Energy efficient homes: Building a green space in the concrete jungle


For 48-year-old architect Sandeep Gandhi, when the opportunity arose to reconstruct his ancestral home in Naraina Vihar, he was quick to convince his siblings to opt for an energy-efficient and green building.

For Sandeep Gandhi, a 48-year-old architect, studying green buildings or working on them was nothing new. However, when the opportunity arose to reconstruct his ancestral home in Naraina Vihar, he was quick to convince his siblings to opt for an energy-efficient and green building instead — one that would be climate-resistant and keep them cool in summers and warm during winters, without requiring the need for too much air-conditioning or heating.

To carry out the construction, Gandhi approached Ashok Lall, his former teacher and mentor, who suggested utilising a rooftop garden, double-glazed windows, insulated walls and a central courtyard which would allow sunlight to enter the home all through the day, minimising use of any other form of lighting.

After beginning construction in the second half of 2020, Gandhi moved into his green home on December 29, 2021.

Unlike regular homes, the walls have a layer of thermal insulation and the windows are double-glazed. “The rooftop garden also helps prevent heat from entering the house directly,” he said.

Gandhi said the open courtyard allows sunlight to enter the house at an angle, ensuring each room is well lit, thus rarely needing electric lighting during the day. “The overall cost has reduced by two-thirds in terms of our bills too,” he said.

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