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 offers 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.
The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) was created in 2001 as an outfit of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with the vision of enabling “a sustainable built environment for all and help India become a global leader in sustainable built environment by 2025”. IGBC Green Homes is the first rating programme developed in India exclusively for the residential sector.
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.
Benefits of IGBC Green New Buildings certification
The benefits of Green New Buildings certified by IGBC 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.
Categories addressed by the IGBC rating system include:
# Site selection & planning
# Water conservation
# Energy efficiency
# Materials & resources
# Indoor air quality
# Innovation & design process
Scope of IGBC rating system
The IGBC Green Homes Rating System evaluates new residential buildings and major renovation work in existing ones, for both individual units and multi-dwelling residential units. These would include gated communities, residential high-rises, hostels, serviced apartments, resorts, guest houses, etc.
The green building movement in the Indian real estate industry is set to reach an inflection point with the country expected to do more to reduce its carbon footprint by using more sustainable materials in construction. With India now accounting for 10 to 12 per cent of global space for green structures, the confidence in the movement is growing every day as more and more developers jump onto the green building bandwagon.
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