Eco-friendly homes, green buildings, environment friendly construction and sustainable habitats have become the new buzzwords in Indian realty. While the desire to do less harm to the environment is a prime factor motivating this new trend, the benefits of eco-friendly homes to the owner are too significant to be ignored.
- Lower energy consumption
- Lower water consumption
- Reduced waste generation through more recycling and reuse
- Lower air pollution
These benefits have triggered various measures by the Indian government to encourage green building norms. In this regard, the work done by monitoring agencies such as LEED-INDIA, IGBC, BEE and TERI are significant.
In 2007, TERI developed a rating system for green buildings which was endorsed by the Indian government. If these rating standards, called GRIHA, are adopted, green building owners can save 40%-60% in energy consumption and around 35%-55% in water consumption.
As one can expect, both Indian Corporates and Realty Companies are going all out for Green Building Norms. For corporates, in addition to the savings in operational costs, green buildings fit neatly into the company’s CSR agenda and are good for its image.
Infosys, the Indian IT bellwether is a pioneer in this area. All their campuses in Hyderabad, Mysore, Mangalore, Trivandrum and Pune are LEED-Platinum certified. Some upcoming commercial green projects include Godrej Genesis in Kolkata, J W Marriot Hotel in Mumbai, and IOC Building & Learning Centre in Panipat.
For Realty companies, the reduced cost of construction through use of inexpensive and eco-friendly material helps buttress their margins in a recessionary economy. Companies like Avani Residence in Hyderabad and BCIL in Bangalore are specialists in this area.
With State Governments, Municipal bodies and individual home-owners adopting GRIHA standards, the movement towards Green Construction in India will only get stronger with time.