India now has the largest number of green buildings after the US, with one billion sq. ft. The US is ahead with over three billion sq. ft under green building cover.
“This is a major milestone for a country which has had its first registered green building only in 2003. The momentum has gained over the years as the cost of constructing a green building has come down and developers take pride in declaring their buildings green,” Mr S. Raghupathy, Executive Director of CII-Godrej Green Business Centre, said.
The country now has 1.11 billion sq. ft under eco-friendly constructions, completed, registered and under development. This includes certified and fully functional green buildings of over 75 million sq. ft, he said.
It was a modest beginning with 20,000 sq. ft in 2003. Of the 1,550 green building projects registered, 223 green buildings are certified and fully functional.
The country’s green building movement began with the CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre building near the IT hub of Hyderabad. It was rated as the first Platinum facility. This in turn plays a catalytic role for the movement.
Today, all types of buildings, irrespective of the size, and factories are going green. A concerted effort is now underway. The Central Government is keen to promote sustainable living by 2025 and trying to involve State Governments and local administration.
The cost of green buildings has come down, spurring their growth. Nine years ago, it was 18 per cent higher and now it is 5 per cent.
As people understand that the five per cent additional spend is paid back within three years, they immediately take to the concept. Special economic zones, commercial and residential properties are modelled in environment-sensitive methods. They save water, power and boost productivity. This is due to the design of such buildings, materials used and the advantages natural lighting and greenery bring to them. Such buildings are stated to enhance productivity, Mr Raghupathy explained.