Sustainable future starts with Sustainable Habitats- Mr. Rajeev Kapoor
Accommodation Times Bureau
New Delhi, March 2, 2017: The GRIHA Council, in conjunction with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, inaugurated the 8th GRIHA Summit with ‘Transforming Habitats’ as the theme today. The council envisages to double the green footprint in the country from 35 million sq. ft. to 70 million sq. ft. in a span of three years. In this context, Mr. Rajeev Kapoor, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India launched the GRIHA rating for existing buildings and during the inaugural address said, “MNRE has been associated with GRIHA for over a decade and has supported this green movement. The distinctive aspect about GRIHA is that it is not only about the final product but also about the process of construction. There is a need to improve the entire ecosystem of urbanization, as sustainable 50% of India will be urban in the next 15-20 years. Herein, lies the challenge in urban governance and political and economic system.”
He also welcomed the new initiative of rating existing buildings, which will further spur the green movement and help gain momentum to achieve sustainable habitats.
The Summit witnessed deliberations on creating technology that is efficient, beneficial to health and socially affordable; a solution driven approach to tackle growing cooling demand, especially in developing countries; to showcase the water conservation strategies undertaken considering the highly unpredictable availability of water; and the urgency of going green to create a sustainable society.
Congratulating the GRIHA team on this momentous feat, Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI & President, GRIHA Council, in his welcome address said, “This year’s theme of ‘transforming habitats’ becomes extremely important because there’s a sharp emphasis on how we manage our urban landscape through the smart city mission, and also how technology has attracted finances into green buildings. In the process of rapid urbanization that India is witnessing at present, if each building becomes greener than the one built yesterday then we have huge opportunity and hope for our country. For a sustainable future and in order to provide our citizens with a good quality of life, the need of the hour is to look beyond the conventional methods of building. Hence, GRIHA becomes important in meeting our national goals with respect to a sustainable society.”
Amidst the challenges posed by climate change, transition to cleaner and more energy efficient buildings is the need of the hour, and GRIHA is a tool to transform our habitats towards sustainable development from concept to commissioning. Taking cognizance of the need for strategic partnerships with multiple stakeholders, including government and large and mid-sized real estate developers in the country, State of Andhra Pradesh is a partner for the 8th edition of The GRIHA Summit. GRIHA too looks forward to collaborating with the state government in developing the new township of Amravati along the principles of sustainable habitat. There have also been multiple real estate developers like BESTECH, Vatika Group, Ireo and Conscient that have paved the way forward for green habitats by committing their projects to GRIHA ratings.
With the growing stock of buildings, potential for enhancing resource efficiency in existing buildings is an opportunity to reduce consumption, optimize operational and maintenance costs and augment the indoor comforts of the occupants. The new GRIHA rating for existing buildings has been designed with an underlying objective of simplicity of execution, economic viability and alignment with national and sub-national policies.
With a view to transforming our urban centres into smarter, high-performance habitats, the GRIHA Summit attempted to address alternate solutions to achieve better energy efficiency, less wastage and optimum usage in the construction industry. Approximately 70% of the buildings that will exist in India by 2030 are yet to be built, which makes energy efficiency, the cleanest, quickest and cheapest way to bring our country out of energy poverty. Furthermore, the refrigeration and air conditioning sectors are responsible for about 15% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, equivalent to 4.8 GT CO2 per annum (2012) going up to 12 GT CO2 (2030). Energy efficient HVAC systems provide a huge opportunity for the sector to save energy and emissions cumulatively. About 50% of the emissions can be avoided globally by 2030 against the business-as-usual by leapfrogging from high GWP refrigerants to low GWP natural refrigerants and applying best in class, highly energy efficient appliances.
The Summit is expected to be attended by over 1000 participants over the course of two days and shall facilitate multi-stakeholder partnerships and networking among governments, academia, civil society organizations and professionals from different disciplines like architecture, engineering and construction management. The Summit would serve as a knowledge sharing platform and as a pitch to examine the current efforts being undertaken in sustainable design.
About GRIHA Council
Together with The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, TERI developed GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment), which has been endorsed as the ‘National rating system for green buildings in India’ in the year 2007. GRIHA is a green building rating system developed to suit Indian climate and construction practices. The GRIHA Council issues GRIHA Certification for new buildings as well as retrofits and carries out all activities related to the issuance of GRIHA certification.
The GRIHA rating aligns itself with the national regulatory framework and policies, such as, National Building Code (NBC), Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) clearance, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) guidelines etc.