Energy is consumed by a building in all stages of its life cycle- whether it is during its initial construction phase, or when it is being used by its users and even at the end of its life. With the rapid increase in India's population and consequently, the gross domestic product or GDP, there is a growing need for buildings which do not put pressure on the economy, as well as the availability of resources.
This is the purpose of an energy rating system. The performance of a building throughout its lifetime is compared to nationally or internationally acceptable benchmarks, thereby regulating and assessing their performance and resources consumption.
In India, three main green rating systems for buildings are followed:
This system was developed to evaluate and assess a building's performance throughout its entire life cycle. They evaluate in three main stages:
- Pre-construction stage: The initial stages constitute the building before its construction, solving and resolving issues related to the site itself like the landscape, vegetation, soil, distance to public spaces etc.
- Building design and construction stage: This stage consists of issues which come up during the design and construction phase. This includes the consumption and management of both human and natural resources like air, water, fuel, vegetation etc.
- Building usage and maintenance stage: This stage focuses on monitoring and keeping track of energy expenditure during the building's lifetime after its construction. The goal is to reduce the amount of resources consumed and reduce the building's impact on the environment around.
Projects with built up area more than 2500 square metres, excluding parking and basement area are eligible for the certification.
The motto of Griha is 'what gets measured, gets managed'. It has several criteria like site planning and construction management, based on which points are allocated, if followed. Star rating for each of the registered projects are assigned based on the number of points:
- One star rating: 25-40 points
- Two star rating: 41-55 points
- Three star rating: 55-70 points
- Four star rating: 71-85 points
- Five star rating: 86 or more points
Advantages of a GRIHA Certified building:
- Water: GRIHA certified buildings save a minimum of 25-50% less water than conventional buildings, during construction and usage phases. Additionally, 25%-75% of wastewater is recycled and reused.
- Energy consumption: Compared to regular buildings, the energy consumption rates of a GRIHA certified building are 10% -50% less.
- Impact on environment: Since renewable energy and passive techniques are majorly used for projects, the environment around is not affected.
LEED is another major system used in India to certify buildings. This system focuses on the energy consumption and the impact the building has on the environment. The requisites and criteria for LEED certification are management of:
- 35% of the credits in LEED are related to climate change.
- 20% of the credits are for how the building impacts human health.
- 15% of the credits are for its impact on the water resources.
- 10% of the credits for its effect on the biodiversity around.
- 10% of the credits relate to the green economy.
- 5% of the credits are for how it impacts the community.
- 5% of the credits are for how it impacts the natural resources.
Projects go through a verification and review process by GBCI (green building certification inc.) and are awarded points that correspond to a level of LEED certification:
- Certified: 40-49 points
- Silver: 50-59 points
- Gold: 60-79 points
- Platinum: 80 or more points
Advantages of a LEED certified building:
- Carbon emission levels are less.
- Energy consumption levels are lesser, reducing bills.
- Efficient water and waste management.
- Transportation costs are greatly reduced.
- Materials selection and usage are done in a way to minimise impact on environment and economy.
- Indoor environmental quality and safety is assured.
- Health of workers and users are prioritised.
Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) has developed green building rating programmes to cover commercial, factory buildings etc. and not only residential ones. IGBC rating system addresses green features under the following categories:
- Site Preservation & Restoration
- Site Planning & Design
- Water Efficiency
- Energy Efficiency
- Materials & Resources
- Innovation & Design Process
Different certification levels under IGBC are:
- Certified: 32-39 points
- Silver: 40-47 points
- Gold: 48-59 points
- Platinum: 60-80 points
Advantages of an IGBC certified building:
- Reduced energy consumption and bills without sacrificing the comfort levels of users.
- Reduced destruction of natural habitats, soil and biodiversity.
- Reduced air and water pollution.
- Reduced water consumption and efficient recycling and reuse.
- Limited waste generation due to efficient recycling and reuse.
- Increased user productivity and safety levels.
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