Green Building Standards: The Global March of Indian Frameworks

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In recent years, sustainability and energy efficiency have moved from being mere buzzwords to fundamental components of modern architecture and real estate development. Green building standards play a critical role in this transition, offering guidelines and benchmarks that drive the design, construction, and operation of buildings towards greater environmental responsibility. Among these standards, two Indian-origin frameworks, IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) and GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment), have been making waves on the global stage.

A Global Trend: Green Building Standards and Incentives

Green building incentives and standards are not unique to India. Around the globe, cities and nations are leveraging these tools to create sustainable built environments. One exemplary case is Bangkok, whose Climate Change Master Plan (2013–2023) aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving towards a low-carbon city.

The Master Plan includes sustainable public transport, energy and water efficiency in buildings, improvements in waste-water treatment systems, green urban planning, and disaster adaptation plans. Further, the 2013 Bangkok’s Comprehensive Plan allows developers to increase the development Floor Area Ratio (FAR) by up to 20% for green certified projects (such as those certified under LEED, TREES). Also, there are notable tax incentives for green developers, such as a ten-year 10% fixed income tax rate, a substantial discount from the conventional 30%.

IGBC and GRIHA: Indian Standards Going Global

Amidst the global surge in green building standards, IGBC and GRIHA have carved a significant place for themselves. Founded by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in 2001, IGBC offers a wide array of rating systems catering to different building types, from residential and commercial to industrial, making it a versatile tool in promoting sustainable development.

On the other hand, GRIHA, developed by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and endorsed by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, India, provides a rating system that evaluates a building’s environmental performance. It looks at various aspects like site selection, construction management, energy and water efficiency, waste management, and innovation, offering a holistic view of a building’s sustainability.

These Indian frameworks, with their adaptability and comprehensive approach, have found international recognition. They’re now being utilized in numerous projects outside of India, furthering the global agenda of sustainable development.

The Road Ahead: Green Building in a Sustainable World

The adoption of green building standards like IGBC and GRIHA by nations worldwide signifies a global commitment towards a sustainable future. Moreover, with policy incentives and advancements in green technology, the real estate landscape is increasingly shifting towards greener, more sustainable practices.

The building sector’s future will undoubtedly be green, and Indian standards like IGBC and GRIHA will continue to lead the way, not just domestically but on the international stage as well. As the world grapples with the challenges of climate change, such standards provide a roadmap towards creating a built environment that is not just efficient and resilient, but also in harmony with our planet’s ecological balance.