The Gera NewsletterIssue: # July 2010
Newsletter 16

Dear Friends and Associates,

Treehugging seems to be the latest fad. In this month's newsletter lets ponder over whether we are really thinking green or just following a trend.  


As always, if you have any queries, feel free to contact me - I would be happy to help you with your real estate matters.


Sujeet Modak
Business Unit Head - Gera Developments Pvt. Ltd.

Really Green or just an eye wash?
By Rohit Gera, JMD - Gera Developments Pvt. Ltd.
Think Green!World over, people are talking of 'going green'. But the thought that has to be taken into account is that 'is it a green wash'?  Everybody is jumping onto the bandwagon in the context of going green as it seems to be the new fad.

In the context of green buildings which are cropping up across the country, one needs to realize that the benefits come at a cost and it is a colossal waste if the occupants of the buildings are not aware or even sensitive about the environmental factors themselves.

It is easy to talk about having systems in the buildings which are supposedly giving the benefits of going green, however without monitoring & tracking, the benefits are lost. A simple example is the installation of a solar water heating system. Invariably every household ends up installing a geyser. The occupant of the building is not aware whether the hot water which is coming is out of the solar heating system which has been installed or the geyser as the slack is taken over by the geyser incase the system fails. Some solar systems come with electrical backups - if the solar panels are covered with dirt and rendered ineffective, the power backup heats the water; thus defeating the purpose.

As always the Government has come up with many projects and is pitching in with their green ideas. Projects like garbage segregation, vermiculture, rain water harvesting, solar heating systems are being installed in many buildings a result of incentives offered to occupiers. But the sad fact that many of these occupants are not aware of what are the benefits and the costs attached to it. The authorities are also offering tax rebates for promoting the green culture such as eco friendly ratings.

The bottom line about going green is, sometimes it is about incurring a greater capital cost upfront for a green technology as with solar heating or CFL or LED lighting, or sometimes an increased running cost. For example, the grass favours a green culture by offering the option of water percolation in the area which otherwise would have become a hard paved concrete surface. It also reduces the heat island effect and makes the place looker better. But the costs attached to it and the fact that it has to be continuously maintained has to be kept in mind. As otherwise it would look unkempt and dirty. We must be prepared to pay this small price.

My concern is that it should not be a green wash but a genuine concern for the environment and the occupants should be the recipient of these benefits. It should not be a fad which will be in vogue for the next five years after which everybody puts it on the back burner and forgets about the basic intention with which it had come up. If that is the situation, then it becomes a huge disservice to the society. The efforts taken up by the Government also should be taken up in the right spirit and the intention should be to have a sustainable model giving the occupants the benefits in the long run.

Rohit Gera

As with other investments, real estate too carries a certain amount of risk.  Readers are advised to undertake their own due diligence and take judgement calls based on their own research and not on the article.
HOME GREENING TIP - Make compost from kitchen waste.
Compost like a champ by throwing in your vegetable waste, instead of allowing it to be trucked off to the landfill. Known as "gardener's gold," compost enriches soil fertility by giving it a shot of high-powered, plant-loving nutrients. Aside from stimulating healthy root development, the addition of rich and earthy compost also improves soil texture, aeration, and water retention. Why waste your hard-earned cash on commercial products when the real deal is free for the taking? Speed up the process with the help of earthworms or go wriggle-free (if you're the squeamish sort).

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Sujeet Modak