India: Green Buildings Concept Remains Ignored in Madhya Pradesh

IGBCDespite government incentives, concept of green buildings has failed to catch fancy of real estate developers in Madhya Pradesh. This is much in contrast to booming real estate markets like Gurgaon (Haryana), Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad where ‘green’ is the in-thing.

Not a single building in the state is rated ‘green building,’ which uses less water, optimizes energy efficiency, conserves natural resources, generates less waste and provides healthier spaces for occupants, as compared to conventional buildings. There are 352 green-rated buildings in the country, approved by Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).

According to real estate developers, due to lengthy certification process, the concept has failed to kick-off in the state.

Jitendra Mehta of Mehta and Associates, who is also a member of IGBC from state, said, “The process is lengthy. The initial registering certification amount is costly. Initial cost of construction projects rises by 15-20%. Due to competitive market, most of the developers do not go for certification.”

He said that 50-60% buildings that are now constructed are now energy efficient building but if the green certification is made convenient for designers and technical persons people can adopt it. Though the initial cost of green building may be high, benefits can be reaped after 7-8 years. When asked why there was not a single building in state with green rating, Mehta said, “We have been boasting about the benefits and subsidies of green building but hardly anyone takes interest.”

As per the IGBC figures, Maharashtra tops the national figure with the highest number of green buildings, followed by National Capital Region. Tamil Nadu holds third position. There are 1,909 registered buildings in the country, of which 187 are in Karnataka. Karnataka is home to 41 green buildings, the fourth largest figure for any state in the country. Of them, 39 are in Bangalore.

Centre for Environment Protection Research and Development (CEPRD) has been raising awareness to adopt the concept for ecological balance but all attempts have got cold response. Organization secretary Narendra Surana said, “We hold workshops to promote the concept but it fails to attract real estate developers in state.”

The developers said more incentives should be given to developers for constructing green buildings. The fee refund is too less compared to input cost for a green structure. According to UNEP figures, the buildings sector accounts for one-third of energy related carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. Nearly 60% of world’s electricity is consumed in residential and commercial buildings.

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.

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.

 

Source : The Times of India

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