Bangalore lags in green residential buildings

In the global effort to minimise effects of climate change by drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions buildings can play a vital role, says a World Bank report.

However, a recent study compiled by Vestian, along with ASSETZ (both real estate players), puts Bengaluru‘s green building distribution at just 9 per cent as adaptation of green standards for developing residential projects here is still a far cry.

Most of the green-certified buildings in the city are commercial buildings being occupied by corporate tenants – both multinational corporations and Indian business houses – that seek sustainable spaces to meet their global environmental policies. In the residential sector, the practice of green housing is almost non-existent.

According to a United Nations report, India is projected to add 300 million new urban residences by 2050, and Bengaluru, which is already reeling under the pressure of urban housing projects, will get a major share of this residential housing in its kitty.

If eco-friendly measures are not initiated, the city will stare at an ecological disaster as it has the highest green area depletion from 2014 onwards when compared to other etro cities. The Bengaluru green building distribution stands at 9 per cent, behind that of Mumbai (20 per cent) and Pune (10 per cent).

The Vestian study says that even government regulations in India have mostly concentrated on commercial buildings, as they are the largest consumers of energy due to the use of HVAC (central heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) systems, and 24 hours power backup. In the case of residential properties, only 2 per cent of the stock falls in the luxury and ultra-luxury segment in most parts of the city as it is in the country.

In India, Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and Green Building Rating System India are two certifications that are awarded to eco-friendly buildings. But the cost of an inventory goes up by around 2-12 per cent if the builder applies for green-building certification.

Vestian’s Shweta P, a member involved in the study, said, “Already the state government has put in place an environment impact assessment certification for all real estate projects for built-up area of more than 20,000 sq ft coming up in the state. If a building adheres to these norms, it is eligible for getting the base-level green certificate.

There are many builders who opt for the green certification. But due to the lack of awareness among residential buyers about eco-friendly practices and how these can assist in managing costs in the long run, many real estate players avoid applying for such a certificate as there is an additional cost attached to it and most buyers are not willing to foot this.”

Members of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) are of the view that most real estate players are ready to adapt eco-friendly practices if they are assured of a premium on sale price for green buildings as there is an extra cost involved in developing such projects. However, due to the lack of evidence for savings in operational costs in the absence of a structural performance monitoring system post construction for an official assessment of the intended and actual benefits of green-certified buildings, buyers are reluctant and it is a matter of grave concern as increasing urbanisation is adding a lot of pressure on precious natural resources going in as building construction material.

WHAT MAKES A GREEN BUILDING?

* They leave a smaller carbon footprint

* Are constructed using sustainable materials

* More energy efficient, with minimum effluent discharge

* Have a robust recycling mechanism

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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