Take architect Revathi Kamath’s house, for instance. Kamath, who is considered a pioneer of sorts in green architecture, has ensured that not a single resource is wasted in her house.The lovely mud structure, located in Anangpur village on the outskirts of Delhi, stands on what was once a quarry. She allowed the nearly ravaged topsoil to rejuvenate on its own, yielding an exquisite ecosystem around the house. With a sewage disposal system and all the arrangements for rainwater harvesting firmly in place, and a solar cooker to take care of all food needs, it’s no surprise that Kamath’s eco-friendly house is a zero carbon rating building.“Since the house is made of mud,” she says, “people think that it is a high-maintenance house. That’s not true at all—the only cost we have is to sustain labour. But even through that, we generate employment for people around here. As for the house, I just need take a sponge and rub the walls. At times, we rub a turmeric and sandalwood paste on the walls. This way, I can make do without toxic paints, and sandalwood also keeps the house cool.”
A green house is a win-win house. Not only are resources relieved of undue pressure, individuals too save on money by cutting down on maintenance and energy bills.According to a note on the green building movement by CII, energy savings from green buildings could range from 25 to 40 per cent, depending on the extent of green specifications. “Other tangible savings would be reduction in first costs and enhanced asset value. Intangible benefits of green buildings would include increasing productivity, occupants’ improved health, safety benefits and a green corporate image,” says Varalakshmi.Moreover, there are credits to be earned through various rating systems like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) that can actually be traded in the carbon market. “For instance, every resident gains Rs 12,000 on an annual basis, thanks to carbon credits savings in TZED homes,” says Srinivasan.