Eco-building, Construction and Renovation

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Eco-building, Construction and Renovation Program:

Building Construction Affects the Environment – It’s not just the methods and materials used to construct a building that affects the environment. How it’s built to operate has a huge impact as well. Buildings account for an average of 41% of the world’s energy use.

Impact on the Air and Water – The buildings are responsible for 38% of all CO2 emissions. Water Use Buildings are responsible for not just a large percentage of the world’s water use, but a large percentage of wasted water as well. It’s estimated that buildings use 13.6% of all potable water, which is roughly 15 trillion gallons of water per year.

Construction Materials – The factories that make the materials produce damaging CO2 emissions. Then there’s the issue of transportation. Not to mention the actual production of those materials in their final form. 40% of the world’s raw materials are used in the construction of buildings.

Waste From Building Construction and Demolition – Building waste often includes concrete, metals, glass, plastics, wood, asphalt, bricks and more. This waste is often disposed of in either landfills or incinerators. There were already over 10 billion tons of debris generated in the construction and demolition of buildings in a year alone, 61 percent of which were produced by non-residential buildings.

The notion of Eco-building, Construction and Renovation – Eco-builders consider a building over its whole lifetime. Not only do they integrate energy savings, they also take into consideration the origin of the materials used and their management (elimination, recuperation) at the end of their life. Green building is not a specific construction method, but it brings together a set of techniques, materials and technologies which when suitably integrated in a construction project, contribute to enhancing its environmental performance. In an ideal world, eco-construction optimises energy efficiency, limits water consumption, makes maximum use of recycled, recyclable and non-toxic materials. It also generates as little waste as possible during the construction process and subsequent occupation.

Opportunities to Engage / Support:

We are not a construction company, but knowing the importance of it, our endeavour is to keep the idea of Eco-building, Construction and Renovation alive in public spaces and support small households, tiny businesses or public institutions like alternative schools to construct a new or maintain a traditional structure. Volunteers build an eco-facility by hand and from various local materials including mud, stones, straw, timber, bamboos etc. The purpose is to fulfill the principles of simplistic living and close contact to the earth. Local and foreign volunteers from around the world enjoy this exciting project while learning about and experiencing traditional and new eco-building practices.

Project Locations:

Leh (April to September)

Rajasthan (October – March)

Gokarna (October to March)

Construction and Outdoor Work

Volunteers on the Construction and Outdoor Work project contribute towards community-led initiatives to help improve the landscape and infrastructure within small rural and poor urban communities.

The Construction and Outdoor Work project works at a grass-roots level to build an understanding of sustainable agriculture practices and the benefits they can provide for both people and the environment. The project aims to create models of best practice and to embed them throughout rural communities.

This project is well suited to volunteers who have an interest in basic construction, eco-agriculture and working outdoors. Volunteers must enjoy physical labor and not be afraid to get stuck in and get their hands dirty. A background in construction, farming or agriculture is not necessary and volunteers need to be prepared to follow the lead of project coordinators while also using their initiative to develop new methods for creating and maintaining the communities farm plots.

The project supports construction and outdoor activities by using unwanted resources or reutilizing reusable materials to reduce costs and provide solutions. Previous volunteers on this project have completed a variety of jobs, including:

  • Demonstrative organic vegetable garden/eco-farm to promote eco-agriculture practices to grow clean organic vegetables for local families for their consumption.
  • Vertical Kitchen Gardening to educate families on how to develop vertical gardens in their households. Vertical gardens are a way to boost growing space, reduce insect and disease problems, and beautify decks and patios.
  • Herbal and fruit tree nursery, growing saplings and trees to be planted in nearby social and community areas to support food, fodder, and foliage for the community.
  • Building and designing greenhouses, community centers and small-scale eco-buildings made out of bamboo, waste wood, and second-hand materials.
  • Repairing the roads and pathways using recycled construction waste.
  • Extending water-pipe systems and creating a sanitation and waste management system to protect and promote environmental health.

Some work is scheduled and is expected to be carried out on a regular basis, while other jobs will be assigned to volunteers as they arise. It is important to note that this project may be impacted by monsoon season, so we request that volunteers are flexible with the scope of tasks available and willing to respond to any emergencies that might arise due to the nature of the weather.