“Over 10 years and plus 200 major projects, we have enough case studies to prove that green buildings cost less and perform better,” claims Juzer Kothari, MD of Conserve Consultants Pvt Ltd
Could you tell us about the status of green buildings in India?Since the inception of green building movement in India, year 2001-02, there has been significant growth. Presently, the green building footprint in India has crossed 3.15 bn sq ft. The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) has a target of achieving 10 billion sq ft by the year 2022 and now it is predicted that they may reach the milestone by the year 2020. It is also interesting to keep a track of the world and the USA trend of this movement. The US Green building Council (USGBC) has stated in their recent press release that India is ranked third amongst the nations who have adopted the green building certifications. India is just behind US and Canada in the ranking list released by USGBC.
Can India lead on green buildings? Yes, without any doubt. India has already secured its position as one of the global leaders in the green building movement. India is at the threshold of exponential growth in the construction industry, it is often mentioned that about 70 to 80 per cent of the buildings in India by 2030 are yet to be built, which translates into enormous opportunities and scope for green buildings.
The credit for whatever we have achieved till now goes to all the stakeholder of this movement who have seen that green truly makes business sense. They have voluntary adopted sustainability without much government intervention. In the years to come, we at Conserve, see this movement further cascading into a snowball effect.Of late, government has also started promoting green buildings. Incentives in terms of additional Floor Area Ratio (FAR) or Floor Space Index (FSI) have started in some states. This encouragement will indeed catapult us to new heights.
How does 3D computer simulation technology helps analyse the building performance?The green building movement has truly ushered in a new era of understanding and use of simulation techniques. We at Conserve, use simulation extensively to quantify almost all passive as well as active design features of a building. We use this simulation data to help architects and engineers understand and evaluate their designs and through the simulation results give them multiple options on how to better them. With plus 200 major projects over 10 years, we now have enough understanding and data to benchmark future projects and use this tool to further better the performance.
In today’s world with so many choices available to project team, simulations help us all in making informed decisions. Our simulation results are real time. They factor in specific application, weather, real time usage and load patterns making the whole process truly authentic. This will enable project owners to save money not only in terms of OPEX but CAPEX also.
What are the innovative technologies you utilise for sustainable building?The foremost innovation that has happened is the extensive use of simulation technology as explained above. Besides this, we have introduced many a new technology in our projects. To mention a few, foamed concrete, radiant cooling, chilled beams, solar air conditioners, earth air tunnels, waste heat recovery systems, heat pumps, lighting sensors and controllers, night sky friendly outdoor light fixtures, light pipes, low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints and sealants, heat reflective tiles and paints, ultra-low flow flush fixtures and compact organic waste converters etc, the list is rather long and extensive.
It’s heartening to note that for us innovation has happened across the whole spectrum of construction technology, right from building design, to construction materials, to MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) technologies, water and waste management and renewable technology.
Under the leadership of our Chairman, Parsu Raman, CII has recently launched the GreenPro – Green Product Certification Program. GreenPro will assess how green is a product, material and technology, based on a holistic lifecycle approach. The advent of GreenPro certified products will lead to further innovation in this area.
What method helps analyse building energy consumption and requirement? For new buildings, energy simulation method is the best method for analysing energy consumption and its pattern across time. At Conserve, we first work on arriving at the right benchmark energy consumption pattern for the specified project application, usage and climate. This sets the true baseline to evaluate all further design options. Thereafter, we use the simulation model to dissect the energy patterns into various segments and components. These when compared with their respective benchmarks help us to zero in on appropriate strategies and technologies for further improvement.
For the existing buildings, we strongly recommend the use of a technique called calibrated simulation. Here we first use real time simulation to understand the energy consumption patterns of an already operational building and then compare it with the actual to understand gaps that need to be patched up. We also help the O&M team to configure the right measurement and verification (M&V) protocol to help them monitor the energy performance on an hourly and daily basis. The right M&V protocol when compared to the benchmark pattern help teams to take immediate corrective actions to save energy.
How do you envision Conserve in the next few years?With the predicted growth in the construction industry and with the eco-system in India becoming favourable towards sustainable buildings, Conserve is already on the journey of being the trusted consultant of choice. Since inception, Conserve’s motto has been to deliver performance through people, processes and technology. With this motto, over 10 years and plus 200 major projects, we have enough case studies to prove that green buildings cost less and perform better.
In this era of ultra-urbanisation, the next disruption is sustainability. The sustainability business is evolving into a huge market and opportunities are aplenty. At Conserve, we are trying to cater to each and every unique needs of our clients and specific needs of their projects while getting immersed in creating the perfect climate for the sustainable disruption. The future demands more sustainability in terms of design, planning, execution and maintenance of a built environment. We are gradually and effectively growing into a firm where clients can get a 360 Degree consulting for their project’s sustainability needs.