Eco-friendly 'green buildings' catching on in India
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 per cent 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 measures.
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 educational institutions.
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
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, said.
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 per cent more than conventional buildings.
However, the higher cost is recovered within two-three years by
the handsome savings in maintenance costs, making the concept extremely
Explaining the benefits, Raghupathy said that since such buildings
use natural light and air, energy savings could be up to 35 per
cent, while water savings can be up to 40 per cent and productivity
benefits up to 15 per cent.
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 industry.
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
"We estimate the market potential for all such green building
materials to be about $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.