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Green buildings: how to redesign

There is a buzz about green buildings. But the question is: what does one mean by building green? And how does one design policies to make the green homes of our dreams?

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Water pricing can drive demand
Interview :R K Somany, chairperson of Hindustan Sanitaryware and Industries Ltd that controls 40 per cent of branded sanitary ware market in India, spoke on promoting water efficiency. Excerpts

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Watertight
Rate water fixtures for efficiency to cut wastage:

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Mall stays cool with waste
Exhaust gas from generators fuels air conditioners: Photo: Sayantan BeraHARD Rock Cafe in DLF Place mall in south Delhi is air-conditioned but does not use electricity from the grid to run the system. The mall has its own captive source—generators that run on compressed natural gas (CNG). The air conditioning runs on exhaust from these generators.

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Energy audit shy
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (bee), the Centre’s nodal agency for energy conservation, intends to make energy efficiency rating mandatory for all office buildings across India by 2011.

But its scheme to coax office building owners to voluntarily get their properties assessed for energy efficiency has few takers. Under the scheme, the most energy efficient buildings get five-star rating and the least efficient ones get a single star.

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Fixing old houses on Himalaya
German architect Andre Alexander has been restoring old buildings in the Tibetan capital Lhasa for 15 years now. Over the past few years he has extended his work to Leh. Ravleen Kaur caught up with him over a cup of chhaang (barley wine) at a party where the artisans celebrated the last day of the work season before parting for the winter break. Excerpts:

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