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Designing a Sustainable Kitchen

December 11, 2023

Mrinmoy Dey

Kitchen is the one of the major contributors as far as the usage of water and electricity is concerned. While bathrooms use the most water in a typical home, kitchens use the most energy. In that context, a sustainable approach in designing the kitchen would go a long way in saving these precious resources as well as saving the mullah in the bargain!

So what is a sustainable design? Sustainable kitchen design, as most people think of it, primarily concerns two most important factors minimising the usage of water and energy without compromising on the functionality of the kitchen space! It naturally involves the selection of appropriate appliances (water-saving dishwashers, energy-efficient refrigerators) and the materials that go into making the Kitchen. In short, Sustainable design is about using less to get more.

The enhanced awareness about conserving, or rather not wasting, water is on the rise and consumers are gradually shifting towards making the smart choice. Photo Courtesy: Grohe

Sustainable Product Design

In India, however, the concept of sustainable or green products – be it in the bathroom or the kitchen space has largely been driven by manufacturers. What has prevented wide-scale acceptance is probably the misconception that green products cost more. Thus, while the commercial and hospitality sectors have shown keen interest in moving towards sustainable solutions, the residential segment is still caught in a loop.

More interestingly, till 2010 India did not have any standard benchmark to rate water-efficient appliances. In 2011, the International Association of Plumbing & Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and the Indian Plumbing Association (IPA) jointly introduced the ‘Uniform Plumbing Code–India’ (UPC–1) as well as the water efficiency rating specification ‘Water Efficient Products India’ (WEP–1).

This development has encouraged manufacturers to promote green products, and in fact, helped them segregate their products with star ratings.

Designing a sustainable kitchen, which is an intrinsic part of the green building set-up, will go a long way in conserving natural resources.

Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go to font for titles, paragraphs & more. Avenir Light is a clean and stylish font favored by designers. It's easy on the eyes and a great go to font for titles, paragraphs & more. 

Sustainable Kitchen Design Approach:

The moot idea here is to reduce the amount of energy and water used. Let’s look at some strategies to help reduce energy and water consumption in the kitchen space.

Daylighting: While using energy-efficient LED lighting will help minimise energy usage, for a better result, it is always good to design it in a way to allow more natural light (wherever possible!) and thus reduces the need for artificial lighting at least during the daytime.

Akkisetti Ramprasad, Managing Director of Pune-based design firm CCBA Designs Pvt Ltd says, “The first and foremost things when it comes designing a, design it in such a manner that there should be more natural light. Ventilation and lighting should be the primary aspect while designing a kitchen. So, harnessing daylight and natural ventilation will reduce energy consumption significantly.”

Enlarged and efficient windows and doors, skylights and reflective surfaces help minimise the need for electrical lighting during the day, maintain desired indoor temperature, provide for desired ventilation, and with all that minimise operating expenses. In addition, daylighting enhances the psychological well-being and productivity of indoor occupants.

Further, if the house is using some sort of home automation or at least automation of lighting the savings can be increased. Motion sensor and auto-adjusting lights which adjusts brightness according to the level of lighting available would go a long way in optimising electricity usage.