Buying A Newly Constructed Property? Get Ready To Feel The Heat
Gone are the days when Pune, Bengaluru and Mumbai were known for their all-year-round pleasant weather. These cities are now feeling the heat, literally. Rising urbanisation and construction being one of the prime reasons for this sharp increase in temperature during summers. According to a recent analysis by College of Engineering, Pune, areas with a majority of new buildings and construction are facing more heat than other areas of Pune. The temperature recorded in these developing areas is up to five degrees more than the rest of the city. This analysis was based on the data from the US Geological Survey's Earth Resources Observation and Science.
According to the data, the areas that are witnessing massive construction including Aundh, Kothrud, Viman Nagar and Baner are feeling the heat due to the usage of heat-absorbing construction material such as concrete, brick and ceramic. These areas are witnessing a large number of upcoming residential towers, pavements, parking lots and terraces. This phenomenon has been termed as heat island effect.
Scientists, in the report, have described heat island as those upcoming localities that are hotter than the nearby surrounding areas. “Urban heat is emitted by built-up surfaces that make the surrounding areas hotter,” said Omkar Parishad, Assitant Professor, Town Planning, Civil engineering Department, CoEP in a media report.
However, the city centre areas are much cooler when compared to the upcoming localities owing to the green cover and the construction material used here including stone and natural elements which have suitable thermal properties of absorbing and radiating less heat as compared to concrete and asphalt. On the other hand, the newly constructed structures are using heat absorbent material, and thus, residents experience more warmth than usual.
While there cannot be any alternative to buying a new property, here are few checks for buyers to nullify the effect:
- Construction quality is an important parameter that should guide your property-buying decision. Enquire about the thermal properties of the material used.
- If possible, avoid shifting to areas that have ongoing construction activities.
- Check if there is an adequate provision for green cover, gardens and kid's play area in the project.
Are green homes a solution?
Soaring temperature and climatic conditions have encouraged homebuyers to look at green homes as a viable option. Though a homebuyer can't do much about the construction material used in the project, but certain green practices within the home can help counter the heat. Here are a few options:
- Plan a roof garden: Studies have shown that plant surfaces are four to five degrees Celsius cooler than the ambient due transpiration.
- Ventilate well: Make your house naturally ventilated by ensuring right orientation of your home and windows in the right direction.
- Eco-friendly material: In case you are constructing a home of your own, use eco-friendly and cost-effective building material including rice husk ash concrete, plastic bricks, bagasse particle board etc.
Indian Green Building Council has been proactively promoting green buildings in India which offer sustainable living and development. While the concept of heat island has just started the debate, it is important for developers' community to understand the need of the time and avoid creating hot zones that would ultimately impact the climatic conditions.