17 January 2020

Special Focus- Green Building & Sustainability

Building the footprint 


Thanks to  the growing  popularity of the ‘Green Building Movement’ and emergence of ‘sustainability’ as a  buzz word for reliable business, the market for energy efficient products and practices, have scaled to new heights. VEENA KURUP  reports on the  evolving trends.


‘Global warming’is one of the several concerns affecting Planet Earth today. Climate change presents a critical challenge to town planners, construction designers and developers in their efforts to build sustainable structures. This dire need to construct structures using environmentally responsible products and processes has resulted in the emergence of the ‘Green Building Movement’. The practice has enabled the arrival of classic building designs which contribute to economy, utility, durability and comfort. The progressive acceptance of the concept has led to the development of ‘green’ not just as a construction practice, but also as a key ‘USP’ for products and technologies used for building sustainable structures.


As green building techniques lead to achieve a much lower level of greenhouse gas emissions, analysts foresees a strong growth in the global green building market. Moreover, governing bodies of developed and developing economies are also aggressively planning to implement various regulatory measures to expand their green footprint. Owing to the growing importance and need to build sustainable structures, market experts predict the global green building market to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of about 13 per cent during 2015-2020.


Indian scenario

The green phenomena started in India in 2003 with a footprint of just 20,000 sq ft. The concept quickly grabbed attention in the realty industry and was taken up as a crucial growth agenda by industry bodies like the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Associations of India (CREDAI), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and many more. The widespread acceptance of the concept has resulted in India achieving the position of second largest country with the green footprint — with the United States in leadership position.


According to IGBC, the country presently has a green footprint of 2.68 billion sq ft. Within India, Maharashtra holds the highest share by occupying 27 per cent of the country’s total green space. The residential sector contributes the highest share of 55 per cent of the total green footprint in India. S Raghupathy, Executive Director, CII Godrej GBC says, “Presently, the country is progressing at a rate of 0.6-0.7 billion sq ft annually, recording a growth rate of 20 per cent per year. This positive growth scenario strengthens our aim to achieve a green footprint of 10 billion sq ft
by 2022.”


The active participation of industry associations in preaching and propagating the ‘Green Practice’, has popularised the concept of rating systems while developing sustainable structures. These associations have widened the scope of the green buildings by expanding the concept’s application to macro level through initiatives like ‘Green Cities’. As of today, IGBC is in the process of certifying about 41 projects as Green Cities, of which three are fully certified. Initiatives like ‘Greenco’ by IGBC aim to cover hardcore manufacturing industries under the energy efficient umbrella. “Greenco, is a first-of-its-kind initiative to develop energy efficient manufacturing units. Currently 110 companies are involved in the initiative of which 42 units have been completely certified," discloses Raghupathy.

Apart from central and state governing bodies, local governing authorities play a vital role in the expansion of green footprint in countries like India.


Reliable drivers

The effectiveness of green construction however depends on the employment of several key elements of which energy efficient products and technologies play a crucial role. It is significant that the building sector alone accounts for 30-40 per cent of the total energy utilised globally. The growing demand for energy efficient products has transformed ‘green’ as the key USP among manufacturers and suppliers catering to the construction industry. The focus on environment friendly products has further widened with the government introducing the Standards and Labelling (S&L) programme in 2006. The programme has made significant progress in the last few years and has succeeded in enhancing awareness among the customers towards energy efficient products. Moreover, the concept is today being whole heartedly accepted by manufacturers involved in sectors like heating ventilation and air conditioning, power supply, water management, waste treatment and construction chemicals.


Bosch India, which is a solutions provider for the engineering and construction sectors, has reformed the concept of energy efficiency in HVAC systems through its CLIMOTION technology. The technology improves temperature stratification and air quality of the systems and simultaneously enhances the comfort level in the room space by optimisng cooling requirements. “A major market trend being observed today is of products and technologies which can reduce the dependency on conventional solutions by improving the performance of energy consuming equipment. Clients now opt for products and technologies that can ensure enhancement of the overall lifecycle of the building rather than short term benefits,” says CM Venugopalan, Sales Director, Bosch Ltd.


Another key player, Mitsubishi Electric’s green technologies, apart from offering its wide range of energy efficient products today also provides a new type of semi-conductor which is a key component in India’s green building movement. The semi-conductor is a device used to manage energy consumption in power electronics equipment and works as a switch to calibrate energy flow. Mitsubishi Electric continues to develop and spearhead additional next-generation power devices using SiC (Silicon Carbide) to reduce the loss of energy. Rajeev Sharma, Head- Corporate Services & Strategic Planning, Mitsubishi Electric India is led to say, “Indian customers are more inclined towards energy efficient products and the trend has picked up in various sectors including residential and commercial. The consumers are more focused on reducing electricity costs and do not mind spending more for such products as against conventional ones.”


The increasing concern to utilise energy efficient power resources has also resulted in a positive change in the lighting and home automation business. Lighting accounts for up to 10 per cent of a household’s yearly electricity usage and up to 40 per cent a year in commercial buildings. The figure is much more in specialised settings like healthcare facilities (43 per cent) and hotels (55 per cent).


Hence, with each rise in energy costs, creating an energy efficient workplace becomes a matter of top priority for every business. According to industry experts, efficient management of lighting systems in commercial or residential establishments has the potential to reduce energy consumption by 25 – 50 per cent.


Lutron Electronics Inc, is one such manufacturer providing innovative and eco-friendly lighting control solutions in the country for the last two decades. One of its latest offerings – Quantum, a total light management system – prevents wastage of power resource by maximising the efficiency in usage of lighting systems. Quantum automatically dims or switches all electric lighting and controls daylight using automated window shades. The company’s myriad lighting solutions – Energi Savr Node- a simple programmable, smart system controls lights and saves energy in a commercial space and also is digitally manageable. “The importance and need for green technology savvy houses and commercial spaces is expanding quickly. Moreover, the ever increasing demand for energy and increasing electricity costs have laid a strong and flourishing foundation for energy-efficient solutions across varied sectors. With an increase in smartphone and tablet usage, smart technologies have evolved as apt solutions and are today more affordable,” says Manjul Trehan, India Head and Director Sales, Lutron Electronics Inc.


Despite the growing acceptance and customer demand, manufacturers involved in the green business cite cost as a major deterrent to the industry’s pace of growth. Though the market is witnessing a gradual change in the customer mindset, the sector still lags behind in understanding the long-term benefits of constructing green buildings and employing sustainable products. However, the players remain optimistic that the situation will soon change with the concept gaining more popularity among governing bodies and industry associations. Various government initiatives like ‘Prakash Path’ and ‘Green Technology’ today has opened a whole new path for energy conversation. However, according to associations like IGBC and the developer communities, the ‘Green Practice’ needs to be accepted and practiced as a growth enhancer.



  • Mahindra World City, Chennai
  • Ramky Discovery City, Hyderabad
  • Wave City Centre, Noida
  • Raheja’s Aranya City, Sohna, Haryana
  • Godrej Panvel Township, Navi Mumbai
  • Mantri City, Gwalior
  • Reliance Employee Township, Sasan, Madhya Pradesh
  • Gothawade Township, Pune
  • Valley View, Neral, Raigad
  • Life Republic Townships, Pune


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