Green building certifications of India are a series of rating figures and tools for building construction. Apart from recording a building’s response to the environment, they also measure its performance for sustainability. Thus, it not only boosts the overall quality but also ensures a step-by-step approach to design. In addition to rehearsal, assessed buildings assumed to be good in quality receive a certificate to prove their rating. As per the Global Status Report 2017 by the U.N Environment Programme, construction activities consume 36% of energy and emit 39% of C02. Thus, green building certifications of India help in understanding the environmental impacts during design, construction, operation, and maintenance. Today, more than 100 building certification systems exist around the globe.

Green building certifications of India

Factors affecting the certification of buildings (© Hotel Garni Paradisi)

Goals and benefits of green building certifications of India:

In addition to assessing energy-efficient performances, green building certifications of India sets standards and benchmarks to evaluate buildings objectively. Thus, tackling the flaws reduces the footprints. Building certification offers rules for not only the technical and economic needs but also for usage. In other words, one promotes sustainable design and construction principles. Thus, this added value boosts the real-estate market.

Also Read: Top 5 Examples of Sustainability in modern architecture forms in the world

LEED India ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental design ):

It is an autonomous market program that provides third-party verification of buildings. LEED not only covers individual homes but also extends to the process of building design. Thus, it assists owners with tools to measure and conclude construction and maintenance solutions. Commercial buildings need to score 40 on 110 points, while homes can be 45 on 136 points for green building certifications of India. In addition to lower costs and increased assets, LEED buildings reduce waste, conserve energy and reuse water. They not only provide occupants with healthier surroundings but also reduce greenhouse emissions.

Green building certifications of India : LEED
Credit categories for LEED Certification (© Google Images)

Main credit categories for building certifications of India:

1. Sustainable site credits: These credits back strategies that minimize the impressions on ecosystems and water reservoirs.

2. Water efficiency credits: These credits aid smart-usage to reduce potable water consumption.

3. Energy and atmosphere credits: These credits award innovative strategies to boost building performance.

4. Materials and resource credits: These credits facilitate sustainable building materials to reduce waste generation.

5. Indoor environmental quality credits: It awards designs that improve the air quality, daylight, and viewing decks in the interiors.

Apart from these five credits, location credit awards encourage building on infill sites for walk able neighborhoods. These promotions not only do improve transport but also multiply open spaces. Excluding these, there are six points for design measures and four points for regional priorities in different climatic zones for the building certifications of India. In India, the five elements of nature – earth, water, fire, air, and sky guide sustainability, energy efficiency, material selection, and quality. The LEED certifications are Certified (32-39 points), Silver (40-47 points), Gold (48-59 points), and Platinum (60-80 points). Though certified buildings owe higher leasing rates, they may increase the initial construction cost in India.

Also Read: When architecture meets technology – CII Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, Hyderabad

ITC Green Center, Gurgaon (© RKA)
Eg.1 ITC Green Center, Gurgaon:

In addition to being LEED Platinum certified at 56 points, ITC reduces carbon footprint by 30%. It not only saves rainwater but also reduces indoor temperatures by reflecting the infra-red rays.

GRIHA ( Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Building ):

GRIHA, structured by TERI (The Energy and Resource Institute) in 2005, inspects local climate, codes, and by-laws for the building certifications of India. Although it reduces energy consumption, waste generation, and the ecological footprint, it doesn’t compensate for comfort. Thus, GRIHA has reduced the depletion of natural areas, habitats, and biodiversity.

Green building certifications of India : GRIHA
GRIHA, A three-tiered process towards sustainability (© Eden Group)
The five R-Philosophy of GRIHA for building certifications of India:
  • Refuse: GRIHA aims to refuse globalization and encourages local substitutes of construction.
  • Reduce: GRIHA enables energy systems and processes to run independently.
  • Recycle: GRIHA compels to recycle the majority of construction and demolition materials.
  • Reinvent: GRIHA adopts designs and practices that aid the nation to build global examples.

Excluding industries, all offices with a built-up area greater than 2500 sq.m in their pre-design stage come under the purview of GRIHA.

  • The Variants of GRIHA for the building certifications of India:
  • Sva-GRIHA for building area: 100 – 2499 sq.m
  • GRIHA for building area: 2500 – 150000 sq.m
  • GRIHA LD for site area: Greater than 50 hectares.

The latest GRIHA V 2015 version includes 31 criteria. In addition to site planning, Construction management, Occupant comfort, and Innovation form a crucial part of this version. A building gets points for meeting the design intent of a particular criterion. Though there are different levels under GRIHA (1 star – 5 star), a minimum of 25 on 100 points is required. Buildings that score 86 on 100 points get the highest rating. GRIHA certification is valid for five years from commissioning and needs renewal.

A four star rated building – JIPMER, Phase 3, Pondicherry (© Shiksha)
Eg.1 JIPMER Phase 3, Pondicherry:

With a GRIHA rating of four stars, this building portrays a 64% reduction in energy consumption. Furthermore, the structure reuses 736 cu.m of soil in landscaping and shows a 62.32% reduction in potable water demand.

Also Read: Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore

IGBC Rating System( Indian Green Building Council ):

IGBC, developed in 2001 by CII, Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Center, is the first rating module of the green building certifications of India. It has made programs that cover not only commercial but also residential and factory projects. Furthermore, it responds to site restoration, site planning, water, energy efficiency, materials, and resources. IGBC awards point to buildings for fulfilling construction tasks. Thus, it gets segregated as Certified (51- 60 points) that awards best practices, Silver (61- 70 points) for outstanding design, Gold (71- 80 points) for national creativity, and Platinum (81- 100 points) for global leadership. IGBC covers both individuals, gated and high-rise communities, and offers credits to redesigned buildings too. Factories get points for using technologies and modern materials. Though the rating is valid for three years, it checks soil erosion, access, water fixtures, and harvesting and comfort.

IGBC, the first green framework of India (© Google Images)

IGBC systems are voluntary and market-driven, formed on the five elements of nature. These codes are valid in all five climatic zones of the country. Furthermore, this certification covers new green buildings, homes, existing buildings, factories, townships, landscapes, and even the rapid transit system.

Crisil house, Mumbai, IGBC Platinum (© Glassdoor)
Eg.1 Crisil house, Mumbai:

This house achieved a platinum rating for the green building certifications of India by the reduction in energy use. It not only reduces heat islands and water use but also favors water less urinals and BMS monitoring. Crisil house makes it mandatory to meter water and energy at load positions.

Also Read: Design Harmony in Nature – Falling waters, Pennsylvania

Green building certifications of India: BEE( Bureau of Energy Efficiency )

The government set up BEE in 2002. It builds a framework with the Energy conservation building code that applies for a minimum footprint of 1000sq.m for the green building certifications of India. Thus, Bee covers energy performance standards for buildings, types of equipment, and appliances. Formerly BEE targeted air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buildings of the warm and humid, composite and hot and dry climates. With a widened scope, five categories of buildings from different climatic zones included herein are offices, hotels, retail, hospitals, and I.T parks. BEE considers buildings that have a connected load of 100kw and above and are tenured for five years.

Eg.1 Infosys BPO, Phase 2, Hinjewadi, Pune:

Though the project spans 25,577 sq.m, its annual energy consumption amounts to 2406199 Kw h only. In addition to solar heaters and lightning systems, Infosys educates employees to conserve energy. Thus, high-efficiency products have reduced energy consumption over the years.

RERA( Real Estate Regulatory Authority ):

Though RERA depicts transparency, it plans to wipe out existing problems within the real-estate sector. According to RERA, every developer needs to inform home-buyers of construction progress and grant them keys to the property by the decided date. They need to follow every rule formed by RERA. Thus, it reduces project delays and Mal-practices. Furthermore, RERA, divided into smaller bodies, guides the real-estate development of a particular state or union territory for the green building certifications of India. Covering both residential and commercial, it aims to protect both buyers and developers. Therefore, it brings more accountability and transparency.

How does RERA Affect home-buyers for the building certifications of India?
  • As builders need to publish every detail on RERA, buyers have transparency regarding timelines.
  • The buyer pays for the property based on the carpet area and, hence, builders cannot charge for the super built-up area of lifts and stairs.
  • After the handover, buyers can point out defects for up to five years and, the developers need to rectify them within four months.
  • RERA prohibits developers from taking more than 10% advance from home-buyers.
Insights of the RERA Act (© Live up India)
  • Projects that come under RERA:
  • Projects completed before RERA that do not have a completion certificate.
  • Those still in construction as stand-alone but require a new RERA registration.
  • Projects that have undertaken construction for renovation, repair, re-development and are not reallocating, marketing, advertising, or selling any plot will not come under the purview of RERA.

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