India: Quicker Environmental Clearance Boosts Green Buildings

 mumbai 2

Quicker govt clearance is drawing more developers to plan environment-friendly buildings.

More green residences are coming up in Mumbai over the past couple of years  since the state has made it easier for these projects; higher costs may not be an issue much longer.

According to experts with the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), of the 2 billion square feet of green construction projects across the country, a quarter are registered in Mumbai.

As of today in Mumbai, 51 projects (17.57 million sqft) are certified and 83 projects (72 million sqft) are at the pre-certification stage and a majority of them are residential.

The Indian Green Building Council facilitates the green building movement through various programmes and workshops, accredits developers and provides certification for green buildings. It has over 1,400 members countrywide.

Such residential projects are characterised by eco-friendly amenities such as rainwater harvesting, water recycling and solar power systems. Hiranandani, K Raheja, Enercon India and Kalpataru are some of the developers who have earnestly launched these projects.

Till a couple of years ago, it would take a developer anything between eight months and a year to get environment clearance. But things are better now, since the government decided to prioritise the clearance of such plans.

In 2012, the state government announced a scheme where buildings with green certification would be given priority for environmental clearance. Mala Singh of PEC Solutions Green Designs Pvt Ltd got her pre-certification from IGBC in a month and the environment clearance from the government came a month after that.

“After my pre-certification, it took me one month to get my environmental clearance from the ministry. I’m glad that the government is encouraging developers to go green,” said Singh, who got the go-ahead for a residential project of four buildings by RNA (NG) Builders in Ghansoli that will accommodate 250 tenants.

Madhulika Pise Gupta, principal, architect and environment, at Mumbai-based FreeSpanz Design Build Pvt Ltd, says that while there is an interest among developers and corporates for environment-friendly systems, the technology has yet to catch on.  “There are better incentives for this technology in other states, but unfortunately not in Maharashtra,” Gupta said.

Environmentalists say that despite the fact that the cost of green buildings is 3% to 8% more than regular buildings, this is recovered in two to three years through savings in energy and water bills.

 

Source: CNA India

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