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Different Types of Green Building Certifications in India

Blox Social
Posted on
Mar 24, 2023

In your research as a prospective home buyer, you will likely come across the term "green home". However, while it is a widely discussed concept, many of us do not understand the certifications that green homes require or what they mean. So let's take a look.

Demand for green buildings in India

Before we look at the various green building certifications accepted as standards in India, let us understand why real estate developers may opt for or apply for these. A rise in consumer consciousness and growing awareness about the conservation of natural resources has greatly boosted the demand for green housing. According to a recent report, the demand for sustainable and green housing in India was pegged between USD 35 and 50 billion. Real estate developers, particularly in major metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai, are keen to adopt sustainable construction practices which come with government subsidies and leverage this growing demand for an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Understanding green building certification

Green building certification refers to the rating provided by leading bodies that study the building or the real estate project and its performance from an ecological standpoint. The building is evaluated on a number of parameters including the site selection, design, energy efficiency, construction process, materials used, carbon footprint, water and waste management systems, and innovation. Different green building certification agencies or bodies use different parameters to offer these ratings. Let us look at India's two widely recognised green building certifications.

Indian Green Building Council (IGBC)

The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) was established in 2001 by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The IGBC offers certifications in 27 different categories, but the ones your residential project may hold could be one of the following -

  • IGBC New Buildings - Tenant-occupied buildings
  • IGBC New Buildings - Owner-occupied buildings
  • IGBC Green Homes
  • IGBC Green Townships
  • IGBC Green Residential Societies
  • IGBC Green Affordable Housing

The certification offered is based on an extensive matrix of parameters licensed from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification developed by the United States Green Building Council. The buildings are reviewed on several parameters, including sustainable architecture, site selection, water and energy conservation, ergonomic material etc. The buildings are then rated – Certified, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Super Platinum.

GRIHA Certification

The GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) Certification is India's indigenously developed green housing certification system. It evaluates the building's performance and environmental impact over its lifecycle, that is, in the pre-construction stage, building planning and construction stage, and building operation and maintenance stage. The accreditation system aims to quantify aspects of real estate planning, development, and maintenance, such as the use of renewable energy, water and waste management, carbon emissions etc. There are a total of 34 criteria covered by the GRIHA V 3 rating system, and buildings are provided between 1 to 5 stars depending on their performance. After having been adopted by the government of India, this rating system, developed by TERI, is not becoming increasingly popular in the country.

Advantages of owning a green home

Green buildings are the future. They offer sustainable processes and alternatives that are compatible with environmental conservation. As a homeowner, some of the top benefits of owning a certified green home include the following -

  • Energy saving - Green homes consume up to 30% less energy than other buildings. They optimise the use of natural light and natural insulation to reduce the use of artificial lighting, heating, and cooling systems. In the long run, this translates into major savings on your energy bill.
  • Water saving - Certified green buildings come with rainwater harvesting systems and water recycling units. You can expect up to a 50% reduction on your water bill when you live in a green project.
  • Air quality - Green housing projects are designed to use natural ventilation. They also showcase large green spaces, vertical gardens, and personal garden spaces. With this, indoor air quality shows a marked improvement. As the owner of a green housing apartment or flat, your need for an air purifier is significantly reduced.
  • Healthier lifestyle – Homeowners are now placing a great deal of emphasis on the quality of life their homes or apartments offer. Green homes offer a healthier, cleaner alternative to the use of toxic materials and waste management systems.

Your home-buying experience is likely a very emotional one. This apartment or flat will be the home you build for your family. Opting for a green housing project is a wise choice and can help save on utility and medical bills in the long run. If the apartment you are considering investing in is under construction, you may want to check if the developer has a provisional green building certification and find out how the certification agency will likely rate the project.

Real Estate