The limelight of the day’s seminar was the case study presentation of TZED Homes from Whitefield, Bangalore. Winner of ADDA’s first Rise High Award, for sustainable water management; this amazing community is 100% sustainable. They do not use any tankers, they just use 2 bore wells, recharging the same amount of water withdrawn, into the ground again. Amazing right? And who else is best suited to talk about it than Mr. Alok Kuchlous and Mr. Srinivasan Sekar from TZED Homes, who spearheaded a series of changes in their community to achieve this amazing feat. Being in Bangalore, which is known for its woes regarding water, where majority of water needs in apartments are met by supply through water tankers, this “Rockstar” apartment’s achievement is really exemplary.
This part of the day’s session started with an Introduction from Meera K, comparer for the day and Co-Founder Citizen Matters. She presented a set of points which was originally shared by another MC member, Mrs Aarthi Manay, a couple of years back on aspects a builder should keep in mind while designing an apartment. These aspects could help in avoiding most of the maintenance issues commonly faced by management committee members and avoid problems of higher maintenance cost for the residents.
Being Water Neutral.
What does it mean to be water neutral? As Mr Alok Kuchlous, explained through his eloquent presentation that water neutral is being able to discharge back into the earth the same amount of water which they had drawn from it. His apartment uses RO water in basins, showers and also in toilets. It maintains a big swimming pool. With all this water usage can an apartment still be water neutral? As Mr. Alok puts it, “The answer is a big resounding YES”.
But then how do you do it? Some of it is obvious. You reduce wastage; you use an extensive rainwater harvesting system. Some of it is not so obvious. It requires some innovative thinking and also questioning and breaking some mental barriers. As Mr Alok explained, they take the water from STP through another set of filtration through a set of RO systems to recycle back water into kitchens and bathrooms.
Yes, you read it right. Recycling back sewage water for your personal and drinking needs!?!! Is it safe? How do you test that the water is safe? See these videos on the presentation by Mr. Alok and Mr. Srinivasan Sekar, to find out the answers and also how they took an entire community through this amazing journey of change.
The Builder’s part of the story
We had also invited many builders to be a part of this workshop and among the few who attended was Mr. Harikrishna BS from TZED (BCIL) builders. See this video on his presentation, where he emphasizes the fact that the power to change lies with the buyers. They have to become more demanding, ask the right questions to the builders and demand the right answers.
We put Mr. Alok, Mr Sekar and Mr Harikrishna in a panel to answer all the questions from the audience; and believe me there was a whole lot of questions which was fired to them! This was one of the rare sessions, when all the audience was unanimously ready to push back lunch by an hour to let this part of the session to continue J. See this very interesting question answer session below.
With this session ended the first half of the workshop.
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