Climate change, rise in pollution, and ocean acidification are the major global concerns that have become life threats to humans and other species. Earth's natural infrastructure has been disrupted due to aggressive human activities such as industrialisation. Scientists with the help of technology continuously inform us about our planet's condition. Time and again, we have been given signals of the ongoing climate changes and consequences we will have to face. Governments of different countries, various industries and companies have started taking actions to combat this alarming situation.
The solution to addressing climate change is carried out by designing technologies and introducing policies that result in less waste and sustainable use of our resources. Focus has also shifted to protecting forests to save greenery, wildlife and the whole ecosystem.
Another challenge every country's government has been facing for decades is to control the human population. The rise in population automatically increases the demand for land for shelter purposes and other activities. Real estate industry comes in the first play to fulfil the increasing housing demand of the growing population.
How real estate industry is addressing climate change?
Considering the behaviour pattern of urban homebuyers in the Indian real estate market, they are today more informed about their health, climate change, shortage of resources, and pollution. Therefore, they value a lifestyle not just surrounded by smart technology, but elements of nature as well.
The reality has struck the builders and industry experts. To tap this primary need of the buyers, they have in the recent time introduced the concept of Green Building. Whether living or working space, more and more projects are coming up with energy-efficient, and environment-friendly features.
Currently, India's ranking is second with the US on top position in terms of the number of green technology projects and built-up area.
What is Green Building concept?
In 2001, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) formed Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) as a body for green building certification to the real estate projects. The concept of Green Building involves the construction of a real estate project with eco-friendly building material, sustainable techniques, recycle and reuse of natural resources. For instance, water is an essential natural resource, in need to be saved and sustained. Builders are working hard on recycle and reuse of water in their projects.
Some of the techniques in green building concept used in India are solar heating, rainwater harvesting, waste management, eco-friendly lighting, proper landscaping and wind or solar energy for power generation. About 10% of buyers in the country are found enquiring about green building certification to those builders who claim their projects under the category. 40-50% of energy-saving and 20-30% of water-saving are found as the benefits of certified green buildings compared to other buildings.
Why prefer Green Homes?
In terms of residential real estate, developing a green home under green building concept can be slightly costlier than a conventional home due to the cost of special designing and techniques. However, the buyers will experience high future returns by saving a lot on water and electricity bills.
The latest report of 2019 claims almost 14 lakh Indian houses in India with the green building certification, amounting to about 6.33 billion sq ft. The target is to achieve 10 billion sq ft green building footprint by 2022.
Mr Vasudevan Suresh, Chairman, IGBC says, “Of the total, around 155 crore sq ft of green buildings are under IGBC Green Homes. We want to make India number one in the world by having 10 billion sq ft of green building footprint. If we could increase the green homes coverage to 10%, it will be good for the Indian environment. It is important to have hospitals, schools and all other buildings having a green base. India needs a green revolution to ensure that the impact of pollution is mitigated.”