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Green Building Development for Sustainable Environment with Special


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Article · December 2012

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International Journal of Environment and Bioenergy, 2012, 4(2): 86-100
International Journal of Environment and Bioenergy ISSN: 2165-8951
Journal homepage: www.ModernScientificPress.com/Journals/IJEE.aspx Florida, USA
Perspective
Green Building Development for Sustainable Environment with
Special Reference to India
Syed Maqbool Geelani 1, *, Syed Hanifa Geelani 3, S. J. A. Bhat 2, Shamsul Haq 1, Naseer Ahmad
Mir 2, Syed Junaid 4, Buhroo Zafar 5
1
Division of Environmental Sciences, S. K. University of Agriculture, Sciences & Technology,
Kashmir-191121, Jammu & Kashmir, India
2
Faculty of Forestry, S. K. University of Agriculture, Sciences & Technology, Kashmir-191121,
Jammu & Kashmir, India
3
Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Kashmir Hazratbal, Srinagar-190006,
Jammu & Kashmir, India
4
Faculty of Veterinary Sciences FVSC & AH Shuhama, S. K. University of Agriculture, Sciences &
Technology, Kashmir-191121, Jammu & Kashmir, India
5
Temperate Sericulture Research Institute, S. K. University of Agriculture, Sciences & Technology,
Kashmir-191121, Jammu & Kashmir, India

* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: geelani111@gmail.com; Tel.:


+919906448210.

Article history: Received 9 October 2012, Received in revised form 10 November 2012, Accepted 12
November 2012, Published 13 November 2012.

Abstract: Building materials and technologies, and building practices have evolved
through ages. The following points require attention, regarding the use of modern building
materials: energy consumed in the manufacturing processes, problems of long distance
transportation, natural resources and raw materials consumed, recycling and safe disposal,
impact on environment, and long-term sustainability. Thus the issues related to energy
expenditure, recycling, biodegradable, environmental and sustainability with respect to
future demand need to be addressed during the manufacture and use of any new building
material by the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings use resources
energy, water, and materials while reducing building impacts on human health and the
environment, through better site, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal
i.e. the complete building life cycle for achieving sustainable building development or
green building development. The goal of the "green building" project is to reduce the
impact of construction on the environment by sustainable building and construction of
Copyright © 2012 by Modern Scientific Press Company, Florida, USA
Int. J. Environ. Bioener. 2012, 4(2): 86-100 87

buildings using methods and materials that are resource efficient and will not compromise
the health of the environment or the associated health and well-being of the building's
occupants, construction workers, the general public, or future generations. Sustainable
building involves the consideration of many issues, including land use, site impacts, indoor
environment, energy and water use, solid waste, and lifecycle impacts of building
materials. Energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions will therefore
continue to rise unless actions to direct the construction industry towards sustainable
consumption and production are taken urgently.

Keywords: green building; environment; energy; greenhouse gas; building materials.

1. Introduction
The development of civilization and rapid industrialization by man has caused a great damage
to the environment. Things have worsened because no attention or a very little attention has been paid
towards protecting the environment, while executing industries and other developmental projects.
Associated with any development, there is bound to be some amount of environmental degradation. An
ecological survey and effective measures for protecting the environment are therefore, essentially
required before any developmental project is undertaken. But unfortunately while developing
industries or commercial or even urban properties we have not bothered to look at the environmental
degradation, likely to be caused by those establishments either through our ignorance or through our
sheer greed, for not spending any money or things which do not immediately affect us individually
(Agarwal, 2003). There are in fact people among us who believe that there is more money in
destroying the environment (such as those who fell trees, and kill wild animals, unauthorized), rather
than in conserving it. Tomorrow is not their immediate concern. The excessive use of coal, petroleum
and natural gas for industries, automobiles and power generation has created enormous problems of
pollution of environment.
The term “green” refers to environmentally friendly practices from building design to the
landscaping choices. It also encompasses energy use, water use, and storm water and wastewater reuse.
Buildings can be rated for their environmentally sustainable construction and one such rating system is
the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) (Zane, 2009). This building rating
system was developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (GBC) and was created to define “green
building” by establishing a common standard of measurement; promote integrated, whole-building
design practices; recognize environmental leadership in the building industry; stimulate green
competition; raise consumer awareness of green building benefits; and transform the standard building
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Int. J. Environ. Bioener. 2012, 4(2): 86-100 88

market to a green building market. GBC members, representing every sector of the building industry,
developed and continue to refine LEED. The rating system addresses six major areas are sustainable
sites; water efficiency; energy and atmosphere; materials and resources; indoor environmental quality;
and innovation and design process. The terms “green” and “green building” apply not only to products,
but to construction strategies, building design and orientation, landscaping, building operations,
maintenance, and more. The less impact a building has on human health and the environment, the more
green it is. The impacts of the built environment of buildings are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Impacts of the built environment of buildings


Aspects of Built Consumption Environmental Ultimate Effects
Environment Effects
Siting Energy Waste Harm to human health
Design Water Air pollution Environment degradation
Construction Materials Water pollution Loss of resources
Operation Natural resources Indoor pollution
Maintenance Noise
Renovation
Deconstruction

2. Why Going Green


A green building may cost more up front but, in the long run, will save money through lower
operating costs over the life of the building. The green building approach applies a project lifecycle
cost analysis to determine the appropriate up-front expenditure. This analytical method calculates costs
over the useful life of the asset (Venkatarama, 2004). The integrated systems approach ensures that the
building is designed as one system rather than a collection of stand-alone systems. Some benefits, such
as improving occupant health, comfort, productivity, reducing pollution and landfill waste, are not
easily quantified. Consequently, they are not adequately considered in cost analysis. For this reason,
consider setting aside a small portion of the building budget to cover differential costs associated with
less tangible green building benefits or to cover the cost of researching and analyzing green building
options. Even with a tight budget, many green building measures can be incorporated with minimal up-
front costs, and they can yield enormous savings (Zane, 2009).

3. World Green Building Council


The World Green Building Council (World GBC) is a coalition of national Green Building
Councils. With member organisations in over 80 countries, it is the largest international organisation
influencing the green building marketplace. The World GBC was founded at a meeting of

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representatives from eight national GBCs in November 1999 in California. The councils represented
were Australia, Canada, Japan, Spain, Russia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United
States. The World Green Building Week 2011 took place on 19-23 September. The building sector
consumes more than one third of the world’s energy and, in most countries, is the largest source of
greenhouse gas emissions (WGBC 2009). Thus,
 Building-related greenhouse gas emissions could almost double by 2030 (IPCC)
 With proven and commercially available technologies, energy consumption in both new and
existing buildings could be cut by an estimated 30 - 50% without significantly increasing
investment costs (IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report).
 Buildings certified by green building councils can consume 85% less energy, 60% less potable
water and send 69% less waste to landfill than non-certified buildings (WGBC-2009,
http://www.worldgbc.org).
 The building sector consumes more than one third of the world’s energy and, in most countries,
is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions (WGBC 2009).
The fifty greenest buildings around the world are shown in Table 2

Table 2. Fifty greenest buildings around the world


S. No. Green Buildings Location
1 Alamaden Tower San Jose, California, USA
2 India Tower Mumbai, India
3 William J. Clinton Presidential Library Little Rock, Arkansas
4 Robert Redford Building Santa Monica, California
5 RIT’s University Services Center Rochester, New York, USA
6 Philip Merrill Environmental Center Annapolis, Maryland, USA
7 United States Green Building Council Washington, D.C., USA
8 Tahoe Center Incline Village, Nevada, USA
9 Cundall Sydney Office Fitout St. Leonard’s, New South Wales, Australia
10 East and West Towers San Jose, California, USA
11 Perkins + Will Seattle, Washington, USA
12 The Chicago Center for Green Technology Chicago, Illinois, USA
13 Rocky Mountain Institute Boulder, Colorado, USA
14 Green Tomorrow Gyeonggi-Do, South Korea
15 Eldorado Business Tower São Paulo, Brazil
16 Pratt & Whitney and China Eastern Airlines Shanghai, China
Engine Maintenance Company
17 Bloomberg Office 38 Finsbury Square London, England
18 TECOM Management Office Dubai, United Arab Emirates
19 Spectral Corporate Office Noida, India

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20 Banner Bank Building Boise, Idaho, USA


21 Kalpataru Square Kolkata, India
22 La Maison du Developpement Durable Montreal, Quebec, Canada
23 Discovery Park Building Burnaby, British Colombia, Canada
24 Pacific Controls Headquarters Dubai, United Arab Emirates
25 Brandix Casualwear Ltd. Seeduwa, Sri Lanka
26 Turbo Energy Ltd. Chennai, India
27 Ronald McDonald House Austin Austin, TX, USA
28 Tata Consultancy Services IT Park Bhubaneswar, India
29 Infinity Benchmark Kolkata, India
30 California Department of Education Building Sacramento, California, USA
31 Council House 2 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
32 Mercy Corps Headquarters Portland, Oregon, USA
33 Melink Headquarters Milford, Ohio, USA
34 Burt Hill India Office Ahmedabad, India
35 Dockside Green Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
36 Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center Mineral, California, USA
37 Shell Business Service Center Chennai, India
38 KAUST Campus Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
39 Alberici Corporate Headquarters Overland, Missouri, USA
40 California Environmental Protection Agency Sacramento, California, USA
Headquarters
41 The Bond Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
42 Data Center Frankfurt, Germany
43 Mc Donald’s Headquarters Oak Brook, Illinois, USA
44 Sweetwater Creek State Park Visitor Center Lithia Springs, Georgia, USA
45 National Guard Annex Portland, Oregon, USA
46 Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Flushing, New York, USA
Administration Center
47 Confederation of Indian Industry’s Sohrabji Hyderabad, India
Godrej Green Business Center
48 Bank of America Tower New York City, New York, USA
49 BMW Welt Munich, Germany
50 Lewis and Clark State Office Building Jefferson City, Missouri, USA
Source: http://toponlineengineeringdegree.com/?page_id=122, (2010).

4. Status of Green Building in India


The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED-INDIA) is a Green Building
Rating System and a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high
performance green buildings. There are 150 LEED registered green buildings, 23 LEED certified green
buildings in India.

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4.1. The Emerging Green Building Market in India

Climate change is happening and humans are contributing to it. Rising temperatures vouch for
this. The challenge is to find a solution to collectively limit the CO2 levels to under 450 ppm. It is
already 390 ppm and it is increasing by 3 ppm p.a. The time is running out. Green architecture is
evolving globally to provide a solution. It is about optimizing on local ecology, local materials and
most importantly to conserve water & energy requirements. Moreover 75% of India is yet to be built
and it could be ensured that new builders are all Energy Efficient and Green certified – IGBC or TERI
GRIHA or BEE energy star rated.

4.2. The Evolution

In India the green building movement has been pioneered by the Confederation of India
Industries (CII) which set up the IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) in 2001, at the behest of then
US President Bill Clinton. The CII-Green Building Centre at Hyderabad showcases different
technology that could be used for green construction. The result was the first (Leadership in Energy &
Environmental Design) LEED platinum certified building outside the US and the third in the world.
ITC & Patni structures ranking as the second of the largest platinum certified structures globally. The
scorecard display 109 certified Green Buildings, 433.26 m sq. ft Green footprint & 687 registered
Green Building projects. The 350 companies have voluntarily signed in CII’s “Mission on sustainable
growth”. It is also working on norms for green SEZ’s and factories. The Green Building Movement
over the years is reflected in the Table 3.

Table 3. Green building movement


No. Criteria 2001 2007
1 CEO & Senior People involved 50 2000
2 No. of professionals trained on LEED 10 2500
3 No. of registered green buildings 1 80
4 Built in area 0 25 million
5 Green building products and equipments 5 50
6 IGBC Membership 0 85
(Source: CII, 2008)

4.3. Regulatory Bodies in India

The CII plays an active role in promoting sustainability in Indian construction sector. It is the
central Pillar of the IGBC. The IGBC has licensed the LEED green building standards from the
USGBC. LEED rating system is the mostly widely accepted benchmark for green buildings world
over. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) plays an important role in developing green building

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capacities in the country. It came up with a rating system called GRIHA which was adopted by the
government of India as the National Green Building Rating System. Both the bodies aim at ensuring
all kinds of building become green building. Their strength lies in the fact that even non air
conditioned buildings are rated as green and put greater emphasis on local and traditional construction
knowledge.
The Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has launched 5 star rating schemes for office
buildings operated in day time. RBI buildings in Delhi & Bubaneshwar are already rated with 4 & 5
star respectively. Indian’s green momentum is slowly gaining traction with companies like CII, ETL
Infrastructure Service Ltd, KTPL, Lake View Developers, Kalpataru Properties, Godrej & Boyce
Manufacturing Co. Ltd, Lodha Group, Kesar Group, Buhari Group, India Land & Properties Ltd,
Bengal Shrachi Housing Development Ltd, Ambuja Realty Development Ltd, and other leading groups
having and working on environmentally sustainable projects.

5. Some Case Studies

5.1. Hiranandini-BG House, Powai

It becomes the first platinum rated Green Building in Mumbai and the 4th in the country. The
prominent green features are:
 East West orientation of the building.
 High efficient walls and roofs and over deck roof insulation.
 Terrace garden.
 100% onsite grey water treatment plant.
 Ultra low flow and flush water fixtures.
 Intelligence building management system etc.

5.2. ABN Amro Bank, Chennai

It is the first project to be rated green and under LEED for Commercial Interiors in India. Some
of the features are to enhanced lighting controls, CO2 monitoring systems, enhanced fresh air
ventilation, low emitting materials such as adhesives, sealants, paints, carpets etc., construction
material sourced within 600 km radius and with high recycled content and the finished wood products
contain high percentage of rapidly renewable material.

5.3. Palais Royale at Worli, Mumbai

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This project when completed will be the first green residential building in India. It is aspiring
for platinum rating and developers are the Shree Ram Urban Infrastructure Ltd (SRUIL). Project cost
is $200m.
 100% on-site sewage treatment.
 100% waste management by using the waste to generate organic manure.
 30-40% savings in energy and 20-30% savings in water.
 A 12,000 tone CO2 reduction per annum for every one million sq. ft of constructed space.

5.4. Motorola’s Manufacturing Facility at Chennai

It was awarded LEED silver rating certificate. The facility was evaluated on parameters such as
efficiency of water usage, energy, materials and resource selection, besides indoor environmental
quality. The plant implements rain water harvesting schemes capable of collecting about 10,000
kilolitres of water. They also have a green belt surrounding the premises covering approximately 1,
20,000 square feet. Thus they have adopted a “Whole-building” approach to sustainability.
According to CII-GBC as of 2007 about 80 buildings with more than 25 million square feet is
registered for LEED. Varieties of buildings coming up include IT Parks, offices, banks, airports,
convention centre, educational institution, residential and hotels.

5.5. Pre-requisites for Green Building Construction

 Making a building green begins at the planning stage. After the construction is over, it is not
possible to make a building green.
 Safety is of paramount importance. If a laborer dies during construction, the building is never
given a green certification.
 Identifying a site for building is crucial. For e.g. a residential building should be located in a
centralized place so that inhabitants can use public transport and less or no fossil fuel ran
vehicles.
 Energy utilization should be optimum.
 Water discharge should be zero. All waste water should be biologically treated and recycled.
Structure specification should allow for harvesting rain water. Grey water should be used for
flushing and gardening.
 Recycled materials should be used to a greater extent.
 Aerated concrete blocks should be used instead of bricks for better insulation and heat
rejection.
 Roof insulation should be done with clay rather than chemicals.

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 Maximum bamboo products should be used for flooring.

6. Key Growth Drivers of the Market

6.1. Energy Savings

An energy deficient country, India is already unable to meet its energy demands and rapid
urbanization is not helping. Green buildings are a clean way out at the consumer level. Buildings are
designed to have correct sized rooms to let in fresh air, while cutting out heat. Energy density flyash
bricks and energy efficient glasses are used which help reduce air-conditioning load. Terrace roofs are
covered with material having high solar reflective index. Features like double glazed windows that
allow light in while cutting the heat save lot of energy. Solar heating wind energy and gas-thermal
energy are also used according to facilities available. Thus energy saved is energy generated (Table 4).
Companies like Wipro and Osram have already agreed to a CII initiative to use only recycled mercury
in the lights.

Table 4. Energy saving benefits in LEED rated buildings in India


Building Sq. Ft. Normal Actual Percentage Annual energy
Building (kwh) Building (kwh) of Reduction saved (Rs)
Wipro 1,75,000 48,00,000 31,00,000 40% 102 lacs
ITC 1,70,000 35,00,000 20,00,000 45% 90 lacs
Godrej GBC 20,000 3,50,000 1,30,000 63% 9 lacs
(Source: CII, 2008)

6.2. Water Conservation

An occupant living in a green building saves around 20-25% of power and 20% of water. Thus
a number of projects have use of dual flush system, low water faucets and rain water harvesting. In an
average sized complex it could save 1000 liters of water per day. Similarly flow restrictors will save
about 3 liters per minute per tap or shower at home. For e.g. the Thyagaraj Sports complex at Delhi has
made provisions for rain water collection into a tank with a storage capacity of 300,000 liters.

6.3. Waste Reduction

Recycling is an important environmental benefit. Flooring is largely done keeping in mind


materials that could be recycle. Wood and PVC flooring is preferred as it is 100% recyclable. Water is
recycled for flushing and horticulture. Conversion of waste into energy or organic manure is an added
advantage. Similarly developers are asked to reduce construction waste, which thereby reduce the
construction cost.

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6.4. Increase in Productivity and Health Benefits

A recent study conducted by the University of San Diego & CB Richard Ellis Group has found
that tenants in green buildings experience increased productivity and fewer sick days. The research
found that an average of 2.88 fewer sick days was reported in green offices as compared to non-green
office. Around 55% of the respondents indicated that employee productivity improved. Based on an
average salary, an office space of 250 sq. ft per worker and 250 working days in a year, the decrease in
sick days translated into a net impact of nearly 5$ per sq. feet occupied and increase in productivity
translated into a net impact of about $20 per sq. feet occupied.

6.5. Corporate Image

Green building boost corporate and brand image for commercial occupants and builders. Green
Buildings are recognized as tangible signifiers of a corporation’s commitment to the well-being of its
people, the environment and their surrounding commitments. It can enhance reputation of corporate
that work and produce in green offices and factories. Moreover in a rapidly changing market, it stands
as a future proofed structure as tenants increasingly understand benefits of green buildings. It stands
for commitment to good management practices and CSR (Weinberg, 1998).

6.6. Global Benchmark

Green buildings can provide property related data required for voluntary or mandatory
environmental reporting. CII is also planning to launch the Green Business Rating by September-
October 2010 for corporate in manufacturing and service sector. High greenhouse gas emission will be
viewed as a liability for a company. Company with high scores will treat as green leaders. Green
building will make it easy for companies to fulfill parameters required for green rating (Wyon, 1993).
For the builder or developer the LEED certificate is a global benchmark. The certificate by itself is an
endorsement of the builder’s integrity. This would help to encash a market that depends on consumer
trust and savings pooled in for a lifetime. Table 5 summarizes the opportunities existing in the green
building market for various stakeholders.

7. Challenges in the Market

7.1. Benefits the Occupant & not Developer

While most large estate developers have climbed onto the green brand wagon there has been
some amount of reluctance. The cost benefits that kick in would be beneficial to the end consumer and
not developer. Owners are not keen to continue projects once architect reports a slight cost overrun.
Thus consultants like Milestone Ecofirst Advisory Services are trying to solve the problem by working

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with companies’ right from initial stages. This helps in incorporating green elements at design stage.
They also assist in providing regional solutions.

Table 5. Opportunities of green building development in India


Stakeholder Opportunity
Architects & Designers Deliver green buildings in India and Abroad.
Builder & Developers Attract environmentally conscious corporate and eventually a higher
premium.
Government Attract investment to the country/state reduced burden on
infrastructure.
Manufacturers Position their products as green and generate new business.
Society Create new employment opportunities in energy and lighting
simulation, commission authority, LEED advisory service etc.
Source: CII-IGBC

7.2. High Costs

Another challenge is the stupendous cost associated with turning green and becoming eligible
to qualify for a green company. Added to that is a high gestation period or a long time to start getting
the ROI. It requires investments in time and resources since the process is little complex. Since
environmental concerns are not directly related to the companies, monetary investments in Green India
may not figure in the race for profitability. Table 6 gives an idea of the costs associated with becoming
LEED certified.

Table 6. Estimated cost associated with LEED certified buildings in India


Building Percentage increase in cost Payback (years) Rating achieved
CII Godrej GBC (Hyderabad) 18 7 Platinum
ITC Green Centre (Gurgaon) 15 6 Platinum
Wipro (Gurgaon) 8 5 Platinum
(Source CII Godrej GBC, 2008)

7.3. Unfavorable Monetary Policy

Inflation is another concern. As the wholesale price index continues to rise, there will be
increased pressure to increase interest rates. In particular food price inflation (which is at 16%) may
incite pressure from different angles. Thus an extended favorable monetary policy should see demand
for commercial and home loans persist. It will provide necessary stimulus for residential property
demand.

7.4. Green- wash

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Critics are give that opting for green building is an attempt at green washing and easy way for
companies without really doing much. There are marketers who tend to label even regular measures as
green and get away due to lack of awareness. Local conditions are hardly kept in mind while planning
the structure. For e.g. glass facades used in cold countries are used in India. However here it traps heat.
Moreover windows cannot be opened for natural cooling. Hence central air containing and/or heating
is required. Builders will then have to use expensive glass to insulate better (Wendt, 2008). Builders
avoid this and give few token items like energy efficient lights and water saving devices in the toilets.
Planners first think of big structures which will use more material and energy and then try sugar
coating them. For e.g. the challenge before green airports is to reduce the time it takes from entering
the building to entering the aircraft and vice versa. But huge structures skip this aspect.

8. Suggestions and Recommendation


8.1. Corporate Social Responsibility Agenda

The cost of green architecture is high. But isn’t it the responsibility of corporate India to
contribute towards greener India given they are the ones churning out tones of waste into the
environment. Moreover overall life cycle operating cost of green building is lower than regular
buildings. Coupled with earnings from carbon credit the investment should be worth every penny
spent. Cost is showing a decreasing trend with more green projects coming up as shown in the Table
7. Thus in the long run investments in green buildings will ensure the sustainability of their
investments.

Table 7. Estimated cost of green architecture in India


Building Year Built in Rating % increase Payback
awarded area (sq. ft) in cost (year)
CII Godrej GBC 2003 20,000 Platinum 18 7
ITC Green Centre 2004 1,70,000 Platinum 15 6
Wipro Gurgaon 2005 1,75,000 Platinum 8 5
Technopolis, Kolkatta 2006 72,000 Gold 6 3
Spectral Services, Noida 2007 15,000 Platinum 8 4
Hitam, Hyderabad 2007 78,000 Silver 2 3
(Source: CII, 2008)
8.2. Instill Conviction with Large Projects

The demand of the rapidly expanding metros can hardly be met by old solutions. Filthy cities,
chocked rivers, gray skies, inadequate water apply and energy is enough reasons to opt for green
technology in the domestic realty sector. But unless large scale public, commercial and residential
neighborhood can be designed and built with radically new ideas, the larger public will remain

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unconvinced. Integrated affordable township can be ideal for installing these technologies as they have
huge space. Sustainable methodologies like rain water harvesting, solar panels, wind power generation,
sewage treatment plants, use of CFL’s in common lobbies, air economizers, glazed windows and
occupancy measures can have a cascading effect.
Metro city builders would be the next in line. This is because small B-grade cities like
Allahabad, Bhopal, Jabalpur etc. look to the metros for architectural directions.

8.3. Build Awareness

Another area to work upon is building awareness through mass media. Patterns of behavior
need to be changed to accommodate and reinforce sustainable features in a building. Thus occupants
have to be green sensitized. Builders like Kalpataru provide home-owners an education program and
home-user guide to communicate feasibility of new technology and activities such as recycling,
composting and energy conservation. At Cisco employees share their green perspectives via video
clips downloadable from a new green focused website Cisco also has group email of green minded
employees. It has an online community called “Let’s Talk Cisco Green”.
As green building gain popularity, the cost comes down. For e.g. ITC green centre construction
had a 15% cost overrun in 2003 which is termed as “pioneer’s cost”. On the other hand the Odyssey
building at GE’s John F. Welch Tech. centre in Bangalore was completed at an incremental cost of
0.5% today it is a gold structure. This cost could be offset easily as they anticipate a reduction of 40%
in operating costs, 25% in energy consumption and 20% in water consumption. Put differently the
savings are equal to powering close to 550 Indian homes or supplying water to about 250 people. As
more and more builders jump in, large scale economies will also start applying.

8.4. Infuse Traditional Architecture

Builders can also learn from traditional architecture, which has been green in many ways.
Construction takes into consideration biological diversity. Therefore buildings in hot region would
ensure corridor’s directed the wind so that it naturally cooled the interiors.
In wetter regions architects would build using natural breeze emphasize on light window
shades was used as source of light and heat. Thus traditional architecture knew how to optimize use of
elements. Local materials were used. Frugal planning of big structures was made so that less building
material was consumed and less energy used for cooling and heating. Every part of India has its unique
stamp of buildings. Instead of importing building technology use of such architecture would be more
economical.

8.5. Begin with the Middle & Bottom of the Pyramid

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A recent study by monitor group, a global consulting firm shows that there is a significant
business potential in law income segment, defined as those with a monthly household income between
Rs.7000 and Rs.24000. For the lower income housing categories it is mostly small regional developers
and state development agencies which are catering to the demand. However financing is readily
available for those with a monthly income above Rs.12000. Table 8 indicates the potential demand for
housing and the opportunity available for green marketers to begin a revolution.

Table 8. The potential demand for housing


Monthly income levels Price/Housing unit (in Rs) Potential housing demand
5,000 - 20,000 3 - 10 lac 21 m
20,000 - 40,000 10 - 15 lac 5m
40,000 - 80,000 25 lac 2m
(Source: Monitor group, 2009)

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