Prem C Jain
Dr Prem C Jain, Chairman, IGBC
For centuries, Western Classical Music has evolved with orchestras playing symphonies, choir singing hymns, and a band of dancers performing the ballet. Indian classical music, on the other hand, has evolved with an individual playing sitar concert, devotee in temple reciting bhajan, and intricate Kathak or Bharat-Natyam dancing movement by the artist, generally accompanied only by a percussion artist who gives the Taal. Similarly, the western worship is generally congregational thru Sunday morning sermon to the community at the Church, whereas, Indian worship is meditational by the individual concentrating on the Absolute.

Indian way of life has therefore been to individually think, act & live, in harmony with the Nature, manifestation of the Absolute. Indian ethos has always been to encourage & inspire the individual to lead a minimalist lifestyle, which is woven around the environment and which causes a minimal or no negative impact on the Nature. Worshipping Nature and adoring Mother Earth has been a part of our DNA. This rich ethos has been seamlessly imbibed for five thousand years or more, by every passing generation.

However, with the recent growing population & urbanization, changes in our lifestyle, and growing focus has become "comfort-at-any-cost". We have somehow drifted away from our rich traditional values of life, and in the process have become more materialistic & lavish, than even our western cousins. With the arrival of Industrial Revolution, in the sixties, our building design and construction started adding the western methods, unmindful of their causing more carbon emissions and generating heaps of waste, which continued to be diverted to landfills. Natural resources were no more appropriately channelized, nor optimized. This drift was unwarranted.

CII Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre Hyderabad
CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, Hyderabad

Twenty-first century has opened new environmental challenges, including: scarcity of resources, erratic weather patterns, melting glaciers, and polluted water resources. Most of these unwarranted trends are man-made by our not-so-green lifestyle. The need of the hour is to immediately reverse this unhealthy trend and make concerted efforts to halt any further deterioration of our environmental heritage, so as to ensure a safer and sustainable tomorrow.

Indian Green Building Council

Building on the above imperative and to facilitate a greener and healthier tomorrow, Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) was founded by CII, in the year 2001. Since then IGBC, with the support of all the construction industry stakeholders, has been leading the green building movement in India. The movement started with CII Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, Hyderabad, which earned for India, the World's highest score and green rating in 2003.

Modern green building designers and builders have access to various types of green building rating systems. These enable stakeholders to embrace green building concepts and encourage them to develop integrated, holistic approach in the design and construction, which will ensure sustainable- built environment for all.

IGBC has developed India-centric green rating systems, based on various Indian Codes & Standards, namely, NBC, ECBC, MoEF Guide-lines, ISHRAE, IPA, ISLE and others. All of these encourage comprehensive design approach by adopting energy modeling & other software techniques, to explore various design options, material specifications, and equipment & control systems.

This promotes creativity and innovation in the projects, and enables the project team to take informed decisions so as ensure sustained savings by design and operation. On an average, directly measurable annual environmental benefits, from every million square feet of green building footprint, are CO2 emission reduction of 12,000 Tons/Year, Energy Savings of 12,000 Mega Watt Hours / year, and Water Savings of 45,000 Kilo Litres / year.

Green Building Movement in India

IBIS Hotel Navi Mumbai
IBIS Hotel, Navi Mumbai
IGBC has made India proud in the world of sustainability, by having recently crossed the milestone of 3 Billion Sq.Ft. of registered green foot print. This brings India to World No. 2 rank in green buildings. It will result in our global of:

Co2 Emission Reducation : 36 Million Tons / year
Energy Savings for India : 36,000 Giga Watt Hours / year
Water savings for India : 135 Billion Litres / year

The late Prof. Prahlad Kakkar guided members of CII to set targets for India @ 75. It lays the roadmap for members of CII to commit their specific contribution to India's growth, for the time independent India is 75 years young, that is, on 15th August, 2022. IGBC, as part of CII, has also set the target for its members, to make India the World No. 1 leading country with a footprint of 10 Billion Sq.Ft for India @ 75.

Green Building Movement in India has clearly demonstrated how buildings in India can be a perfect blend of ancient wisdom & practices and modern technological innovations, which in turn will play a catalytic role in meeting ecological issues & concerns.

Various types of buildings going green

Avani Residence Hyderabad
Avani Residence, Hyderabad
Today, as a result of concerted efforts by IGBC, all types of buildings are going the green way. These buildings are incorporating some of the finest world class practices, which will go a long way in addressing National priorities, and in the process facilitate a healthier & vibrant tomorrow. The day is not far when green buildings will become the way of life for all of us.
  • Green Homes ensure adequate daylighting, reduce operating costs, enhance marketability and reduce health problems resulting from indoor air quality problems.
  • Green Schools require access to dust-free environment, good sanitation, natural lighting & ventilation, hygiene and general awareness on the principles of protecting our natural environment
  • Green Offices require maximum day lighting, outdoor view for majority of occupants, reduce operating costs, optimize life cycle economic performance, enhance occupant comfort, and ensure better indoor air quality
  • Green Metro Rails bring down the operational costs right from day one, enhance passengers' and staff comfort and well-being, and make them more refreshed and energetic
  • Greening of Existing Buildings enhances occupants' health, happiness and well-being through deep retrofitting technologies
  • Green Cities facilitate-efficient land use, habitat preservation & restoration; efficient transportation management, solid waste management, and conservation of our precious natural resources.
Candor International School Bangalore
Candor International School, Bangalore

Bombay House Mumbai
Bombay House, Mumbai

Market Transformation

As a result of the Green Building Movement, many new innovative & futuristic technologies have been introduced in India. These technologies play a key role in ensuring that the green building standards are met, and stipulations are adhered.

Essentially, Green technologies adopt an eco-friendly design which would facilitate achieving lower energy consumption, water conservation, lesser material utilization, waste minimization, reduced emissions, while simultaneously enhancing the re-cycled component of green products.

Some of the green building technologies (not limited to) include the following:
  • High Performance Glass
  • Light Pipes
  • Building Integrated Photo Voltaics (BiPV)
  • Building Management System (BMS)
  • Geothermal Systems
  • Rapidly Renewable Materials
SunCarrier Omega,  Bhopal
SunCarrier Omega, Bhopal
IGBC estimates that the market potential for green building products & technologies would be about $300 Billion by 2025. Green Building Movement in India has recently facilitated Net Zero futuristic buildings. Some of the IGBC rated Net-Zero buildings include:
  • MoEF's Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, New Delhi
  • New Paryavaran Bhavan of Gujarat Pollution Control Board, Gandhi Nagar.
  • Bayer's- Eco Commercial Building, Noida
  • Sun Carrier Omega, Bhopal
In days to come, India will be home to many more similar innovative and futuristic green buildings, where buildings generate their own power, infact they generate surplus energy and divert the excess energy to deficient regions.


The need of the hour is to build upon the inspiring momentum generated for earth-centric buildings. All the upcoming buildings should be conceived and designed as Green right from day one. Gradually but steadily, green building movement could create a positive and profound impact on the stakeholders of construction industry.

Today, designers/architects are keen to go that extra mile and incorporate green building features, which are a perfect blend of ancient practices and modern technological innovations.

The next 10 years will be the decade of integrated sustainable built environment. This will mostly be in the form of large integrated townships, satellite cities, gated communities, campuses with multiple buildings, and others. This presents an enormous opportunity to design these developments as green and influence the way of life of people, who live in such cities.

MOUD GPRA Quarters New Delhi
MOUD's- GPRA Quarters, New Delhi
In days to come, the place we study, work, play, and commute, are well poised to go the green way and facilitate India consolidate our leadership role on the global green buildings map. Upcoming structures will showcase new innovations and designs which will enable the occupants to lead a more meaningful, secured and fulfilling lifestyle.

Adopting and promoting Green & eco-friendly design & structures will not only ensure a greener & greater tomorrow, but also will keep it future-ready for the generations to come, to facilitate a Healthier Tomorrow.

MGS Architecture November 2015