1. Home
  2. One-on-One
  3. GLIMMER OF HOPE [June 2012]


“Additional FSI for high efficiency gold/platinum rated green buildings will be one of the most powerful incentives for all builders/developers to adopt green parameters in their projects”, opines Dr. Prem C Jain, Chairman IGBC in an interview with Subhajit Roy
Dr. Jain, according to you, what is ‘sustainability’?Sustainability can be defined as optimum use of earth’s resources of materials, energy, water and quality of environment in such a way that future generations have a larger wealth of these than the current generation. With increase in fuel prices coupled with energy and water shortages, there is an urgent need to have a more sustainable and environment friendly economic growth policy. I believe that sustainability shall be a necessity for the society and ‘Green Buildings’ shall be a tool to achieve energy efficiency, water conservation, use of recycled materials and zero waste for built environment.
Being the Chairman of Indian Green Building Council, could you outline your recent strategies in terms of attaining ‘sustainability’?The most successful way of achieving sustainability in built environment is to have a third party certification that validates the design and construction practices adopted in the buildings. Green Building rating systems by IGBC facilitates in validating the green features in a building and is a third party certification tool with international appeal. Buildings from all typologies have been pursuing green building certification. Today corporates, developers, government authorities, home-owners as well as the common man, know the benefits of the green buildings in terms of water and energy efficiency, healthy indoor environment and lower operating cost. This has led to the growth and acceptance of green building movement across India in all building types.
At IGBC, we promote Green Buildings through the recognised third party certification tool in all sectors in India. The intention is to spread the green building movement to each and every town and city. Recently IGBC has launched a campaign to teach school children on green building parameters with the objective that the next generation will be able to make more sustainable choices in future.
The country like ours demands rapid industrialisation, is it possible to achieve sustainability while heading for rapid industrialisation?Sustainability ensures that the development is environmentally sensitive so that the future generations have an opportunity to enjoy the world we have inherited. Green Building movement ensures that the message of sustainability is adopted while planning for rapid industrialisation. The positive response towards IGBC’s Green Rating systems by the Indian entrepreneurs responsible for this fast paced growth; is most reassuring. This has led to their considering the importance of sustainability and adopting environmentally sensitive practices in their businesses.
Are you satisfied with the kind of approaches being taken by the policymakers in terms of promoting Green buildings? Don’t you think that certain incentives can be given to project developers and home-buyers in this regard?The challenges of global warming and climate change are real and there is a need to fast track the sustainability movement in India. Several State governments are actively considering incentives like additional FSI (on FAR), faster statutory approvals, lower property tax, and lower power tariff etc. for builders and users of green buildings. These incentives will be helpful in mass-scale adoption of green building parameters in design, construction and operation. We have more than 5000 municipalities all over India. They all use National Building Code of India (NBC), along with local/regional parameters for municipal approval of plans for all new buildings. We have therefore prepared addendum “Approach to Sustainability”, and it is currently under nationwide circulation for comments. The Addendum to NBC will ensure that all future new construction in India will adopt sustainable practices as part of statutory compliance.
What is your opinion on allowing higher FSI for developing Green high-rise buildings?IGBC has already registered and certified several new buildings for the Government of India. The government’s adoption of green buildings increases awareness amongst the society leading to the government’s incentivisation. Recently Noida authority has updated their bye-laws to include 5 per cent additional FAR for gold/platinum rated green buildings. This simple act of Noida authority has accelerated the green building adoption and sustainable construction practices throughout Noida. We foresee that soon Noida will be amongst world’s greenest cities. In my opinion, additional FSI for high efficiency gold/platinum rated green buildings will be one of the most powerful incentives for all builders/developers to adopt green parameters in their projects.There exist some differences of opinion in regards to the compatibility of LEED and GRIHA ratings in Indian perspective. Are you taking any initiatives in making these ratings compatible with the way in which Indian architects design buildings?The goal of IGBC is to make green building rating systems a norm by reviving traditional sustainable practices along with advanced technical knowhow. In addition, we have published case studies of the current green buildings to demonstrate their benefits in terms of energy, water and material efficiency. Thereby, all the green building rating systems published by IGBC are compatible with the way Indian architects design buildings.
Why don’t you suggest for making ECBC and NBC mandatory for construction industry across the states?It shall be up to the perusal of individual State government to make ECBC or NBC mandatory for the construction industry. The critical issue is to spread the awareness of these codes and demonstrate the benefits of green buildings in terms of energy, water, materials, health and productivity benefits. I am convinced that ECBC and NBC being user-friendly and automatic source of information, will anyway get adopted even without being mandatory.
Could you outline the top 10 achievements of IGBC? Also, please name the top 10 Green projects in India.The green building movement, launched by IGBC has achieved significant momentum since its inception. In 2001, green building had 20,000 sq ft of foot print which has increased to 1.15 billion sq ft today. This results in reduction in greenhouse gas emission of more than 14 million tons/year and energy saving of 15,000 Gwh/year. Saving in water consumption is envisaged to up to 45 million litres/year.
Today, the IGBC has more than 240 IGBC certified buildings fully operational in India, and there are more than 160 buildings registered with them under various categories like commercial, institutional, residential, hotel, hospital et al. With 12 Chapters in India, the IGBC is actively spreading awareness of sustainability and holding in promoting green building movement in India.


Cookie Consent

We use cookies to personalize your experience. By continuing to visit this website you agree to our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.