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Viability of green building in India

Posted on by Track2Realty

india realty news, india real estate news, real estate news india, realty news india, india property news, property news india, india news, property news, real estate news, India Property, Delhi NCR real estate, Mumbai Real Estate, Bangalore Real Estate, Pune Real Estate news green buildings, energy efficient buildings, energy efficiencyTrack2Realty Exclusive: The three key factors that go into sustainable construction are — design, materials and technologies. In order to get the benefit of those savings, a developer has to replace conventional methods with green alternatives on all the three fronts.

“In an intelligent or green building, we mainly focus on three objectives: saving of energy, saving of water and maximum human comfort for higher productivity,” says Sandeep Shikre, President and CEO of SSA architects.

“Let’s take the example of designing the envelope or exterior of a building. We need light and air inside the building but not the harsh heat of the sun. So we design it in such a way to avoid exposure to the sun’s path and still have cool air circulation and light. This enables the savings on electricity consumption for massive air conditioning systems and hundreds of lights and fans,” says Shikre.

“If you replace conventional bricks with pre-fabricated blocks, one saves between 40-60 per cent of construction time. These blocks are made up of fly-ash and cement, which are light in weight, but stronger than bricks. They are non-toxic and eco-friendly. This saves cost and gives you a better building,” says Suresh.

Installing a sewage treatment plant and deploying that water for household use translates into huge savings in water consumption.

“Like rain water harvesting, thousands of litres of recycled water obtained daily from sewage treatment plants can be used for flushing, washing cars, gardening and other non-potable uses. This translates into huge savings in municipal water bills,” says S Raghupathy, Executive Director of CII’s Godrej Green Centre.

Experts believe today, residential buildings must adopt such initiatives to become self-sufficient and not put pressure on the city’s infrastructure to service their needs.

More developers are turning green as the savings on construction time and material costs translates into savings on capital costs. According to an estimate by the IGBC, the incremental cost of incorporating technologies in a Platinum-rated building is only between 2-5 per cent of the construction cost, which is recovered within 3-4 years. This is still lower for Gold and Silver, certified buildings.

However, there is a word of caution by many experts. If the developers are really serious about the green buildings, they must pass the benefits to the end users. Failing this, they maintain, green building will turn out to be a utopian dream meant for only academic discussions.

The government must also ensure regulatory provisions against misleading advertisements about green buildings.

All in the name of green building in Indian real estate

Posted on by Track2Realty

india realty news, india real estate news, real estate news india, realty news india, india property news, property news india, india news, property news, real estate news, India Property, Delhi NCR real estate, Mumbai Real Estate, Bangalore Real Estate, Pune Real Estate news green buildings, energy efficient buildings, energy efficiencyTrack2Realty Exclusive: Green building is something that is being over marketed in the Indian real estate. However, while the serious developers have realized its benefits, including fast return on investments, consumers’ literacy on the benefits of paying extra for long term low-maintenance is relatively low.

Track2Realty noted that the misleading advertisement about green buildings by a few fly-by-night operators is the biggest challenge for green buildings to be accepted as a norm in the Indian market.

Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) believes the concept of green buildings is gaining ground among developers, and nearly 2 billion square feet of sustained building footprint are expected by 2015.

Currently, 1,755 eco-friendly building projects with over 1.21 billion sq ft of green footprint are registered with the IGBC. IGBC is a not-for-profit initiative run by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

It is an arm of one of the Global Rating Systems — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), that has non-negotiable and strict criteria to certify any building as “green”.

“The green concept is becoming very popular among developers as they have realised its benefits including fast return on investments. We expect nearly 2 billion sqft of green building space under development by 2015,” says IGBC Mumbai chapter Vice Chairman Gurmit Singh Arora.

Priority is given to green building projects with regards to clearances from authorities including fire brigades and the civic body for green buildings.

Developers who have opted for green buildings say construction cost of a green building is normally 3-5 percent higher than the conventional building. However, they maintain the incremental cost gets paid back within two-three years with substantial reduction in operational costs.

It is generally accepted that green buildings consume 40-50 percent less energy and 20-30 per cent less water. Besides, the intangible benefits of green buildings include better indoor air quality, enhanced ventilation, better view and ample sunlight that significantly improve the productivity of the occupants.

In states like Maharashtra, the government has also decided to implement a ‘green code’ – guidelines for building eco-friendly structures to promote green buildings. The state plans to implement the green code for government buildings and those of public utilities.

The moot point is whether the end-users are aware about the benefits of green buildings. Are they ready to pay additional initial cost for long term benefits and low maintenance cost?

And, most importantly, to put it straight to the developers—are consumers getting green buildings the way it is projected in advertisements?

Next: Green buildings often Misleading in Indian context

India leads in building efficiency in 3rd annual Johnson Controls survey

Posted on by Track2Realty

india realty news, india real estate news, real estate news india, realty news india, india property news, property news india, india news, property news, real estate news, India Property, Delhi NCR real estate, Mumbai Real Estate, Bangalore Real Estate, Pune Real Estate news green buildings, energy efficient buildings, energy efficiencyThe third annual global Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) shows that building owners and operators throughout India continue to place higher importance on energy management in comparison to their peers in other major countries. The survey of 450 building owners and operators in India was led by Johnson Controls’ Institute for Building Efficiency.

According to the survey, 88 percent of Indian respondents consider energy management very or extremely important − an increase of three percent over last year. For the second consecutive year, India’s level of concern for energy management was higher than in other parts of the world – 84 percent in China, 66 percent in the U.S. and 61 percent in Europe.

“The survey findings show that Indian business leaders are increasingly aware of the need for energy management and its impact on the environment as well as reducing operating costs,” said Pramoda Karkal, Vice President and Managing Director for Johnson Controls’ Building Efficiency business in India.

More than half of the respondents (53 percent) indicated they plan to pursue green building certification either for new construction or existing buildings over the next year, while the number of respondents with at least one certified green building increased 12 percent from the 2010 survey.

The survey also showed that over the past year 65 percent of Indian respondents made improvements in lighting efficiency and 60 percent made heating, ventilation and air conditioning and/or control improvements.  Other efficiency steps included on-site renewable energy (44 percent) and energy supply and demand management (40 percent). Large organizations (44 percent) were twice as likely as smaller companies (21 percent) to have adopted renewable technologies in the past year.

Despite the expressed high interest in increasing efficiency, 26 percent of survey respondents from the institutional sector (government, hospitals and schools) cited lack of funding to pay for improvements as a crucial barrier to pursuing their goals.  In the commercial and industrial sectors, the top barrier cited was a lack of awareness about the technologies and services available for increasing energy efficiency.