Green Building Certification: Understanding the Standards and Requirements
Mar 26, 2023
India is committed to reducing carbon emissions and optimising energy conservation efforts by 2030. In this effort to stand by its efforts to make Agenda 21 an actionable reality, both government and private corporations are undertaking a major transformation. Adding to this change is the development of environmental consciousness among the end consumers. In the real estate sector, the movement towards green housing comes from the increased demand for eco-friendly residential units. Understanding green building certification is important in this context.
What is a green building certification?
Green certifications are domestically or internationally accepted accreditations received by reputed organisations that rate or rank buildings on various environmental impact parameters. Developers voluntarily apply for these certifications. To receive the green rating, they need to submit supporting evidence such as design plans, evidence of renewable energy use, environmental impact study etc. There are two important green building certifications for residential housing projects in India.
Established in 2001, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) is part of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The certification offered by the IGBC is based on the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Standard, developed by the USGBC (United States Green Building Council). The IGBC certification is licensed from USGBC and is one of the most versatile rating systems for all types of structures and real estate projects in India.
The council offers green ratings to schools, healthcare buildings, SEZ, resorts, factories, townships, and railway stations, among many others. The IGBC also offers ratings for net zero energy, water, and waste buildings. For residential projects, the IGBC offers certification to existing and new buildings, homes, affordable housing, and residential societies. Your green home can have a Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum accreditation. The rating system depends on a number of macro and micro parameters, including design, water conservation, energy efficiency, materials used, resident health and wellbeing, and innovation.
IGBC is one of the most popular and widely accepted green certifications in the country. Apart from promoting accepted eco-friendly practices, it also recognises innovation in green structures.
The Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) certification is offered by TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute). This rating system for green homes was developed in collaboration with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (Government of India). The GRIHA certification is India's first indigenously developed green rating system and was submitted as part of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The main goal of the GRIHA rating system is to measure aspects of building design and construction, such as energy consumption, water conservation and harvesting, and waste management. The idea is that if it can be measured, these factors can be managed, and the performance tested in ecological terms. The GRIHA rating is given to under-construction projects and completed buildings as well, but unlike international certifications, it considers domestic practices and benchmarks that can help us coexist in harmony with the environment and reduce pollution.
The GRIHA rating is based on over 34 different standards and requirements that can be broadly classified into –
- Site selection and planning
- Conservation of resources
- Building operation and maintenance
A BEE-rating Certification
Apart from green housing projects, commercial buildings and spaces in India may obtain a BEE certification. This rating is based on the Energy Performance Index (EPI) by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Government of India. This rates the energy efficiency of these buildings. BEE ratings are also offered to home appliances that your green homes may be fitted with.
Why is it important to pick green housing?
Green housing and sustainability are gaining popularity, in great measure, due to their low environmental impact and decarbonisation efforts. As a homeowner, though, you may be keen on understanding the benefits of living in a green home.
Eco-friendly, green buildings help save about 30% of the energy consumption and up to 50% of the water consumption vis-à-vis other buildings. Conservation of resources apart will make a huge difference to your utility bills. Green buildings are designed to receive a lot of natural light and ventilation. The health benefits of these are also considerable. Indoor air quality is better than other buildings, and more importantly, green buildings are made from ergonomic, sustainable, and non-toxic materials.
Green housing on Blox
Blox is a revolutionary online platform that brings you the perfect residential apartment of your dreams to your fingertips. In addition, it brings you a list of projects that fit your bucket list of criteria. So, if living in a green home is what you want for your family, talk to your Blox relationship manager about screening for all the projects with green ratings from IGBC or GRIHA certifications.