Eco-friendly homes come with additional costs…

KOCHI: It seems the mantra of ‘go green’ has struck gold and people are now keen to own houses that use non-toxic paints, burnt bricks, stones, wood and clay as construction materials. But to own an eco-friendly customized villa, designed in tune with nature, you should be willing to cough up over Rs 2 crore.

As people become conscious, they do not hesitate to invest huge amounts for buying a villa or an apartment that is advertised as eco-friendly. Such projects highlight features like rainwater harvesting and water recycling, organic waste management, use of thermally-conductive materials like burnt bricks, stone, wood and clay which reduce dependence on artificial temperature control, energy efficient lighting systems, provisions for adequate natural light and cross ventilation, terrace gardens and the like.

A reputed builder who launched eco-friendly projects said that a 2,700 sq ft 4 BHK villa with a two-car porch and seven cents would cost Rs 2.05 crore. Similarly a 1,450 sq ft 3BHK eco-friendly apartment will be available for Rs 62 lakh, a 1,700 sq ft apartment will cost Rs 72 lakh and 2,200 sq ft apartment will cost Rs 92 lakh.

“We have taken every possible measure to ensure that the water table is recharged. While the apartment complex has huge sump tanks to store water, the villas will have individual tanks. We have even tested the quality of underground water, and obtained certificates that it is potable,” said the representative of a builder.

However, architects said that concepts like eco-friendly buildings have just begun to catch up. They point out that few people were aware of the advantages. “It is not easy to communicate these ideas,” said architect Biley Menon.

“People often do not understand how certain building materials and tree cover helps in reduction of energy consumption. Investing in eco-friendly buildings is not a bad idea. Such concepts have to be incorporated during planning and pre-construction stage,” he said.

However, environmentalists said that eco-friendly projects could be constructed at much lower rates. Green activist Arun Thadagath said such projects would be a success ‘only if the use of steel, glass and cement could be kept at minimum. “We are yet to explore available indigenous technology,” he said.

Credits ET Realty

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