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Kerala begins work on green buildings

According to reports,the Kerala State Housing Board is set to launch limited scale commercial ventures to build 60 environment-friendly apartments in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. Part of the Board’s latest initiatives , the apartments will be set up on land it owns in Panampilly Nagar in Kochi and Ambala Nagar in Thiruvananthapuram.

The Board has applied for Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (Griha), the national rating system for green buildings developed by The Energy Research Institute and the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy. Though green houses cost up to 10 per cent more than conventional ones, they provide long-term benefits such as energy and water savings. The Kerala Government has allotted Rs 1 crore towards preliminary work on the project. When completed, these projects will be the first set of green living apartments in the State to be built by a government agency, Mr James Jacob, Housing Commissioner and Secretary of the Board, said. The Board is also planning to go to the market with detailed plans for the green building project to raise funds from potential buyers, he said.

Green buildings use resources efficiently and save on costs while creating a healthier environment. However, measuring how much is saved needs technical analysis, he said.

On the Kochi project, he said that 18 flats in nine stories having luxury facilities are coming up with the green building parameters. A swimming pool, a bio-mass reactor, paved yard , solar panel , rain-water harvesting, pedestrian walk way are the connected facilities. The built-up area will range from 1,890 sq. ft to 2,254 sq ft. The construction will be carried out under a newly formed division of the Board, he added.

Referring to other residential projects, he said the Board had also implemented ‘Saphalyam’ scheme in various panchayats in the State to provide residential flats to the poor. The objective of the Government is to provide 10,000 houses within a year.

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