India has over 400 crore sq ft of registered green footprint, the second largest globally. As we approach yet another World Environment Day, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) is targeting 1000 crore sq ft of sustainable footprint by 2022, the 75th year of Indian independence.
“Our target is to get to 1000 crore sq ft of green footprint in India and become a jagat guru, the world’s number 1 by 2022. The first position is held by the United States today,” says Dr Prem C Jain, Chairman, IGBC, told Moneycontrol.
The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), part of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), was formed in the year 2001. “With just about 20,000 sq ft in 2003, the green footprint in India today stands at 450 crore sq ft,” he says.
The Council offers around 22 green ratings that include IGBC green cities rating system, green residential societies rating system, IGBC Green Mass Rapid Transit System, IGBC Green Townships, among others.
“Our mission is to make the 100 smart cities into green cities. They become green first and then smart. Becoming green is the pre-requisite to becoming smart,” says Jain. The first green smart city is Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT), a global financial hub in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Another IGBC platinum rated green city is coming up along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) in Dholera, Gujarat which is spread across 49,000 sq ft.
“Dholera alone will have a green footprint of 6 million sq ft once it gets completed. We have only considered one tenth of it in our score card as that is part of the first phase,” he says.
“We are working with around 20 cities along the DMIC. Cities in Rajasthan are adopting IGBC green parameters. New Town Kolkata has received a green city rating from IGBC last week. The city spread across 7000 acres currently has a green footprint of 140 million sq ft,” says Jain.
Under the Affordable Housing for All scheme, about 2 crore houses are to be constructed by 2022. Members of builders’ body the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India, or CREDAI, have announced launching a total of 375 affordable housing projects across the country with investment commitment of Rs 70,000 crore.
“The fact that almost all developers will be using the IGBC affordable housing green rating, achieving 10 billion sq ft of green footprint is not a pipe dream for us,” says Jain, adding “we are hoping that out of the 2 crore affordable units to be constructed, at least 25 percent to 35 percent will be green.”
As for incentives and concessions, many Indian cities offer higher floor area ratio or FAR for constructing green buildings, some even offer property tax concessions. “Uttar Pradesh offers an additional 5 percent FAR for gold and platinum-rated IGBC buildings; Punjab also offers 5 percent additional FAR; Maharashtra has announced that all PWD buildings, both old and new, will be IGBC certified; in Pune buildings with platinum ratings receive 15 percent rebate in property tax,” says Jain.
So far Delhi-NCR’s green footprint has been dismal compared to other states. “We have been trying to get similar incentives for Delhi and are in talks with DDA to provide for tax concessions for buildings with a green rating,” he says.
Today, there are several rating and certifying agencies for green construction existing in India. Almost all of the certification programmes focus on savings in energy and water, and using local materials.
Besides IGBC, others include US Green Building Council, Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) is the national rating system. GRIHA has been developed for all kinds of buildings in different climatic zones of the country. The system was initially conceived and developed by TERI (The Energy & Resource Institute) as TERI-GRIHA.
There are around 900 GRIHA registered projects in the country. The GRIHA footprint is about 36 million sq m. Recently rated projects under this system include Engineers India Bhawan, Chennai; South Asian University, New Delhi; Sports facility at IIT Bombay, Mumbai.
Developers who have made efforts towards making their projects sustainable include Godrej Properties. The company has signed an MoU with GRIHA Council for implementation of green building concepts and GRIHA rating variants for its NCR projects. Under this collaboration, Godrej Properties has committed to registering about 8 million square feet building footprint with GRIHA Council.
This month DLF was awarded a LEED Platinum Certification by US Green Building Council for its office projects in Gurgaon and Chennai. With this, DLF's 12 office buildings that comprise 9 buildings in Chennai and 3 buildings in Gurgaon, have received LEED Platinum certification with a total area of 10.7 million sq ft.
All development of Mahindra Lifespace Developers, the real estate and infrastructure development business of the Mahindra Group, incorporate green green architecture, environment-friendly building materials, waste and water management methodologies, and a sustainable supply chain.
Mahindra World City, Chennai is India’s first IGBC Gold certified green township and food-waste free city. Mahindra World City, Jaipur is Asia’s first project to receive Climate Positive Development Stage 2 Certification from the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) - a global network of large cities acting to address climate change.
The company has also set up the Center of Excellence focused on improving energy efficiency in residential buildings along with TERI.