Sustainable Buildings & Habitat: Catering Environmental Sustainability Solutions

Sudipta Singh,FounderOdisha based Sustainable Building & Habitat (SBH) is uniquely placed to work on environmental sustainability with its pioneering initiatives and expertise in the field of green buildings & environmental planning. The company is led by Sudipta Singh, an avid entrepreneur in green building consulting. Her background in architecture and environmental planning encouraged her to pursue her carrier in environment friendly buildings. Her aspiration was to find the spiritual purpose of her profession and not just mere money-making job or business. During her wonderful eight years of learning experience with TERI (The Energy & Resources Institute), New Delhi, she discovered that service of our mother earth and protection of this vulnerable planet at this stage is the ultimate spiritual attainment of her profession. Henceforth, sustainability didn't remain her job only, rather it became her passion and this incited her to venture SBH in the year 2016.

The Journey
Being the pioneer in the Odisha market, the company has strived to create grass root level awareness, build the demonstration projects and all the required components from scratch. With all the efforts and hard work, SBH has witnessed a huge transformation by changing the perspectives of the society as well as government towards building sustainability over the years. Since the inception, the company has successfully executed 32 lac sq. ft. project foot print over 25 buildings adopting green building and energy efficiency principles and certifications. SBH had established two ECBC (Energy Conservation Building Code)-Cell in Bhubaneswar Development Authority and Cuttack Municipal Corporation in association with PwC under the funding of European Union & UNDP respectively. SBH facilitated the first Five-Star Certified GRIHA office building (Vastukaar) and also consulted for the First Platinum Certified IGBC Green Resort (SwostiChilika) in Odisha.

SBH has been consulting to some prestigious hospitals and medical collegesconstructed by PWD; some office buildings by IDCO, several residential and commercial projects
by some eminent architects, builders and developersin and around Odisha. Apart from the above SBH consistently assisting the state government departments in the formulation and enforcement of green building or environmental planning guidelines in the state plan, policy and regulation.

The founder is recognised as an ECBC Expert Professional, empanelled by Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Power, GoI. She has been facilitating the implementation of ECBC across the state since 2015. She is an IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) accredited professional as well as core technical committee member of IGBC-Odisha Chapter. She is certified as GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) Eastern Zone Representative and was a founding member of GRIHA.

Scaling up to new heights... SBH has been playing as a catalyst in creating the green building market in odisha

A study by our ECBC-Cell, BDA (2017) on the existing building stocks of Bhubaneswar city revealed that, "there is a potential of saving 328 Giga-Watt-Hour energy (electricity) and reducing 230511 metric tons CO2 emissions by 2021, if we adopt energy efficiency measures only in all the high-end (>100KW connected load) existing buildings of the city. Hence, if we multiply this number with the total number of buildings in the state and in the country, we can imagine the quantum of benefits.

However, we will start avail this result only if we start adopting these concepts today in our design, construction and operation.

Sudipta is very much inspired by the fundamental teachings of "Sustainability" by Brahma Kumaris; that is "Our inner climate impacts the outer climate." It means ­ "there is a deep connection between our consciousness, thoughts and actions, and their impact on the world. It has been seen that long-lasting change in any social or environmental system starts with a profound shift in the minds and hearts of people. The current environmental crisis is therefore a clear call to transform our awareness and lifestyle. Any shift in individual awareness is reflected in society as a whole. To bring stability, resilience and compassionate action on a global scale." Hence, she believes in ‘inside-out' approach.

The Road Ahead
Sudipta Says, this eleven years of incredible journey in this field made her realize that sustainability cannot be imposed on the society through rules, regulations or by capacity building of technical solutions only. Unless until we are able to create that "inner call" to be a sustainable being, it is impossible to integrate true sustainability in all spheres of development and on a permanent basis. Therefore, SBH is committed to sensitize people with the knowledge of "spirituality in sustainability". With this insight, SBH is looking forward to expand its services in to another dimension called "SBH-Foundation" (NGO) a not-for profit organization, aims to execute social-environmental projects and educational programs for the young minds of the society to understand the need of "Giving" to the planet instead of only "Taking" through their profession.

"At present when the natural world has been weakened and needs our service and support, we turn our attention to the Earth in the awareness that this is the only home we human beings have ever known. From this awareness emerges an attitude of respect and deep regard. There is an absolute necessity of the paradigm shift of consciousness and SBH is striving for that," she concludes.