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    Having bagged second place at this year’s eVolo competition, Suraksha Bhatla lists sustainable trends that may work in Chennai

    ER  concept might have won second place among 480 other entries at this years eVolo Skyscraper Competition, but architect Suraksha Bhatla humbly admits that sustainable architecture was something she only stumbled upon. “I was always inclined towards arts and science. I did my bachelors at Anna University School of Architecture and was hooked on sustainability and green revolution in my final year,” says Bhatla, whose Shanty-Scaper (conceptualised along with Sharan Sundar) re-imagines slums for Chennai. Every year, the American eVolo magazine puts the spotlight on some of the most sustainable, vertical designs from across the world. Their vertical solution, moves away from the norm of resettlement slums in remote areas, by building vertically, with locally available, structurally sound, recyclable materials. “Chennai has the largest quota of green buildings among the Indian metropolises (over 50 green certified buildings). There is no doubt that this city’s green footprint will enhance the way future towns will be designed, planned and operated,” says Bhatla, the daughter-in-law of popular dentist Vijailakshmi Acharya, before sharing some of the trends she hopes Chennai will embrace soon.

    Vertical urban farming
    Green roofs aren’t the only way plants are being used to make buildings more sustainable. The interest in self-sufficient local farming has led to an exploration of ways to integrate food production with urban infrastructure. This can take place on or within the buildings themselves

    Net metering
    This billing mechanism has already been sanctioned in the state and is yet to take off. Net metering has the potential to encourage residential customers to generate electricity themselves and feed the excess electricity produced back into the grid
    Net Positive Water Buildings
    Chennai’s mandatory rainwater harvesting scheme has led to water surplus and complete replenishment of the city’s aquifers. Greywater recycling, sewage and water treatment plants can produce 100 per cent filtered and recycled water on site

    Zero Energy Buildings
    The future of building design is all about reduced energy consumption. With the capital leading the way in creating zero energy buildings such as Indira Paryavaran Bhavan, we hope this will serve as inspiration for building owners in the city
    — Ryan Peppin

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