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Kashmere Gate, Delhi - 110006
Kashmere Gate, Delhi

Dated: 11th January, 2010


DISSERTATION TITLE: “Can Buildings bring about Sustainable Development”

This following study is hereby approved as a creditable work on the approved subject, carried out and
presented in a manner sufficiently satisfactory to warrant acceptance as a pre requisite to the degree for
which it has been submitted.

It is understood by this approval that the undersigned does not necessarily endorse or approve any
statement made, opinion expressed or conclusion drawn therein but approves the study only for the
purpose for which it has been submitted and satisfies as per the requirements
requirement laid down by the dissertation

Ashok B.Lall Vinod Gupta

“Just as mankind has the power to push the world to the brink so, too, do we have
the power to bring it back into balance?”

- HRH The Prince of Wales addressing UN climate conference COP15, Copenhagen (December 2009)

In the RED or the in the GREEN…?

The typical Modern lifestyle, with its linear metabolism, puts us in the red on the
resources scales for future generations. To make the needle swing the other way
we must devise circular metabolisms using green principles.

As the dawn of the twenty-first

first century approaches, the current pattern of unsustainable, inequitable and

unstable asymmetric demographic and economic growth has forced many segments of society to come

together in facing a critical challenge: How can societies across the world meet their current basic human

needs, aspirations and desires, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own


The development path that we have been taking, in the past few centuries, has been ultimately detrimental to

the health of our surrounding ecological context. We are consuming an increasing share of the natural

esources available to us on this planet, and we are creating sufficiently large amounts of waste and pollution

.This is a result of a growing population as well as new technologies which make it easier for us to access

natural resources and also require the

the consumption of more resources. Unsustainable technology has been the

result of linear rather than cyclic thinking. The paradigm shift from linear to cyclic thinking in technological

design is the crux of the shift from unsustainability to sustainability.

The principal objectives of this paper are to present a brief overview of an overall framework for sustainability

and then to discuss the implications of the building design and construction industries. Strategies,

technologies, and opportunities are presented

pres to improve the sustainability of the built environment. But,

Achieving true sustainability will require a paradigm shift that brings together sustainable technologies for

built facilities along with lifestyle change which can bring about social change
change through sustainable patterns of


Keywords: Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology, Lifestyle Change, Green Lifestyle.


I would like to thank all the people who have helped me in the successful completion of my Dissertation. I

would like to express my in depthn

hness to my guide Dr. Vinod Gupta for his guidance throughout this

Dissertation. I am also grateful to Prof. Ashok B. Lall for helping me to explore a viable topic for my

research and for his guidance at various stages of my work.

I would also like to thank all the faculty members for their special interest in my research and valuable

comments. I would like to express my

m thanks to my friends and seniors for their comments during my


I am deeply indebted to my family for all their love and emotional support that has been a constant driving

force for me.


1.1. General 1
1.2. Need Identification 3
1.3. Scope 4
1.4. Limitation 4
1.5. Objective 5
1.6. Research Methodology 5

2.1. General 6
2.2. Main Enviornmental Issues
• Global Warming
• Ozone Depletion
• Pollution
• Deforestation
• Soil Degradation
• Waste.
• Water
• Resources
• Population

2.3. Climate Change 8

2.4. Causes of Climate Change 10
2.5. Addressing the Problem 12

3.1. Introduction 14
3.2. Objectives of Sustainable 14
3.3. The New Paradigm: Cyclic Sustainable Development
• Social Sustainability
• Enviornmental Sustainability
• Ecomomic Sustainability

3.4. Stratergies Towards Sustainable Development 16

• Thinking Long-Term
• Innovation
• Population
• Changing Lifestyles
• Healing Land
• The Social Equity Imperative
• Economic Stability
• Political Stability

3.5. Population 19
4.1. Background 20
4.2. Sustainable Technology 22
4.3. The Current Paradigm: Unsustainable Linear System 23
4.4. Green Buildings - Building Industry Solution to Technology And Efficiency 24
4.5. Green But Not Sustainable 26


5.1. General 28
5.2. Grey To Green 28
5.3. Sustainable Building Technologies 30
• Minimizing Consumption
• Satisfying Human Needs And Aspirations
• Avoiding Negative Environmental Impacts



Figure 1 - A cartoon on Global warming ................................................................................................

.................................................... 6
Figure 2 - A cartoon on Negligence towards Climate C change ................................................................
...................................................... 8
Figure 3 - Climate change : Global processes and effects ................................................................
.......................................................... 9
Figure 5 - Lining Planet Index, 1720-2005 2005 ................................................................................................
.............................................. 10
Figure 4 - Humanity's Ecological Footprint, 1961-2005
1961 ................................................................
............................................................. 10
Figure 6 - World Greenhouse gas emissions by sector ................................................................
............................................................. 11
Figure 7 - Cartoon on Carbon Emission ................................................................................................
.................................................. 12
Figure 8 - Concept of Sustainable development ................................................................................................
...................................... 13
Figure 9 - Cyclic Sustainable Development ................................................................................................
............................................ 15
Figure 10 - Cartoon
artoon on Effects of Population ................................................................................................
........................................... 20
Figure 11 - Think sustainably ................................................................................................
................................ ................................................................. 21
Figure 12 - Unsustainable
stainable linear development ................................................................................................
......................................... 23
Figure 14 - Relation between Energy Consumption................................................................
Consumption .................................................................. 27
Figure 13 - Relation between Time Spent ................................................................................................
.............................................. 27


Coal and oil paved the way for the developed world’s industrial progress. And now the developing

countries are taking the same path in search of improved living standards that leads us in the grip of a

dangerous greenhouse gas habit. Our dependence on carbon-based

carbon based energy has caused a significant build-up

of greenhouse
enhouse gases in the atmosphere and consequently to environmental degradation.

We don’t just burn carbon in the form of fossil fuels. But, throughout the tropics, valuable forests are being

felled for timber and making paper, for pasture and arable land and, increasingly, for plantations to supply

a growingg demand for biofuels. This further manifestation of our greenhouse gas habit is not only releasing

vast amounts of CO2, infact it is destroying a valuable resource for absorbing atmospheric CO2, further

contributing to climate change leading to threats like Global Warming , Pollution ,Ozone Depletion, Soil

Degradation and Extinction of flora and fauna .

The environmental, economic and political implications of these environmental problems are profound.

Ecosystems – from the mountain to the ocean, from the Poles to the tropics – are undergoing rapid change.

lying cities face inundation, Foreword fertile lands are turning to deserts,
desert , and weather patterns are

becoming ever more unpredictable.

Climate change is the defining issue of our era. Hardly a day passes without a newspaper, a broadcast or a

politician making at least one reference to the threats it poses and the urgency of taking action, to limit the

effects and, in the longer term, to adapt to the changes that are sure to come. For climate change, it is upon

us, and the problem is here to stay. But it is still in our control – as individuals and communities, to

influence just how serious the problem will become. We have the choice how to act and make a difference

by supporting the transition to a climate neutral world.

Although,, there is a huge gulf between where we are now and the climate-neutral
climate neutral future that we need if we

are to achieve sustainable development, but

b the message of this study is that the gulf is not uncrossable and

that there are other gains to. It will require patience, persistence and determination, but it can be done.

Sustainable development is defined as:

"Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising on the ability of

future generations to meet their own needs." 1

Sustainable development is a pattern of resource consumption

consum tion that aims to meet human needs and ensure a

better quality of life for everyone

veryone while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only

in the present, but also for future generations. This requires meeting four key objectives at the same time

in the world as a whole:

• Social progress which recognizes the needs of everyone ;

• Effective protection of the environment;


• Prudent use of natural resources;

resources and

• Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment.

Sustainable development is three dimensional process which caters to economical and social development

along with environmental development. But this development is hindered by the pressure imposed by

human activities on the environment. Human-induced

Hu induced global warming, pollution, deforestation, habitat

destruction and resource depletion are contributing to an environmental crisis which is threatening the

survival of many species, including the human themselves.

Humanity’s demand on the planet

planet has more than doubled over the past 45 years as a result of population

growth and increasing individual consumption (world wildlife federation) 2. This study focuses on how this

human impact can be controlled.

In essence, the lesson is simple; reducing the overall impact that people have on the environment can

happen in the following ways:

• Reducing
educing the number of people on the planet ;

• Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of technology ; and

• By changing lifestyles.

Brundtland,, Our common future , 1987
WWF, living planet report, 2008

The question of population is clearly critical. We can’t reduce the existing population,
populat but can control its

growth- rate, which is one of the factors that “scales” humanity’s impact on the planet. Empowerment of

women, education and access to voluntary family planning can slow or even reverse population growth-

rate. But, as it is a slow process, it will be less effective through short term planning.

We can improve energy efficiency in industries, buildings and all forms of transport to stabilize
stabi the overall

energy demand and can try to achieve maximum possible gain. But without changing our expectations and

aspirations, and though consumption pattern.

pattern Advancement in technology will fail and increase in

efficiency will lead to higher rate of consumption. In present situation when environmental degradation is

of greater concern, reduction in resource consumption is of greater importance.

importance It can only be achieved

with a lifestyle change which means adopting a greener lifestyle to become carbon neutral and to achieve

the goal of one planet living.

“It is our duty as men and women to proceed as though the limits of our abilities do not exist”
– Pierre Teilhard De Chardin


In the conventional economic view, consumption is the route to human well-being.

being. The more people have,

the better off they are deemed to be. This notion along with advancement in technology is leading to more

resource consumption.

With increase in environmental degradation due to higher rate of resource consumption, advancement in

technology is viewed as a simplest and faster means to achieve sustainable development.

With such a notion, much of burden has been on the Building sector because their construction, use and

disposal, have a significant impact on the Natural environment, which is the social fabric of our society.

This rest on the fact that buildings are responsible for about 40% of the global energy consumption.
consumptio It is

huge number for a single sector and obviously this is where a big difference can be made. (Gupta)

But 40% is only a minor ratio of 100% where much greater savings in energy consumption is possible. We

spend, out of 24 hours in a day, about 21 hours in a building, which is 87.5% of the time. Buildings that

account for 87.5% of our time are associated with just 40% of our energy consumption,
consumption while other non

building activities account for 12.5 % of the time, with 60% of energy consumption which includes our

dieting habits, travel, clothing, entertainment and our waste disposal. Now, can
an anyone say that buildings

are more energy – efficient than other places where human beings
being spend time?

Sustainable architecture can help, put

ut into practice and even encourage a sustainable way of life. But that’s

not the case, in present day scenario;

scenario sustainable architecture is limited to ann individual building rather than

a community development.

This study focuses on the idea - what else is required other than buildings that can bring upon sustainable



It is intended that this dissertation will provide the brief introduction on the idea of why only buildings

can’t bring about sustainable development and how sustainable lifestyle can cater to the problem of

environmental degradation.

The research pattern will not only provide the idea of how sustainable development can be achieved, but it

will also express the need for the same.

So, the study is aimed at an idea that Improvement in building technology is not only the sole idea to

chieve Sustainable Development. We
W have to change our lifestyle too, to reduce our impact on the



Neither enough secondary data has been collected, nor has any scientific evaluation been made on the

present day lifestyle choices. Research is based on the readings and data collected through surveys and the



• To understand the requirement of sustainable development and causes of climate change.

• To study Sustainable Development as the solution to environmental degradation.

• To focus on the strategies to achieve sustainable development.

• To understand why ethnology lack as the solution to achieve sustainable development.

• To analyze human activities and examine how lifestyle change can reduce resource consumption.

• To understand how the built environment will help people discard old habits and form healthier,

greener ones.

• To focus on the idea of one planet living and its benefits

• Also finding a futuristic solution as part of the conclusion.


• Understanding of environmental degradation as a byproduct of humann aspirations

aspiration and needs

• Defining sustainable development

lopment as a solution

• Queuing the strategies to achieve sustainable development

• Understanding the role of technology and why it is insufficient. And why the idea of lifestyle change

is discouraged.

• Understanding Sustainable lifestyle

life (Green Living ) with sustainable consumption as the basis

• Defining the role of lifestyle changes in achieving sustainable development, with major focus on why

it is required.

• Emphasizing the idea of one planet

planet living along with lifestyle change as the solution

• Understanding how built environment can respond to achieve green living concept.

• Concluding, why the built environment is incapable for development and how sustainable lifestyle

along with sustainable technologies can lead to better future.


Whether we live on the edge of the forest or in the heart of the city, our livelihoods and indeed our lives

depend on the services provided by the Earth’s natural systems. But we are consuming the resources that

underpin those services much too fast – faster

er than they can be replenished. Just as reckless spending is

causing recession, so reckless consumption and growth in human population is depleting the world’s

natural capital to a point where we are endangering our future prosperity.

Our global footprint now exceeds the world’s capacity to regenerate by about 30 percent3. If our demands

on the planet continue at the same rate, then by the mid-2030s

2030s we will need the equivalent of two planets
pla to

maintain our lifestyle (world wildlife

wildlif federation) . These overall trends have very concrete consequences, and

we have seen them in form of various environmental problems. For the first time in recorded history, this

past summer (2008), the Arctic ice cap was surrounded by open water – literally disappearing under the

impact of our carbon footprint.


GLOBAL WARMING describes the process by which

greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere in

abnormally high amounts, trapping the Earth’s

radiation and causing its temperature to raise

significantly, leading to environmental problems

such as changes in rainfall patterns,

patter rising sea levels

and expansion of deserts.

Figure 1 - A cartoon on Global warming

WWF, living planet report, 2008

OZONE DEPLETION Ozone layer shields the Earth from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation,
radiation but its

depletion, caused by emission of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-

ozone-depleting substances into

the atmosphere leads to rise in skin cancers,

cancers, damage to the human immune system, and altered crop yields.

POLLUTION of air, water and land, resulting from burning of fossil fuels, industrial
industrial processes, agriculture,

and other human activities, is endangering human health, biodiversity and the built environment.

DEFORESTATION due to commercial logging, conversion of forest land for agricultural purposes, and

other activities cause the destruction of natural habitats and extinction of plant and animal species, and

exacerbates the effects of global warming and pollution.

SOIL DEGRADATION due to Urbanization,, construction, mining, war, agriculture and deforestation

causes Soil erosion,

ion, increased salination, altered soil structure, drainage capacity and fertilization which

can diminish crop yields, increase the risk of flooding and destroy natural habitats.

WASTE Increasing amounts of waste add pressure for more landfill sites, which pollute air, soil and

groundwater and for more incineration, which pollutes the air and produces toxic residue.

WATER one third of the world population is still without access to safe
safe water and, as the global population

grows, the need for water will grow along with waste and pollution which will increasingly threaten the

quality of groundwater and rivers.

RESOURCES some non-renewable

renewable resources, including natural gas and petroleum resources, will

eventually be Depleted.. The economically viable extraction of some abundant mineral ores may also be

limited. Renewable Resources,, such as timber, are also at a risk of overexploitation.


POPULATION Global population growth is associated with increases in the human-induced

human environmental

impacts, as mentioned above.


All these environmental issues lead to one main problem of

Climate Change. Climate change is a change in the statistical

distribution of weather over periods of time that range from

decades to millions of years. It can be a change in the average

weather or a change in the distribution of weather events.

Climate change is one of the most important global

environmental challenges facing humanity with implications for

food production, natural ecosystems, freshwater supply, health,

etc. 4 Figure 2 - A cartoon on negligence towards climate change

According to the latest scientific assessment, the earth’s climate system has demonstrably changed
c on both

global and regional scales since the preindustrial era. Further evidence shows that most of the warming (of

0.1°C per decade) observed over the last 50 years, is attributable to human activities5.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Chan (IPCC) projects that the global mean temperature may

increase between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees Celsius (C) by 2100. This unprecedented increase is expected to have

severe impacts on the global hydrological system, ecosystems, sea level, crop production and related

ocesses. The impact would be particularly severe in the tropical areas, which mainly consist of

developing countries, including India.

We have only one planet. Its capacity to support a thriving diversity of species, including humans, is large

but fundamentally
entally limited. When human demand on this capacity exceeds what is available – when we

surpass ecological limits – we erode the health of the Earth’s living systems. Ultimately, this loss threatens

human well-being.

Wikipedia ,Climate change
Geneva, Climate change – synthesis report,2001

Figure 3 - Climate change : Global processes and effects


The Living Planet Index reflects the state of the planet’s ecosystems while the Ecological Footprint shows

the extent and type of human demand being placed on these systems.

The Living Planet Index of global biodiversity

has declined by nearly 30 percent over just the past

35 years (Figure 4).

). While biodiversity loss has

leveled off in some temperate areas, the overall

Living Planet Index continues to show a decline.

Humanity’s demand on the planet’s living resources, Figure 4 Lining Planet Index, 1720-2005

its Ecological Footprint,, now exceeds the planet’s

regenerative capacity by about 30 per cent (Figure

). This global overshoot is growing and, as a

consequence, ecosystems are being run down and

waste is accumulating in the air, land and water.

The resulting deforestation, water shortages,

declining biodiversity and climate change are

putting the well being and development of all

Figure 5 Humanity's Ecological Footprint, 1961-2005
nations at increasing risk.

All human demands on the biosphere the production and consumption of natural resources for food and

drink, energy or materials, and the disposal of associated waste products or the displacement of natural

ecosystems by towns, cities and infrastructure.

Figure 6 World Greenhouse gas emissions by sector

Humanity’s demand on the planet has more than doubled over the past 45 years as a result of population

growth and increasing individual consumption. If we continue as usual, by the early 2030s we will need

nets to keep up with humanity’s demand for various goods and services6 . The Ecological Footprint
two planets

enting human demand on nature and the Living Planet Index measuring nature’s overall health serve

as clear and robust guideposts to what needs to be done.

Data is for 2000. All calculations are based on CO2 equivalents

While technological developments will continue to play an important role in addressing

address the sustainability

challenge, much of what needs to be done is already known, and solutions are available today. If humanity

has the will, it has the way to live within the means of the planet, while securing human well-being
well and the

ecosystems on whichh this depends.

WWF, living planet report, 2008


If not earth than where, If not now than when, If not us than who.”

Unsustainable patterns of consumption and production is a primary cause of climate change and lead to

other ecological and social problems.

problems. These include: land degradation, air and water pollution and resource

depletion. Hence, promoting sustainable consumption and production is one of the key responses to protect

the environment and improve human well-being

well being through sustainable development.

We need to cut down our Green house gas (GHG) emission which are the primary cause of climate change

and hence become carbon neutral to achieve sustainable development.

Reducing our GHG emissions means attempting climate change mitigation, trying to reduce the impact we

must expect. This will include new policies, innovative technologies and a change in lifestyle for all of us,

all of which will certainly come at a price. We also need to go flat out at the same time on a quite different

strategy, climate adaptation, preparing to cope with the inevitable changes ahead (inevitable because of the

inertia locked up in the atmosphere and the oceans: much of the warming we are experiencing today was

caused by GHGs emitted several decades ago).

Climate neutrality is a way to mitigation

which will help to reduce the likely damage.

This will, in turn, lessen the need for

adaptation and alleviate the cost of adapting.

Adaptation and mitigation can complement

each other .And together can significantly

reduce the consequences of anthropogenic

climate change – change

hange caused by human

Figure 7 - Cartoon on Carbon Emission


Sustainable development is a socio-ecological

socio process characterized by the fulfillment of human needs

while maintaining the quality of the natural environment indefinitely. The term was used by the Brundtland

commission which became

me the most often quoted definition of sustainable development as:

‘Development that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future

generations to meet their own needs.’7

The concept of sustainable development is concerned both with the quality and the quantity of economic

growth and encompasses three dimensions of welfare (Mawhinney)8 — economic, environmental and

social. It refers first to “needs” in a broad sense, not only economic needs but also needs for a clean

environment, for a secure and cohesive society. Second, explicit in the concept
oncept is a focus on “inter-

generational” equity,, implying that the next generation should be secured opportunities similar
sim to those

available to the present one.

Third, it puts an emphasis on “social equity”, between all people around the world living today, and also

equity between people living today and people living in the future.

The concept of sustainable development is a process of consensus-


based decision making in which the impact of Economic activities

(the economy), the Environment (ecosystems) and the Health

(well-being) of society are integrated and balanced, without

mising the ability of present and future generations to meet

their needs, so that all three - the economy, the environment, and the

health of society - can be sustained into the future.9

Figure 8 - Concept of Sustainable development

Brundtland,, Our common future , 1987
Giovannini, Measuring Sustainable development
Mawhinney, Sustainable
le development – understanding the green debate


Sustainable development is about ensuring a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to

come. This requires meeting four key objectives at the same time in the world as a whole:

• Social progress which recognizes the needs of everyone

• Effective
ective protection of the environment

• Prudent use of natural resources

• Maintenance of high and stable levels of economic growth and employment.

Sustainable development is three dimensional process which caters to economical and social development

along with environmental development. But this development is hindered by the pressure imposed by

human activity on the environment. Human-induced

Human induced global warming, pollution, deforestation, habitat

destruction and resource depletion are contributing to an environmental

environmental crisis which is threatening the

survival of many species, including the human species.


Sustainable development offers a new way of thinking which reconciles the ubiquitous human drive to

improve our quality of life with the limitations imposed on us by our global context. Sustainability is a

relationship, or balancing act, between many factors (social,

( environmental and economic realities and

constraints) which are constantly

ly changing. Because sustainability is a dynamic concept rather than a static

state, it requires decision makers to be flexible and willing to modify their approaches according to changes

in the environment, human needs and desires, or technological advances. This means that actions that

contribute to sustainability today, either in perception or in reality, may be deemed detrimental tomorrow if

the context has changed.

Renewable Resources
Assimilative Capacity
Ecosystem Resilence

Goods and Services
Allocation Figure 9 - Cyclic Sustainable Development

The next three sections discuss the social, environmental and economic issues which are essential to



Sustainability is inherently anthropocentric, since it is the welfare of humans with which we are concerned.

There are many socio-cultural issues which influence sustainability. The most prominent issue is inter-

generational equity, in which we must insure that we leave our progeny with the tools and resources they

need to survive and enjoy life. As an African proverb says, “We do not own the earth; we are just taking

care of our grandchildren’s inheritance.” Other issues in this realm are: environmental justice, population

growth, human health, cultural

ral needs, and personal preferences. These elements have a great deal to do

with our quality of life and should not be ignored in favor of the more easily measurable economic

elements discussed below.


The natural environment is the physical context within which we live. Sustainability requires that we

Recognize the limits of our environment. There are limits to the quantities of natural resources that exist on

the planet. Some of these resources, such as trees and wildlife, are
ar renewable so long as we leave enough

intact to regenerate. Other resources, such as minerals, are renewed at such slow rates that any use

whatsoever depletes the total stock. We need to minimize our consumption of all resources, renewable and


Another key environmental issue is to minimize our impact on global ecosystems: the earth is like an

organism and we must maintain it in a healthy state. Natural ecosystems can survive some impacts, but

these must be small enough so that the earth can recover. Protecting ecosystem health may involve the

protection of an endangered species, the preservation of a wetland, or protection of biodiversity in general.


Economics is important to sustainability because of its broader meaning as a social science that explains

the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The exchange of goods and services

Has a significant impact on the environment, since the environment serves as the ultimate source of raw

al inputs and the repository for discarded goods.

Economic gain has been the driver for much of the unsustainable development that has occurred in the

past. A shift to sustainability will only occur if it is shown not to be excessively costly and



The impact of human society on the environment is determined by number of people on the planet and the

way in which they live .The

The equation of the relationship between lifestyle and environment is pretty

straightforward. In essence, the lesson is simple; reducing the overall impact that people have on the

environment can happen by following

follo ways (The worldwatch institute)10:

• THINKING LONG-TERM – Climate change is a uniquely long-range problem; its effects appear gradual on

a human time scale, and the worst effects will likely be visited on our future generation.
generation To solve this

problem, we must embrace the future as our responsibility and consider the impact
impac of today’s decisions on

future generations. Just as Egyptians built pyramids to last millennia, we need to start acting as if the future

of the planet matters beyond our own short lives.

The worldwatch institute, State of the world , 2009

• INNOVATION - The world needs to develop and disseminate technologies that maximize the production

and use of carbon-free

free energy while minimizing cost and optimizing convenience. An effective climate

pact will offer incentives that accelerate technological development and

a ensure that renewable energy and

other low-emission
emission technologies are deployed in all countries regardless of ability to pay the costs. We

need to dramatically increase the efficiency with which we use carbon-based

carbon based energy and lower release into

the atmosphere
phere of greenhouse gases.

• POPULATION - It is essential to reopen the global dialogue on human population and promote policies

and programs that can help slow and eventually reverse its growth by making sure that all women are able

to decide for themselves whether and when to have children. A comprehensive climate agreement would

acknowledge both the impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations and the long-term
long contribution,

which slower growth and a smaller world population can play in reducing
ducing future emissions under an

equitable climate framework. And it should renew the commitment that the world’s nations made in 1994

to address population not by pressuring parents to have fewer or more children than they want but by

meeting the family planning,

lanning, health, and educational needs of women.

• CHANGING LIFESTYLES - The world’s climate cannot be saved by technology alone. The way we live

will have to change as well—and

and the longer we wait the larger the needed sacrifices will be. In the United

States, the inexorable increase in the size of homes and vehicles that has marked the past few decades has

been a major driver of greenhouse gas emissions and the main reason that U.S. emission are double those

of other industrial countries. Lifestyle changes

chan will be needed, some of which seem unattractive today. But

in the end, the things we may need to learn to live without—oversized

oversized cars and houses, status-based

consumption, easy and cheap world travel, meat with every meal, disposable everything—are not

necessities or in most cases what makes people happy.

• HEALING LAND - We need to reverse the flow of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from

destroyed or degraded forests and land. Soil and vegetation can serve as powerful net removers of the

atmosphere’s carbon and greenhouse gases. Under the right management, soil alone could absorb each year

an estimated 13 percent of all human-caused

human carbon dioxide emissions. To the extent we can make the land

into a more effective “sink” for these gases.

• THE SOCIAL EQUITY IMPERATIVE - A climate agreement that can endure and succeed will find

mechanisms for sharing the burden of costs and potential discomforts. Per capita fossil fuel CO2 emissions

in the developed countries are almost five times those in developing countries and more than 20 times the

levels in most of undeveloped countries. An effective climate agreement will acknowledge the past co-

optation of Earth’s greenhouse- gas absorbing capacity by the wealthiest and most industrialized countries

and the corresponding need to reserve most of what little absorbing capacity is left for countries in

development. Most people live in such countries, and they bear little responsibility for causing this

problem—though it is worth recalling that small but growing shares of their populations already have large

carbon footprints.


he global economy is raising the obvious question: can a world heading into

hard economic times add to its burdens the costs of switching from fossil to renewable fuels or managing

precious land for carbon sequestration? Any climate agreement built on an assumption of global prosperity

is doomed to failure. And as growing and increasingly affluent populations demand more of the resources

of a finite planet,, we may have to balance the future of climate against present realities of hunger, poverty,

and disease. A robust international climate regime will need to design mechanisms that will operate

consistently in anemic as well as booming economic times. And a strong pact will be built on principles

and innovations that acknowledge and accommodate the problem of cost— while building in monitoring

techniques to ensure that efficiency is not achieved at the expensive of effective and enduring emission

cuts and adaptation efforts.

• POLITICAL STABILITY - A world distracted by major wars or outbreaks of terrorism will not be able to

stay focused on the more distant future. And just such a focus is needed to prevent future changes in

climate and adapt to the ones already

alre occurring. A climate pact could encourage preemptive action to

diminish insecurity caused or exacerbated by climate change. But unless nations can find ways to defuse

violent conflict and minimize the chance that terrorism will distract and disrupt societies, climate change

prevention and adaptation (along with development itself) will take a back seat. On the bright side,

negotiating an effective climate agreement offers countries an opportunity, if they will only seize it, to

practice peace, to look beyond the narrowness of the interests within their borders at their dependence on

the rest of the world, to see humanity as a single vulnerable species rather than a collection of nations

locked in pointless and perpetual competition.

From various strategies towards sustainable development following are the three major issues, which can

help to achieve the idea in large context along with larger gain;

• Population – Reducing The number of people on the planet

• Innovation - Improving the efficiency of technology

• Changing lifestyles


A nation’s total Ecological Footprint is determined by its population, and by its residents’ average

footprint. The latter is a function both of the quantity of goods and services the average resident consumes,

and the resources used or waste generated in providing those goods and services. On a global scale, both

population and the average footprint have increased since 1961 Consumption is directly proportional to

population and increase in consumption will lead to green house gases emission which further leads to

environmental degradation. So the problem of population growth is very critical.

Since 1987 the Earth’s population has grown by almost 30 per cent, and global economic output has risen

by 76 per cent. Average per capita gross national income has almost doubled. And just about everything

needs energy to be produced. The global primary energy supply (80 per cent of it supplied by fossil fuels)

increased by 4 per cent annually from 1987 to 2004.11 Demand for energy is predicted to continue to grow

by at least 50 per cent by 2030, as the fast-developing

fast developing countries like ours continue their rapid economic


The question of population is clearly critical. Population

Population is one of the factors that “scale”
“ humanity’s

impact on the planet. We can’t cut existing population but can control the growth. Rapid population growth

can be slowed and its negative impacts on human well-being

well being alleviated by empowering women with

er education and economic opportunities, and improving access to voluntary family planning

counseling and services for women who want to delay, space or limit births. Promoting good governance,

alongside adoption of these strategies, leads to smaller, healthier

healthier and better educated families. But this is a

slow process and will have less impact in the short term. Also the reduction in carbon emission will be

effective in upcoming years and the problem encountered in present day will be the same. So this idea can

be used but we cannot depend on it to achieve sustainable development.

Having one less child is the biggest contribution

anyone can make to leaving a habitable planet”


- Prof John Guilleband, Optimum Population Trust (2008)

Figure 10 - cartoon on Effects of Population

UNEP, Kick the habit


Technology plays a very important role in sustainable development because it is one of the most significant

ways in which we interact with our environment; we use technologies to extract natural resources, to modify

them for human purposes, and to adapt our man-made living space. Technology is understood to mediate

between resources and our goals and objectives. This lead to focus on energy and material
aterial efficiency. There is

no doubt that more efficient technology will make an important contribution to the sustainable development,

but this perspective has limitations.

Though efficiency will lead to lesser use of resources but it would be expansive and cannot be afford by

everyone. For example, if a hybrid

brid car is introduced in the market which runs 150 km per liter of petrol which

is more efficient in comparison to a normal

normal car but the question arise can we all have it or can our road

networks support this kind of innovation. No, certainly not this is the problem mostly faced by developing

countries. This is a case for high end innovation but problem do exist, advancement in technology leads to

rebound effect. for example , in Indian villages where there was no electricity government provided solar

lantern to minimize the use of kerosene oil , but this step towards less consumption of resources proved

inefficient because it lead to higher

er consumption. People started using it for their cooking purposes because it

was cheaper and available. Improving quality of technology doesn’t qualify in economy of transition but

works well in a stable economy.

It is through use of technology that we have seen drastic improvements in

the quality of life of many people. Unfortunately, many of these short term

improvements in the immediate quality of life have also exacted a great

toll on the environment. In order to proceed toward sustainability, we will

have to be more deliberate and thoughtful in our employment of

technology. We need to develop and use technologies with sustainability in

mind. We need “sustainable technologies.” Figure 11 - Think sustainably


A sustainable technology is one that promotes a societal move toward sustainability, a technology that fits

well with the goals of sustainable development. Sustainable technologies are practical solutions to achieve

economic development and human satisfaction in harmony with the environment. These technologies serve to

contribute, support or advance sustainable development by reducing risk, enhancing cost effectiveness,

improving process efficiency, and creating processes,

proce products or services that are environmentally beneficial

or benign, while benefiting humans .

To qualify as sustainable technologies, the solutions must have the following characteristics, in addition to

meeting pre-existing requirements and constraints (e.g. economic viability):

• Minimize use of nonrenewable energy and natural resources

• Satisfying human needs and aspirations with sensitivity to cultural context

• Minimal negative impact on the earth’s ecosystems

Minimizing Consumption - The use of nonrenewable energy and natural resources should be minimized

because consumption of resources inherently involves increasing the disorder of materials and energy,

rendering them of lower utility for future use. By subjecting materials and energy
gy to consumption processes

we decrease their potential utility to current and future generations. Therefore, consuming as little matter and

energy as possible, or “doing more with less,” is a fundamental objective of sustainability.

Maintaining Human Satisfaction - A sustainable technology must fulfill the needs of the population it is

intended to serve. In fulfilling those needs the technology must account for human preferences and cultural

differences. In some cases these preferences may conflict with

with environmental and economic criteria and a

compromise will have to be worked out. This is does not mean that human preferences should be ignored;

fulfillment of our desires means the difference between surviving and living.

Minimizing Negative Environmental
Environme Impacts - Finally, causing minimal negative environmental

impacts (as well as maximizing positive impacts) is an important objective of sustainability since the

environment consists of ecosystems whose ongoing health is essential for human survival on earth.

Sustainability of the human race requires that ecosystems be protected and preserved in a reasonable state of

health through maintaining biodiversity, adequate habitat, and ecosystem resilience.



In order to understand the changes that need to be made to develop sustainable technologies it is useful to look

at the paradigm which is currently being employed. Despite a wide range of positions and opinions on the

subject of sustainability, there is general

general agreement that the current paradigm of linear development, which

disregards constraints to material or energy consumption, is unsustainable. In Figure 12, a model of the

unsustainable linear development approach is shown which has prevailed over the last few centuries. In this

model, several systems are linked in a linear process that begins with both renewable and non-renewable

natural resources such as air, water, soil, mineral or biological resources.

Figure 12 - Unsustainable linear development

In this model (D.V.Roberts) 12, exploitation and use of primary natural resources occurs to provide inputs for

industrial processes (Subsystem 1). The outputs of this system become the principal inputs for two other

systems: the production and use of energy (Subsystem 2), whose output is a critical input to all the systems in

the linear process; and resource processing and manufacturing (Subsystem 3), whose output is a set of

specific products or services that are transported and commercialized withinn Subsystem 4.

The linear process ends with the use and consumption (Subsystem 5) of the products or services generated by

the industrial system across all segments of society. This process has two additional outputs from each of its

systems, which are at the core of many problems facing the world today: increasing amounts of hazardous and

nonhazardous waste, and increasing levels of environmental impact.

The process is linear because inputs enter at Subsystem 1 and move in one direction through the system
syste to

Subsystem 5 and then are disposed, going through the system only once with no cycling of materials. To

aggravate the situation even more, this linear process is fueled by continuous increases in the demand for, use,

and consumption of products and services,

services, creating pressures for further exploitation of natural resources,

And for continued expansion of energy production, resource processing, and manufacturing capabilities. This

unrelenting growth has created three serious problems:

atural resource depletion, Accumulation of waste, and Environmental
nvironmental degradation.

It is these challenges which must be addressed in achieving sustainability.

4.4 GREEN BUILDINGS - Building industry solution to technology and efficiency

Green Building is the practice of increasing the efficiency while ensuring healthy indoor environment for the

buildings by minimizing their use of power, water, and materials, thus reducing building impact on the

environment and on the limited resources of the planet,

p through better site selection, design, construction,

operation, maintenance, and dismantling - the complete building life cycle .The
The related concepts of sustainable

development and sustainability are integral to green building.

WESPD Report

Effective green building can lead to:

1. Reduced operating costs by increasing productivity and using less energy and water,

2. improved public and occupant health due to improved indoor air quality, and

3. reduced environmental impact

Practitioners of green building often seek to achieve not only ecological but aesthetic harmony between a

structure and its surrounding natural and built environment. The sustainable buildings are also

environmentally friendly in the fact that they are built out of materials that are good for the environment.
envi The

appearance and style of sustainable homes and buildings can be nearly indistinguishable from their less

sustainable counterparts.

Sustainability or 'Green Architecture' can be interpreted in many different ways. What is desirable for one

try may be in excess for another, and vice versa. Its meanings and understanding will vary according to

its context. India has suffered considerably during the past century by adopting directions appropriate for

other countries, and using materials not entirely

entirely appropriate for their own context, creating enormous

pressures on its resources. Most of the Built Environment of the pre-independence

pre independence era can, even today, pass

through the sieve of what we refer to as 'Green Architecture'. For the Indian context, we believe we should

pursue with following principles:

• Understanding sustainability in the context of India & its regions;

• Attempting to understand what constitutes 'Human Comfort' in buildings;

• Questioning the needs, identifying their optimum levels in long

long term scenario, and taking the design

provisions to that level only;

• Ensuring that what is sustainable today remains that way in decades to come;

• Ensuring that sustainability is not only in parts but also that way holistically;

• Maximizing the use of traditional

traditional wisdom in design, wherever applicable, because it represents the

knowledge of the long-term

term behavior of materials, their strengths as well as weaknesses;

• Assessing all new technologies for their long term impact in the context of India & its development

priorities, before accepting them for use;

• Being aware of the embodied energies of the materials, before we specify them;

• Taking the decision making processes to measurable levels, in order to make our choices judiciously;

• Taking the 'savings' benchmark

benchmark targets closer to the minimum standards of provisions;

• Addressing all the above issues through the sieve of value engineering, for the specific context of the

built environment;

• Pursuing goals and not just the means.


Green buildings seem to have become synonymous with sustainable design although there is evidence

available to suggest that green buildings are no more sustainable than other buildings. The case of making

green buildings rest on the fact that the buildings

buildings are responsible for about 40%
40 of the global energy

consumption. It is huge number for one single sector and obviously this is where a big difference can be made.

But 40 % is only a small part of 100% where much greater savings

savings in energy consumption should be
b possible

A typical office worker in a large city in India spends about an hour each way for commuting to work and

another hour for outdoor recreational activities every day. The rest of the time is spent in a building, thus, out

of 24 hours in a day, an office worker spends about 21 hours in buildings. Housewives and non working or

studying population spend about 33 hours in buildings. Buildings that account for 87.5% of our time are

associated with only 40% of our energy consumption while other non building activities account for 12.5% of

the time but 60 % of energy consumption. Can one say, therefore, that buildings are more energy – efficient

than the other places where human

man being spends time? If this is true, a logical way of dealing with the energy

crisis would be to make people spend more time indoors.

Time Spent Energy consumption

Building related
within building activities

Outsite Building Outside Building


Figure 14 - Relation between Time spent Figure 13 - Relation between Energy Consumption

The point is that the focus on energy consumption in buildings is a red herring. It is not buildings per se that

consume energy. It is human activity. Energy consumed within the building and the energy used for making

buildingss in the first place is part of the energy used for different types of human activity. Buildings are not

independent energy users. The part of the activity that takes place within the building uses energy and often

the outdoor part of the same activity consumes

con the more energy.

Energy consumption Via transportation (air,

(a road & sea), dietary habits ( non –vegetarian
vegetarian diet, imported fruits

and vegetables, processed

ssed food ), clothing ( leather, synthetic fabric ),
), entertainment and waste disposal,
dispos does

not have anyy connection with the buildings,

buildings, than how can advancement in building technology help. What can

be done so solve these problems? Only small improvements in efficiency would result from
fro the building

alone. But buildings are a part of larger system and in

i order to function properly , buildings are dependent on

the system for bringing goods , services and people to the buildings .supply
.supply of energy, water,
water food and other

goods, transportation for people , disposal of waste etc. are all needed for building to function properly .

Obviously these services require energy and material expanses. Making an efficient building in wilderness

where the occupant needs to travel long distance by personal motorized transport doesn’t make sense when

the efficiency of overall system is examined. The way to reduce energy expense and resource consumption in

human habitat is not by focusing on energy intensity and efficiency of the buildings but of
o human activity.

Another solution is build less, or built only as much required. For this the tool we use to define efficiency are

important. The green building movement (LEED, AIA) typically measures resource efficiency per unit of

built area. How many units of area the individual requires is never an issue.

This argument proves

roves that buildings are not responsible for resource consumption but people are .also

sustainable lifestyle has to deal with the overall context and not just buildings.


The evolution of civilization is under way. The people of this planet are opening to change. Most of us now

know that the disastrous consequences of our lifestyles are accelerating. The time has come to take the

conversation about sustainability to the next

nex level. In the last chapter, we have focused on green building

technology, since buildings and technology represent only half of the problem and half of the solution, clearly

the present green building movement doesn't go far enough. But we now recognize that half or more of all

resource impacts arise from everyday behavior and habits. Our lifestyles must evolve. We have long held by

the notion that technology and efficiency will solve the problem of environmental degradation. But we now

recognize the need to go further.


We are responsible for the choices we make. At least half of human impact on the planet comes from our

lifestyles - the choices we make every day. Where, and how, we travel. What we eat. What we wear. The stuff

we buy, and how we get rid of that stuff when we're

we're done with it. We have to change our present grey lifestyle

to sustainable green lifestyle to lower our impact on environment and go carbon neutral in an equitable


What, exactly, does green or sustainable living mean? Different people use different
different definitions, but it all

comes down to one fundamental concept: The Earth’s resources shouldn’t be depleted faster than they can be

replenished. From that concept comes everything else, including caring for the environment, animals and

other living things,

ings, our health, our local community, and communities around the world. When we start to

look at all the different kinds of resources — from fossil fuels to forests, agricultural land to wildlife, and the

ocean’s depths to the air that we breathe — it’s easy

asy to see how everything is interconnected and how the

actions that we take today can affect the future.

The concept of sustainable living as being a lot like our family budget. If we spend more than we make each

month and neglect our bills as a result, the bill collector’s start calling, and if we keep going down the same

path, we end up owing so much that we can’t possibly pay it back. On the other hand, if we are careful with

our monthly expenses (maybe even saving a little), we will able to live within
within our means and keep everyone

happy.. The planet’s no different. Right now, its resources are being depleted far faster than they can be

replenished. The call of the bill collectors is getting louder all the time, with the clear implication that

bankruptcy’s down the road if something doesn’t change. Fossil fuels such as oil are becoming more difficult

and more expensive to bring out of the ground, and their reserves are dwindling. Burning fossil fuels to

provide energy for homes, vehicles, and industries emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases along

with pollutants and its people.

Sustainable lifestyle is a way of living and working that is compatible with the planet’s natural limits. It is

about not using our fair share of the earth resources, or taking more than the planet’s ecosystem can naturally

replace. It is about ensuring that bountiful wealth provided by nature can be enjoyed by every living thing –

wild life included13 . It is based on following principles:

• Reduce consumption - Anything that

at you do to decrease the amount of the Earth’s resources that

you use from choosing goods with less packaging to turning down your home’s Ac a few degrees in

the summer — helps you to lead a more sustainable life.

• Choose carefully - Assessing where certain

in products and services come from by thinking about

their entire life cycles from manufacture to disposal helps you to make the greenest choices possible.

You not only protect the environment but also protect the people involved in the manufacturing


• Opt for renewable resources - Replacing your use of nonrenewable resources (such as energy

based on fossil fuels) with renewable resources (such as solar or wind energy) is a very powerful

green action — and it may be easier than you think.

WWF, One Planet Living

• Repair when needed - There are plenty of ways that you can help to fix the damage that’s already

been done to the environment, from supporting tree-planting

planting projects to helping out with community

programs at home and around the world.



Consumption of natural resources is at the heart of sustainability. With its large scale use of material and

energy and displacement of natural ecosystems, the built environment greatly influences the sustainability of

human systems as well as the natural ecosystems of which we are a part. Minimizing consumption of matter

and energy is essential to achieve sustainability in creating, operating, and decommissioning built facilities.

The following sections highlight several strategies for minimizing consumption

consumption of natural resources over the

life of built facilities.

Improving Technological Efficiency: Doing more with less - One strategy for minimizing

consumption in creating the built environment is improving the technological efficiency of our materials and

processes. For materials, we need to improve the efficiency with which they meet the needs for which they are

used. With respect to processes, technological efficiency means reducing the amounts of input matter and

energy required to generate the desired outcome of the process.

Reuse, Rehabilitation, and Retrofitting - Reusing buildings, materials and equipment is a second

strategy for making design and construction more sustainable. By reusing what already exists we save the

cost, material, and energy input which would be required to create new facilities “from scratch.” By using

techniques such as adaptive reuse, rehabilitation, or retrofitting, old facilities can be modified or improved to

meet new use criteria, at a much lower consumptive cost than building a new facility.

Creating New Technologies - Many opportunities exist
st to increase the sustainability of human activity

by creating new technologies. Consumption of matter and energy can be reduced by developing new

technologies which do not rely on traditional types or amounts of materials and energy to meet human needs.

Photovoltaic panels, which generate electricity from solar radiation, are one example of such a technology.

Instead of using finite reserves of coal or oil to make the electricity used by humans, PV panels use the

essentially infinite resource of solar energy.

ene Opportunities for new technologies can be found by observing

natural ecosystems: what sources of energy and matter are used by these systems? Particularly promising

opportunities exist in the area of waste recovery and reuse.

chnologies - Technologies have been used over the course of human history to
Modifying Historical Technologies

meet the needs of people. Many of these technologies have been forgotten or abandoned as new technologies

were developed to replace them. While most of these technologies may appear to be obsolete, some may

prove to be useful in and of themselves, or to suggest ideas for new technologies.

Reshaping Human Desires - A more fundamental strategy for minimizing consumption is to attempt to

change human desires and tastes. While fundamental

fu human needs such as food, shelter, and water are not

greatly adaptable, other human wants are often significantly responsive to external influences. The obvious

architectural trends in built facilities from decade to decade are an example of how designers can influence

consumer demand and thus the consumption of matter and energy. Other mechanisms for changing human

consumptive patterns are education and awareness. If people are aware of the impacts of their choices on the

ecosystems of which they are a part, they may make more enlightened choices.


The quality of the facility as a man-made

man made environment for people is determined by how well it meets human

needs and aspirations for such things as security, non-toxicity,

non shelter, aesthetics, and other functional


Improving Economic Viability. In today’s world, economic viability is an important consideration for any

building project. Indeed, a facility design which is sustainable but too expensive to construct has little value in

and of itself. Thus, increasing cost effectiveness of facilities is a critical strategy for creating sustainable built

facilities. Economic viability often follows from achieving the objectives of minimizing cost and negative

environmental impacts, since less consumption means less cost, and reduced environmental impact means

lower liability and remediation costs.

Matching User Needs with Facility Design.

Design In creating a facility which is sustainable based on the

human satisfaction criteria, the first step must be to identify the needs of the people who will use the facility.

These needs shape the basic functional requirements of the facility, and must be met in order for the facility to

be considered sustainable. Opportunities exist in the area of systematic human needs assessment, and adapting

those needs as input to the design process.

Creating a Healthy Built Environment. In addition to the basic functional requirements

requireme of users which

must be met by the facility, designers and constructors must also strive to include factors which create a

healthy environment both inside and outside the facility. Non-toxic

toxic materials are an essential component of a

healthy built environment,

nment, as well as design features which convey aesthetic or spiritual values conducive to

the tasks and activities which occur within the facility. Besides the requirements for creating a healthy indoor

environment, sustainable design also requires

Consideration of the interfaces between the built environment and the natural environment. Non-toxic

materials and processes are essential technologies for achieving sustainability throughout the facility life


Empowering People to Meet their Own Needs. A final strategy for satisfying human needs in the built

environment is empowerment. By including users in decision making for the planning and design of facilities,

the final facility will be more likely to meet the needs of those users. Allowing user participation
parti at all phases

of the facility life cycle creates awareness among the users of the interfaces of the facility with its

environmental context, and a respect for the flows of energy and material through the built system over time.


Built facilities impact the natural environment in many ways over their entire life cycles. Four categories of

impacts which built facilities have on the earth’s ecological systems and resources:

• Spatial displacement of natural ecosystems,

ecosystems, and modification of surrounding ecosystems

• Impacts resulting by human use of the built environment, and the tendency for that use to spur further

human development of the surrounding ecosystems

• Depletion of matter and energy resources from natural

natural ecosystems during the construction and use of

the facility

• Generation of large amounts of waste output over the whole life cycle of the facility, which is

deposited in and must be absorbed by natural ecosystems.

Given their large scale and long life cycles,

cyc built facilities have particularly large and long-lasting
long effects on

the environment as a whole. The following strategies are examples of approaches which can be taken to

improve the sustainability of built facilities by avoiding negative environmental

environmental impacts over their life cycle.

Recovering Waste: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Various approaches exist to help recover waste from

building construction and operation processes. Pollution prevention, for example, is a strategy which

advocates anticipating and eliminating pollution before it is produced. Material recycling is used in

prefabrication processes, where careful planning can eliminate waste or enable it to be directly recycled back

into the manufacturing process or to other complimentary processes.

processes. Construction and demolition waste

recycling is also becoming increasingly popular, as disposal options become more expensive.

Reusing Existing Development. Another way of minimizing impacts on the natural environment is by

making better use of sites and

nd facilities which have already been used. Rehabilitation of existing structures for

similar or adaptive uses, as well as using retrofitted existing sites rather than Greenfield sites for new

development, are examples of strategies which reduce negative impacts

impacts on the natural environment. By

reusing existing sites and/or facilities, we save costs and avoid negative impacts by

Avoiding the need to “start from scratch”.

Integrating the Built Environment into Ecological Systems. Sustainability must occur within the

context of natural ecological systems, since it is these systems which provide the resources for all human

activity. The built environment can be integrated into the natural environmental context of its site and

bioregion by designing material and energy flows into and out of the built system to fit within the yield and

assimilative capacities of that context. Integration of built systems into the surrounding ecological context can

be mutually beneficial to humans and nature, provided that humans do not exceed the assimilative capacity of

natural systems.


The current state of our planet is really very bad and the pressures imposed by human activities
activit on the

Environment like Global Warming, Pollution, Deforestation, Habitat Destruction and

nd Resource Depletion are

contributing to an Environmental Crisis,

Crisis which is threatening the survival of many
man species, including the

human themselves .

It is not only the nature of human activities that threatens the Environment,
nvironment, but also their increasing

occurrence. The Global Population

opulation is growing: currently at 6.2 billion, it is expected to stabilize at around 9

billion by the end of this Century.

entury. Currently about two billion humans,
umans, without reliable access to safe food,

urgently require resources to fulfill their basic needs, while several billions more are rapidly increasing their

resource consumption to improve their living standards.

Population Growth
rowth and the raising of low Living Standards
tandards will require more resources, which will produce

more waste and thus increase the impact on the Natural Environment. The Principles of Sustainability aim to

address the problems of Environmental Degradation, Lack of Human Equality and Quality of Life, by

supporting development that is sustainable in economic and social terms and is capable of retaining the

benefits of a healthy stable environment in the long term.

But achieving Sustainable Development in the present day scenario is very difficult, of all various strategies.

Solutions like Long Term Thinking and Controlling the Growth of Population, to minimize the rate of

consumption are viable because they describe the idea of achieving a development that meets the needs of the

present without compromising to the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. But this process is

slow enough, in lieu of the rate of Environmental Degradation.


Improvement of Technology is the present day solution
soluti for sustainability and it has brought mixed results in

name of development. With its benefits of increase in efficiency, mass

ss production and quality, the economic

growth of nations has almost doubled. But this increase in the availability of disposable income has brought

up the rate of consumption, which is further leading to environmental degradation and waste accumulation.

This linear system of development has also created three serious problems: natural resource depletion,

accumulation of waste and environmental degradation. Also, Improvement of technology doesn’t qualify in

economy of transition because here the idea of sustainability keeps changing with change in human needs and


In case of Building Industry, the advancement in building technology alone cannot bring about sustainability

because buildings are a part of larger system and in order to function properly, they depend on that system for

bringing goods, services and people to the buildings. Also building construction and management consume

less amount of energy in lieu of energy consumed by the people inhabiting them.

But we now recognize that

at half or more of all resource-impacts
resource impacts arise from everyday behavior and habits...

and it’s in our hand to be efficient in terms of resource consumption

consum tion and to achieve the goal of One Planet

Lifestyle by reducing our Ecological Footprint and going Carbon Neutral.

So, to achieve sustainable development we have to first achieve the goal of “One
One Planet Living”
Living through

the medium of Sustainable Technologies which minimize the use of resources and satisfy human needs

and aspirations without any negative impact on the Earth’s Ecosystems.

The lesson learnt is simple,

We are standing at the verge of total destruction, but to remain safe, wee have to define what is

an acceptable lifestyle for most of us .This idea towards Sustainable Development,

Development leads us to

One Planet Living. ”


• Brassington, Mark. How to go carbon Neutral. n.d.

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• D.V.Roberts. "WEPSD Report." n.d.

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Design Do buildings matter? ." A+d (2008): 96-100.

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• Jayant Sathaye, P.R.Shukla. "Climate Change , Sustainable development andIndia." (n.d.).

• Kirby, Alex. Kick the habit : A UN guide to carbon neutrality. n.d.

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n deebate. Blackwell
publishing, n.d.

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• —. "Eco - Sensitive. what next ?" Design today March 2000.

• "one planet living." future energy magazine winter 2008.

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or sustainable architecture. taylor and francis, n.d.

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