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Real LeadCopy-of-ED-w-Banner-lg-with-2014Earth Day will be marked the world over on April 22, so it is pertinent to focus on environmentally-friendly practices that Pakistan’s construction industry is employing.

These include:

Using materials to insulate buildings, thereby reducing energy consumption.

  1. Commercial buildings are increasingly designed with ceilings that are approximately 12 to 15 feet in height. This improves ventilation, allowing adequate space for hot air to rise and consequently allowing more space for cooler air. This practice reduces the temperature of a building by approximately 10 degrees.
  2. The use of payaal, a type of hay is replacing sand bricks in Punjab. This is because payaal (which is inserted in gaps between hollow bricks) provides better insulation than sand bricks, and keeps buildings cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
  3. New development projects are increasingly replacing heat-conducting metals (such as steel in pillars and roof panels) and replacing them with lightweight insulated aluminium sheaths and earth bricks. This prevents buildings from heating up.

Using ‘green’ construction materials to reduce pollution

  1. Materials such as wood and sand bricks are used instead of conventional mortar during the construction of new buildings. Not only does this reduce CO2 emission (one of the major by-products of cement manufacturing), it also lessens the amount of waste accumulated during the construction phase.
  2. Clay paints are being used in place of lead paints which emit fumes linked to lead poisoning, and are believed to trigger side effects including nausea, allergies and asthma.
  3. Ceramic tiles are replacing vinyl flooring which keep buildings cooler; they use less energy and reduce the amount of waste accumulated during the manufacturing process.– Ibrahim Murad
    The writer is an engineer.

    First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on April 20, 2014.