India: green rating system available soon for open spaces

After a rating system for green buildings spanning commercial and residential space, it is now a system for green spaces, the Indian Green Building Council plans to develop a rating system for open spaces, a green landscape rating, by March 2013, says Raghupathy, Senior Director and Head, Confederation of Indian Industry – Godrej Green Business Centre. The Council hopes to emulate its success in green buildings in landscaping to ensure that at least a third of the urban space qualifies for green space. This is not just for existing urban space but also up coming township scale projects.

Over the last decade the Green Building Council which has spearheaded the development of green buildings – built up space that uses natural resources efficiently and sustainably. In India over 1,795 buildings including 590 residential projects, spread over 1.26 billion sq. ft have been registered with 295 buildings certified. In Chennai there are over 175 registered projects, 60 of them residential, totalling over 120 million sq.ft.

A green building is one which uses less water, enhances energy efficiency, conserves natural resources, generates less waste and provides healthier spaces for occupants, as compared to a conventional building,” according to the Council.

The concept is catching on as builders and occupants see clear gains in buildings that use water and power efficiently, utilise maximum natural light and ventilation to Rsave on operational costs.

The Council has now focussed on open spaces to ensure a green environment. The IGBC will target public and private open spaces to provide a guideline to expand on waste management, water conservation and greening. The objective is to ensure at least 30 per cent of the urban space is green and open.

As of now no urban space in India qualifies with Bangalore possibly coming close to about 20 per cent.

IGBC has initiated pilot project in the Lal Bagh in Bangalore. This follows an agreement with the Karnataka Government at the landscape summit in January this year. The Council will also work with architects and developers and sensitise people to the greening of open spaces.

It is not just about greening open spaces, even green roofs are possible. These help to increase natural cooling of buildings and bring down air conditioning need and save power. Plants can treat waste water for recycling and reuse. Green spaces can have a clear utilitarian value, he says.

Greenery in urban locations can address some of the problems of cities – air pollution, carbon emissions, mitigate heat island effect, water conservation by preventing water run off. Green landscaping can enable healthier lifestyles. Vertical gardening, green roofs, green interiors are all opportunities that are waiting to be tapped.

All these issues are to be addressed at the two-day Green Landscape Summit 2013 to be held in Chennai on March 1 and 2, 2013, he said.

The event is being held in partnership with the Indian Society of Landscape Architects and the Agri Horticulture Society of India. International participation from Singapore, China, the Netherlands and Israel is also expected, Raghupathy said.


Source: The Hindu Business Line

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