GRIHA in Sanskrit means Abode, as in humble abode. It is a national Rating system of India developed by TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India. The adoption of GRIHA as the national standard system for green buildings occurred in 2007 by the authority of the Indian Government.
The GRIHA Council is an independent platform for the interaction on scientific and administrative issues related to sustainable habitats in India. It is a green building ‘design evaluation system’. As per the recent data, it has about 550 projects registered with them.
What is GRIHA?
GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) is a green building ‘design evaluation system’. It is a rating tool that facilitates assessment of the performance of buildings based on nationally accepted conditions or benchmarks.
GRIHA evaluates the holistic performance of a building corresponding to the environment, over its entire life cycle. Thus, obtaining a standard for what a ‘green building’ is.
The main ideology behind the organisation is to minimize building’s resource consumption. Also, it aims to reduce waste generation and overall ecological impacts under certain limitations and ratings norms.
GRIHA attempts to minimize a building’s resource consumption, waste generation, and overall environmental impact by comparing them to certain nationally acceptable limits and benchmarks. It does so, adopting the Five ‘R’ philosophy of sustainable development, namely
1. Refuse – to blindly adopt international trends, materials, technologies, products, etc. Specially in areas where local substitutes/equivalents are available
2. Reduce – the dependence on high energy products, systems, processes, etc.
3. Reuse – materials, products, traditional technologies, so as to reduce the costs incurred in designing buildings as well as in operating them
4. Recycle – all possible wastes generated from the building site, during construction, operation and demolition
5. Reinvent – engineering systems, designs, and practices such that India creates global examples that the world can follow rather than us following international examples.
Going by the old adage ‘What gets measured, gets managed, GRIHA attempts to quantify aspects, It is taken from an ancient Indian document which is among the oldest extant texts of any language in the world – the Rig Veda.
Features of GRIHA
The rating system was developed to aid the design and assess new buildings. The GRIHA rating system takes into account the provisions of the National Building Code 2005; the Energy Conservation Building Code 2007 announced by BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) and other IS codes.
GRIHA facilitates design, construction, the operation of a green building and in turn, measures “greenness” of a building.
Features of a GRIHA Certified buildings:
- Save Minimum 25% -50% less water than conventional buildings.
- Use less water for construction
- Follow mandatory provisions of ECBC (In case of air conditioned buildings)
- Reduce energy consumption by minimum 10% -50% in comparison to conventional buildings.
- Provide 1% equivalent, connected load of lighting and HVAC through renewable energy for non-residential projects.
- Recycle waste water and reuse at least 25%-75% of treated water.
- Segregate and resource recovery from waste in such a manner that only that minimal or zero waste goes to landfill
[Video] The GRIHA Approach
Recognition and Benefits From The Government of India
The Indian Government recognises the efforts of the green building developers. It has announced great offers for green builders in certain parts of the country.
The developers coming up with new construction projects in the jurisdiction of Pune Municipal Corporation will get the following discounts on the premium charges payable to the corporation, as per the star rating awarded by GRIHA Council
Jaipur Development Authority, a body constituted under Jaipur Development Authority Act 1982 (Act. 25) under the Department of Urban Development and Housing, Government of Rajasthan has notified that the buildings constructed in plot area more than 5,000 m2 will be eligible for an additional 5% floor area ratio (FAR) free of charge if they get 4 or 5 star rating from GRIHA.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development, Government of Punjab has notified that an additional 5% floor area ratio free of charges shall be permissible to buildings that provide relevant certificates from the Bureau of Energy Efficiency or from GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment). This notification has been issued under the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, 1995 towards ensuring resource optimization in the built environment.
The benefits of owning a GRIHA certified building
- Reduced energy consumption without sacrificing the comfort levels
- Reduced destruction of natural areas, habitats, and biodiversity, and reduced soil loss from erosion, and other such destructive occurrences
- Reduced air and water pollution
- Reduced water consumption
- Limited waste generation due to recycling and reuse
- Reduced pollution loads
- Increased user productivity
- Enhanced image and marketability
The Rating System
Criteria for GRIHA Certification
The buildings will be evaluated and rated in a three-tier process. The preliminary evaluation will be conducted by a team of professionals and experts. The expert team will evaluate the project and award points.
The criteria fall under one of the below major categories:
- Conservation and efficient utilization of resources
- Health and well-being
The pie-graph shows the pointing system followed by GRIHA
A quick glance at the various criteria in GRIHA
Brief Overview on How can You Get Your Building Rated?
It is 4 step process-
- Check out the Eligibility: except for the industrial complexes, all buildings such as offices, retail malls, institutions, hotels, hospitals, health-care facilities, residences, and multi-family high-rise buildings – in the pre-design & design stage are eligible for certification under GRIHA.
- Registration: A project has to be registered by filling in an online registration form available here – Registration Link. The registration process includes access to the essential information related to rating, application form, list of submissions, score points, and the weightage system.
- Evaluation: Project evaluation happens over Pre documentation stage & post documentation stage by the team of experts. Once the necessary documentation is uploaded, and systems commissioned on site, the building is evaluated and rated.
- Rating: The final score is presented to the National Advisory Committee comprising eminent personalities and renowned professionals in the field, for approval and award of the final rating.
Some of The GRIHA Certified Projects in India
[Photo Gallery]: Workshop by TERI on The Importance of Clay-fired, Resource Efficient Bricks
Information collected & curated from GRIHA India website
Article is authored by a Building Expert from Wienerberger India
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