Green-rated buildings not keeping their promise, says CSE report

Updated - May 23, 2016 06:39 pm IST

Published - October 11, 2014 06:59 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

Green-rated buildings are falling below the minimum benchmarks of their official star rating by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), says a report — “Building sense beyond the green façade of sustainable habitat” — by the Centre for Science and Environment released recently.

Data put out by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) on energy consumption of large commercial buildings that were rated and awarded silver, gold and platinum ratings, under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green-rating programme, show they are grossly underperforming, the report says.

Several of them cannot qualify even for the one-star label under the star-labelling programme that ranks buildings based on their energy efficiency when operational.

India started to mirror the global trends in green rating when the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) began rating buildings in India.

In 2007, LEED India (Leadership in Energy and environmental Design-India) was adapted from the USGBC LEED programme. This is a private initiative run by the IGBC.

India adopted the Green-rated Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) as the national rating system for buildings in 2007, the report says.

The total green-rated built-up area is not even three per cent of the built-up area in the country. Examining the green ratings, the CSE said the claim that buildings rated by the IGBC and GRIHA save 30-50 per cent energy and 20-30 per cent water was not supported by data or evidence of compliance and performance of each rated building.

Several State governments were giving fiscal incentives and allowance of extra built-up area to developers to promote private green-rating programmes. The report points to a lack of stringent and transparent monitoring of actual energy and resource use during building operation, and questions the need for a few green-rated buildings which were given sops for meeting the minimum green standards that all buildings must ideally implement.

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