We are pleased to bring to you the second edition of GreenLetter – India’s first and only newsletter covering Green Building Market in India. This newsletter was launched in the month of August’20 with a view to provide all Green Building enthusiasts with an easy access to information on Green Building Projects & Practices in the country. Having worked in this field for more than a decade now, we felt the need for a dedicated information sharing platform covering various rating standards, latest technologies & case-studies which could help spread awareness on Sustainable Building Practices and lead to an informed decision making at organization & individual level.

In this issue of the GreenLetter, we shall be looking at the recent market trends in the Green Building Industry as we evaluate the number of projects registered or certified in India under various rating standards post COVID19 un-lockdown. In subsequent sections, we also look at the ways in which a Green Economy can led to generation of Green Jobs in the market and how can Government policies help accelerate this transition to sustainability. It is also important to mention here the role that capacity building & training programs will play to impart relevant skillsets to people desirous of entering this field. We will briefly touch upon our own contribution to this cause by way of our e-learning initiative GT Academy.

The Indian Construction Industry accounts for a size of INR 10.5 trillion and employs close to 57.5 million Indian youth. In the duration of the stringent lockdowns that the country observed, with complete or partial shut downs, the construction industry has witnessed among the greatest slowdown hits.

The Real Estate Sector has estimated to incur a loss of Rs 1 lakh crore, due to nationwide lockdown. Pay cuts and job losses (almost 35%) are rampant across the industry. Industry bodies like CII and Assocham have sought for a stimulus package of INR 14 lakh crore (7.5% of the GDP) to jumpstart the economy urgently.

Growth of the Indian Green Building Sector has the potential to bring about massive economic growth in defining new development sectors and consequently, a new wave of jobs prospects. As the industry is scaling up, regulations and mandates around green construction require stringent adherence to and implementation on ground. Not only will it generate direct employment for engineers, designers and architects, but the entire ecosystem will benefit from the positive demand greatly.

Additionally, the pandemic has thrown light on the importance of monitoring the indoor environment quality of workplaces and residential buildings. With professional and students spending more time at home, the indoor comfort needs immediate attention. Developing countries, such as India, with dense population and heavy underlying pollution issues and unsanitary lifestyle habits, have been worse affected by the novel coronavirus (source). So, to mitigate these issues, Green building solutions ensuring fresh air and comfort for affordable housing, offices, homes, and schools are the safest bet against the spread of pandemic.

Green Building Market in India

We have conducted an in-depth market progress study on the growth potential of green buildings in India. Compared to the past quarter (April to June 2020), the quarter (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 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.

Recap of Maharashtra: The Greenest State of India

Among top green cities in the state, Mumbai and Pune have occupied a significant portion of real estate-commercial projects (Certified Projects; LEED 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)

The bar 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)

Note: It is important to note that, GBCI began managing the LEED projects in India from June 5, 2014, which were previously managed by IGBC. Hence, the data for certified green buildings (registered as LEED India) are overlapping between IGBC & LEED.

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 rated building number reflects that it is a preferred rating system for the policy makers and stakeholders in this state. The MoU signed between GRIHA council and PWD, Government of Maharashtra, has further pushed the rise of GRIHA rated projects in the state. (Total certified projects: 430 projects)

Here is the Green Building Market Progress report for your perusal.

Unlocking the Green Market Potential

Government Intervention

India’s pledge to improve the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 percent by 2030 below 2005 levels. It has also pledged to increase the share of non-fossil fuels-based electricity to 40 per cent by 2030. This poses a skilled manpower requirement towards creation of a Green Economy (source).

Achieving such an ambitious target seems highly unlikely with the current layoffs and salary-cuts across the industry and much needed special green stimulus packages will need to be released to generate actionable responses.

Certain states in the country are incentivizing green building construction. Recently, Rajasthan has updated the building bye-laws including additional (0.075 to 0.15) free BAR (building area ratio) along with betterment levy for projects going for IGBC/GRIHA/LEED or Assocham GEM. We trust such incentives shall help the developers in restarting the work with motivation. Click here to read more state wise incentives

As the demand for new jobs in the green sector is highlighted above, GreenTree has worked extensively to integrate the GT Academy with its core business verticals, which is dedicated to offering industry-relevant capacity building courses to upskill building professionals and students. It has helped prepare nearly 2000 students and professionals in up-skilling required in the post COVID19 period. We adapted to the new normal of disseminating knowledge on the online forum and made learning. GT Academy has collaborated with domestic and international domain leaders like Siemens, SEEM, Assocham, Chinoke, etc. to bridge the gap between academia and industry effectively. Click here to get more updates

Infrastructure Requirements in EV charging & Cold Storage

A research titled ‘EV Charging Infrastructure Market Landscape’ was conducted by our team in 2018. GreenTree mapped the rapidity with which the EV infrastructure is bound to grow in the coming years. As was envisaged by the team, the 2-wheelers and 4-wheelers EV sales will rise in the next decade. This will have a two-fold effect on the EV market 1.) Development of EV infrastructure in residences, offices, hotels, etc. and 2.) Creation of a million jobs – from setting up EV infrastructure to manufacturing Li-Ion battery packs. Green building ratings and ECBC mandate the use of e-vehicle and reserving 2% to 5% of the total parking spaces for e-charging facility. For further details on the EV Infra study, you may connect with Dhruv Jain.

Similarly, if we were to take another instance of positive development, the case of cold-storage and warehouse development in India comes to mind. (source)

With the introduction of new farm bills and accelerated adoption of newly emerged e-commerce FMCG opportunities projected by companies like Grofers, Big Basket, NetMeds, PharmEasy, there is an urgent need for E-commerce capacity building in this cold storage segment.

Recently, Covid19 vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna claimed to have ~95% effectiveness rates. But Pfizer’s vaccine requires ultra-cold storage whereas Moderna is a better option for India like countries, since it may need a normal refrigerator type storage. Hence, considering a huge requirement for our country, a vaccine cold chain infrastructure should also be prioritized by the central and state governments.

New Interventions in the Green Buildings Market

New Warehouse rating Systems

Considering the blooming opportunities and expansion in the warehouse and cold storages segment, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and Assocham GEM recently released the pilot versions of their green rating systems for Logistic Parks, Warehouses and Cold Storages. We are hopeful that through government-backed green policies and newly invoked farm bills, this segment will hugely benefit from the rating systems. Going forward, key emphasis will be put on workers' health and sustainable design. Click here to access the rating systems: IGBC Rating System for Green Logistics Parks & Warehouses, GEM Sustainable Warehouse & Logistics Hub Certification Program

Passive House (PHI) Standard for India

As per signed MoU, GreenTree is working in collaboration with the renowned Passive House Institute (PHI), Germany to bring Passive House standard to India. As we understand this space from the Indian perspective, from business practices to policy framework and adoption of rating systems, we will be assisting the PHI as an implementation partner in pilot projects in India and neighboring countries. You may connect with GreenTree if you are interested in pursuing PHI standard for your projects. Click here to read about PHI standards, case studies and much more.

Expert's Take on the Green Jobs Market

The team interviewed Mr. S. Vikash Ranjan from GIZ to gain insight into market developments and how it could present a plethora of opportunities for job seekers, engineers, designers and even commoners. In our interview, we discussed the key aspects of the ‘Energy Efficiency in Residential Buildings’ program, under development by BEE and GIZ. The program is working to build a directory of sustainable materials and a user-friendly tool which will allow you to visualize a smart, sustainable and green home for yourself. The directory and the tool will be available on the Eco Niwas website towards the end of this year. Click here to read the interview

In-house Expert Team Comments

In the middle of 2020, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’ – a stimulus package of INR 20 lakh crore over the next 4-5 years, it was revealed that among uplifting small businesses and ailing power sectors, a climate-centric GREEN RECOVERY FUND was missing. We believe that the government must plan and release a green relief package to aid and transform one of the largest employing sectors in India. The team suggests four strategic financial opportunities:

What's Next

  • Capturing Energy-use Behavioural Patterns through smart meters in high rise buildings
  • Nalanda University, GRIHA LD (5 Star Rated Master Plan rating) - Case Study
  • The role of efficient building envelope in India Cooling Action Plan (ICAP)
  • Maintenance Efficiency of the Buildings - A missing link

Note: The team has sourced data through various rating agencies and desk research. Collaboration with other rating agencies are in progress to make the information comprehensive. For any query, please contact: [email protected]

GreenLetter (GNNOV20) Team: Suparna Havelia, Pradeep Kumar, Dhruv Jain, Anurag Bajpai

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