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Green Building In India: Who are the Important Stakeholders?

posted 10 Feb 2013, 08:11 by Yusuf Turab   [ updated 16 Feb 2013, 01:15 ]
Syed asks: What is the market for Green Buildings in India? Who are the most important stakeholders? Which companies/government bodies are key investors in green buildings?

Advice provided by: Yusuf Turab, Y T Enterprises

Dear Syed

Thank you for your question. You must be at least the 7th person on-line and off-line who has asked me a question along these lines in the last month.

I think one of the reasons behind this might be the major green building marketing push that is happening in the country at the moment. The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) is aggressively launching chapters in every city possible. The Energy Research Institute (TERI) has started to offer generous incentives to developers and architects who build buildings that are 5 star rated. So ambitious entrepreneurs want to know more about this sector and rightly so.

Before I get in to answering each of your questions I suggest you read my response to another reader. This should sufficiently answer your first question relating to the Green Building market in India. Follow the link below as to India's LEED market.

Green Building in India

The Green Building movement was pioneered in Great Britain with the rating system called BREEAM. BREEAM is the world's foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings, with 200,000 buildings with certified BREEAM assessment ratings and over a million registered for assessment since it was first launched in 1990. This system was later adopted in the U.S when the USGBC was formed. LEED was loosely adopted from the BREEAM system and came into existence sometime in March 2000.

In India this movement was adopted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in the early part of this decade. CII, which happens to be the top industrial body in this country is also the biggest stakeholder in the Indian Green Building sector. They formed the Indian Green Building Council which is actively involved in promoting the Green Building concept in India. IGBC is based at the CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre in Hyderabad. This was the first LEED (USGBC LEED Platinum) rated building in India, built to house the activities of CII’s Green Business Centre. It was decided to do a demonstration project by constructing a ‘GREEN’ building. The CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre is to be the main centre of consultation for ‘Green’ activities in the construction and manufacturing industry.

LEED India

LEED India was launched in 2003 and since then has grown exponentially as you might have seen in the article mentioned above. This has created a large network of smaller stakeholders which includes the construction industry comprising of Corporate, Government & nodal agencies, architects, developers, builders, product manufacturers and most interestingly Green Building Consultants which was a profession almost unheard of a decade ago. There is a marginal premium attached to building green but this is only because there are not many product manufacturers in India that make truly green products. But this situation is improving rapidly.

The other major stakeholder in this sector is TERI along with MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy). TERI has conceived - GRIHA, an acronym for Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment, the National Rating System of India and has jointly developed it with MNRE (Ministry of New & Renewable Energy). It pertains particularly to the Indian context and is suitable for all kinds of buildings in different climatic zones of the country. ADaRSH, Association for Development and Research of Sustainable Habitats, is mandated to promote development of buildings and habitats in India through GRIHA. ADaRSH is an independent platform for the interaction on scientific and administrative issues related to sustainable habitats in the Indian subcontinent.

So there are two major organisations that offer sustainability based certifications for buildings, one represented by the industry and the other by the government. Both organisation in principal do the same thing but only the rating systems differ and one must choose the rating that is the most appropriate for their project in a marketing stand point.

IGBC offers multiple ratings for different kinds of building for example IGBC Green Homes, LEED India, Green Factory Building, Green SEZ and Green Townships. TERI offers only a single rating system, GRIHA with a version for smaller buildings called Small Versatile Affordable GRIHA. Both organisations offer developers an option to pre-certify their projects.

The most committed corporates in this sector are Godrej and ITC. Both these companies certify every new building they build and environmental sustainability feature very prominently in their corporate policy. All in all this sector is on the move and more and more businesses are taking up Green Buildings as part of their physical expansion plans. I recently attended a conference where the distinguished panel mutually agreed that 60% of India is yet to be built. This massive shortfall is expected to be overcome in the next four decades, so there is a huge opportunity and at the rate the awareness is growing, one can safely assume a large portion of the 60% is going to be Green and hopefully Certified.