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Is going green expensive?

m.soundariya preetha
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Developers can control the cost of a green building

Green landscapes, waste management and energy management are some aspects to look at.Photos: Abhijit Dev Kumar
Green landscapes, waste management and energy management are some aspects to look at.Photos: Abhijit Dev Kumar

Over one billion sq.ft of built-up area in the country is either developed or coming up as green buildings.

The industrial region of Coimbatore is also on the green development path. These areas use relatively less water, conserve natural resources, generate less waste and improve energy efficiency and have better natural lighting and ventilation.

Rajesh B. Lund, chairman of the Coimbatore chapter of the Indian Green Building Council, says that one industry in Coimbatore has obtained green building certification and 15 more buildings have registered for certification.

Residential, industrial and commercial structures can go green. IT companies, trade complexes, industries and apartment projects are looking at green certification in Coimbetore. “Our (Srivari) residential projects that will be launched from next year will be green,” he says.

In the U.S., commercial green buildings get two dollars additional per sq.ft. In India, customers have not started paying more for green buildings though they will save more in maintenance and operational costs when they occupy the building.

Though the incremental cost of the a commercial green building will be three per cent to five per cent and that of a green home one per cent, the pay back period for the additional cost is three to four years because of reduction in operational costs.

Developers will be able control the costs if they plan from the beginning for a green structure. In the case of retrofits, the cost will be higher.

They can look at green landscapes, waste management, water conservation, energy management, green commuting and aesthetics to make a building green. Even work places, hospitals and institutions can go green. The efforts are not just in the exterior of the building, but in the interiors also.

According to data available with the Indian Green Building Council, 2,204 green building projects with 1.64 billion sq.ft built-up area are registered with it. As many as 398 green building projects in the country are certified and fully functional.

In an effort to improve awareness among property developers, the council will organise a meeting in Coimbatore in November. It will also start chapters in two colleges next month where students can get trained to become consultants.

Chennai will host the Green Building Congress, an event organised by the council, from October 24 to 26. Training programmes, conference, and an exhibition will be part of the event.

m.soundariya preetha


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