India: green buildings a growing trend in Bangalore

Karnataka is home to 41 green buildings, the fourth largest figure for any state in the country. Of them, 39 are in Bangalore.

Green buildings are fast catching the imagination of the people. Though the penetration level is just around 5%, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) is happy the residential sector is coming up with such buildings. Going by industry prediction, the residential sector — both independent houses and residential apartments — are set to outnumber commercial buildings by 2030 in India.

Maharashtra tops the national figure with the highest number of green buildings, followed by the National Capital Region. Tamil Nadu holds third position.

According to figures with IGBC, there are 1,909 registered buildings in the country, of which 187 are in Karnataka.

What is a green building?

A green building is one which uses less water, optimizes energy efficiency, conserves natural resources, generates less waste and provides healthier spaces for occupants, as compared to a conventional building. A building is assessed based on its predicted performance over its entire lifecycle – inception through operation. The stages identified for evaluation are:

Pre-construction: Intra- and inter-site issues like proximity to public transport, type of soil, kind of land, location, flora and fauna before construction activity starts, natural landscape and features

Planning and construction: Issues of resource conservation and reduction in resource demand, resource utilization efficiency and recovery, reuse, and provisions for occupant health and well-being. Prime resources considered are land, water, energy, air and green cover

Operation and maintenance: Of building systems and processes, monitoring and recording of energy consumption, occupants’ health and well-being and issues that affect the global and local environment

How they are rated

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED India) Green Building Rating System is a nationally and internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.

Part of the Confederation of Indian Industries, IGBC Green Homes is the first rating programme developed exclusively for the residential sector. It is designed to rate new residential buildings — individual homes, high-rise apartments, gated communities, row houses — and existing residential buildings.

Builders have to register themselves for the green rating, once construction is complete. The project team then evaluates all the possible points under the rating system using a checklist.

GRIHA rating

Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (Griha) is the other LEED India based system for evaluating green buildings. Launched by The Energy and Resources Institute, it is suitable for all kinds of buildings in different climatic zones of the country. Griha has 300 projects registered with them in the country, of which 14 are in Karnataka.

Self-sufficiency is key

Sustainable buildings take into account the building’s entire lifecycle – there may be slightly higher initial costs, but green designs, upgrades and operations create savings that almost always pay for the added costs, reduce the use of other resources and enhance productivity. Green buildings are gaining momentum and could account for 20% of all constructions by 2030. They are healthier places to live and work, reduce energy and water use, and generate better profits.

Sudarshan Ananth | Vice-President and Business Head, Trane India

Recycled water must be used for flushing and landscaping, and rainwater harvesting needs to be incorporated. Minimal dependence on corporation water makes buildings self-sufficient.

S Srinivas | Principal Councillor, IGBC

Source: The Times of India

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