboard made from 2 old cupboards
7. Atthangudi flooring, old 4 poster bed, old dressing table, old writing table and a laundry box
First of all, hearty congratulations for such am amazing, sober and classy home you have.

Some amazing work there... I completely second the thought here that reusing materials is in a big way part of eco-designs. And considering your home looks so adorable, I don't think there is any compromise in terms of aesthetics, etc.

I too have heard of reclaimed wood flooring and antique furniture. Apart from being eco-friendly due to savings in wood and trees, they are usually of better strength considering newer factory made modular furniture hardly live up their age whereas some of these antique wooden stuff lives on for centuries, literally.

Last edited by akhilesh51 : 8th June 2011 at 12:21.
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Old 8th June 2011, 14:04   #18
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

Do visit any of the remaining old bungalows( pre- independence era) in your area or nearby areas. These olden day bungalows have lot of eco-friendly practices unique to that particular locality. Then add up modern eco-practces like LEDs, Solar heaters, etc and you can come up with an amazing new eco-bungalow.

And please don't use any material for construction which has to be tranported 1000s of miles across the country. That defeats the very purpose of eco-friendly.

If possible also avoid painting your home. Instead choose materials that have a
close relation to your favourite color palette.

Also don't buy any stuff that is cheaper but has to be replaced after 5 years.
Quality stuff that lasts longer means less wastage and in a way eco-friendly.
As Ssingri has suggested try to buy used stuff like window frames, etc.

And don't forget the traditional 'Water well' plus a good motor. Apart from having better water quality than a borewell, it will have less strain on the water table in your area.

Also do visit BCIL: World's First Platinum Rated Green Residences, Zero Energy Development Apartments, ZED Homes, ZED House Plans, ZED flats, | Be the Change for ideas
and also other natural idea propagators like auroville foundation.

And advance wishes for your Bungalow to be featured in Home and Lifestyle magazines for it's eco-friendly nature.

Last edited by Daewood : 8th June 2011 at 14:32.
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Old 8th June 2011, 14:14   #19
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

Put a turbine exhaust on the top and plan your construction in such a way that heat can can be dissipated from most rooms using the exhaust. This way you can avoid/minimize usage of AC. I guess you can get turbine exhausts that use wind energy to rotate. Only worrying factor would be noise level. Don't know how practical they are for houses, but I've seen one of those on top of the small building adjoining the shell petrol pump at Hinjewadi, Pune.

If you can manage a lot of open space above the hall (verandah type), you can save on ventilation ducts for the turbine exhaust.

http://www.twinprogroup.net/turbine_exhaust/index.html

AC usage long term results in huge bills and is not environment friendly at all. I'll do my small bit for a greener world by not using AC as far as possible, if I can.

Pradeep

Last edited by pradkumar : 8th June 2011 at 14:33.
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Old 8th June 2011, 15:28   #20
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

For construction you could look at using hollow clay blocks, provided you get a good mason who can lay them.
The company claims its stronger than cement blocks

Benefits are
- No paint
- No plastering
- Better thermal insulation
- Eco friendly look and feel

Ref: http://www.wienerberger.in

Last edited by Fillmore : 8th June 2011 at 15:29.
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Old 8th June 2011, 16:52   #21
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

@Ssingri and Daewood, thanks for your suggestions.

@Pradkumar, have found an alternate called breezair to the AC or other options. See link
ó Breezair India :: Evaporative Air Cooling Systems

@Fillmore, sounds good, shall check whether these are available and feasible.
Have to keep in mind that I simply cannot overlook costs, yes some initial setup costs will be higher for eco-friendlier options but they too have to be within certain limits.

Cheers

Nikhil
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Old 8th June 2011, 20:21   #22
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

First of all, unless the builder is able to understand your ideas, you may not really be able to do all the eco friendly solutions. So, try to find a good architect as several have suggested.

I know a couple of them in Bangalore, but I am not sure how open they will be work for the Pune site. I am sure there should be many in Pune too.

Some technologies:
1. Using hollow clay blocks. Weinerberger is a german company, but frankly, locally made Indian blocks are also pretty good if you are fine to go with a rustic look.

Why is this eco friendly: Cement industry is pretty heavy on energy usage, and so, you save all this.
Painting cost is far less.

2. Use of stone to enhance the look as well as make it eco friendly.
Again painting cost is less, which means you are making it more eco friendly.

3. Use of tall windows, which reach all the way up to the ceiling and which have a small ventilator on the top. This allows hot air which moves up in the room to escape via the ventilators. Cooler air will come through the windows.

reference: The Hindu : FEATURES / PROPERTY PLUS : In praise of tall windows

4. Any good architect should plan for cross ventilation for good air flow. Good airflow means, no need to use AC. Well, personally i feel buildings can be designed to never need AC - after all most of us grew up in non- ac envirnoments and it was pretty comfortable then due to our building designs.

5. Use of hollow clay blocks in the south west portions specially to reduce heat gain.

6. Painting the roof white to reflect heat.

7. Having a layer of hollow clay blocks under the top most roof, which again creates a layer of air, and this reduces heat propogation from the roof.

The property plus section in The Hindu has several Green initiatives. Search through them. Again, without the right architect, i dont think its possible to execute these ideas easily. I am constucting a house right now, and if you need my architect's contact in Bangalore, PM me.
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Old 8th June 2011, 20:35   #23
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

I was unable to edit my last post, but here are some more:

1. Attangudi tiles are a great natural replacement. These tiles are hand made, and as such very low on energy usage. Vitrified tiles on the other hand are very high on energy consumption (while manufacturing).

However, Tiles are a much debated topic, so my personal feeling is that one should go for what one likes.

2. Rain water harvesting is a must. There is a house in Bangalore which runs on ONLY rain water. It does not even have a regular water connection or borewell, and the owner says he has been using rain water for a few years now. The secret is to have a large enough sump to store enormous amount of water.
However, you dont need to go to those extremes (unless you want to), but reducing your consumption by 1/2 of normal or so would be a great step.

3. Using grey water would be a good idea, however, it has its own challenges.

4. Using econo-flush type of commodes. They kind of create a suction type of effect when flushed, and the net result is a lower amount of water consumption.

5. Solar water heater.

6. Solar UPS (this is a new concept, but something one needs to think about). If anyone has seen products based on this, please update. I thought some company (MSIL i think) had introduced Solar UPS in Bangalore - but it was probably 2 to 3 years ago and it did not catch on that well due to the initial cost.

7. LED lights are quite expensive right now. However, their life is more than 50000 hours, and will easily outlast more than 10 CFL's. However, the LED industry is still very nascent, and you may not really find the products that you like.

As far as i can say, LED lights are available for spot lighting applications easily. For regular lightling, i have not seen it as yet - if anyone can throw some light on it, that would be great. even i am on the lookout for some LED lights that are not just show pieces, but actually for functional use.
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Old 9th June 2011, 08:29   #24
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

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Originally Posted by deep_bang View Post

6. Solar UPS (this is a new concept, but something one needs to think about). If anyone has seen products based on this, please update. I thought some company (MSIL i think) had introduced Solar UPS in Bangalore - but it was probably 2 to 3 years ago and it did not catch on that well due to the initial cost.
You can check with Tata BP Solar
Tata BP Solar

They have a lot of Solar Energy based offerings from which you can choose to suit your need and budget.
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Old 9th June 2011, 10:33   #25
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

LED lighting is getting bigger in the US housing industry. Incadescent are being replace by 2014 and CFL may save power but is not good to dispose off.

CREE | LEDs for the LED Lighting Revolution
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Old 9th June 2011, 13:35   #26
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

Please see

Your Home Design Guide - Home Page

this is a large site with a lot of advice on ecological buildings. Site advice is for the southern hemisphere but can be adapted to our conditions. Tropical (north) Australia has a climate comparable to India.

Home Power Magazine: Solar | Wind | Water | Design | Build

an American magazine dedicated to solar power
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Old 9th June 2011, 16:57   #27
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

Areocon blocks are good load bearing blocks that can be used for construction. It gives good thermal and sound insulation too. details of the same are in the below link -
Aerocon Blocks Aerocon Panels
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Old 9th June 2011, 18:20   #28
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

plimsollmark, here are my two cents.

I think you should make sure that house plan and materials used support an eco-friendly leaving.

Please refer to below article about building a real eco-friendly home. It has no water connection. I was amazed to read about it and have book marked it since. If you search around you may get contact details for this person.

Joy of green living

If you decide to go for a architect Chitra Vishwanath is a very known name in Bangalore for building eco friendly houses. You will be able to find some more architects with some search. I would suggest you should consult them to leverage their experience and if budget permits their services.

Chitra Vishwanath - Architect based in Bangalore, India

Last edited by deepaktpatil : 9th June 2011 at 18:21.
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Old 10th June 2011, 14:33   #29
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

Quote:
Originally Posted by plimsollmark View Post

@Pradkumar, have found an alternate called breezair to the AC or other options. See link
ó Breezair India :: Evaporative Air Cooling Systems

Cheers

Nikhil
This to me seems to be a normal room cooler (or desert cooler) very common in north India. They are available in local brands as well as from Symphony, USHA-Lexus, Kenstar etc. This one does have better looks. Or am I missing something?
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Old 10th June 2011, 17:25   #30
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Default Some tips

1. do not send water from kitchen / bathrooms to the public drainage system. Instead, send them into soak pit(s) - each capable of holding about 3-4 time water used per day.

2 Use ground water for gardening, car wash, and flushing.

3. Keep 1 and 2 as far as possible.

You have best natural waste recycling plant. Just remember to use eco friendly detergents and soaps.

I have seen people building huge windows, closing them with glass and curtains and then using an aircon for cooling. Some are more rational - they simply wall up the bedrooms and deptnd entirely on aircon.

Here is a better thing to do - visit your plot multiple times of day, multiple times of the year. Check which wind is blowing each time. Keep the bedrooms towards the wind side and kitchen on the far side. (that is basic of Vaastu Shastra for you).

And yes - integrate solar water heater and electric panels into the structure. My guesstimae is that a solaw paner <> battery <> inverter powered security and common area lightning system will be less costly in the long term.
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