March 05, 2024

India among top 3 countries that achieved Green Building certification in 2023

India managed to stay in third spot on the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) annual list of the top 10 countries for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in 2023. The prestigious annual survey certified 248 projects in India spanning 7.2 million gross square metres (GSM). While China topped the list with upwards of 24.53 million GSM certified, Canada occupied second spot at 7.9 million GSM.

A built structure earns the moniker of a “green building” when it puts the natural environment at the heart of its form and function. This is done by using sustainable materials in construction and optimization of natural resources like water, light and air to improve energy efficiency and ensure better ventilation. Such buildings produce less non-biodegradable waste and gives healthier indoor air quality to occupants.

The pandemic which turned our world upside down, has had one positive impact on our lives, though. It has brought us back in touch with Nature, leading to a renewed interest and traction for green buildings, as more and more people are now concerned about the ecological footprints their residences or offices are leaving on the environment.

Over the past few years, India has demonstrated an unwavering commitment towards achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals fixed for 2030 by consistently ranking within the top-three bracket. This is a clear indication on the country’s sharp focus on combating climate change by stressing on environmentally conscious practices. LEED in India is administered by the Green Building Certification Inc. (GBCI) which has been advocating the merits of sustainable construction practices across the country.

The consensus-based rating system was formulated keeping in mind tech inputs and raw materials that can be easily sourced in today’s market scenario, with the objective of promoting the use of local resources for design and construction, energy efficiency, water conservation, reduced use of fossil fuels and responsible handling of domestic waste to protect the environment.

The system is both prescription- and performance-based, appraising mandatory requirements as well as credit points and is designed to be user-friendly. The primary concern is the quality of life that occupants can expect, assessed based on national as well as global parameters.

The benefits of Green New Buildings certified by GBCI are numerous, whether tangible or intangible. The tangible benefits for occupants would primarily include a significant reduction in power and water consumption. While water use could be cut down by 30 to 50 per cent, a 20 to 30 per cent reduction in energy spending could be achieved in the best-case scenario.

The intangible advantages are no less critical and would include superior indoor air quality, lots of natural light filtering in, leading to significant health and well-being benefits for occupants, and of course safeguarding natural resources which are finite, besides more efficient handling of waste. All these pluses automatically result in enhanced resale value of the property.

According to Gopalakrishnan Padmanabhan, MD – Southeast Asia & Middle East, GBCI: “With India’s rapidly growing urban landscape, investment in green buildings becomes imperative, which extends beyond resource efficiency and reduced environmental impact. India’s consistent presence among the top countries for LEED underscores the dedicated pursuit of sustainable living and widespread adoption of green buildings.”

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