India: first green township coming up at Electronics City

Bangalore will be pioneering the country’s first township according to the globally accepted norms of a green building. A green building is a structure that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout its life-cycle.

 Spread over 120 acres, this environment-friendly project named NeoTown is being executed by Patel Realty and will find its home at Electronics City, South Bangalore.
NeoTown has met the criteria laid down by the Indian Green Building Council. IGBC guidelines include preservation of existing trees and water bodies, energy efficiency in infrastructural equipment, reduction of construction waste, recycled content and innovation in design and technology. IGBC is a national-level body that certifies green buildings and green townships. Townships seeking IGBC’s green rating can be predominantly commercial, industrial or retail and should necessarily earmark 25 per cent of their total built-up area for residential use.
Started in 2001, IGBC has put its approval seal on 295 buildings in India — covering 1.26 billion sq ft of green space. “As a thumb rule, green buildings tend to cost 10-12 per cent more than regular buildings. We have decided not to pass this extra cost to the buyers,” claims Pravin Malkani, managing director, Patel Realty.
So far, 2,000 residential apartments have been completed at NeoTown and 85 per cent of these have been sold.
When the project is completed by 2015 or 2017, there will be another 2,000-2,500 houses in the township. “Since we are retaining the extra cost, there is no question of payback for the buyers. In fact, they will save lots of money on water, power and fertiliser,” Malkani said.
Some of NeoTown’s features include an integrated rain-water harvesting system, sewage treatment plant, solid waste management, solar water heating, in-house nursery, and long-term tree planning.
Over one lakh trees have been planted and will be nourished by fertilisers made from human waste generated at the township. The township will depend on Bescom for its power needs and will be largely self-sufficient for its water requirement and sewerage treatment.
“Nearly 90 per cent of water needs will be met from our own sources,” Malkani said.
However, Zed Homes, a Bangalore-based builder, said houses developed by them would depend on Bescom for only 30 per cent of their power needs. Zed said it tries to minimise external dependency for all its infrastructure needs, including water and sewerage treatment.
Malkani said that building a township which is self-sufficient in power needs would be next to impossible.
Despite the massive size of NeoTown, not a single bucket of soil was moved out of the building site, claims Patel Realty.
Using bio-enzymes imported from South Africa, soil collected from the project has been converted into hard bricks that have been used for building walls and roads. These bricks, in turn, allow rainwater to be harvested more effectively.
Each of the 950-1,100 sq ft houses are retailed in the price band of Rs 45-60 lakh.
Source: Bangalore Mirror
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