Modern Green Building movement gained momentum in India when Hyderabad located CII-Godrej GBC building grabbed the unique distinction and became the country’s first Platinum rated Green Building in the year 2004. Then it was the Greenest building in the world and today it continues to be one of the top Greenest buildings in the world. As one demonstration Green Building, CII-Godrej GBC encouraged and inspired ‘n’ number of stakeholders choose the Green way.
Moving ahead, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) understood buildings differ in their types and functionality, hence their Green quotient cannot be measured using one single rating system. Owing to this IGBC launched different types of Green Building Rating Systems to suit different building types. One of the most prominent ones on the list is IGBC Green Homes.
This blog details down one simple reference guide to getting this IGBC rating for your home.
IGBC Green Homes: Background & Concept
The Indian housing sector is growing at a rapid pace and this growth has contributed majorly to the growth of the economy. Another important fact to consider here that the construction industry in the country is one of the largest economic activities which is growing at an average rate of 9.5% and with this rapid growth it is also posing a host of dreadful challenges on the environment. This quite well predicts the need to introduce green concepts and techniques in this sector to ensure the growth is sustainable in nature.
National priorities and issues like water efficiency, reduction in fossil fuel use in commuting, handling of consumer waste, conserving natural resources, and energy efficiency can be addressed to a great extent if Green concepts and techniques are adopted by the residential sector of the country. Additionally, these concepts can enhance the health, happiness, and well-being of its occupants. Owing to this background, IGBC launched ‘IGBC Green Homes Rating System’.
IGBC Green Homes is a system that provides a set of performance standards for attesting the design and construction phases solely for the residential sector. This rating is based on the accepted energy and environmental principles and strikes a perfect balance between recognized established practices and the emerging concepts. This is a voluntary and consensus-based programme that has been carefully developed based on materials and technologies that are presently available.
While this system is designed to be all-inclusive in scope, the operation of the same is quite simple. Green Homes provides guidelines for the design and construction of all residential buildings irrespective of its size and type. Applying the criteria of this rating system ensures high-performance, durable, healthy, affordable and environmentally sound residential buildings are constructed.
Basically, this rating programme is a tool that enables the designer to easily apply green concepts and criteria, which can help in reducing the environmental impacts, and at the same time are conveniently measurable.
The Benefits Of IGBC Green Homes
A Green Home can have both tangible and intangible benefits. The closest tangible benefits are the reduction in water and operating energy costs. Let me break it down:
- Tangible Benefits – The water savings of such buildings could range from 30-50 percent and the energy savings of around 20-30 percent.
- Intangible Benefits – Enhanced air quality, conservation of scarce national resources, ample day or natural lighting, and enhanced health & wellbeing of the occupants.
But again, one cannot really expect the avail the benefits from day one, but these benefits begin to prosper during the lifecycle of the building.
National Priorities Addressed in the Rating System
As mentioned before, ‘Green Homes’ rating system addresses the most significant national issues like water conservation, energy conservation, conservation of natural resources and handling of consumer waste. Let’s discuss them in detail:
1. Water Efficiency
Currently, most of the Asian countries are in water-stressed conditions. Considering our country, the water tables have reduced drastically over the last 10 years. Green Homes boost the use of water in a manner that is self-sustainable through reducing, reusing and recycling strategies. By adopting the Green Home rating programme, homes can efficiently save 30 – 50 percent potable water.
2. Handling Of Waste (Household)
Handling of household waste in residential buildings is very difficult, this is mainly because most of the waste generated is not segregated and has higher chances of directly going to the landfills. This is one huge challenge for the municipalities which demands immediate attention. IGBC Green Homes aims to address this by encouraging the homes to segregate the household waste at source.
3. Energy Efficiency
The residential sector consumes the largest amount of energy. ‘Green Homes’ rating systems can help in reducing energy consumption through energy efficient lighting systems, motor, pumps, air conditioning systems, etc. This rating system boosts green homes which choose and select BEE labelled appliances and equipment.
4. Reduced Use of Fossil Fuels
World over, fossil fuel levels are slowly depleting and the use of fossil fuel in transportation has been one of the major contributors to pollution. This rating system encourages the use of alternative fuels for captive power generation and transportation.
5. Reduced Dependency on Virgin Materials
‘Green Homes’ encourages projects to use recycled & reused material and discourages the use of virgin materials to address the environmental effects associated with the extraction and processing of virgin materials.
6. Health And Well-Being Of Occupants
One of the most important aspects of Green Homes is Health and well-being of its occupants. This rating system ensures the minimum performance of daylighting and ventilation aspects which are essential in a home. The rating system also lays a lot of importance on minimizing the indoor air pollutants.
Scope Of IGBC Green Homes
This rating system is a measurement system designed for rating new and major renovations of residential buildings which broadly include two construction types:
- Homes where the interiors are part of the project
- Homes where the interiors are not part of the project
Based on the scope of work, projects can select any of the two options. The following are the categories of homes that can apply for this rating:
- Individual homes
- Gated communities
- High rise residential apartments
- Existing residential buildings
- Residential buildings with major renovation
- Hostels, Service Apartments, Resorts, Motels and Guesthouses
In general, all dwelling spaces which can meet the mandate requirements and earn the minimum points can apply. The project team can assess all the possible points to apply under this rating system using a suitable checklist.
Depending on the total points earned, various levels of green building certification are awarded to the home.
IGBC Green Homes – Process
The rules detailed under each credit qualify the design and construction of green homes of all sizes and types. IGBC Green Homes typically addresses green features under the following categories:
- Site Selection and Planning
- Water Efficiency
- Energy Efficiency
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Innovation & Design Process
Diverse levels of green building certification are awarded based on the total credits earned. But, every Green Home should meet certain obligatory requirements, which are non-negotiable.
The various levels of rating awarded are:
|Certification Level||Individual Units||Multi-dwelling Units||Recognition|
|Certified||38 – 44||50 – 59||Best Practices|
|Silver||45 – 51||60 – 69||Outstanding Performance|
|Gold||52 – 59||70 – 79||National Excellence|
|Platinum||60 – 75||80 – 89||Global Leadership|
Project teams interested in IGBC Green Homes Certification need to first register with IGBC. Projects can be registered on IGBC website (www.igbc.in) under ‘IGBC Green Homes’.
- Certification Levels
As already mentioned, this rating system caters to projects like individual houses, apartments, motels, resorts, hostels, etc, and amongst the different types, the projects are broadly classified into projects where interiors are part of the scope of work and projects where interiors are not part of the scope of work. The threshold criteria for certification levels are as under:
|Certification Level||Points for projects with interiors||Points for projects without interiors|
|Certifies||32 – 39||30 – 36|
|Silver||40 – 47||37 – 44|
|Gold||48 – 59||45 – 55|
|Platinum||60 – 80||56 – 75|
The project team is expected to submit supporting documents for each stage for all the mandatory requirements and the credits bid. Specifications, cut-sheets, drawings (in native format only), manufacturer’s literature, purchase invoices and other documents are a few examples of supporting documents.
Documentation is done mainly in two phases:
- Design Submittals – Involves those credits which can be evaluated during the design stage.
- Construction Submittals – Involves the submission of clarifications to design queries and construction documents.
The documents are assessed by third-party assessors and review comments are provided within 40 working days (for each submittal phase).
Note: the credits earned at the design review are not final but are only anticipated. The final credit is not awarded until the final construction documents are submitted along with the additional documents showing the accurate implementation of design features. Also, in case of any changes for any design credit anticipated, the same needs to be documented and resubmitted for the construction review phase.
Developers can register their projects for Precertification for Green Homes. This option is mainly provided for those projects aspiring to get pre-certified during the design stage. In such cases, the documents submitted should be detailed with all the project design features that are planned to be implemented. The rating awarded to pre-certified projects are based on the project’s intention to conform to the requirements of Green Homes Rating system and need not necessarily link to the final certification.
Those projects that seek pre-certification are needed to submit the following documents:
- For each credit, a narrative on how the project would meet the goal
- Design calculations, wherever appropriate
- Drawings (in native format only) as appropriate
- Filled in templates wherever applicable
IGBC takes 40 working days to review the first set of precertification documents submitted by the developers. On receiving the clarifications posed in the first review, IGBC takes another 40 working days to honor the final precertification.
The Future of IGBC Green Homes
Several new green building materials, technologies and equipment’s are being rapidly introduced in the market. With nonstop introduction and up-gradation of new green products and technologies, IGBC Green Homes keeps pace with all the current standards and technologies. The rating program undergoes periodic revisions to integrate the latest changes and advances.
For you, it is important to note that you register your project with the latest version of the rating system. IGBC highlights all new developments on its website on a continuous basis at www.igbc.in.