• Reji Benoy



Green Living, It was made clear in today’s discussion, that to achieve Green Living, individual initiatives need to be taken. We should find our own ways which suit our locality to achieve greener living and not follow the western model. One should start to make their own homes greener, but in the present scenario what we see is, one blaming his/her neighbor for whatever is happening around one’s home.

Each individual value their social status more than anything and about 20% of world’s population use about 80% of world’s resources. They think, having an apartment in the heart of the city is considered to be a symbol of higher status. The lives in such flats are miserable. I got to experience similar life during my college days. All I used to see when I open the main door was the blank wall and narrow corridor connecting other flats. I could see doors to individual flats and duct doors on the corridor walls. There was nothing unique about the design and it wasn’t satisfying either. In rooms and toilets all I could smell were my neighbors cigarettes butts, whereas in my village I could smell the flowers during autumn and wet soil during rainy seasons. I hardly used to go out of my apartment during those days. Well my case, I think I was better compared to families living in such flats, because I was a student and I could hang out with my friends. I had seen kids in the flats going to schools; they were taken in vans and auto rickshaws. It was a painful sight, because it looked like cattle being taken to slaughter houses. I remembered my schooldays, walking back home 4 km everyday with friends, stopping at small shops for buying candies and other stuff.

We would not be able to go back or reverse the time. All the good moments of the past, only remains as memories. The greener life we used to have in villages and towns in the past is no more existent, but what remains or what our older generation left for us is the ‘knowledge’ which had been passed through generations and that could still be passed to our future generation. To achieve a greener living we could use these knowledge or techniques. Example: The traditional/vernacular architecture, agriculture, cooking, etc…..

It was clear in the discussion that the lifestyle of the present generation has to be changed drastically. The attitude of each individual has to be changed or by the time of our next generation there will be huge energy depletion and each individual will have to fight for their survival and the fittest will survive. We should learn from the past. In case of architecture we could study the traditional design aspects, building materials, architectural elements (why they are used?) etc.

In our research we got to look into all these aspects and compare with the other techniques and see which one is more energy efficient, economical and sustainable. In certain cases the modern materials/techniques might be better than the traditional methods, so I think one should study all the aspects of both the materials/techniques. The study has to be done in such a way that it justifies one’s statement. The research has to be done in all aspects of life, from the life style of an individual to other diverse factors affecting Green living in a wider scale from individual dwellings to an urban conglomeration.

What I will do?

I chose to do a study on housing project in Stockholm called Hammarby Sjostad. I will study and understand why it is different or unique from other similar projects. It would be helpful if I make strategy of the key design aspects used in this project and that would make this topic more interesting to pursue by knowing the challenges the architects faced while doing this project. I have also planned to do a study on various other projects on Green living and various measures to achieve it.