Indian Green Building Council (IGBC)
which is part
of CII - Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre is
actively involved in promoting the green building
concept in India. The council is represented by all
stakeholders of construction industry comprising
of corporate, government & nodal agencies,
architects, product manufacturers, institutions, etc.
Dr Prem C. Jain
, Chairman - IGBC
told Sandeep Menezes
that initially the cost of
constructing green buildings was more - but it is
coming down constantly.
Are you in favour of planned cities or scattered development?
The DMIC (Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor) is happening - it will ensure that
rather than the rural population coming to urban areas, the objective will be to
give livelihood in the rural areas itself. Eventually between Delhi and Mumbai
nearly 100 townships will come-up. Two areas near Mumbai have already
started master-planning although not developing.
The idea is to keep rural areas up to nearly 80 per cent intact while building on
only 20 per cent - this will ensure that urban facilities are bought to rural areas
and people from villages don't migrate to cities. The upcoming towns will be
green townships with regards to waste, water, energy and green materials.
There is this myth that green means higher initial capex?
That was the case around ten years ago when we started treating buildings to
become green. One must keep in mind that green has been in our
bloodstream since centuries - we Indians have always had conservation and
reduced wastage in our constructions.
Earlier green construction had a higher cost attached to it. For example, green
buildings use non VOC paints while earlier all manufacturers only made
normal paint. When the green movement came in, we told paint
manufacturers that they had to manufacture low VOC paints. Initially low VOC
paints had higher cost because there were few users of it. But now since more
people have started using low VOC paints - the price has come down and is
on par with normal paints.
Therefore initially the price of green buildings was more - but it is coming down
constantly. Today, the cost of constructing green building is only around two to
three per cent more while earlier it used to cost around ten to 12 per cent more.
Our mission is that by 2015 - that two per cent higher cost on green building
construction will disappear. Once green building construction becomes on par
with normal construction then the normal construction will definitely disappear. Earlier one witnessed MNC's going for green buildings, and then
Indian companies took it further. Going forward, do you think
commercial buildings will continue to be amongst the most vibrant
green building segments?
In the initial years the MNCs used to come and use such offices - their
corporate social responsibility ensured that they could only occupy such
buildings and that continues. Later Indian companies also understood the
benefits of going green and adopted it. In fact some companies witnessed that
their attrition rate came down due to adoption of green buildings - the
employees like coming to green buildings and remain healthier. The
productivity of employees who work in green buildings is also higher than
conventional office buildings.
From 20,000 sq ft of green footprint in 2003, today, over 1,555 green
building projects with a footprint of over 1.12 billion sq.ft have been
registered. Going forward, how do you foresee the future?
The future is unimaginable - whatever will be constructed will be green. I
feel that by 2016-17, India would have turned the corner and the older
buildings done wrongly would be corrected. Out of 1.12 billion sq.ft nearly
500 million sq ft is homes.
This 500 million sq ft will eventually become 5 billion sq ft because everyone
will see the benefit. Therefore in the next 7 to 8 years everything that India
builds will be green.
What about green buildings in terms of industrial usage especially
highly polluting segments such as cements and chemicals?
IGBC is part of CII which is the only organization globally to have a rating
system for the process to make cement, automobile etc with regards to water
consumption, energy consumption and waste generation. We are the only
country in the world to have ratings for process - it has been done by CII. Most
members of CII commit that every year they will go to a higher rating.
Is the green revolution only happening in tier I & II cities or even
penetrated to smaller towns?
If it happens only in Tier I & II cities then it won't be a revolution - a larger
quantum of the 1.12 billion sq.ft. will come from tier III & smaller towns. We can
increase green penetration by 5 to 10 per cent in metro cities - but the main
green revolution growth will happen in smaller cities like Nashik, Baroda,
Ahmedabad and others. These smaller cities will witness green revolution
growing at nearly 200 to 300 per cent.