“How Green is Green Construction”
Deepak Goradia – Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Dosti Realty, talks exclusively with Realty Plus and share his thoughts on the ground reality of green construction in the country. Excerpts…
The current Green rating systems comprise easy to achieve point system. Please comment
There are different types of green rating agencies Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) etc. In India though, developers generally apply for IGBC Rating. The mandatory compliances to achieve basic Silver Certification concur with requirements of the Planning authority in the building approval process, however there are various criterion stipulated to get gold and platinum certification, these rating require a lot more effort to achieve.
2) Please comment on the developers using Green pre certification as the marketing tool.
Nowadays people are increasingly becoming conscious about health and the environment as they have understood the importance of creating a sustainable future for the generations to come. Having a green certification is always an added advantage as although it requires a little more cost during the construction stage the long term benefits for the customer are tremendous. The higher the rating you achieve the better is the outcome for the resident. These are the main reasons why developers are using this certification for marketing purposes.
3) How efficient is the monitoring of buildings Green functions during its lifecycle.
Constructing a building requires a large amount of planning and the creation of various systems and processes that are monitored on a daily basis. When a developer wishes to apply for green certification, the criterion to be achieved gets build into the processes, so monitoring of the same becomes part of the daily routine at the site.
4) What according to you constitutes the eco-friendly building construction?
Any construction first starts with design and planning, simple things like creating adequate day lighting in all living spaces, creating open spaces to facilitate fresh air ventilation, having a roof garden & China Mosaic on terrace also helps reduce heat island effect, etc all have an impact. The second would be construction that efficiently utilizes materials through the entire project construction lifecycle this could be via the use of materials with recycled content, use of local materials and certified wood, disposal of construction waste, use of low VOC paints etc. The third would be creating systems that would impact the customer lives post handling over possession. This would be through providing water efficient fixtures in the apartment, rain water harvesting, having a sewage treatment plant, having energy efficient lighting in common area, use of native plant species for landscaping, waste segregation bins, providing ramps for differently able people etc. All these factors combined would according to us constitute an eco-friendly building construction.
5) How can one determine if a material is green or not?
A Material that is environment friendly throughout its life cycle, i.e. right from the raw material extraction to the end of useful life of the product is called as Green Material.
6) How the Green rating systems can be made more efficient and result oriented
The rating systems should consider the practical problems of the industry, the developers and the current practices.
7) The cost implications of Green certification for a building owner
These would vary dependant on which green criterion the developer wishes to incorporate in his construction. Typically the higher the certification one wants to achieve the higher is the cost implication. For example : For gold certification the use of FSC wood is a requirement, if normal ply wood is around Rs 100/sq.ft. FSC wood would be around Rs 140/ sq.ft. For Platinum certification the use of a bio fuel DG is a requirement , the cost of this is 1.5 times that of a normal DG. Additional Cost to achieve Silver, Gold, Platinum rating would be 3%, 5%, 7% of the Total Construction Cost.
8) Advantages & Disadvantages of vernacular architecture for modern building
Vernacular architecture is an architectural style that is designed based on local needs, availability of construction materials and reflecting local traditions. In the construction of modern building there are some limitations in using this as many construction techniques have changed. Besides this labour and use of local material is slightly difficult to come by in some locations.
9)What more can be done to reduce building’s carbon footprint & increase energy efficiency
To reduce building’s carbon footprint & increase energy efficiency, alternative layouts and materials can be considered and details can be refined at design stage to use less material.
Different variables influencing the energy consumption are HVAC, Envelope, Lighting and equipments. A building’s orientation will have a direct impact on its overall energy consumption. HVAC comprises 40 percent of all carbon emissions, hence incorporating the most efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, along with efficient operations and scheduled maintenance of such systems, reduces carbon footprint. Use of optimum daylight and energy efficient lighting fixtures along with controls reduces overall energy consumption of the building.
A building’s carbon footprint can also be reduced by sourcing its operational energy from environmentally responsible sources, or by generating renewable energy on-site.