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LEEDING by example: Achieving sustainability and building better buildings through green certification programs

Article By MG Cooling Solutions In HVAC - December 9, 2019

Standing at the forefront of the fight against climate change, India has set some ambitious sustainability targets. Our government has committed to reducing emission to 35 percent by 2030. We’ve also promised to provide reliable power to all, are becoming a leader in the production and manufacturing of renewable energy and have shown tremendous leadership in the smarts cities movement.

Correspondingly, the real estate market in India has also undergone some important changes to usher in greater accountability, transparency and sustainability. India has quite literally become an engine of green growth. Green building in the country has seen a dramatic increase and is only expected to continue to grow in the coming years. The Dodge Data & Analytics World Green Building Trends 2018 Smart Market Reports, which surveyed building professional including architects, contractors, consultants, developers, engineering firms and investors in 86 countries, reports that respondents in India anticipate steep growth in green activity in the next three years driven by environmental regulation and the desire for healthier buildings. Around half of respondents in India expect to do green project in the next three years in two sectors: new commercial construction and new high- rise residential.

The country is steadily is scaling up its green building footprint on the back of several initiatives and programs. For instance, India is now the fourth largest market in the world for LEED certification. LEED( or Leadership in Energy and Environment Design ) is an international symbol of sustainability excellence, signifying that building is lowering carbon  emission, conserving resources and reducing operating costs, while prioritising sustainable practices and creating a healthier environment and healthier spaces to live and work. In India, there are currently 2,975 registered and certified projects participating in LEED, totalling more than 1.45 billion square feet of space.

The growth is due to the leadership of businesses, property owners and government leaders across India who are using green building to strategically address some of the most critical social and environmental concern of our time and raise the living standards for the people in their communities. Many government buildings in the country have chosen to certify to LEED and several government agencies and entities, including key state government such as Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh have started offering incentives  around the rating system. Businesses, educational institutions and non profits touching every sector in the nation are also increasingly embracing LEED and green building certification schemes.

The GBCI India office in Noida is an excellent example of how green building certification can be used to create healthier spaces for people, use less energy and water reduce carbon emission and minimize environmental impact. Through a transportation, sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, indoor environmental quality, and material and resources, the building was able to reach extremely high levels of environment performance. Through efficient HVAC design and use of occupancy and daylight sensors, the building achieved a 35 percent reduction in energy cost. The spaces also provide occupants with a quality indoor environment and 95 percent of the materials used in building have low- VOC content and emissions. Through the use of water efficient fixture the building has achieved a 52 percent reduction in water used 70 percent of outside water demand is met through alternative sources. As the organization behind the LEED standard, it especially fitting that the state-of- the- art office created an environment that’s conducive to the health and wellbeing of its occupants and enhances their quality of life.

India has the potential to become an excellent example of how green building certification system can help achieve sustainability and improve quality of life. Our country is already on its way to becoming a circular economy and has embraced measures such as banning plastics, promoting the daily use of recyclable and reusable materials, saving water, encouraging consumer and businesses to use renewable energy. Our construction sector, in particular, can benefit from embracing this mindset and incorporating green building and sustainable strategies into practices.

The construction sector in India is responsible for about 22percent of our total annual CO2 emissions. All kinds of construction activity- from the operation of heavy machinery, to demolition, to dust generated – can cause pollution. Outdoor air pollution and indoor air pollution are deeply connected, and we are witnessing a rise in air pollution related illness and death in country. But by integrating sustainability into their site plans, using sustainable and healthy materials and monitoring their progress, the construction industry can make great strides in minimizing their environment impact. The concept of sustainable building and circular  economy are interwined and can effectively help India achieve at least some, of not all of the targets of the 2030 Agenda and the 17 UN sustainable Development Goals.  

MG Cooling Solutions are HVAC Consultants & Engineers working in the domain of making HVAC Systems more energy efficient.

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