'green buildings' catching on in India
By Quaid Najmi
Indo-Asian News Service
Mumbai, Sep 22 (IANS) How about living in a 'green building'?
The popularity of such eco-friendly 'green buildings' with
their own water harvesting and solar power systems is catching
on in India and the high price is no deterrent.
Green buildings also have their own water re-cycling system.
More than 50 percent of the building is covered with glass
- making it reflect away the sun's rays and helping to keep
the inside cool and save on electricity - among other eco-friendly
Starting with a modest 20,000 sq ft green building in 2004
in Hyderabad, green buildings today account for over 235 million
sq ft spread across India.
Now there are 315 green buildings in India, including 250
commercial. They include IT parks, hospitals, airports and
Of the 315, as many as 60 green buildings - or nearly 20 percent
- have come up in Mumbai alone. The remaining are in other
cities of Maharashtra. The important buildings in the city
are the Hiranandani BG Building, K. Raheja group, Enercon
India Pvt Ltd and Kalpataru building.
The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), a part of the Confederation
of Indian Industry-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre (CII-Godrej
GBC), Hyderabad, is credited with spearheading the green building
movement in India since 2001.
The CII-Godrej GBC was India's first certified green building
spread over 20,000 sq ft in Hyderabad.
"It is growing in popularity in a big way. By 2010, we
expect about 1,000 green buildings, with over one billion
sq ft to come up all over India," S. Raghupathy, senior
director and head of CII-Godrej GBC, told IANS here.
He said an average investment of Rs.500 million has to be
made per building to make it 'green', and the total investment
in green buildings would be a whopping Rs.500 billion by 2010.
Green buildings cost 3-8 percent more than conventional buildings.
However, the higher cost is recovered within two-three years
by the handsome savings in maintenance costs, making the concept
Explaining the benefits, Raghupathy said that since such buildings
use natural light and air, energy savings could be up to 35
percent, while water savings can be up to 40 percent and productivity
benefits up to 15 percent.
Raghupathy said the day is not far when green buildings -
offering water conservation, energy optimization, use of recycled
products, and renewable energy, all of which ensure environment
protection - would be the accepted norm of the construction
The concept, currently implemented in 75 countries, has also
spurred a heavy demand for many new construction materials,
equipment, systems and services, leading to a transformation
of the market.
"There is a huge demand for green building materials
and equipment like high performance glass, wall and roof insulation,
low VOC paints, adhesives, sealants, CRI (Carpet and Rug Institute)-certified
carpets, specialised wood, roofing material, fly ash blocks,
eco-friendly chemical waterless urinals, high performance
chillers, carbon-dioxide sensors, root zone treatment plants,
wind towers, and other things," Raghupathy listed.
"We estimate the market potential for all such green
building materials to be about US$40 billion by 2012. This
clearly testifies the growing popularity of green buildings
and their acceptability among people," he pointed out.
On Sep 27, the CII-Godrej GBC is holding the sixth Green Building
Congress in Mumbai, which will include an exhibition and an
international seminar on green buildings.
Among other things, the congress will discuss how the IGBC
can usher in a 'green building revolution' in India and help
make it one of the world leaders in the field by 2010.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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