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India Green Building: What Standards and Codes Exist for Building Materials?

posted 10 Feb 2013, 07:45 by Yusuf Turab   [ updated 10 Feb 2013, 07:45 ]
Argha asks: I would like to know about the standards and the code of references which are accepted for the following green building materials used in India in the green building construction: 1) Green roof 2) Any other Water proofing material which is being extensively used in India 3) Shading coefficient value in double glazed window and the accepted value according to the standards based on the green building construction in India 4)Terazzo flooring according to the construction based in India 5) PVC pipes according to the construction based in India 6) Aerated light weight concrete blocks according to the construction based in India 7) Ceramic tiles according to the construction based in India 8) Out door paving materials according to the construction based in India?

Advice provided by: Yusuf Turab, Y T Enterprises

Dear Argha

Thank you for your question.

Before I start answering your question you need to understand that many of the building materials mentioned below do not have any standards as such, specially when it comes to classifying whether a product is really green or not. The answer to the below questions depends on whether your project is applying for a green building certification and how each of these products might help a project comply with the requirements of the rating system or the standards used within it.

The two certifications available in India are:

1. LEED INDIA along with other IGBC rating systems administered by the Indian Green Building Council (http://www.igbc.in)

2. Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment, or GRIHA conceived by The Energy Resources Institute and developed jointly with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India. (http://www.grihaindia.org/)

LEED requires projects to comply with ASHRAE standard 90.1 for energy, ASHRAE standard 62.1 for indoor air quality and ASHRAE standard 55.1 for thermal comfort. You need to have an understanding of these standards to check if the products facilitate compliance to these standards.

I am not sure what standards GRIHA uses and the only way to find out is by attending one of their training courses which are not very frequent.

An important development in the Indian building industry has been the development of the ECBC (Energy Conservation of Building Code) brought out by the Ministry of Power, India. This standard provides guidelines for construction of energy efficient buildings in India and is similar to the ASHRAE standard 90.1. There are talks of making the ECBC standard mandatory for all buildings within the next 5 years. I noticed it is not easy to find the ECBC user guide and standard on the internet so I have added them to my website, please follow the link below to download the documents
http://www.ytenterprises.com/resources

Once you have an understanding of the two green building rating systems along with the compliance standards mentioned above you will be able to learn what it takes to call a product GREEN. Most dealers in India will not have the knowledge to provide you with information like the recycled content, use of rapidly renewable material, place of origin of the product and the raw material, potential for recycling etc. Project teams are usually required to get this information from the manufacturers directly.

I am going to try and answer some of your specific queries:

1) Green roof and
2) Any other Water proofing material which is being extensively used in India

There are no standards for green roofs in India as of now. The only organisation I can think of on top of my head that is in the forefront of research in this subjects is The Research Society for Landscape Development and Landscape Design based in Germany. You might be able to purchase their standard and guideline from their website http://www.fll.de/.

These guidelines can include: building technique (e.g. load bearing capacity, wind uplift protection, fire protection, temperature, noise protection, etc); and the roof technique (waterproofing material and installation, upstands, slope, drainage, etc.). You could also use http://www.greenroofs.com/

3) Shading coefficient value in double glazed window and the accepted value according to the standards based on the green building construction in India

Refer to the ECBC guidelines mentioned above

4)Terazzo flooring according to the construction based in India

Terazzo is just a brand that makes laminate flooring in India. As far as I know they do not have any Green product claims. Generally how green a laminate floor is differs from manufacturer to manufacturer but my guess is it is not very GREEN.

5) PVC pipes according to the construction based in India

PVC pipes must follow the ASTM (International) D1785 or the IS (Indian Standard) 4985:2000. I do not think any of these standards have anything to do with Green Building material.

6) Aerated light weight concrete blocks according to the construction based in India

AAC blocks have many environmental and other benefits like Excellent thermal resistance, Proven Strength, Lightweight, Sound Insulation, Workability, Excellent Fire Resistance, Sulfate Resistance, Proven Frost Resistance, Prevents Damp Penetration. AAC can eliminate the need to be used in combination with insulation products, which increase the environmental impact and cost of construction. Again, there is no international or Indian standard that I can think of.

7) Ceramic tiles according to the construction based in India

I know that Nitco tiles follows the EN standards which is a European standard which tests various different properties of tiles but again I do not think there is a life cycle analysis taking place to assess the environmental impact of these tiles.

8) Out door paving materials according to the construction based in India

I do not know of any standards for paving materials

You need to appreciate the fact that having Green standards for building materials is not practical and introduction of any such standard may only stifle innovation.

Hope this helps.


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