“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” Winston Churchill
Promoting and ensuring a healthy relationship with our eco-system and with our own selves is essential for a sustainable and vibrant tomorrow. Mankind, over the ages, has striven hard to maintain a cordial and meaningful relationship with fellow beings and with the wider eco-system. It essentially boils down to leading a comfortable, beautiful, secure, peaceful and happy life and, in the process, enabling others to lead meaningful lives. This mutual interdependence is the common bond which keeps the society running and remaining dynamic. Applying the same principle to the built environment, all our green structures, and certainly our ancient structures, have been designed and built fostering healthy relationship with nature; ensuring that panchabhutas and other vital ingredients have been kept in harmony with nature. In Indian ethos, buildings were not mere physical entities but a way of life. For instance, the courtyard provided an excellent avenue for social gatherings, family members used to huddle around the courtyard to share, learn, celebrate and bond together. Our ancestors worshipped precincts of buildings and treated them with great respect and sanctity. All said and done, buildings were a way of life, giving us the best, without any expectation in return. Vaastu Shastra was formulated centuries ago and practiced extensively. IGBC Green Building Rating Systems have evolved around this vital principle. All rating systems consciously promote a holistic approach, so as to engage and involve all the stakeholders, both culturally and emotionally. This gives one an opportunity to re-discover oneself and, in the process, enables one to appropriately connect with the external world. Rating systems provide measurable and verifiable performance of green buildings, helping the world to be a better place, ecologically, spiritually, socially and emotionally.
Ancient Architectural Practices
All the IGBC rating systems are based on the five elements (panchabhutas) of nature. They provide us the perfect blend of ancient architectural practices and modern state-of-the-art technological innovations. For instance, ancient green building concepts like jaali wall ensure proper day-lighting, induce cooling through compression and expansion and provide good natural ventilation. Many other ancient approaches like rain water harvesting, central courtyard and solid waste recycling have been consciously encouraged in IGBC Green Building Rating Systems.
Use of locally Available Organic Materials
Materials used in IGBC rated green buildings are mostly organic in nature. The sourcing of materials is done locally. This, in the process, enables the buildings to ‘breathe freely’ and also cause less harmful impact on the environment.
Promote a Fulfilling Life
All IGBC rated green buildings ensure abundant natural daylight, great aesthetics, green open spaces and much larger (than international norms) quantity of fresh air. Thus a positive connect is readily established with one’s self, and a sort of inner peace descends upon the occupants. This tranquility propels the person to gain greater insights and to develop profound perspectives on various aspects of life so as to derive greater fulfillment.
Health and Well Being
Addressing the quality of life and improving the well being of the occupants is an intrinsic part of IGBC rating systems. For instance, all the rating systems promote the welfare of construction workforce by providing safe and healthy working conditions. Similar facilitates are also extended to the occupants, which leads to improved productivity and an enhanced quality of life.
IGBC Green Building Rating encourages mutually compatible urban development within the project, to create sustainable habitat. It also provides the whole range of housing, from HIG to EWS types, thus encouraging social and economic mix within the society. IGBC Rating also encourages open spaces, which in turn enable flora and fauna to thrive and uphold the eco-system. Marc Kushner, architect says, “Buildings don’t just reflect our society, they shape our society down to the smallest spaces: the local libraries, the homes where we raise our children and the walk that they take from the bedroom to the bathroom”.
Positive Connect With Green Building Projects
Green Building projects enable establishing a positive connect among the project team members, to fully understand that each one of them is working for the cause of Mother Earth. This positive thread encourages healthy and positive relations and makes the process more meaningful and inspiring – thereby giving the best to the project.
IGBC rated green buildings, which serve as demonstration buildings, become part of that particular community and people eventually take pride in their accomplishments and a lasting bond is established. This becomes part of one’s personal experience.
Traditionally, buildings and structures were a way of life and continue to be so for the coming generations. Buildings in many ways have nurtured and consolidated human bonds and relationships. Buildings have shaped our perspective towards life and have enabled us to be rooted with their varying realities. It is imperative that this rich legacy is continued unabated to ensure ‘Building Relationships’ through Green Buildings.