Green Building: Going Green Concept on Rise in India
The Green building movement has gained tremendous impetus during the past several years and it is projected by the Indian Green Building Council that the market for LEED-rated green buildings in India will be $5 billion by 2012 and the total market for green building materials and products is estimated to be over 10 times (around $45-50 billion) the size of the LEED-rated green building market in India. Hence it is apparent that the market is large and expected to grow exponentially, therefore more professionals and entrepreneurs are vying to enter into this market to make available certified green products for green projects construction, reports Maria.R
"Green" is regarded as 'the voluntary pursuit of any activity which is concerned with energy efficiency, environmental management, water management, renewable energy, and waste management and recycling' - CII - Godrej Green Business Centre, India
Green Building is described as a structure that ensures efficient use of materials, water, energy and other resources without depletion of nature and minimal generation of non-degradable waste. The term Green Building is often used in combination with 'high-performance building,' 'sustainable design' and 'preserving precious resources.' Although the green buildings concept was prevalent in India from the time of our ancestors who revered the five elements of nature Earth as 'Prithvi,' Water as 'Jal', Agni as 'Energy', Air as 'Vayu', and Sky as 'Akash' but it was lost somewhere and now through the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) and other green building rating system, we are rediscovering the same Indian ethos again.
In the last few years, green building construction has made significant inroads in India and today it has emerged as one of the world's top destinations for green buildings (ranging from residential complexes, exhibition centers, hospitals, educational institutions to laboratories, IT parks, airports, government buildings, corporate offices etc) and implemented a number of rating systems (LEED-India, GRIHA etc) which open up a wide range of opportunities in construction, architecture and engineering design, building materials and equipment manufacture. The Green Building Movement in the country is pioneered by the Indian Green Building Council (part of CII) and currently, India boasts of 1239 registered buildings, 187 certified buildings with 855.96 million sqft Green building foot print.
What makes a Building Green?Green or sustainable building concept incorporates and integrates a variety of strategies during the design, construction and operation of the building projects. The use of green building materials and products represents one important strategy in the design of a building. Using green building materials and products promotes conservation of non-renewable resources and helps in reducing the environmental impacts associated with the installation, reuse, recycling, disposal etc of the building materials. Most importantly energy efficient products and systems used in construction of sustainable building reduce maintenance and operating costs to large extant and it is noted that green buildings generally use 50%â€"75% less energy than conventional construction.
Green building materials are composed of renewable, rather than nonrenewable resources. These materials are environment-friendly and offer specific benefits including reduced maintenance/replacement costs over the life of the building, energy conservation, improved occupant health and productivity, lower costs associated with changing space configurations, greater design flexibility, and so on.
A building is called green when it has tremendous benefits, both tangible and intangible. The immediate and most tangible benefit is in the reduction in water and operating energy costs right from day one, during the entire life cycle of the building. The savings could range from 25 â€" 40 % depending on the extent of green specifications (Energy savings: 20 - 30 % and Water savings: 30 - 50%). The intangible benefits include enhanced air quality, excellent day lighting, health & wellbeing of the occupants, conservation of scarce national resources and enhance marketability for the project.
Green Products and its Market
As the green building revolution is growing very fast in India, so there is a significant demand of green building materials and products including high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; low-emission window and day lighting technologies; affordable green building materials with consideration for the life cycle perspective of building costs; water saving, water efficiency and non mechanical treatment systems; fire and safety systems and other intelligent building systems, and materials that help to score points under the various IGBC and GRIHA green building rating system.
Energy Saving Products
Lighting SystemsLighting is one of the important aspects in residential or commercial dÃ©cor. And about one-quarter of the electricity budget is spent on lighting so by specifying a high quality energy efficient lighting system that utilizes both natural and electric sources as well as lighting controls can provide a comfortable yet visually interesting environment for the occupants of a space.
Havells, the manufacturer of lighting equipment, seeing the rising number of green buildings and demand of the energy efficient lighting equipment introduces LED (Light-emitting-Diodes) an energy saving lighting lamp that consumes 50% less energy than traditional sources and is four times more energy efficient than regular incandescent lamps, since a larger part of the energy is converted into light than is lost as heat. There is no use of glass or filament in these kinds of lights as compared to normal lights; hence it has a phenomenally longer lifespan with average life of 50,000 to 80,000 hours. LED light not only reduces the electricity bills but also improves the quality of working conditions at commercial establishments and offices.
According to the company spokesperson, Havells Light-emitting-Diodes (LED) range 'Endura Lite' consists of consumer lighting, street lighting and lamps. These lamps are easy to install and do not emit UV radiation. It is smaller in size and lighter in weight. Endura Lite is suitable to fit in standard MR 16 fixtures and has been tested for its high shock resistance and durability. These new age lighting innovations are designed to give higher efficiency and consume low power and has environment-friendly luminous source which make it the best in LED lighting category.
Emphasizing on right selection of the products, Mr. Atul Khanna said that Air Conditioning happens to be a major requirement in the building industry, which contributes towards large energy consumption and its running costs. Keeping this in view, energy efficient designs should be applied through judicious use of insulation products for such a system. This would directly help in reducing costs and also environmental impact. Thus selection of effective insulation materials, applied in the right manner, would contribute towards reducing costs in the working of Air Conditioning plants, help in containing ingress of moisture, which is detrimental to HVAC systems and Indoor Air Quality.
He said that Supreme offerings being an energy efficient products have been used at various projects including Common Wealth Games Village, in Delhi (this project is listed on the GRIHA website), TELCO â€" Jamshedpur, Tech Mahindra â€" Kolkata, ESIC Hospitals â€" Kolkata, Kanpur, Lucknow and Faridabad, DRDO â€" Korba, Astra Zenica Pharma â€" Bangalore, Indupulapadu Cotton Mills - AP, Ranbaxi Pharma â€" Bangalore, Kill itch Pharma â€" Baddi, Serum Institute â€" Pune, Unichem labs â€" Pithampur, Cambrock â€" Baroda, OPAL â€" Dahej, Arvind Mills â€" Ahmedabad to name a few.
GlazingGlass can have a tremendous impact on the energy performance of buildings besides enhancing the visual and acoustic effects. Building energy consumption can significantly be lowered by opting the right kind of glass and the right kind of glazing.
On functionality of glass he said that glass cladding or facades optimize the use of natural light to illuminate the interior, thereby not only making it more comfortable for occupants but also reducing the use of electricity-or fuel-powered light. In tropical countries like India, a major requirement is air-conditioning of the building. Proper usage of glass can ensure that the air-conditioning loads (and therefore the air-conditioning expenses) can be reduced by controlling the heat coming into the buildings. This is done by careful usage of glass with appropriate solar control (so as to reduce the heating up of the building due to direct solar radiation) and U value (so as to reduce the heating up of the inside of a building due to high ambient temperature outside).
In cold countries or parts of India where winter temperatures are low, there is a requirement for heating the interiors. One can reduce the heating loads (and the heating expenses) by reducing the heat loss from the inside to the outside. This is done by using heat insulating glass which reflects the far off Infra red radiation or thermal radiation which is the means by which the heat loss happens from inside to outside. For this, one would have to choose glass of the appropriate U value.
He further added that the glass is gaining wide acceptance due to the increasing regulation. This is where ECBC comes in. ECBC is Energy Conservation Building Code. The Code specifics use of energy efficient glass combinations to maximize daylight and minimize cooling loads.
Speaking on the usability of glass as green product, Dr. Avlokita Agarwal, Head, Architectural and Green Design, Asahi India Glass avers that Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled indefinite number of times. This implies zero generation of waste. Adding she said, the moment we say that a material is fully recyclable, it automatically leads to conservation of natural resources. All this makes glass a 'green' building material and contributes to its rising popularity as an integral part of sustainable architecture.
She believes that if glass is properly integrated in building through design, it would not cause much of heat gain. Instead reduction in energy consumption for artificial lighting would be an additional benefit. She also feels that efficiency of people working in fully closed environments is much lower than of those working in environments which are visually connected to the outdoors and allow sunlight through. This benefit is an intangible one but very important, she firmly said.
On the green glass offered by AIS, she declares that we have wide range of glasses including recently launched Ecosense series which gives unmatched performance and beautiful shades which not only enhance the thermal performance but also the look of the building. The company also offers other brands including AIS Supersilver, AIS Opal, Sunergy, Stopray, Planibel G, Energy NT etc. There are many products within each brand which help the client meet his/her aesthetic needs without compromising on energy performance, added Dr. Avlokita.
Water/Sewage treatment system
Environment-friendly ProductsAlong with the energy saving products mentioned above, there are environment-friendly products also such as Sustainable Floors, Ceilings and Roofs, Green Sealants and Adhesives, Green Paints, Sustainable Furniture, Sustainable Carpets, and so on which are contributing a lot in constructing the buildings Green or sustainable.
Green Initiatives & Future AheadMr. Bastikar said that it has been observed in recent times that awareness of concepts, importance and implementation of Green Initiatives for new construction of various buildings is rising; a lot still needs to be done in terms of actual on the ground actions. A good beginning would be some sort of an incentive plan from the Government to promote and encourage Green Initiatives. A possible way could be through reduction in Property Taxes, Water tariffs, Electricity Tariff, etc, for such facilities, once certified to be following the laid down Green Building guidelines and parameters. Once such tangible actions are seen, there will be a surge in the use of Green products like non-toxic paints, geosynthetic products, eco-friendly cladding, paneling and roofing materials besides various other internally & externally used products. A very important aspect in the Green Building would be the Water and Wastewater Treatment system and its impact on the facility and the environment, he stressed.
The impetus provided to the Green Building movement would enable the market to grow creating more sustainable buildings, as concern for the environment are raised and laws become mandatory, enabling use of green building products and services, he added.
Validated her thought Mr. Raj Menon said that when we launched our first showroom in Bangalore in 2007 we were the 1st LEED Gold rated office in Bangalore and third in India! Today, one may find over hundreds of office spaces with LEED certification. We definitely see this trend continuing and foresee an increased demand for green buildings and green materials.
Now as there is touch of optimism among construction fraternity and industry for the bright future of sustainable development in India viewing the continuous growth of the sector in-terms of both demand for sustainable accommodations and green materials and products. As now most of the local manufactured green products are available to meet the growing demand of the market but still there is an imminent need for service providers, who would be required in large numbers as the movement is heading to reach greater heights and would stay here permanently for the benefit of individuals, society and the country at large.
IGBC Gold Precertification for Ackruti GreenwoodsAckruti City Limited, the premier real estate development company has received IGBC Gold Precertification for its prestigious project Ackruti Greenwoods, located in Thane.
According to Mr. Hemant Shah, Chairman, Ackruti City Limited, Ackruti Greenwoods is a project conceived to offer better standards of living, which is environmentally sustainable. Our engineering, design, architecture and environment team has worked hard to come up with ingenious solutions that ensure maximum water and energy efficiency, besides offering clean air and soothing views to the consumers. The layout design of the flats and the buildings have taken into account the element of cross ventilation and reducing heat gain in the apartments naturally, thus reducing the dependence on air-conditioning.
Commenting on the sustainable design of the project he stresses, from selecting the site to ensuring green-friendly construction practices such as preserving the top-soil for landscaping during excavation, maintaining water and energy efficiency during construction, we are also taking care to use environ friendly material for construction procured from areas within the 500 km radius of the site, such as fly-ash building blocks, other recyclable materials.
Adding he said that committed to 100% green compliance it will offer complete recycling of grey water for landscaping and flushing purposes. The project will also have rainwater harvesting system and install metering devices to measure treated grey water consumption for flushing, landscape water consumption and hot water consumption.
The design and layout of the project offers maximum use of natural light and maximum ventilation, minimizing the use of artificial temperature control. The vast expanses of green have been incorporated to keep the environment free from pollution, besides offering fresh air. The proposed treatment process of the organic waste is either vermi-composting or organic waste converter. The project is aiming for more than 50 % organic waste to be treated, estimated organic waste generation in the project is 1.92 tones per day. Some of the prominent green building features are:
- Electric charging provision for battery operated vehicles whereby reducing the pollution from automobile use.
- Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), Rain water harvesting & Storm water Management System for efficient water management.
- Water efficient faucets, fixtures, fittings and urinals minimising the water consumption.
- Water and Energy meters to monitor the consumption and conservation measures for possible savings
- Efficient lighting design for common areas meeting prescribed standards Solar Hot Water System for domestic use.
- Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) adhesives, paints and sealants.
- Improved Indoor Air Quality to enhance the occupant comfort level.
- Maximum use of recycled materials, regionally or locally manufactured materials and reuse of salvaged materials minimising the usage of virgin materials.
- Technology driven analysis for Insulation, Day-lighting & Views from the building, Sun Path, Energy & Lighting and commissioning of all systems.
- Efficient landscaping with drought tolerant species ensuring minimum consumption of water, yet providing an ample green cover.
- HVAC and other equipment which do not use CFC or HCFC based refrigerants.