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Old 11th June 2011, 09:27   #31
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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
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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Originally Posted by Fillmore View Post
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.
Quote:
Originally Posted by maddy42 View Post
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
Quote:
Originally Posted by gkrishk View Post
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
Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselFan View Post
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
Quote:
Originally Posted by deepaktpatil View Post
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
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
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.
@deep_bang, Fillmore, backseatdriver, thanks for your inputs, yes Solar power utilisation is a big To-DO on my list. Any not just for going green but for the simple practical reason that we are paying through our noses every month on electricity usage.

@Maddy42, yes I am looking into LED lighting as well as hybrid lighting but so far seeing pretty high initial costs.

@deepakpatil, your twocents are more than welcome ! Thanks.

Any inputs from anyone on good security systems and ideas for a secure home?

Thanks guys for all the great ideas coming in. Am targetting post monsoon commencement with next year Monsoon completion.

Heres a very preliminary thermacol prop up made by the architects for the finalisation of the drawings and details.

Cheers.
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Old 14th June 2011, 13:53   #32
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

@plimsollmark - All the best for your project.

I hope you don't mind me discussing this on your thread since it is related.
On the Soakpit.

Had some queries to anyone who has implemented the same / experts.

- Do you have to incorporate any filters prior to letting water into the soak pit ?
- If you connect the bath room / Kitchen outlet to the soakpit is it safe ?

Thanks
Fillmore
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Old 15th June 2011, 18:07   #33
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@Fillmore thanks for your good wishes.. Will have to check on the Soakpit and get back to you .. Am traveling to join my ship and presently in Rio waiting for the ship.

Hope the good ideas keep coming in as I plan to start at the end of my next vacation... ! 
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Old 16th June 2011, 14:37   #34
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

Team-bhp doesnt stop to amaze me. I never thought I would find a thread like this here. So much information on this thread about something completely unrelated to cars.

@plimsollmark
Kudos to you to emabrk on this eco journey. Not many have the time or care about this when they construct houses. Aircons are the norm for many, they are least bothered about the costs. Good for you to be different. Wishing you all the best with the construction. Read in your first post that your wife is with you in this idea, this is a big plus, believe me two minds working together can do wonders.

We are planning to construct a home in the next few years somewhere in Cochin, my home town. I want it to be as eco friendly as possible, and also keep the construction cost to the minimum. As the first step, we are now moved to Cochin and on the look out for a suitable land. The wealth of information shared on this thread so far is heart warming. Please do update the thread with your ideas and how the contruction goes. I am sure many would be insipred, I sure would be.

Will try and share some info I have gathered from some of the Malayalam 'Home' Magazines. All the best.
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Old 16th June 2011, 14:43   #35
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

You might want to consider a VermiComposting pit.

All the steps are available here:
ERF - VERMICOMPOSTING USING LOCAL VARIETIES OF EARTHWORMS

You can use locally and easily available items.

Disclaimer: Dr. SULTAN AHMED ISMAIL, M.Sc., Ph.D., D, Sc, Soil biologist and ecologist is my Uncle.
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Old 16th June 2011, 15:08   #36
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

Found the entire archive of Hindu Property Plus on the net all the way back to 2004. Scan through for ideas. link

Last edited by basilmabraham : 16th June 2011 at 15:09.
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Old 16th June 2011, 23:36   #37
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

Some ideas I can think of are:
- Solar panels for energy. St Joseph's college is making the switch to this, and I believe they are selling the excess energy back to the government.
- Solar Water Heater: The water is kept heated to 80 degrees
- Rain Water Harvesting
- I believe underground plumbing helps keep the water cool for A.C. and similar usage.
- Re-use the wood panels and furniture wherever possible
- Incorporate big glass areas, for those evenings which are cool. Natural air circulation is the best way to cut down on energy which you would otherwise spend on operating the A.C. and fans. Also, big glass areas provide natural light. This is one mistake we made with our house, but had a lot of limitations with the design.

These are just some of the ideas that came into my mind, from a discussion on constructing a new green office building. Today there are a host of companies coming up, providing international equipment, keen to make a change.

Last edited by lamborghini : 16th June 2011 at 23:38.
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Old 18th June 2011, 23:02   #38
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

@ plimsollmark,

Do check out this autoclaved aerated concrete blocks manufacturer.It's from your city.
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Old 19th June 2011, 21:27   #39
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

Quote:
Originally Posted by basilmabraham View Post
Team-bhp doesnt stop to amaze me. I never thought I would find a thread like this here. So much information on this thread about something completely unrelated to cars.

@plimsollmark
Kudos to you to emabrk on this eco journey. Not many have the time or care about this when they construct houses. Aircons are the norm for many, they are least bothered about the costs. Good for you to be different. Wishing you all the best with the construction. Read in your first post that your wife is with you in this idea, this is a big plus, believe me two minds working together can do wonders.

We are planning to construct a home in the next few years somewhere in Cochin, my home town. I want it to be as eco friendly as possible, and also keep the construction cost to the minimum. As the first step, we are now moved to Cochin and on the look out for a suitable land. The wealth of information shared on this thread so far is heart warming. Please do update the thread with your ideas and how the contruction goes. I am sure many would be insipred, I sure would be.

Will try and share some info I have gathered from some of the Malayalam 'Home' Magazines. All the best.
@basilmabraham, thanks, yes am looking forward to starting with some excitement and concern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
You might want to consider a VermiComposting pit.

All the steps are available here:
ERF - VERMICOMPOSTING USING LOCAL VARIETIES OF EARTHWORMS

You can use locally and easily available items.

Disclaimer: Dr. SULTAN AHMED ISMAIL, M.Sc., Ph.D., D, Sc, Soil biologist and ecologist is my Uncle.
@bblost, yes, from what i hear, vermicompost pit is now in any case mandatory in Pune.

Quote:
Originally Posted by basilmabraham View Post
Found the entire archive of Hindu Property Plus on the net all the way back to 2004. Scan through for ideas. link
@basilmabraham, thanks for the link. shall definitely go through this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamborghini View Post
Some ideas I can think of are:
- Solar panels for energy. St Joseph's college is making the switch to this, and I believe they are selling the excess energy back to the government.
- Solar Water Heater: The water is kept heated to 80 degrees
- Rain Water Harvesting
- I believe underground plumbing helps keep the water cool for A.C. and similar usage.
- Re-use the wood panels and furniture wherever possible
- Incorporate big glass areas, for those evenings which are cool. Natural air circulation is the best way to cut down on energy which you would otherwise spend on operating the A.C. and fans. Also, big glass areas provide natural light. This is one mistake we made with our house, but had a lot of limitations with the design.

These are just some of the ideas that came into my mind, from a discussion on constructing a new green office building. Today there are a host of companies coming up, providing international equipment, keen to make a change.
@lamborghini, thanks for your ideas, solar water heating is confirmed, so are large sized windows and skylights for natural lighting, am still investigating the feasibility of rain water harvesting for the Pune climate in a bungalow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rishab.k View Post
@ plimsollmark,

Do check out this autoclaved aerated concrete blocks manufacturer.It's from your city.
@rishab.k, thanks be sure to check this out.
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Old 27th June 2011, 18:54   #40
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

Hi,

check for Sourabha and rain water harvesting. A prof from IISc has constructed this house in Vijaynagar, Bangalore and do not get any water from 1998. This is gonna be my model when I construct my house
Eco-friendly home "Sourabha"

Hope this helps,

And, just a glimpse of what I am planning to build (I modelled it my own and no, I am not an engineer, just an astronomer from ISRO) made with sweethome3d...



Girish
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Old 27th June 2011, 22:17   #41
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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
Heres a very preliminary thermacol prop up made by the architects for the finalisation of the drawings and details.

Cheers.
Is that a Sunroof ? How will you tolerate summers?

Tip: In general following the movement of the sun, I would keep all large windows or french windows facing north/north-west and keep any south side balconies shaded and any north side balconies like an uncovered terrace.


--Ragul
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Old 27th June 2011, 22:36   #42
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

do see laurie baker's work for ideas on a greener building. Green building concept (like the itc gurgaon) is quite a misnomer. First they create problems and then try to solve by using expensive materials and technology to get green credits. Indian system of construction is a fairly green and eco sensitive system without much dependence on manufactured goods, but on raw materials that are used in situ.

I am an architect and building rural schools where there is no electricity. We design with the objective that no tube light or fan will be used in the school (though they are provided as mandatory) Schools are well lit and well ventilated.

So its important to have a good design than think of the superficials like rain water harvesting or led lights or solar panels etc. these can be implemented at any stage. The design if wrongly done cannot be redone (without major costs). For me the design is a non negotiable, every thing else can be worked around it.

Discuss these issues with your architects. From the model, it seems that your house will be like any other "contemporary" design. The ancient practise of having courtyards was also to enable low pressure areas inside the house so that air from outside could be brought in.

Apologies in case i have offended anyone. Well I am an architect, so i couldnt stop.
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Old 28th June 2011, 09:51   #43
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

I actually saw something quite interesting to further help reduce energy costs and usage. On my flight back from the States, there was an ad for this this European company - Shuco. They have windows, with inbuilt solar panels or something (the ad was not very clear) to cut down on energy usage. This is something you could consider in addition to solar panels on the roof. However, if you do so, get it on windows that will get the most sunlight during the day.
Here's their website: Schüco - Clean Energy from Solar and Windows

I am also trying to find out more information about this company, and its products as it sounds interesting.
Also, I read about Solar street lights, and a solar water pump which you could consider. As my father is interested in re-doing his office in a few years, we have started looking at green options as well.
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Old 28th June 2011, 22:34   #44
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

How about this-

Farmer making state's first mud house colony - Times Of India

from your description, the plot seems to be in an open area, ideal for that kind of venture. Must give it a thought!
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Old 29th June 2011, 00:06   #45
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Default Re: Constructing a bungalow - Looking for inputs for a "greener" home

Quote:
Originally Posted by shivmarwaha View Post
So its important to have a good design than think of the superficials like led lights or solar panels etc. these can be implemented at any stage. The design if wrongly done cannot be redone (without major costs). For me the design is a non negotiable, every thing else can be worked around it. .
Dear plimsollmark,

I completely agree with shivmarwaha. While I have no intention of generalizing / demeaning any innovation or technology, I would request you (through your architect) to delve a bit deeper than the oft-used 'fashionable' devices for building a a green home. To get to the heart of the art, you have to first get the fundamentals of green homes right:
The three most important criteria for a TRUE green building are:

1) Least adverse impact on the environment while building the house. This will mean, use of material which is locally manufactured AND most suited to the local micro-climate, as far as possible. Transportation alone, can hugely add to the structure's ecological footprint. Material commonly used in traditional homes in any region, is always friendlier to the climate of that region. Your architect can help you with specifics, as this is a general guideline.

2) Least adverse impact on the environment while planning the house. The right kind of plan / layout will go a long way in ensuring that your house stays green through its lifespan. Windows located in the east / north help, while those in the south / west should be avoided. A courtyard will definitely help in naturally taking hot air out of the house, as will tall windows with ventilators and cross-ventilation. Thicker / insulated walls in the south and west will help. Besided these basics, there are many criteria with regard to planning / locations of rooms, which can be discussed in detail.

3) Least adverse impact on the environment while using the house. This is where active technologies come into play. Before you get into gadgets like solar panels, windmills, et al, do consider the following: Simple ways to harvest rainwater, will keep your groundwater levels "charged". Recycle your kitchen drain water for toilet flushing, gardening, and such tasks. Incorporate a compost-pit to create garden fertilisers from your wet waste. Remember, the fundamental thought for green living is "Take the least, waste the least". When you learn to recycle your resources, you will automatically "take the least" from outside - get it ??

If you follow these basic guidelines, and incorporate what you can right at planning stage, you won't have as much need for fancy and expensive gadgets. Many so-called eco-friendly gadgets claim to be cheap to run, but go deeper and understand the REAL cost-benefit ratio. Most gadgets in their manufacturing stage itself, leave such a HUGE negative environmental impact, that they negate their very existence. Check whether you really need these.

Just my thoughts garnered from years of experience - sorry if I rambled on, but like shivmarwaha, I too am an architect, so I too couldn't stop.
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