[Go-Green]: TOI news-piece on Green Buildings being in vogue in Indian capital city~New Delhi

Sharing herewith on BRICKS-n-MORTAR this article published in the 'Times of India' newspaper on 21 July 2009 titled:
"City (New Delhi) lays a green foundation with new buildings ~~~
Corporates Take Note of Environmental Concerns, Opt For Eco-Friendly Structures To Save Energy"

Original article published in TOI by Neha Lalchandani | TNN

New Delhi: US secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s visit to the ITC Green Centre in Gurgaon, one of the region’s four buildings to be certified GREEN, drew the world’s attention to what Clinton referred to as the ‘‘monument to the future’’. Delhi may soon not be short of such monuments as several buildings have now switched over to green technology to save energy, including Rashtrapati Bhavan that is saving about Rs 60 lakh annually by shifting to a more environment-friendly technology.

A green building is one which is energy efficient, uses natural and renewable energy and causes the least amount of damage to
the environment. Sources say it is mostly new buildings, and that too only commercial ones, that are going in for green building certification as it is difficult and expensive for existing buildings to make any major changes in architecture. It takes between Rs 2.5 and Rs 3.5 lakh for the process, depending on the size of the structure. At present, ITC Green Centre and Wipro in Gurgaon, Spectrum and Patnis in Noida are the four buildings that have a LEED certification.

‘‘For existing buildings, it would require a huge investment to get certification though one can cut down on energy consumption by adopting several simple methods,’’ said an architect.

However, agencies like CPWD have ensured changes in several of their office complexes. According to a CPWD spokesperson, Udyog Bhawan, that houses several offices of the industry and commerce ministries, is saving over Rs 45 lakh a year by converting to energy efficient technology. It was also awarded the national energy conservation award for the most energy efficient building in 2008, having brought down its energy consumption from 47 lakh units in 2005-06 to 35.49 lakh unit sin 2007-08. All that was done was to use CFLs, switch to solar energy and go in for more energy efficient technology. ‘‘Such changes are also being implemented in eight more buildings with us,’’ said the spokesperson.

Among other buildings in Delhi that are green are the Delhi Metro Bhawan, two of TERI’s offices and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) office. The Commonwealth Games Village is also being constructed using GRIHA guidelines for a green building.

In India, there are two mechanisms for evaluating the energy efficiency of a building. The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), that was formed in 2001, set up the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) India committee that rates buildings based on five environmental criteria. The second system is that devised by the Energy Resource Institution. The Green Rating for
Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) has been endorsed by the government as the national rating system for buildings, based on their predicted performance over their life span.

Recently, BEE also started a rating system for commercial buildings, under which the RBI building in Delhi was one among the two recipients of the star-rating.

For those who have the money, altering an existing building can go a long way in saving energy and money in the long term. Building two walls instead of one for insulation, covered balconies, tiling or whitewashing rooftops, creation of rainwater harvesting structures and minimising the use of reflective glass could go a
long way in bringing down the electricity bill though the cost recovery could take a few years due to the high capital costs.

Gaurav Shorey of TERI, area convener of GRIHA, said: ‘‘If you do not have the option of having a green building constructed, there is still a lot that can be done with existing structures. Simple practices of using electricity with care, switching off extra lights, preserving water and planning energy consumption will go a long way in making homes energy efficient. Air-conditioners should not be set at a very low temperature and ceiling fans should be used in tandem for optimum benefits.”


Disclaimer: Article shared for the purpose of spreading the meaningful 'GREEN BUILDINGS" campaign which is the need of the hour for India as well as the entire world. Not meant for any commercial copying/ copyright infringement/ etc. Standard universal disclaimer stands on part of this blog.

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