Thursday, February 07, 2008

Green building

This article is about green building construction. For the building on the MIT campus, see Green Building (MIT).

Green building is 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 siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal — the complete building life cycle.

A similar concept is natural building, which is usually on a smaller scale and tends to focus on the use of natural materials that are available locally.[1] Other commonly used terms include sustainable design and green architecture.

The related concepts of sustainable development and sustainability are integral to green building. Effective green building can lead to 1) reduced operating costs by increasing productivity and using less energy and water, 2) improved public and occupant health due to improved indoor air quality, and 3) reduced environmental impacts by, for example, lessening storm water runoff and the heat island effect. Practitioners of green building often seek to achieve not only ecological but aesthetic harmony between a structure and its surrounding natural and built environment, although the appearance and style of sustainable buildings is not necessarily distinguishable from their less sustainable counterparts.

1 The environmental impact of buildings
2 Green building practices
3 Green building worldwide
3.1 Standards and ratings
3.2 Australia
3.3 Canada
3.4 Germany
3.5 India
3.6 Israel
3.7 Malaysia
3.8 New Zealand
3.9 United Kingdom
3.10 United States
4 See also
5 References
6 External links
6.1 International
6.2 Australia
6.3 Canada
6.4 New Zealand
6.5 United States
6.5.1 National organizations
6.5.2 Regional organizations
6.6 United Kingdom
6.7 Other resources


Go green: India Inc's latest mantra

Gargi Gupta in New Delhi
May 27, 2006
Green is in. The real-estate industry in India, in the midst of a sustained boom, is turning eco-friendly. The country got its first green building, the CII-Godrej Green Business Centre in Hyderabad (also the "greenest" building in the world till date), in 2003.

A year later there were five projects registered and today there are 28 projects, totalling 7 million square feet of built space, dotting the country which have either been certified as green buildings or are working towards that distinction. Most of these are IT parks, but there are also a few offices of companies like ONGC, ITC, Grunfos Pumps and NEG Mincon.

Clearly, a green-building movement of sorts is under way that may well end up transforming the built landscape in India and the way Indians live.

The LEED-India ratings, which is almost ready and will come into force by mid-year, is an important aspect of this development. India is the only country, other than Canada, to have licenced its green-building ratings programme from LEED US, developed by the United States Green Building Council.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is not the only rating system in the world. Australia follows a system named Green Star, the Brits have BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environment Assesment Method) which is even older than LEED, Japan has CASBEE (Comprehensive Assessment System for Building Environment Efficiency), and so on.

Clearly, a ratings standard is important as it helps quantify the efforts of real-estate developers to incorporate environment-friendly material and methods in their constructions.
So points are assigned for rain-water harvesting and waste-water recycling, or for reduction of construction waste and use of locally available materials, or a more energy-efficient air-conditioning system.

LEED-India, which has been developed by the Indian Green Building Council and is now being assessed by American reviewers, follows LEED-US closely. With a few exceptions.
S Srinivas, senior counsellor at the CII-Godrej GBC who has been working on the Indian ratings, enumerates: "A few changes have been made especially for water savings and emissions from captive power generators."

Since more buildings in India have gensets to provide back-up power, LEED-India makes adherence to pollution-control norms a pre-requisite if a building is to be pronounced green.
Also, with groundwater being such a scarce resource in India and the construction industry accounting for 10 per cent of water consumption, saving water is imperative and LEED-India proposes several new credits for doing so.

Thus if LEED-US awards one point for reduction in water-use by 20 per cent and two points for 30 per cent reduction, LEED-India would award an additional point if a building saves 40 per cent water or more. Points will also be awarded if recycled waste-water is used for the cooling tower in the air-conditioning system.

Also, since two-wheelers are more eco-friendly than cars, LEED-India proposes to award points for projects that include parking facilities for alternative-fuel vehicles and 2-stroke engine operated two-wheelers.

The other major concern in India, where construction workers falling off scaffoldings to their death is so regular that it does not even make it to the media, is safety.
Thus LEED-India has a new pre-requisite for safety, says Scot Hurst, chairman of the LEED steering committee, which will award points for the safety of both construction employees and building occupants.

An indigenised ratings-system might be a necessary condition to set off the green-building revolution in India but it is hardly sufficient. For that, the IGBC will have to tackle the perception that going green is expensive, and show Indian developers that the costs incurred in special fittings can be more than recovered in the savings in energy.

Two, India will need more LEED-accredited professionals to catalyse local projects - it has five at present. But most important, what India needs is manufacturers and suppliers of green-building materials - fly-ash cement, recycled steel and tiles, low VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and adhesives and the like.

Srinivas recalls a conversation with a vendor who, when asked what was the percentage of recyclable material in his products, answered that his products were not recylced at all!It will take a long time to change perceptions like those of this vendor, but if the IGBC and LEED-India succeed in sensitising real-estate developers to the environment then they will have made our cities better places to live in.


LEED India

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

LEED-INDIA provides building owners, architects, consultants, developers, facility managers and project managers the tools they need to design, construct and operate green buildings.

LEED-INDIA promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in the following five key areas:
Sustainable site development
Water savings
Energy efficiency
Materials selection and
Indoor environmental quality

LEED-INDIA rating system provides a roadmap for measuring and documenting success for every building type and phase of a building lifecycle.

Specific LEED-INDIA programs include:
LEED India for New Construction (LEED India NC)
LEED India for Core and Shell (LEED India CS)


LEED-India Ratings System Launched 2007 IGBC Green Design Competition Winners
Mr. Madhavan Nair, Chairman - ISRO released the first copy of LEED-India Green Building Rating System. LEED-India projects would be accepted for registration from January 1, 2007 onwards.

Good Relations
Mr. Madhavan Nair, Chairman – ISRO released the first copy of LEED-India Green Building Rating System. LEED-India projects would be accepted for registration from January 1, 2007 onwards. The LEED-India now would adopt a number of Indian Codes and Standards. For example, now the reference codes would be the National Building Code, MoEF guidelines, Central Pollution Control Board norms, and the Energy Conservation Building Codes of the BEE.
“As we go along the LEED-India would be evolved based on the market feed back and experiences”, said Mr. ParasuRaman R, Chairman IGBC and Vice Chairman WGBC.
The Indian Green Building Council has been adopting the LEED rating for the past 5 years. Today more than 40 buildings are directly applying the LEED US rating system. Almost 95% of the credits are applicable in the Indian context. To indigenize few of the points, IGBC formed the LEED-India Core committee above two years back, under the chairmanship of Mr C N Raghavendran, CRN Architects.

IGBC Green Design Awards
Mr. Madhavan Nair, Chairman ISRO presented the awards to winners. The winning team was from MEASI Academy, Chennai – Sandeep Vasanth and Janani A. The team that came in close second was from NIT Trichy, Thanikvel and Ilayaraja. The team in the third position was Soumya Chakraborthy and Florina Dutt from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
The IGBC Green Design Competition was planned to motivate and educate students of design on sustainable solutions for our built environment; to evolve an architectural vocabulary that helps maintain ecological balance. The objective was also to familiarize them with these concepts and inspire students to make them a part of their intrinsic design philosophy.

The topic chosen for the IGBC Green Design Competition was a green home for a family of five, comprising a couple their two children and a grand parent. The maximum size that was stipulated was 3500 sft. The students were free to locate their home anywhere. This location would determine their other constraints of climate and context. They were to participate as teams of two members each.Around 315 teams registered for the competition. The competition was ably coordinated by Ethos, Kolkata an organization that works towards motivating students across India.
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