Green homes for India's common man?

Green homes for India's common man?
Cement House, ACC's 70 year old Headquarters building is now a LEED Gold Green Building with a 5 Star energy efficiency rating.

Enviromental pollution, which includes air and water pollution along with garbage problems, remains one of India's biggest challenges. And yet, India has the world's second highest number of green buildings after the US, showing the country's intent to tackle its environmental issues.

Swiss cement-maker Holcim, which bought one of India's largest cement companies ACC in 2004, has helped in taking the green building initiative in the country forward.

Since being bought over by Holcim, ACC has three instances of environment- friendly buildings to its credit.

Its headquarters in Mumbai, called the Cement House, now more than 73 years old, was transformed into an energy- efficient green building in 2010.

Giving details about the project, ACC's head of corporate communications R. Nand Kumar said: "The building received the Gold Shield from the Indian Green Building Council in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) under the New Construction and Major Renovations category.

"It is the first old building in India to be awarded green building status. Cement House also received a five-star rating awarded by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Power, Government of India."

Another old building, a 45-year-old apartment block called La Residency, was retrofitted and converted into a hostel complex for participants of ACC's learning centre. It received LEED Platinum certification.

The company's central control room building at its Chanda cement plant in Maharashtra is the first industrial building in India to receive LEED Platinum Certification by the Indian Green Building Council. A high proportion of recycled and locally available building material and accessories were used in the building while the main structure itself was constructed with fly ash-(a by-product of coal combustion) based cement and bricks.

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