India is making a rapid progress in terms of its infrastructure, and there have been many concerns raised by various sections regarding the repercussions on the environment. Therefore, the government and many private companies are now more aware of it and are concerned about the effects on the ecosystem.
According to the United Nations the implementation of sustainable development goals will depend on a global partnership for sustainable development with the active engagement of governments, as well as civil society, the private sector, and the United Nations system.
Therefore, taking a greener path to success, governments, the civil society and the private sector keeping in mind all the consequences from hazardous outcomes of global warming have come up with “environment friendly green technologies” which are being used in developing the infrastructure of India.
Environment friendly green technologies refer to infrastructure facilities that are environment-friendly and lead to sustainable development of cities. The idea behind green infrastructure is not only to reap economic benefits but also ecological ones.
In August 2015, Cochin airport became India’s first airport to run on solar power. It was set up by Bosch Ltd., Bangalore, and has a capacity to produce 18 million units of power annually. Laid across 45 acres near the cargo complex the airport has photovoltaic (PV) panels. Making it sufficient for all its function through these panels the airport can avail 50,000 to 60,000 units of electricity per day. The airport has technically been made “absolutely power neutral.” It took six months to complete this 12MWp solar power project which cost Rs. 62 crore.
By expanding their infrastructure and upgrading the eco-friendly technology used for supplying modern and sustainable energy services, the airport has substantially increased the share of renewable energy and improved the rate of energy efficiency. This is all a big step by the Cochin airport towards contributing to the United Nations Sustainable goals of 2020.
Another such airport in India is the recently constructed Chandigarh international airport at Mohali which is the first airport in the country that is ‘totally green’. Larsen and Toubro (L&T) is the mind behind this innovative and eco-friendly airport, with green technologies like 55 lakh fly ash bricks, cavity walls, double insulated roofing, energy efficient chillers, and a sensor-based plumbing system to save water the terminal sets a new sustainability benchmark. The terminal has achieved a 4-star GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) rating.
This airport is spread over 53,000 sq. m and has used environment-friendly green technologies that makes it one-of-its-kind, not only in India, but also in the world.
The construction of the airport is done in such a way that no artificial lights would be required to illuminate it during the daytime. In order, to reduce the need for a large amount of air conditioning it also has a transparent façade with low heat-gain glass. To meet the major power needs of the building the rooftop of the terminal has a 200KW solar plant which is enough. Forty percent of the airport is illuminated with LEDs and the air-conditioning is fired by chiller efficient machines. The airport also has a sewage treatment plant with a capacity of 600 KLD, which is based on environment-friendly extended aeration technology.
The airport at Chandigarh is working towards the United Nations Sustainable goals of 2020 by facilitating access to clean energy research and technologies, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technologies, and has promoted investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technologies.
Globally to enhance the urban environment Germany is one country that has been a nest for the innovation and application of green technologies. The green technologies used include innovations such as green roofs, green facades, and permeable pavements. Germany has also seen a remarkable expansion of renewable energy in the last decade. In various green technologies Germany has a dominant market share.
As policymakers consider options for “green” economic transformation Germany’s experiences can provide a useful lesson for India as well as other nations. In lines of its alignment of prosperous and sustainable growth Germany has earned wide recognition for its success.
Then there is the Manuel Gea Gonzalez Hospital in Mexico City which was constructed in a 2,500 square meter facade that breaks down air pollutants when exposed to UV light. The honeycomb increases the surface area by 200% and allows the structure to neutralize the same amount of pollutants in one day that’s produced by 8,750 cars.
In addition, even the city of Milan is using a smog-filtering concrete facade to purify the air. The architecture firm Nemesi and Partners have produced an air-purifying structure in front of the Palazzo Italia. The concrete is made of 80% recycled materials and works by breaking down harmful pollutants into un-reactive salt molecules when exposed to UV light.
To help break down air pollutants in all major cities in India this would be a perfect start. This would help decrease pollution and smog and help in slowing down global warming,
With the growing infrastructure of India and given the times we live in, implementing such ideas and taking initiatives like these would lead to sustainability of the country. Cochin airport and the Chandigarh airport is a big step towards a smart, safe and healthy way to protect our environment.
Chandigarh International Airport
Picture source: google.co.in