The 50,000-square-foot Law Officers' Complex, coming up as part of the new Advocate General's Office on Kerala High Court premises here, is expected to become Kerala's first green rated government building with the Public Works Department deciding to catch the ‘green fever' as a matter of policy.

An official of the State PWD told The Hindu that the blueprint for the Law Officers' Complex was ready and that the building would be assessed under Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) of ADaRSH, New Delhi. The process of registration is on.

GRIHA is the Indian system of rating for buildings for their environment friendliness developed by the Association for Development and Research of Sustainable Habitats (ADaRSH), an independent society set up by the Energy and Resources Institute and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

A total of 107 points can be gained for implementing 34 parameters. If at least 50 points are mustered, the proposed building can achieve the basic rating, said the PWD official.

Energy and water are at the core of the green building concept and achieving even the basic rating for the building implies 30 per cent savings in energy use as compared to conventional structures. Water used in the building will be recycled.

He said that government buildings, built in the traditional mode, have adhered to principles of green buildings. But these features have not been exploited. For example, most of the windows of government buildings have been blocked by file cabinets.

The first step will be to open up the windows in key government buildings, including the State Secretariat, to let in air and natural light. This will reduce energy consumption, the official said.

He said the PWD had some technical problems that needed to be addressed. The cost factor is one. Though recouped in the long run, the initial cost of green buildings is higher than conventional buildings. Besides, there is a fee involved in getting the building rated.

PWD engineers are likely to be trained by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), Hyderabad, and ADaRSH, rating agencies. The department aims to have a pool of trained personnel within a year to implement the green building policy.

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