BANGALORE: Since 1995, Biodiversity Conservation India Limited (BCIL) has been building homes focussing on conservation of resources. Chandrashekar Hariharan, chairman, BCIL, speaks to Vyas Sivanand about the company's vision and their innovative ideas.
Your projects have Zed as the prefix or suffix to it. Is it a brand under BCIL?
Zed is a brand that stands for Zero Energy Development. It stands for our beliefs, which is the reason Zed Habitats is the largest green residential developer in India, today. We are world leaders in managing water, energy and waste needs in urban pockets.
How do you build homes using the zero energy route?
We avoid bricks as they employ precious topsoil and use 400 degree Celsius energy. Instead, we use alternate materials like soil-stabilised blocks and besser blocks which use lesser concrete, and blocks that use waste materials like fly ash.
We engineer active and passive elements to ensure energy savings for our buildings. Active would include solar, wind energy, etc and passive, for example would be saving 35,000 litres a year! An average tap lets 14-17 litres of water per minute, but we use flow aerators and flow restrictors which cuts down the flow to 5 litres per minute without any inconvenience to the customer. A normal air conditioner uses 1.2 kilo watts, while ours uses 350 watts without any difference in performance. We use biomass to improve the micro-climate of a land zone to reduce demands on home cooling.
But does India have demand for such homes?
Unlike any other place in the world, India cannot afford to spend energy or water primarily because we have a huge population. For example, the US has six times the land mass than us but its population is just 1/6th. The need for India to conserve is much higher. I have seen the awareness growing and in the next two years, I think there will be a growing demand.
What are your plans by 2015?
We want to make carbon-neutral buildings from making low-carbon buildings today. Today we have built about seven projects with 2 million sq. ft. We have won 21 awards in eight years from eight nations. By 2015, we want to build 5 million sq. ft. Currently we have projects only in Bangalore and Mysore. We intend to enter Mangalore, Pune, Cochin and ww.