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Green Building Congress 2012: Green communities for all

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As in the previous years, the 2012 Green Building Congress in Hyderabad too turned out to be a serious forum for all those practitioners of green building design and construction. The annual conference and exhibition is a platform where sustainable building education and training are given equal importance. The event has played a major role in keeping the momentum of green building movement all over the country.

On the opening day, B. Sam Bob, IAS, Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Government of Andhra Pradesh said that the State government always had sustainable economic development high on its agenda. With initiatives such as Integrated Novel Development in Rural Areas and Model Municipal Areas, Jala Yagnam, Rajiv Gruha Kalpa, Solar Policy and Solar Villages, State Action Plan on Climate Change for Andhra Pradesh, organising COP 11, etc, the State is committed to sustainable development to protect vulnerable sections of society from adverse affects of climate change.

Jamshyd N Godrej, Chairman, CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, stated that the next focus would be on rural areas. “There is a growing need to integrate the demand for rural electrification with the growing energy needs to mobile tower operators through decentralized renewable energy solutions. This would call for industry and state partnerships.” The Centre is working on another project aimed at providing recommendations to the state governments on West Bengal, Odisha and Tamil Nadu for fiscal instruments to facilitate low carbon development for long term sustainable growth.”

Dr. Prem C Jain, Chairman, Indian Green Building Council, announced, “India stands one amongst the top 5 countries in the world, in pursuing the Green path. Today, we have a variety of Green Buildings coming up in the country- airports, banks, convention centres, educational institutions, factories, hospitals, hotels, IT Parks, offices, residential, schools, SEZs, townships and many other building types.”

The event also witnessed the launch of the Indo- Swedish Cleantech Innovation Platform which is a partnership between Swedish Energy Agency, the representatives of the National Innovation Council and the Confederation of Indian Industry- Green Business Centre. Technological development and Innovation has been a key area for Indo-Swedish partnerships. India-like the rest of the world is growing in terms of urban populations and as consequence there is a surge in demands on energy intensive industries and services.

The two winning teams of the Green Design contest – Ranjith Kumar KN and Cibi. V, School of Architecture & Planning, Anna University, Chennai and Subhodeep Maji and Anirman Maiti, Bengal Engineering and Science University, Howrah received a prize money of 20,000 each for their innovative design on the theme ‘Green Cities’.

The session on “Sustainable habitat for all communities by 2025” looked at the need for the governments, architects and industry bodies to work together to make the green building movement a success. Neerabh Kumar Prasad, Metropolitan Commissioner, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) said that the City has been planning initiatives to ensure that water, energy and space are considered together in order to reduce carbon footprint.

NVS Reddy, Managing Director, Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd., stated that the goal of the metro rail in Hyderabad was to provide an integrated means of transport. The plan also includes skywalks under the elevated rails and bicycle tracks that will help to lower carbon emissions. SP Gon Chaudhuri, Member, Tripura State Planning Board, pointed out that , it was essential to concentrate on rural areas and equip people there with knowledge on how to capture solar energy for their needs and to design their homes to allow adequate daylight to enter.

Green – I Contest 2012

The 6th edition of the Green-I contest (the winners received their prizes at GBC) scaled new heights this year when it reached out to hundreds of schools in over 30 cities across India in its effort to create awareness and encourage school students to think about conservation and the environment. This year, the Green-I contest 2012 encouraged school student participants to look beyond their school compounds. The brief given to the participants stated that they had to identify initiatives/projects/programs/campaigns for their neighbourhood, create environmental awareness, encourage green practices within the community and help reduce the community’s impact on the environment.

The participants also had to indicate how they would use the Green-I grant money of 750,000 towards these initiatives/projects/programs/ campaigns to effect environmental change in their neighbourhood. After a tough selection from school all across the country, five schools were shortlisted. Of these, the Vasant Valley School, New Delhi, was adjudged as the winning school. They were given a grant of 7.5 lakhs towards the development and implementation of their green neighbourhood ideas within their school community including the Dalit Ekta Camp and nearby colonies.

The task of selecting the winning team went to an esteemed judging panel including Dr. P.C.Jain, Chairman Indian Green Building Council; Dr Vinod Ganesh, Head of Department – Architecture, JNTU School of Planning & Architecture, Hyderabad; Farida Tampal, State Director, AP State Office & Coordinator EPCG, WWF-India and K Balakrishnan, Director – Government Policy and Regulatory Affairs (Commercial Companies- India), UTC India Pvt Ltd.

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