Lets Go Green- Eco-friendly home interiors
Rapid urbanization, Climate change, and congestion have deteriorated the air quality of major cities and hence lowered air quality and less greenery is a major concern. As per the Indian Green Building Council, 90% of the time people stay indoors be it home, office, schools, colleges, etc. Though we have many technologies to control Indoor Air Quality in order to breathe pure air and to lead a healthy life still these modern technologies are not sufficient.
Eco-friendly interior design may not only help in improving your Carbon footprints but have multi-fold benefits like improving indoor quality, improved health and well-being of occupants, water and energy efficiency, better acoustic and ergonomics, connection to the outdoor environment and use of materials that are nontoxic.
The biggest focus of Eco-friendly/ home design is to promote sustainability through 3R approach ie. Reduce, Recycle and Reuse and to improve the indoor environment. Several studies have demonstrated the link between indoor environmental quality and occupant’s health, productivity & happiness.
Here are a few tips for Eco-friendly interior ideas.
1. Air purification through Indoor Plants
There is an array of indoor plant species that helps in absorbing toxins like formaldehyde’s from an indoor environment hence indoor plants should be encouraged to enhance indoor air quality, thereby improving the health and well-being of occupants.
Bamboo Palm/ Areca Palm- Cleans airborne toxins and removes formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene.
Marginata or Dragon Tree- Purifies air from carcinogen, benzene and removes xylene from paints & varnishes.
Ficus A1 Gold- They are an overall air purifier.
Apart from these above mention plants, there are a variety of plant species which improves air quality.
2. Eco-friendly Refrigerants
Refrigerants are majorly used in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) equipment. Avoid use of refrigerants and ozone depleting gases thereby reducing environmental impacts.
Always ensure that the base building Heating, Ventilation & Air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment and Unitary Air-conditioners installed in the building are Chloro Fluoro Carbons (CFC) and Hydro Chloro-Fluoro Carbons (HCFC) free.
3. Eco- Design Approach
Eco design is an approach to minimize the negative impact on the environment by adopting and implementing sustainable designs strategies right from project initiation to closing out stage. Home interiors should be designed in order to ensure optimum circulation of space, thereby ensuring safety & well-being of occupants.
Interior spaces should be designed such that the circulation area is at least 25% of the carpet area. Circulation area can be defined as the Carpet Area excluding Furniture area and Equipment area whereas Carpet Area can be defined as the usable space at any floor level (excluding the area of the walls
4. Water Conservation
There are many ways to conserve water and to reduce the dependency on municipal water and bore water. Green interiors encourage water usage in a self sustainable manner primarily through water use reduction. The per capita water consumption for domestic usage is considered as 135 litres per day which can be reduced to upto 30% in green projects by using water efficient plumbing fixtures to lower water consumption and by promoting rainwater harvesting.
5. Energy conservation
There are several easy ways to conserve energy and they are as follows:-
Use energy efficient appliances ie. Use appliances having at least rating 3 star and above by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)
Minimise artificial lighting in at least 25% of the regularly occupied spaces during the day.
Use Motion sensors, daylight sensors in the interior space to cover atleast 75% of the regularly occupied areas
Use of renewable energy technologies, to minimize the environmental impacts associated with fossil fuel energy use
6. Green Interior Material
Encourage use of materials that have a high recycled content for interior applications such as glazing, partitions, false ceilings, tiles, metal railings, etc, thereby minimizing the associated environmental impacts
Use of Eco-certified interior products that consider impacts through the life cycle, thereby resulting in lower environmental impacts.
Encourage the use of green consumables in the interior space that have low impacts on human health and the environment ie. by minimizing the use of plastic in home interiors.