The Green building initiatives in India and the world is hogging since the year 1990s. Since then, the world has changed a lot with more environmental issues and concerns. It is hence required to have a knowledge about the latest standards and certifications in green building revolution. The national & international standards, codes, green product certification, and rating systems are practiced in India to have an efficient use of the available resources.
India is expecting to triple its Green footprints by the year 2020. The Green Building initiatives taken at the national level is enduring this confidence, as India is accounting for 10 to 12% global space as green structures. With this refreshing vision, the responsibilities of the governing and standardizing agencies have increased.
Before you start with the construction of your new building project, think of going green. This article tries to pen down all relevant information one might need for its Green Building.
What all is needed for a Green Building?
Green buildings are constructed with the use of recyclable materials and are equipped with environment-friendly systems and appliances which help in conserving energy and resources. The following are important acquisitions and elements for a tagged green structure:
- Construction Standards
The agencies set rules over the quantity and quality of building materials and tools. The construction is followed to meet the certification requirements of LEEDS (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the leading global standard for green building certification, in India and worldwide.
- Following Green Codes
The Green codes provide requirements which are either prescriptive or performance-based, for example, stars rating for energy efficiency. The International Green Construction Code (IgCC) is a document referred by manufacturers, design professionals, and contractors to minimize the negative impact of buildings on the natural environment.
- Use of certified green products
The buildings must use certified green products, to cover a 360o aspect of this greener revolution. ISO (Indian Standard Organization) is an international agency that defines quality standards of products, worldwide. Nearly 600 green product certifications are there in the world. The certifications are based on parameters which include energy use, recycled content, and air and water emissions from manufacturing, disposal, and use.
- Systems based on rating
Along with individual product’s green certification, a complete set of the project which includes both, the process and design of the products give more sustainable green solutions, in a Green Building.
- Green Building Certification Acquisition
A formal certificate can be successfully acquired by following all the required building standards and ratings.
Prominent Agencies & Process in India for Acquiring Green Building Certification
The following agencies provide support and provisions for distributing ratings and certified documents for Green Building Certification in India:
- Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA)
- Indian Green Building Council (IGBC)
- Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)
Confederation of Indian Industry, CII’s IGBC has launched the following 9 Green Building Rating Systems, for different types of construction projects
- IGBC Green New Buildings (NB)
- IGBC Green Existing Buildings (EB)
- IGBC Green Homes
- IGBC Green Schools
- IGBC Green Factory Buildings
- IGBC Green Townships
- IGBC Green Special Economic Zones (SEZs)
- IGBC Green Landscapes
- IGBC Green Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS)
India’s own rating system, Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) was jointly developed by TERI and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India. The green building’s design is evaluated under this system, by following the undermentioned process
- Online submission of documents
- The feasibility study by a team of professionals and experts from GRIHA Secretariat.
- Rating the building on post-construction.
The parameters such as selection and site planning, conservation methods for utilizing the resources, innovation, etc. are focused by providing GRIHA ratings
The most popular examples of buildings in India which have received GRIHA rating include Commonwealth Games Village, New Delhi, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi, CESE (Centre for Environmental Sciences & Engineering) Bldg, IIT Kanpur, Suzlon One Earth, Pune, and many others.
BEE has developed the Energy Performance Index (EPI) which provides a rating on the scale of 1 to 5; more the rating, more efficient is the building. The unit of Kilo watt-hours per square meter per year is considered to rate the building. It targets air-conditioned and non-airconditioned office buildings. Many Green Buildings of India have acquired 5-star ratings.
Why is it beneficial to have Green Building Certificate?
Investing in a Green Building structure provides economic and environmental benefits. The 750 LEED certified projects covering over 20.28 million gross square meters of space in India are achieved using standards, rating, and certification systems. Here is how acquiring a Green building certificate is beneficial:
- There is a 30% increase in the conservation of energy, carbon and 97% reduction in the wastage.
- There is an 8-9% reduction in operating costs of green buildings.
- The value of the structure increases by 7.5%.
- On economic grounds, many sustainable buildings have shown up to 6.6% increase in return on investment, 3.5% increases in occupancy, and a rent increase of 3%.
- The health of the occupants has raised quality because of the better indoor environment, natural daylight and healthy built-up materials.
- There is an extensive decrease in carbon footprint, thus they promote environmental conservation.
- One sustainable development saves more than enough resources for all subsequent constructions.
India has varied nature of development projects hence the requirement for the number of green products and methods are different too, which depends upon attributes such as the project location, size, budget, overall project goals, ease of use, expected performance and budget.
The certification awarding agencies are keeping themselves tuned with the paced-up need for green buildings in India. The idea is not just “the trend” but also a responsible move by the people of our country. The need for the changes in the required standards is necessary to cope up with changing demands of environmental issues. Before getting started with the project, keep yourself updated with these changes.
Our country needs more sustainable development due to our ever-increasing demand for energy, water, and cleaner environment.
Chaitanya’s contribution in making India Green
Chaitanya is a responsible organization who, not only deals in rainwater harvest products and systems but also has a team of expert engineers who can help in the feasibility study for investing in rainwater harvest system installation. At a community level, the expert guidance proved helpful in conserving water and energy resources for my residential and commercial societies.