Delhi NCR is witnessing a green revolution, slowly but surely. Delhi and its neighbouring cities – Gurgaon, Noida and Faridabad – are not new to the concept of green buildings, which are usually large office or commercial complexes. The latest trend, however, is the construction of green residential buildings – both independent houses and housing complexes.
A green building is defined as one which uses less water, optimises energy efficiency, conserves natural resources, generates less waste and provides healthier spaces for occupants, as compared to a conventional building.
Though nationally it is Pune, which has stolen a march over all other cities with more than 30 certified or pre-certified green residential buildings, followed by Mumbai with 15 such complexes, Delhi NCR is catching up with 11 buildings, including three independent houses.
The concept of a green building first came to light in India when in 2003, the CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre came up in Hyderabad and received the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Green Building certificate. At present, the two organisations that give green certification – The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and the Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) of The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) – have nearly 3,000 green buildings in India registered with them, including residential buildings.
Green buildings are not only environmental-friendly and help you leave a smaller carbon footprint, these also help in saving money in the shape of energy and water consumption costs. If a building is planned, constructed and maintained following green norms, it can help you save up to 50 per cent just in terms of energy costs.
Though there is a notion regarding green homes that these are more expensive to construct compared to conventional houses, the proliferation of the market of green products has meant that prices have now actually come down. These buildings might still cost slightly more than a conventional building but in the long run, the money saved on energy and water consumption more than makes up for it.
Apart from a growing market for green products, there are now professionals who specialise in green homes. Architect Nilanjan Bhowal of Design Consortium, for instance, has designed two of the individual green residences in Delhi NCR – Green One in Chittaranjan Park and The Nest in Gurgaon.
Experts, however, feel that the concept of green homes should be promoted more and misconceptions need to be cleared. The biggest catalyst for this change comes in the form of incentives from the government and urban local bodies.
The reason why Noida has the most number of green residential buildings in the entire NCR is the incentive offered by the Noida Authority. It recently announced an additional five per cent Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for housing projects that are rated as green buildings and developers have lapped up the offer. A large number of upcoming housing projects in Noida have gone for green pre-certification to benefit from the authority’s incentive.
“The reason why so many green housing projects are coming up in Pune’s suburb Pimpri Chinchwad is the huge incentives given by the local authorities who want to ensure that such projects come up. Similarly, we see many such projects coming up in Noida going for green rating due to the incentive,” said Apoorv Vij, Programme Manager (Technical), GRIHA Council.
“While awareness about green homes is increasing, so is the confusion. There is a need for greater clarity so that when people look for an energy-efficient appliance or a green housing project, they have adequate knowledge of what they have to look for” he said.