What is the ‘Green Built Environment’ programme about?
Green built environment is nothing but building with high regards for Mother Earth. It is one of the most compassionate architectural practice of building that will add not only ecological but also economic value to the construction. It implicates innovative practices of siting, design, construction, operations and maintenance to get advantage of natural light, wind, natural ambiance, existing vegetation, water and fresh air.
This concept will not only improve the health of occupants and employees but also reduce the consumption energy, waste, material cost and pollution of the environment. These principles are in tune with our classical building concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Green building is also known as a sustainable or high performance building.
What are the main crisis that has been found out by the authorities while examining in the local areas prior to this programme?
The main crisis that has been found is the rapid loss of nature in the cities. Due to increasing high rise buildings, there is tremendous pressure on the existing natural resources as well as municipal services like waste management, energy and water supply, transport having negative impact on overall quality of life. One can witness the stressful life of citizens due to poor air quality, traffic jams, inadequate public transport services, overcrowded working spaces, residences in distant suburbs.
Another major concern is excessive use of glass facades, heaps of construction waste, pollution of natural resources like air and water, loss of biodiversity in the rapidly mushrooming development projects in the cities and semi urban areas with least attention to the ecological impact on the surroundings and human well-being.
Most of the sites are cleared by uprooting old native trees that has resulted in loss of habitat for several species of plants and animals. The native forest is replaced with exotic trees having no ecological services –like no use for shade, less canopy –no use for nesting of birds, no use as fodder for cattle and also no use as manure as well.
How will this programme examine sustainability principles and help in creating awareness and conservation from the economic and social point of views?
This module is designed to encourage the concept of Green Building among developers, decision makers, town planners , Govt officers and NGOs , citizens and students . The course will be conducted for five days by eminent architects and researchers who will introduce innovative design concepts, technologies, traditional practices and guidelines for green building with numerous case studies and examples.
The participants will be introduced to GRIHA and IGBC rating systems that are some of the most recommended national rating systems for promotion of Sustainable Built environments throughout India through case studies, field visits. Hands on experience on procedures for estimation of the world class standards on Green Design concepts will be introduced during these sessions.
What kind of research does K J Somaiya College of Science and Commerce encourage in the campus?
Department of Environmental Science, K J Somaiya College of Science and Commerce has a very strong team of ecologically conscious teachers and students. The faculty with the help of their students launch several environmental education programs like seminars, lecture series, interactive games and competitions, photo exhibitions, intercollegiate events, skits and campaigns to spread awareness on biodiversity of the campus, sustainability practices like rainwater harvesting, composting, waste segregation, plantation of native trees, recycling of waste etc.
The M.Sc. Environmental Science students have taken up projects on campus Water Quality index, Air quality, Campus biodiversity and Green campus initiatives. Waste and energy audits are conducted in different departments by students as a part of their internal evaluation projects. Some of the students have done projects on waste water treatment and technologies like constructed wetlands, phytoremediation etc. Tree plantation drives and Waste recycling campaigns are conducted on account of world environmental day.
The students are also reaching the tribal areas in Dahanu for education of the children from tribal areas and documentation of biodiversity resources.
Could you please elaborate on the job and career prospect of students who pursue undergraduate/postgraduate education in Environmental Sciences?
There are ample career opportunities after post-graduation in environmental science. There is increasing pressure from international and national agencies for protection and conservation of environment through several international treaties. There is scope to work in any of the three spheres of sustainability that is economic, social and ecological aspects of environment . The students can get jobs in corporate as well as public sectors, govt organizations or NGOs , research organization and academic institutions .Some of the careers are ,
- Industry (Environmental Impact Assessment, Sustainable Resource Management, Waste Management, Environmental Biotechnology, Ecotechnology).
- Government and Business Sector (Environmental Manager, Environmental Consultant, Analysts).
- Universities and Research Institutes (Teaching and Research).
- Indian Forest service/Indian administrative services
- Non-governmental Organizations at National and International Levels.
- Entrepreneurships in Organic farming, Ecotourism, Mass Media, Environmental journalism etc.
How does K J Somaiya College of Science and Commerce help the students to have the essential set of skills before joining work?
The department of Environment Science has kept its curriculum updated through senveral revisions during last 8 years. The process of admission is based on Group discussion and personal interview and only those students who are academically sound and passionate about environmental conservation are selected for the program.
They are given experiential learning through field visits, interaction with experts through conferences, seminars and workshops organized by various govt agencies and environmental research institutions in the city. The department has conducted several programs for students , teachers and general citizens in collaboration with University of Mumbai, American Library , Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, Mangrove Conservation Cell, National Park, NGOS for the benefit of their students.
Department has launched Capacity Development Programs in Environment Management in Collaboration with MMRDA . One year Advanced Diploma in Integrated Solid Waste Management will be launched soon in collaboration with an NGO National Solid Waste Association of India(NSWAI) that is recognized by MoEF&CC, Ministry of Skill Development.
During and after completion of M.Sc. degree from the Department, students are sent for their internship in National institutes like, National Institute for Oceanography, National institute for environmenta engineering, (NEERI) ,RCF, Industries like TCS , Godrej ,CDM projects, Pollution Control laboratories, Remote Sensing and GIS Application Centre, Various NGOs viz BNHS, Enviro-vigil, and independent projects of social relevance in the department .