By Kushagra Juneja
Innovation has led the Indian Green Building Council to cross the 2.64 billion sq ft-mark for green certified space in the country
Mankind is consistently adding new complexities to the world. The irony is that the intrications added to the universe are thoughtfully incorporated, strategically designed to simplify our lives. Although ours is one of the most organised species on the planet, in the process of our development, we have metamorphosed from being a market economy to a market society.
We have had a large role to play in the occurrence of many landmark changes—extinction of species, denudation of forests, and climate change, to name a few. But that is nature. Randomness and change appears to be the only constant in the world. In an ever changing environment, Man has developed the skills to innovate. For instance we have learnt to generate waste, but we have countered that by learning how to re-use that waste. We have learnt to abuse nature, but we have also learnt how much it means to our very survival as a race. We fed our plants with pesticides, but we have realised our errors and are now attempting a U turn towards organic farming. Our laws are pro development but also pro sustainability. Thus, we innovate in order to survive as the tides keep changing.
“It is true we have been witnessing a silence from the government sector, but the fact of the matter is that the CPWD has mandated the three star-GRIHA rating for all its projects. IGBC is targeting 10 billion sq ft by 2022”
Governments across the world have been trying to address sustainability as a focal point. Enterprising companies have taken up the challenge and have innovated.
From conceiving small sustainable solutions to inventing solar air conditioners and energy efficient devices, India has been one of the first nations to have adopted numerous technical advances and grassroot innovations catering to sustainability.
To quote an example, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) was founded in the year 2001, and today, the square footage of green buildings has crossed 2.64 billion sq ft of certified space. In fact, IGBC is targeting 10 billion sq ft by 2022. This is when we have no mandatory norms to opt for a green building rating system in the country. It is true we have been witnessing a silence from the government sector, but the fact of the matter is that the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has mandated the three star-GRIHA* rating for all its projects. The pace is ever encouraging.
Not just building ratings, but also the barrage of sustainable products being launched every other week bolster the green building revolution considerably. From engineering to aesthetics; a business card to a personal computer, each product today has a role to play in sustainability and greening the planet. The specific innovations are beyond the scope of this article, but your author is certain that each one of you has already contributed, directly or indirectly, to the story of India’s sustainability.
* Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment
The author is LEED AP (O&M); BEE certified ECBC master trainer; IGBC AP; GRIHA trainer and evaluator; and Managing Partner, Design2Occupancy Services LLP, Jaipur
This article appeared in the April 2015 issue of Pure & Eco India