India: Underperformance of green-rated buildings


CM Vasundhra Raje, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, emphasized that the concept of green buildings should be vastly promoted and that more incentives should be given to developers related to green building practices. She addressed the subject at the meeting of Urban Development & Housing and local-self governance departments.

In a recent conference, Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director of the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) has found that green rated buildings are under-performing because state governments are giving extra free built up area to developers without independent official monitoring and oversight of the actual environmental performance and energy savings in green-rated buildings. West Bengal, Noida (UP), Rajasthan, Punjab are among several state governments that have promised extra built up area to the developers and put the entire onus of monitoring and certification on rating agencies.

Without rigorous measures related to building performance, private green rating systems are becoming the alternative for environmental regulations. The incentives, which should have been an obligation for all to follow, are now only privileged for few developers.

Pune and Pimpric Chinchwad, cities of Maharashtra, are doing green building rating systems and incentives differently. Instead of giving the incentives in the form of extra built up area, it has rightly opted only for fiscal incentives that can be withdrawn if needed. This could be a better solution than giving the extra built up area which can’t be undone if found under-performing.

Chowdhury also stated that India is locked in a frenzy construction to meet the demand in the building sector. Unless policies minimize resource guzzling and wastes with appropriate building material, architectural design and operational management for the entire building stock, massive environmental disaster in the building sector may take place in the future.


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