Now You Can Own A Green Building In India Courtesy GRIHA

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Buildings contribute around 40 percent of global energy-related emissions and around 60 percent of total waste produced. GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) is India’s green building rating system just like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the global green building certification body. It was established by TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) with support of MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy). GRIHA has guidelines starting from the foundation construction stage to effective lighting, air conditioning, use of green materials, water consumption, waste disposal and others.

Why We Need A Different Rating System

Our climatic and environmental conditions are different. Most regions in India have a tropical climate, which means that things that are considered green in Europe may be detrimental for the environment here. For example, glass buildings are not really a green option in India.

How GRIHA Rates A Building

GRIHA assesses buildings on 34 criteria. It gives a 0 to 5 stars rating, based on the efficiency of the building, similar to the way appliances are rated by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). Here are the criteria it takes into account:

  1. Site selection
  2. Preserve and protect landscape during construction or compensatory depository forestation.
  3. Soil conservation (post construction)
  4. Design to include existing site features
  5. Reduce hard paving on site
  6. Enhance outdoor lighting system efficiency
  7. Plan utilities efficiently and optimize on-site circulation efficiency
  8. Provide minimum level of sanitation or safety facilities for construction workers
  9. Reduce air pollution during construction
  10. Reduce landscape water demand
  11. Reduce building water use
  12. Efficient water use during construction
  13. Optimize building design to reduce conventional energy demand
  14. Optimize energy performance of building within specified comfort limits
  15. Utilization of fly-ash or equivalent industrial or agricultural waste as recommended by BIS in building structures
  16. Reduce embodied energy of construction is reduced by adopting material efficient technologies and, or, low-energy materials
  17. Use low-energy materials in interiors
  18. Renewable energy utilization
  19. Renewable energy-based hot water system
  20. Waste water treatment
  21. Water recycle and reuse (including rainwater)
  22. Reduction in waste during construction
  23. Efficient waste segregation
  24. Storage and disposal of wastes
  25. Resource recovery from waste
  26. Use of low-VOC paints, adhesives, sealants
  27. Minimize ozone depleting substances
  28. Ensure water quality
  29. Acceptable outdoor and indoor noise levels
  30. Tobacco and smoke control
  31. Provide at least the minimum level of accessibility for persons with disabilities
  32. Energy audit and validation
  33. Operation and maintenance
  34. Innovation points

What’s The Benefit For Me?

There are various incentives such as tax rebates and waivers from the government to develop GRIHA certified buildings. Check with your local government for more details. GRIHA is independently audited, so, if you’re interested in buying a green house, a GRIHA certification is a good way to ascertain the developer’s claims. SBI has pledged to give loans at 0.25 percent rebate for GRIHA certified buildings.

Image source: Pixabay

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