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194 viewsAll GS PapersGS Paper 3
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Approach:

  1. Define microclimate.
  2. Discuss how expanding urban areas are inducing microclimatic changes.
  3. Mention the steps needed to be taken.
  4. Mention the concept of green buildings & their utilities.

Microclimate is defined as the climate of a very small or restricted area generally characterised by temperature and moisture conditions.

The extending urban boundaries are bringing microclimatic changes as –

  • The built- up area is large in urban areas leading to lower albedo than non- urban areas and greater heat conduction and more heat storage.
  • During the day, the city surface absorbs more readily and after sunset, they become radiating source that raises night temperature.
  • The energy flows are further modified by the geometry of the city buildings, walls, roofs and streets that present a much more varied surface to the solar radiation than under developed areas.
  • In the early morning and late evening, the cities absorb more energy than surrounding areas.
  • It sometimes also takes the form of urban dome under calm conditions.
  • The influence of cities on rainfall is still not completely understood. However, a city gets about 8-10% more rainfall than surrounding areas.
  • This also contributes towards more greenhouse gases and thus, global warming.

Steps to be taken to mitigate such problems:

  • Growing reliance on public transport rather than private vehicles.
  • At least 33% area in a city should be green according to WHO guidelines.
  • Proper and scientific construction norms for buildings.
  • Incentivisation of green structures and more reliance on renewable energy.
  • Green Highways and expressways where the major roads are having trees on their sides to reduce pollution.
  • More emphasis on sustainable living rather than opulent ways. E.g.- Japanese people take pride in minimal living.
  • Proper and planned extension of urban areas taking care of all rich and poor people.

Green buildings can be defined as both a structure and the application of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource- efficient throughout a building’s life-cycle: from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. The Green Building practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Utilities of green buildings are :

  • Environmental benefits: Reduce wastage of water; Conserve natural resources; Improve air and water quality; Protect biodiversity and ecosystems; Reduced waste generation; Indoor air quality enhancement.
  • Economic benefits: Reduce operating costs; Improve occupant productivity; Create market for green product and services.
  • Social benefits: Improve quality of life; Minimize strain on local infrastructure; Improve occupant health and comfort.

Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency has launched the Energy Conservation Building code for star rating the urban buildings.