The Indian Green Building Council was formed with a mandate to usher in green building movement in India. HT spoke to the council's senior counsellor M Anand on the movement. Excerpts from an interview:
How has the green building movement in India grown?
The movement began in Hyderabad in 2003. In the past decade, we are on the threshold of 2,000 green buildings in India: 2007 buildings, with a combined area of 1.4 billion sq feet, are registered with us.
Are developers becoming more conscious of green buildings now?
Initially people were apprehensive but early movers such as the ITC Green Centre and Wipro building in Gurgaon showcased that the savings amounted to 40-50% of energy and 30-40% of water. They have shown that if a building is designed, constructed and operated in a green way, there are tangible benefits. Also, such buildings provide a beautiful living and working atmosphere.
Are green buildings costlier to build?
Earlier, construction of a green building required 15-18 % extra funding but now, the incremental cost has come down to 5-8 % extra. If a building is planned in green early, incremental costs are even lower. Moreover, earlier green materials weren't so readily available, pushing up their cost. Now with the involvement of stakeholders in the form of government, architects, consultants, contractors, manufacturers etc, these materials are now being manufactured in India.
Can only large government or corporate offices go green?
We are handling green buildings that vary in size from six million square feet to flats that are less than 1,000 square feet. We have 600 projects in the home sector that are going green.
Where does the NCR stand?
While Mumbai is spearheading the green movement, NCR is in second position in terms of numbers. It has the highest number of green government buildings.