Interview with Dr. Prem C Jain, Chairman, IGBC
The Green Future
Green building is the logical way forward for our construction industry. It is with this mantra that the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), part of CII, came up in Hyderabad in 2001. It was formed with a vision to facilitate India in becoming the global leader in sustainable built environment by 2025. Dr. Prem C Jain. Chairman IGBC briefs Realty Plus.
Construction industry in India is amongst the largest contributor to its economic growth. As the sector is growing rapidly, preserving the environment poses many challenges. Building sector accounts for 30-40 % of global Green House Gas Emissions. Also, the energy, water and materials demand for buildings has been growing enormously over the years and the need has arisen to address the minimisation of use of natural resources for the buildings construction and their associated impact on environment. In this regard, green buildings can play a catalytic role in addressing environmental issues and concerns.
Understanding the imperative to have a specific rating system for each of the different building typologies, IGBC has launched over 20 fully indigenised green building rating systems for commercial, residential, cities, townships, factories, schools, healthcare, data centres, metro stations, railway stations and several others. IGBC green building rating systems have demonstrated savings of 30 to 40 % on energy cost and 20 to 30 % on fresh water demand. The ratings incorporate National Standards and Codes, including- National Building Code (NBC), Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) guidelines.
Though the incremental cost of an IGBC certified commercial green building is about 3 %, this additional cost gets paid back within 2 to 3 years through substantial reduction in operational costs.
The current green building footprint across India
IGBC started its journey with less than 20,000 square feet in 2003, and is today facilitating over 4.66 billion square feet with a lion’s share of 90% of the Indian market. IGBC and India wave the second largest green building footprint in the world after USA and IGBC aspires to facilitate 10 billion square feet of green building footprint by 2022 to become the global leader.
Some of the challenges for adopting green parameter include- affordability, need for qualified professionals, availability of certified green building products and green technologies. However, the steady increase in demand for green buildings has brought down the cost of products, services and materials, thus making green buildings affordable. Earlier, manufactures were shy of using and promoting recycled and recyclable content of their products. Today, they are voluntarily highlighting how green their product or technology are and indicating recycled and recyclable content on their products.
As per IGBC estimates, by 2025, green products market potential would be about USD 300 Billion. CII has launched Green Product (GreenPro) Certification, “GreenPro”, based on a life cycle approach to certify products as ‘Green’. Over 150 products have already been GreenPro certified, and many more are in the pipe-line.
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