Towards greener pastures

Friday, October 21, 2016

Adopting and promoting green construction in real estate will go a long way in addressing national priorities, believes Jalay Pandya

Green Construction refers to using of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from sitting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. Essentially, green construction focuses on the following:

  • Water efficiency
  • Sustainable site
  • Energy efficiency
  • Materials & resources optimisation
  • Indoor environmental quality control

Adopting green design and construction practices facilitates not only lower energy and water consumption, lesser material utilisation and reduced green house gas emissions, but also results in improved quality of life for the occupants.

Green benefits
Over the last fifteen years, more than 1000 projects have been certified by Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). These projects have been operational across India and have demonstrated that average energy consumption has reduced by 30 to 40% while average fresh water consumption has gone down by 20 to 30%, simultaneously eliminating all solid waste from going to dumping grounds and landfills. Therefore, adopting and promoting green construction in real estate will go a long way in addressing national priorities, namely – conservation of natural resources, infrastructure, water efficiency, energy efficiency, handling of domestic waste, and, most importantly, health and well-being of the occupants.

India’s contribution every year to the environmental benefits from IGBC’s current 3.86 billion sq.ft of registered green building footprint amounts to

  • CO2 reduction-50 million tons
  • Energy savings - 50,000 giga watt/ hours
  • Water savings-170 giga litres
  • Solid waste diverted from landfills-1.6 million tons

Indian construction industry is poised for a great leap towards fulfilment of Government of India’s commitment of ‘Housing for All’, ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, ‘100 (Green) Smart Cities’ and ‘300 Green Villages under RURBAN initiative.”

The fact that green buildings make good business sense, several new policy incentives like additional FAR, faster clearance, lower development charges by the state governments, and growing demand from stakeholders for green buildings are already consolidating India’s leadership position in the global green buildings map.

Efficiency factor
With the exponential increase in number of green products across the country, the incremental cost of a commercial green building has come down to less than 3%; this additional costs gets paid back within 2 years, through substantial reduction in operational costs. All these important propositions are enabling more and more real estate corporate to adopt green building norms in their projects.

In these times, where cost-efficiency, productivity and concern for the environment need to go hand in hand, builders and developers arechoosing to build and design healthy and efficient buildings. Green construction thus seems here to stay!

(Jalay Pandya is Director, Faber Infinite Consulting, with operations in Asia Pacific, Africa & Middle East.)

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