CHENNAI: Greater Chennai Corporation’s mega projects such as construction of buildings and lake restorations will now be a step greener with use of ecofriendly building material such as fly-ash bricks, geo fabrics and bio-fences.
According to senior officials in the civic body, funding agencies such as Asian Development Bank (ADB) have insisted on using at least 50% of such green materials for projects.
For startes, GCC will begin eco-restoration of the 132-acre Kadapakkam lake in Manali and turn it into a camp-trail spot for North Chennai. “Grant for the project has been given under the green climate fund and under it, it is mandatory to use green material. We are using such material in all projects under the Chennai smart city programme,” said L Nandakumar, chief engineer (general), GCC. The other green aspect of the Kadapakkam lake restoration would be the use of solar powered lights, Nandakumar said.
In the construction industry, items such as fly-ash bricks, bamboo or even old wooden doors and windows are used in green buildings. The idea is to decrease use of concrete which is not biodegradable and also consumes a lot of fossil fuel to manufacture. Old-style clay bricks and tiles are also considered green material.
Fly-ash is a waste from power plants or waste incinerators and is dumped in water bodies or the sea causing pollution. It is now being used in manufacture of bricks and cement.
Mark Selvaraj, consultant to GCC, said while restoring ponds, geo fabrics are used to avoid slippage of soil. “Grass grows on this easily and it prevents erosion,” he said. Another example is that of bio-fencing instead of steel fences, bamboo shoots are used to fence, Selvaraj said.
Other green elements include fly-ash pavers, geo textiles for bund stabilisation, drip irrigation techniques, sprinklers, solar-lit bollards and grass pavers. Internationally, material such as straw bale, grasscrete, recycled plastic and ferrock cement are acknowledged as green construction material. Green buildings also incorporate recycling of grey water and double windowed air-conditioners.