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» The Green Side of Architecture
Walking by the alleys of the palatial guesthouse of Rajkumari Ratna Singh of Pratapgarh, one could not miss the sparkle in her eyes as she fervently showed around her 17th century Baradari styled palace built on the banks of Yamuna. The picture clad structures as trivial as walls and ceilings invite to the old world charm and yet one cannot help but commend the intelligence of the architect.

The thick walls and high ceilings maintained a moderate temperature inside the building and the proud Eucalyptus trees shielded the palace’s soil from eroding into the Yamuna. Overall, they served a common purpose- Sustainability. Even today, in an age endowed with electricity and the best of building technologies, the importance of Sustainability cannot be undermined. Popularly named as Sustainable Architecture or Green Architecture, it is undoubtedly one of the best modes that can help protect environment for our future generations.

The innovations in construction and material sciences have given way to build structures in the most efficient manner with a minimal impact on environment. By striving to keep these buildings sustainable in new and creative ways, architects and designers have successfully erected structures that reflect a growing sense of stewardship for the environment. They have found solutions to problems such as water runoff, heating and cooling energy consumption, construction waste and water waste, among other issues. These buildings span different climes such as hot, cold and humid and the materials and designs are tailored according to needs.

Sustainable architecture is one of the avenues where environmental concerns overlap with creative expression. The materials used for building include unconventional renewable resources, like bamboo, and recycled waste from construction. For example, green building experts recommend cork as a practical and sustainable material because it is obtained without needing to cut down the tree from which it grows.

There was a time when green building was seen as a newfangled fad for the rich. On the contrary, it turns out that going green might actually save money. Green building construction can be little pricey up front- Studies have shown that sustainable buildings cost only about 2 percent more to build than traditional buildings do. However, the money spent initially could come trickling back in the form of lower water and electricity bills. The technique of solar harvesting may help to elucidate this- lights throughout the building are equipped with sensors that detect when a room is empty or when sunlight is sufficient, in which case the sensors would trigger the lights to shut off, thus avoiding unnecessary wastage of energy.

Though our predecessors had realized their need much earlier, the applications of sustainable architecture rested only with chosen few. In current times, whether one wants to reduce ecological footprint, is interested in architectural trends or just wants to cut down on energy bills, Sustainable Architecture shows the road ahead. With exhaustion of non renewable sources of energy at alarming rates, it won’t be too long when communities realize the benefits of green building, thereby making it a norm.
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