Green building movement

Pune Marriott Hotel and Convention Centre

The Green building movement has gained tremendous impetus during the past several years and it is projected by the Indian Green Building Council that the market for LEED-rated green buildings in India will be $5 billion by 2012 and the total market for green building materials and products is estimated to be over 10 times (around $45-50 billion) the size of the LEED-rated green building market in India. Hence it is apparent that the market is large and expected to grow exponentially, therefore more professionals and entrepreneurs are vying to enter into this market to make available certified green products for green projects construction, reports Maria.R

"Green" is regarded as 'the voluntary pursuit of any activity which is concerned with energy efficiency, environmental management, water management, renewable energy, and waste management and recycling'— CII-Godrej Green Business Centre, India

Green Building is described as a structure that ensures efficient use of materials, water, energy and other resources without depletion of nature and minimal generation of non-degradable waste. The term Green Building is often used in combination with 'high-performance building,' 'sustainable design' and 'preserving precious resources.' Although the green buildings concept was prevalent in India from the time of our ancestors who revered the five elements of nature Earth as 'Prithvi,' Water as 'Jal', Agni as 'Energy', Air as 'Vayu', and Sky as 'Akash' but it was lost somewhere and now through the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) and other green building rating system, we are rediscovering the same Indian ethos again.

Wipro Building

Architect Vidur Bhardwaj, of Design and Development, who designed the Wipro building echoed that the concept of green building was started in India approximately 1,000 years ago, and was a way of life. According to him, the havelis that built hundreds years ago had thick walls, jharokas and jaali windows that cooled the air along with water bodies in the central courtyard. Adding he said that green architecture has been the part of our civilization that started getting lost in the 1920s. Like most other Indian concepts that have caught on in the West, to be later aped by India, green architecture too is seeing a similar trajectory.

In the last few years, green building construction has made significant inroads in India and today it has emerged as one of the world's top destinations for green buildings (ranging from residential complexes, exhibition centers, hospitals, educational institutions to laboratories, IT parks, airports, government buildings, corporate offices etc) and implemented a number of rating systems (LEED-India, GRIHA etc) which open up a wide range of opportunities in construction, architecture and engineering design, building materials and equipment manufacture. The Green Building Movement in the country is pioneered by the Indian Green Building Council (part of CII) and currently, India boasts of 1239 registered buildings, 187 certified buildings with 855.96 million sqft Green building footprint.

Hemant Shah
"With a mere beginning of 20,000 sq ft in 2003, India's green building footprints have grown manifold to date and according to the CII study and statistics which estimated that the market of green building construction is set to grow somewhere around $40 billion by 2012 which shows that the outlook is very positive," said Mr. Hemant Shah, Chairman, Ackruti City Limited. He added that the phenomenon is driven by two main factors. Firstly, the construction industry is an ever-growing one, and secondly, the issues related to energy, water and environment have taken precedence. These trends suggest significant and growing market opportunities for green buildings in India. In fact, it is said that by 2015 India is going to become the forerunner in developing green buildings and green communities, which itself says how large the market is going to be." We at Ackruti group is completely committed to the concept of sustainable development and our projects are in compliance with highest standards of norms set out for green buildings. Towards this end, we are launching many new projects which will be developed on green principles, he added.

What makes a Building Green?

Green or sustainable building concept incorporates and integrates a variety of strategies during the design, construction and operation of the building projects. The use of green building materials and products represents one important strategy in the design of a building. Using green building materials and products promotes conservation of non-renewable resources and helps in reducing the environmental impacts associated with the installation, reuse, recycling, disposal etc of the building materials. Most importantly energy efficient products and systems used in construction of sustainable building reduce maintenance and operating costs to large extant and it is noted that green buildings generally use 50%—75% less energy than conventional construction.

Green building materials are composed of renewable, rather than nonrenewable resources. These materials are environment-friendly and offer specific benefits including reduced maintenance/replacement costs over the life of the building, energy conservation, improved occupant health and productivity, lower costs associated with changing space configurations, greater design flexibility, and so on.

A building is called green when it has tremendous benefits, both tangible and intangible. The immediate and most tangible benefit is in the reduction in water and operating energy costs right from day one, during the entire life cycle of the building. The savings could range from 25 – 40 % depending on the extent of green specifications (Energy savings: 20 - 30 % and Water savings: 30 - 50%). The intangible benefits include enhanced air quality, excellent day lighting, health & wellbeing of the occupants, conservation of scarce national resources and enhance marketability for the project.

Green Products and its Market

Green building products are considered through the lens of their health and environmental impacts and is defined as an environmentally preferable products that have "a lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared to competing products that serve the same purpose."

As the green building revolution is growing very fast in India, so there is a significant demand of green building materials and products including high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; low-emission window and day lighting technologies; affordable green building materials with consideration for the life cycle perspective of building costs; water saving, water efficiency and non mechanical treatment systems; fire and safety systems and other intelligent building systems, and materials that help to score points under the various IGBC and GRIHA green building rating system.

Yusuf Turab
With the green building construction growing tremendously, market for green products and materials is also increasing simultaneously said Mr. Yusuf Turab, Managing Director of Y T Enterprises, an IGBC Accredited Professional and a LEED Green Associate. He further revealed that currently, India ranked second in green building market globally and as per the projection made by the Indian Green Building Council, the market for LEED-rated green buildings in the country is pegged to be over $5 billion by 2012 and the total market for green building materials and products is estimated to be over 10 times the size of the LEED-rated green building market in India which suggest a significant and growing market opportunities for green buildings material and product manufacturers and service providers. From this, it is apparent that the market is large and expected to grow exponentially, hence more professionals and entrepreneurs are vying to enter into this area and to make available certified products in the market for green construction.

The LEED rating is providing opportunities to introduce new products and materials. The easy availability of most of the green materials and equipment in the country has made it easier for the designers to adopt local products and materials to a very large extent. Dr. Avlokita, Head, Architectural and Green Design, Asahi India Glass pointed out that 10 years back, there were no green bricks, no green cement, no green paint, no green wood and other building materials. And today it is totally transformed. A paradigm shift we can say. Everything has some green quotient. And amidst all this, Glass has always been green. Just that now we have more products which fall in this range so that clients have a bigger choice. This is even getting better day by day. More innovations and research is happening and newer products are hitting the market every day in each sector of building construction. In the next two-three years, we'll see that products which are not green will almost vanish from the market, she said confidently.

Green Bolueward Classic Blue Noida

R Subramanian
On the availability of the locally manufactured green products, Mr. R. Subramanian, Director Sales and marketing, Saint Gobain informed that today sophisticated glass solutions for energy control (made right here in India) are easily available in the country. This has happened due to large investments by Companies in manufacturing technically complex products as well as investment in downstream processing. At the same time with the increasing popularity of the green architecture or buildings which have been certified for their high performance on the US-based LEED (Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Design) standards, all have a high ratio of glass usage in the construction. This is so as to let in adequate light (so as to minimize artificial lighting) as well as cutting out unwanted heat so that the air-conditioning loads are minimized.

Energy Saving Products

Energy Saving Products
Energy is the single largest operating expense and accounts for more than $100 billion in expenses for commercial buildings every year in India. Major emphasis in Green building is given on saving energy costs through proper selection of energy efficient products in lighting system, Insulating system, Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning, glazing and cladding etc.

Lighting Systems

Lighting is one of the important aspects in residential or commercial décor. And about one-quarter of the electricity budget is spent on lighting so by specifying a high quality energy efficient lighting system that utilizes both natural and electric sources as well as lighting controls can provide a comfortable yet visually interesting environment for the occupants of a space.

Havells, the manufacturer of lighting equipment, seeing the rising number of green buildings and demand of the energy efficient lighting equipment introduces LED (Light-emitting-Diodes) an energy saving lighting lamp that consumes 50% less energy than traditional sources and is four times more energy efficient than regular incandescent lamps, since a larger part of the energy is converted into light than is lost as heat. There is no use of glass or filament in these kinds of lights as compared to normal lights; hence it has a phenomenally longer lifespan with average life of 50,000 to 80,000 hours. LED light not only reduces the electricity bills but also improves the quality of working conditions at commercial establishments and offices.

According to the company spokesperson, Havells Light-emitting-Diodes (LED) range 'Endura Lite' consists of consumer lighting, street lighting and lamps. These lamps are easy to install and do not emit UV radiation. It is smaller in size and lighter in weight. Endura Lite is suitable to fit in standard MR 16 fixtures and has been tested for its high shock resistance and durability. These new age lighting innovations are designed to give higher efficiency and consume low power and has environment-friendly luminous source which make it the best in LED lighting category.

Sustainable Insulation

Atul Khanna
Heavy heat and cooling losses due to poor insulation can have damaging effects on energy bill. Properly designed insulation system can mean big energy and cost savings for building owners. With a view to improve efficiency and thereby enable conservation of energy, the Thermal Insulation Division of Supreme provides top-of-the-line insulation solutions with its 'INSU' range of products. According to Mr. Atul Khanna, General Manager, Thermal Insulation Division of Supreme Industries Ltd, each of the products that we offer i.e. INSUshield, INSUboard and INSUreflector are for the purpose of saving energy in different segments of the industry and for different market applications.

INSUshield – an FR, closed cell, chemically crosslinked Polyethylene material is indigenously manufactured by us and the low energy design procedures for the production of product, do not impact the environment adversely. The product is produced from locally available materials and save energy. Our INSUboard – Extruded Polystyrene material, which finds application for roof and walls areas in the building industry, serves as a 'Building Envelope', to reduce solar heat gain, thus saving on Air Conditioning costs, both Capital and Running costs, by suitably incorporating the same at the design stage.

Overdeck Insulation

Emphasizing on right selection of the products, Mr. Atul Khanna said that Air Conditioning happens to be a major requirement in the building industry, which contributes towards large energy consumption and its running costs. Keeping this in view, energy efficient designs should be applied through judicious use of insulation products for such a system. This would directly help in reducing costs and also environmental impact. Thus selection of effective insulation materials, applied in the right manner, would contribute towards reducing costs in the working of Air Conditioning plants, help in containing ingress of moisture, which is detrimental to HVAC systems and Indoor Air Quality.

He said that Supreme offerings being an energy efficient products have been used at various projects including Common Wealth Games Village, in Delhi (this project is listed on the GRIHA website), TELCO – Jamshedpur, Tech Mahindra – Kolkata, ESIC Hospitals – Kolkata, Kanpur, Lucknow and Faridabad, DRDO – Korba, Astra Zenica Pharma – Bangalore, Indupulapadu Cotton Mills - AP, Ranbaxi Pharma – Bangalore, Kill itch Pharma – Baddi, Serum Institute – Pune, Unichem labs – Pithampur, Cambrock – Baroda, OPAL – Dahej, Arvind Mills – Ahmedabad to name a few.


Glass can have a tremendous impact on the energy performance of buildings besides enhancing the visual and acoustic effects. Building energy consumption can significantly be lowered by opting the right kind of glass and the right kind of glazing.

According to Mr. R. Subramanian, Director Sales and marketing, Saint Gobain, Glass today can be called as an intelligent building material. From being seen as a material to protect from environment, Glass is known as a material for creating a comfortable, safe, aesthetic and sustainable environment.

On functionality of glass he said that glass cladding or facades optimize the use of natural light to illuminate the interior, thereby not only making it more comfortable for occupants but also reducing the use of electricity-or fuel-powered light. In tropical countries like India, a major requirement is air-conditioning of the building. Proper usage of glass can ensure that the air-conditioning loads (and therefore the air-conditioning expenses) can be reduced by controlling the heat coming into the buildings. This is done by careful usage of glass with appropriate solar control (so as to reduce the heating up of the building due to direct solar radiation) and U value (so as to reduce the heating up of the inside of a building due to high ambient temperature outside).

In cold countries or parts of India where winter temperatures are low, there is a requirement for heating the interiors. One can reduce the heating loads (and the heating expenses) by reducing the heat loss from the inside to the outside. This is done by using heat insulating glass which reflects the far off Infra red radiation or thermal radiation which is the means by which the heat loss happens from inside to outside. For this, one would have to choose glass of the appropriate U value.

ITC Royal Gardenia
He further added that the glass is gaining wide acceptance due to the increasing regulation. This is where ECBC comes in. ECBC is Energy Conservation Building Code. The Code specifics use of energy efficient glass combinations to maximize daylight and minimize cooling loads.

Speaking on the usability of glass as green product, Dr. Avlokita Agarwal, Head, Architectural and Green Design, Asahi India Glass avers that Glass is 100% recyclable and can be recycled indefinite number of times. This implies zero generation of waste. Adding she said, the moment we say that a material is fully recyclable, it automatically leads to conservation of natural resources. All this makes glass a 'green' building material and contributes to its rising popularity as an integral part of sustainable architecture.

She believes that if glass is properly integrated in building through design, it would not cause much of heat gain. Instead reduction in energy consumption for artificial lighting would be an additional benefit. She also feels that efficiency of people working in fully closed environments is much lower than of those working in environments which are visually connected to the outdoors and allow sunlight through. This benefit is an intangible one but very important, she firmly said.

On the green glass offered by AIS, she declares that we have wide range of glasses including recently launched Ecosense series which gives unmatched performance and beautiful shades which not only enhance the thermal performance but also the look of the building. The company also offers other brands including AIS Supersilver, AIS Opal, Sunergy, Stopray, Planibel G, Energy NT etc. There are many products within each brand which help the client meet his/her aesthetic needs without compromising on energy performance, added Dr. Avlokita.

Water/Sewage treatment system

Harshad Bastikar

In this age of increased green construction, ecological awareness and tougher environmental regulation, conventional septic tank systems and treatment solutions no longer appear to be adequate or viable options. Treatment solutions with very high reliability, complete recycle and reuse capability, low operation & maintenance cost, low noise, generating no emissions or foul odor yet meeting the highest standard of discharge norms are the need of the day, echoed Mr. Harshad Bastikar, CEO, Jaldhara Technologies.

Sewage Treatment System

Elaborating he said that it is extremely essential and important for an on-site wastewater or sewage treatment system to have the capability of treating wastewater to "tertiary standard" so that treated effluent can be recycled and reused in closed loops without any discharge. We at Jaldhara Technologies offers an innovative technology which through its revolutionary 'plug-n-play' GREWA range of wastewater treatment products, not only save on Footprint size of the plants but also use the least energy while affecting a fully Automatic, Man-Independent and Low-Cost Operation. All these are achieved without the use of any non bio-degradable and Toxic or harmful chemicals. He said adding that this has come as a boon for communities, industries and facilities generating any form of wastewater. The company and its entire technology are focused on "Green" ways to tackle wastewater treatment, at all levels. GREWA brings together an innovative methodology and a state-of-the-art control concept to reduce most of the conventional energy guzzling and noisy equipment in a Single Tank Multiple Treatment System. He revealed that the philosophy of this Single Tank treatment is based on a "No Waste" and "Continuous Operation" cycle and GREWA ranges of products are able to handle varying loads while maximizing the recycling of treated waste water. Further, production of sludge in the treatment system being negligible, yet fully-digested and controls the degradation impact on our environment.

Environment-friendly Products

Along with the energy saving products mentioned above, there are environment-friendly products also such as Sustainable Floors, Ceilings and Roofs, Green Sealants and Adhesives, Green Paints, Sustainable Furniture, Sustainable Carpets, and so on which are contributing a lot in constructing the buildings Green or sustainable.

Raj Menon
According to Mr. Raj Menon, Country Manager, InterfaceFlor India, our modular carpet tiles help in getting LEED Certification and can contribute upto 6 LEED points and sometimes even beyond that. Some of the areas are under Low Emitting Materials, Low Emitting Adhesives, Innovation Points, Recycled Content etc. The latest addition to this is an additional possible point for using InterfaceFLOR carpet tile that has EPD. This is the current breakthrough in green products and stands for Environmental Product Declaration. We are the only carpet tile manufacturers to provide EPDs for our products. Most of the leading Corporate today use InterfaceFLOR carpet tiles and especially green buildings considering the green benefits our products offer. Some of the leading companies that have used our products in their green buildings are Cisco, Standard Chartered Bank, Microsoft, IBM etc.

Modular carpet tiles

Dwelling in details about the company he said, InterfaceFLOR is the modular flooring division of Interface Inc., based in Atlanta, USA. We are a worldwide leader in the production of environmentally responsible carpet tiles. Now defined as Mission Zero, the company's drive to achieve a zero environmental footprint is a central part of the organization's ethos and culture. Today, we have made significant progress in that direction some of them being 82% reduction in waste sent to landfill, 60% reduction in non renewable energy and 80% reduction in water intake in manufacturing etc as well as saving $438 million in cumulative avoided waste cost in the process. We also have carpet tiles with upto 79% recycled content and have just launched the only product in the industry with 100% recycled yarn.

Duct Insulation

Green Initiatives & Future Ahead

Mr. Bastikar said that it has been observed in recent times that awareness of concepts, importance and implementation of Green Initiatives for new construction of various buildings is rising; a lot still needs to be done in terms of actual on the ground actions. A good beginning would be some sort of an incentive plan from the Government to promote and encourage Green Initiatives. A possible way could be through reduction in Property Taxes, Water tariffs, Electricity Tariff, etc, for such facilities, once certified to be following the laid down Green Building guidelines and parameters. Once such tangible actions are seen, there will be a surge in the use of Green products like non-toxic paints, geosynthetic products, eco-friendly cladding, paneling and roofing materials besides various other internally & externally used products. A very important aspect in the Green Building would be the Water and Wastewater Treatment system and its impact on the facility and the environment, he stressed.

Mr. Khanna views, the seriousness of the Government could be assessed from the fact that all forthcoming building projects of the Government are to be three star rated and that PSUs and CPWD department are to adopt sustainable features in their building designs. The task of implementation & dissemination of information on Building norms as per prescribed guidelines of ECBC, creation of sustainable buildings which would help save the environment, reduce waste and save water has been taken up by various agencies like BEE, MNES, Ministry of Power, Ministry of Environment, TERI etc. This shows that size of Green Buildings in the coming years is going to increase. There are approx 250 projects already listed for GRIHA rating, and more for LEED rated. Emphasis on sustainable development in the country would gain momentum as State authorities and Municipalities adopt and follow the procedures for efficient use of energy and when the guidelines become law and mandatory.

Abad nucleus shopping mall kochi
The impetus provided to the Green Building movement would enable the market to grow creating more sustainable buildings, as concern for the environment are raised and laws become mandatory, enabling use of green building products and services, he added.

Looking very optimistic for the green construction market in India Ms Avlokita said that as of now, green building construction is not dominating construction industry. But in light of ECBC heading towards a mandatory status and that many states have taken a proactive stance in enforcing energy codes along with bye laws, it is anticipated to grow at an exponential rate in the decade to come. All CPWD buildings would mandatorily be green buildings now. Many of private sector companies have already adopted green building construction for all their upcoming buildings like ITC, Infosys, IBM and many others. Seeing all that is happening in the country, it is definitely booming.

Validated her thought Mr. Raj Menon said that when we launched our first showroom in Bangalore in 2007 we were the 1st LEED Gold rated office in Bangalore and third in India! Today, one may find over hundreds of office spaces with LEED certification. We definitely see this trend continuing and foresee an increased demand for green buildings and green materials.

Now as there is touch of optimism among construction fraternity and industry for the bright future of sustainable development in India viewing the continuous growth of the sector in-terms of both demand for sustainable accommodations and green materials and products. As now most of the local manufactured green products are available to meet the growing demand of the market but still there is an imminent need for service providers, who would be required in large numbers as the movement is heading to reach greater heights and would stay here permanently for the benefit of individuals, society and the country at large.

IGBC Gold Precertification for Ackruti Greenwoods

Ackruti City Limited, the premier real estate development company has received IGBC Gold Precertification for its prestigious project Ackruti Greenwoods, located in Thane.

Conceptualized and built on green principles, Ackruti Greenwoods - is a beautifully designed residential complex that meets the aspirations of the modern home seeker, who longs for a good, healthy lifestyle. Ackruti Greenwoods shares good connectivity with schools, colleges, hospitals, station, mall etc. It offers facilities like Gym with contemporary equipment, spacious multi- purpose hall for get-together and parties, ample car parking space etc. With a perfect blend of finest amenities, modern elevations and designs, Ackruti Greenwoods redefines a healthy and a self sufficient lifestyle.

According to Mr. Hemant Shah, Chairman, Ackruti City Limited, Ackruti Greenwoods is a project conceived to offer better standards of living, which is environmentally sustainable. Our engineering, design, architecture and environment team has worked hard to come up with ingenious solutions that ensure maximum water and energy efficiency, besides offering clean air and soothing views to the consumers. The layout design of the flats and the buildings have taken into account the element of cross ventilation and reducing heat gain in the apartments naturally, thus reducing the dependence on air-conditioning.

Ackruti Greenwoods Thane
Commenting on the sustainable design of the project he stresses, from selecting the site to ensuring green-friendly construction practices such as preserving the top-soil for landscaping during excavation, maintaining water and energy efficiency during construction, we are also taking care to use environ friendly material for construction procured from areas within the 500 km radius of the site, such as fly-ash building blocks, other recyclable materials.

Adding he said that committed to 100% green compliance it will offer complete recycling of grey water for landscaping and flushing purposes. The project will also have rainwater harvesting system and install metering devices to measure treated grey water consumption for flushing, landscape water consumption and hot water consumption.

The design and layout of the project offers maximum use of natural light and maximum ventilation, minimizing the use of artificial temperature control. The vast expanses of green have been incorporated to keep the environment free from pollution, besides offering fresh air. The proposed treatment process of the organic waste is either vermi-composting or organic waste converter. The project is aiming for more than 50 % organic waste to be treated, estimated organic waste generation in the project is 1.92 tones per day. Some of the prominent green building features are:
  • Electric charging provision for battery operated vehicles whereby reducing the pollution from automobile use.
  • Sewage Treatment Plant (STP), Rain water harvesting & Storm water Management System for efficient water management.
  • Water efficient faucets, fixtures, fittings and urinals minimising the water consumption.
  • Water and Energy meters to monitor the consumption and conservation measures for possible savings
  • Efficient lighting design for common areas meeting prescribed standards Solar Hot Water System for domestic use.
  • Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) adhesives, paints and sealants.
  • Improved Indoor Air Quality to enhance the occupant comfort level.
  • Maximum use of recycled materials, regionally or locally manufactured materials and reuse of salvaged materials minimising the usage of virgin materials.
  • Technology driven analysis for Insulation, Day-lighting & Views from the building, Sun Path, Energy & Lighting and commissioning of all systems.
  • Efficient landscaping with drought tolerant species ensuring minimum consumption of water, yet providing an ample green cover.
  • HVAC and other equipment which do not use CFC or HCFC based refrigerants.