According to recent research, the last five years saw a pronounced push towards green buildings. This period also saw a 37 per cent increase in the supply of green certified buildings. Read on for a detailed analysis
CBRE India in its latest report Indian Real Estate’s ESG Landscape and its Progress to a Sustainable Future pointed out that the country’s green assets have risen by 37 per cent in total, over the last five years.
According to CBRE, while the initial cost of a green building is high, but when compared with the long-term benefits they reap, the costs are lower.
Abhinav Joshi, head of research - India, Middle East and North Africa, CBRE says, “Our analysis of the certified built environment in India shows that India is moving towards a green future. The last five years have seen a pronounced push towards green buildings; the period saw a 37 per cent increase in the supply of green certified buildings, with the addition of 78 million sq ft of certified stock, compared to the previous five years (2012-16). Moreover, developers are now seeking nationally and internationally recognised green certifications such as LEED and IGBC that would be popular among their potential tenants.”
Buyers see ‘green value’
A strong conscientious buyer is not going unnoticed by the developer community; he/she has gone beyond the usual green initiatives and seeks aspects of design like natural ventilation instead of the manufactured cooling of air-conditioning.
Harsh Vardhan Patodia, president, CREDAI, says, “This hike in green buildings hints towards increased awareness in the real estate sector. This ratio will increase in the future as the globe prepares to combat the effects of climate change; any effort to reduce environmental deterioration will help conserve our surroundings. Consumers have become increasingly concerned about their carbon footprint over the last few years. New-age buyers are cognizant of their lifestyle choices and strive for long-term sustainability. As a result, developers are implementing various initiatives and green building practices, including, but not limited to solid waste management, water recycling, rainwater harvesting, use of renewable energy sources, efficient design that maximizes natural ventilation, and ensuring adequate blue and green infrastructure in their properties. Minimising the use of non-renewable resources, and using more eco-friendly, recyclable materials, will aid in the sustainability of a project. While such techniques have long been the standard, the future is projected to see an increase in environmentally-friendly building processes.”
Buyer awareness holds the key
As India’s largest and the world’s second-largest rating agency, IGBC was founded as early as 2001, and has been the country’s premier body for green building certification. Gurmit Singh Arora, chairman, IGBC, agrees with the report and says that while the corporate world has taken to the revolution of green construction, the ultimate goal should be to create more awareness among homebuyers which in turn, would lead to more green homes being constructed.
Arora adds, “The construction cost of a green building is only two per cent higher than a ‘non-green’ building. Hence, buyers need to be made aware of the advantages of green homes, especially the fact that green buildings help save energy by 40-50 per cent compared to conventional buildings in India. Another benefit is that it improves health. It is scientifically proven that a lack of oxygen in the house and excessive use of the air-conditioning can make you feel sluggish. This is because the carbon in the air begins to increase; you tend to get dehydrated and you are unable to work with full concentration and people have become aware of this due to the work-from-home phenomenon in the last two years.” Green homes are also designed to ensure adequate ventilation/indoor-outdoor air circulation; minimal heat ingress for thermal comfort and good indoor air quality – all vital for the health of the occupants.
Many homebuyers like Vardharajan P (60), a retiree from Bengaluru who currently lives on rent and plans to put his life savings into purchasing a home, says, “I understand that there are long-term advantages of a green home, but the cost is equally important. At the same time, I am at that stage of my life where I am extremely vigilant about my health, which is a big part of my monthly expenses. So, if my home would help me stay healthy, I would love to know more details about green buildings when developers pitch their projects.”
A regulatory boost to the green building infrastructure
Advantages of green buildings
The below-mentioned requirements need to be met by the developer to qualify for an IGBC rating and is open to old and new residential societies.