‘India’s green building footprint can be largest in world by 2022’
JAIPUR : With about 3600 projects built over 3.59 billion sq ft, the country’s green building footprint has emerged as the second largest in the world, and going by the trend in the last three years, the coverage can go up to 10 billion sq ft by 2022, said S Raghupathy, executive director of Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).
“The reason why the green building movement has been shaping up well in India is that they make good business sense. Commercial and big residential green buildings cost between 2-3% more than the conventional ones. But the incremental cost can be paid back in about three years from the savings made out of energy and water,” said Raghupathy on the sidelines of an IGBC event organized by CII.
Industry estimates that the energy savings from a typical green building is about 30-40%. With the awareness level increasing about the multifarious benefits of such projects, the demand is on an upswing. Developers are also warming up to the concept because green homes attract more buyers than the conventional buildings do.
“As on today, the awareness level among architects, developers, corporates and individual buyers in big cities is about 70-72%. Consequently, the adoption rate has also improved. But what is heartening is that the residential green buildings are dominating, commanding a share of about 60%. About three years ago, green buildings contributed only 20-30%,” added Raghupathy.
IGBC, part of the CII which offers green building rating programmes and certification services, feels that the general concern for a developer is that he will have to spend additional 2-3% for a green project and for that he wants some incentives.
“We don’t want the government to extend financial benefits, which are already inherent in the green buildings. Favourable policies are critical to encourage developers. Many state governments are already giving the incentive of additional FAR. In fact, Rajasthan is coming up with an excellent scheme, which is being discussed with the IGBC. Shortly, the government will make an announcement,” added Raghupathy.
Additional FAR (floor area ratio), faster clearance, lesser property tax and a reduced interest rate of around 25 basis points for the buyers of green buildings will be the right stimulus required to make green buildings a big movement in the country, added Raghupathy.
Besides residential and commercial projects, the concept of green schools is emerging as a new trend. So far 35 schools have been certified. Raghupathy said there is no additional cost involved. “In fact, building a green school can cost less. For converting existing schools into green ones, it will take Rs 3 to 7 lakh depending on the size of the school and the type of rating it needs to have,” added Raghupathy. Even corporates have shown interest in adopting green schools. “We are now talking to Cognizant to adopt 100 green schools. They are looking into the details now. Similarly, IGBC has approached Gujarat government and Kendriya Vidyalayas to help schools go green,” added Raghupathy.