With the pandemic and resulting lockdowns and restrictions in India, homeownership is now directly associated with the safety, security and wellbeing of our families and loved ones.
As one of the biggest investments in a lifetime, we all tend to carefully evaluate the deeper ‘value’ of a home in terms of cost, location, features and amenities, quality of life, etc. However, recurring maintenance costs are also an important but often overlooked aspect. Such operational costs are significantly lower in eco-friendly houses that offer green homes certification.
‘Certified’ buildings are those which have been evaluated on multiple parameters and subsequently rated ‘green’ by a neutral third party. Popular green building councils and certifications in India include Indian Green Building Council (IGBC); Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA, by TERI); and LEED (by US Green Building Council).
Interesting: The Lifestyle Benefits Of Living In A Green Building
When a project is certified green, it means that it has been carefully evaluated on multiple aspects such as site selection; planning and design; infrastructure and conservation initiatives in the areas of water, energy and waste management; and material efficiency and innovation.
Here’s a quick overview of the popular green building certifying bodies in India.
1. IGBC Rating System:
IGBC certifications levels include ‘Certified’, ‘Silver’, ‘Gold’, ‘Platinum’ and ‘Super Platinum’.
IGBC is part of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and was formed in 2001. IGBC is a member of the World Green Building Council and one of the most popular green building rating systems in India. IGBC offers 27 types of certification.
‘Star’ ratings, with 5-star being the maximum.
GRIHA was adopted as the national rating system for green buildings by the Government of India in 2007. This rating tool thoroughly evaluates the environmental performance of a building over its entire life cycle.
LEED is a certification program to measure and define ‘green buildings’, and to provide a roadmap for developing such buildings.
Yet another certification, ‘EDGE’ by International Finance Corporation, establishes the business case for building green and unlocking financial investment.
Projects are ‘pre-certified’ as per plan and design intent. Final certification is usually obtained post completion of the project and deployment.
Relevant resource: Why Green Buildings Matter
For occupants, direct benefits of green construction include energy savings (20% or more); water savings (20% or more); proximity to public transportation; amenities within walkable distance; thermal comfort and enhanced air quality, etc. Homebuyers in green homes must ask for the final ‘green’ certification, which should be reviewed by the RWA or society management. All technical documents regarding project waste management, STP, rainwater harvesting, etc. should also be reviewed carefully.