Authors: Suparna Havelia , Anurag Bajpai, Dhruv Jain

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About 50% of the commercial building stock is yet to be built by 2030 [BEE, India]and close to 20 million urban and 10 million rural residential buildings for housing increasing population are yet to be built by 2030 in India. What if clients today were to proactively adopt green construction and sustainable design for their projects? Green building rating systems monitor and assess the environmental impact of green building construction. Based on the findings, they suggest the best possible and attainable conservation measures to reduce water and energy consumption, and environmental pollution. Renowned indigenous and international green rating systems have already played a pivotal role in certifying close to 6.33 billion square feet of green space development in India.

We have prepared an in-depth market development report on the growth potential of green buildings in India. Compared to Q1(April to June 2020), Q2 (July to September 2020) has definitely registered a growth in green building registrations with each agency –GBCI, IGBC and GRIHA, clearly indicating a bolstering economic recovery and a positive development of green footprint across the country. Some of the more prominent states in last two quarters (FY 2020-21)on the rise are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana and West Bengal.

For integrative analysis, the levels in various rating systems are merged into common performance level, i.e. Outstanding, Excellent, Marked, Competent Performance as per the data received from GBCI, IGBC, GRIHA and data collected through desk research.

Integrative Analysis of Green Building Projects (April 2020 to October 2020)

LEED Rating System

Triggers to Green Commercial Market

The graph throws light on the market share of various sectors of the industry, registered with (Source: USGBC Public Directory: April 2020 - October 2020). It can be inferred from the representation that LEED has a bigger presence or adoptability in the commercial sector primarily, compared to others, in terms of number of projects and energy saving potential. Incidentally among the top 10 countries which are using LEED rating system, India has a fairly large presence.

Greening the Commercial Landscape

This chart indicates the number of certified projects (Source: USGBC Public Directory: April 2020 – October 2020) by USGBC in India. Surely, it indicates that the number are less during the best hit pandemic quarters of the year of 2020-21. The offices and mix-use facilities coming up in these cities are setting enviable green standards and encouraging healthy competition in the industry. Some of the LEED-rated projects are not only testament to green recovery and sustainable design, but are also architecturally marvellous.

IGBC Rating System

Environmental Consciousness through Mindful Investment

As per the latest available data for percentage distribution of various IGBC certified projects (IGBC: April 2020 - October 2020). The outstanding and Excellent performance levels (Platinum and Gold certification levels) of rating have been aimed during the peak pandemic period. The graph clearly shows a substantial number of platinum and gold certified projects compared to certified and silver rated projects. While this reflects a growing consumer awareness to incorporate the best possible Green features, this could, in part, also be attributable to the higher FAR incentives offered by certain states to platinum rated projects.

IGBC's Footprint in Indian States

The data for state-wise IGBC projects certified during FY20 (CII IGBC: April 2020 -October 2020) for Top 8 states is shown here. The top spot is occupied by Maharashtra despite no existing FAR incentive policy for Green Rated Projects (except PCMC). These metrics reflect the overall consumer awareness in the respective states along with the efforts being put in by the respective state government to promote Green Buildings.

Indicators of Economic Recovery Post COVID19

As per the available data with IGBC (CII IGBC: April 2020 - October 2020), the number of registered projects in Q2 have almost doubled (From 80 to 160 Projects) compared to the number of registered projects in Q1. This could be seen as an indicator of the ramp up in economic activity post the lifting of lockdowns in various states. Consequently, the customers are also reviving their investment into green buildings projects at a good pace.

GRIHA Rating System

Rise in Residential Projects

The adjacent chart portrays that GRIHA has a pioneering presence among residential projects. (GRIHA: April 2020-October 2020) This reflects that GRIHA’s Affordable Housing rating system, apart from SVAGRIHA, is gaining momentum in the market, as they have aligned their sustainability goals with that of the government’s ambitious PMAY scheme.

As per the data sourced from GRIHA, Karnataka has gained recognition with the highest number of projects certified with GRIHA. (GRIHA: April 2020 - October 2020) GRIHA’s presence in the state is due to its infrastructural and institutional developments, two of the greatest sectors with a massive energy expenditure. Careful thought goes into ascertaining that these structures do not contribute to the carbon footprint of the country and we commend GRIHA’s efforts to reduce it.

The pie clearly illustrates that nearly 45% of GRIHA rated projects are 5 STAR rated in the FY20 (GRIHA: April 2020-October 2020). GRIHA is rapidly adopted by government aided infrastructural projects, among other sectors. These projects are primarily targeting the highest ratings and setting the benchmark for environmental stewardship. The nation’s climate-intensive interests further secure all players in the industry.

Recap of the State of Maharashtra

Luxury equals responsible life choices - LEED

Among top green cities in the state, Mumbai and Pune have occupied a significant portion of real estatecommercial projects (Certified Projects; USGBC Public Directory: since inception). Coveted realty firms in these cities are setting up replicable projects, occupying millions of square feet of LEED rated spaces. (Total Certified Projects: 391).

Health Consciousness equals Green Building Construction – IGBC

The graph represents that MUMBAI and PUNE have the highest number of certified projects by IGBC, compared to the rest of the top green cities in Maharashtra. (Certified Projects; CII IGBC: since inception). PCMC has certain incentives for FAR and property tax rebate for green rated buildings. Since Mumbai is the commercial capital, it sees the highest activity in terms of building construction. (Total certified projects: 400)

Impact of Government Confidence in Rating Standards - GRIHA

GRIHA’s presence in Maharashtra (Certified Projects; GRIHA: since inception) indicates Pune takes the top spot in highest number of rated projects, followed by Nagpur and Konkan. The MoU signed between GRIHA council and PWD, Government of Maharashtra, will further push the rise of green rated developmental projects in the state. (Total certified projects: 430 projects)

We project that further development will be observed in Quarters 3 and 4 in a similar manner. Hopefully, it will bring about increased awareness about carbon-neutral aspects of design and construction.

GreenTree Global is a top green consultancy firm headquartered in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. GreenTree Global is working with various stakeholders in helping them attain green certification, carbon-neutrality and net zero energy buildings through assessment and reporting (GreenTree is a BEE empanelled for providing Technical Consultancy for converting existing buildings to Net Zero Energy Buildings), and consultancy in building energy efficiency and infrastructure development projects.