Green Building Products in India: Who Are the Best Indian Green Builders?
Post date: Feb 11, 2013 7:08:49 AM
Ivan asks: It came to my attention that one of the main challenges being faced by developers in India is the availability of green raw materials, is this true? Also, can you list the top 10 green building developers in India?
Advice provided by: Yusuf Turab, Y T Enterprises
Hi Ivan, thank you for your question.
Indeed, one of the main challenges developers in India face is the limited availability and the higher cost of green building materials compared to ordinary materials. However, the situation isn't so bad that one must source materials from other countries. There are enough low impact raw materials available in the local markets to construct highly efficient green buildings.
India does not currently have a large enough number of green material manufacturers to create healthy competition, which would force the manufacturers provide better quality and value to customers. However, this scenario is rapidly changing and I am certain that this statement will no longer be accurate within the next few years.
Challenges in Selecting Green Building Products in India
The primary challenge when constructing green buildings is to design and build using systems and materials that have probably not been designed and produced with sustainability in mind. Many products currently available in India tout their environmental benefits, including recycled, renewable and regional content.
However, it is important to verify these claims. The following are valuable tools for verifying materials’ environmental benefits:
1) Third party certification: Currently, there is no third party environmental certificate system for building materials in India.
2) Energy modeling: There is a serious lack of very good energy modelers in India, which increases the cost of procuring such services.
3) Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs): A few American companies operating in India, such as Interface, provide EPDs. I cannot think of any Indian company that follows such best practices.
4) Life cycle data: There is no mandate or requirement for such data and I do not see Indian manufacturers providing this information in the near future.
Therefore, it seems like the real challenge in the coming years will be verification of environmental claims for green building materials as opposed to availability of green raw materials.
Best Green Builders in India
India is a large country with almost too many people, and therefore, it has a never-ending appetite for commercial and residential developments. There are thousands of developers in the country. Moreover, construction in India is a very regional business with many small players catering to the niche requirements of people in their own region.
There are very few developers that have a pan-India presence and even fewer have been successful in meeting the diverse regional tastes of the Indian people. Hence, there is no official list containing names of top green building developers in India. It would be very difficult to compile one as well as every day, hundreds of projects are launched, delayed, abandoned or completed and most of them do not opt to certify their projects through one of the green building rating systems.
Off the top of my head, I can list a few top green building companies. Knowledgeable readers can add to the list in the comments section below if they know of any developers who are genuinely committed to building green:
- ITC Ltd.: Building green is an integral part of their corporate strategy. They now run the greenest chain of hotels in the world.
- Godrej Properties: They are one of the pioneers of green building in India and have developed many well known green buildings in India.
- Marg Group: They are currently developing India's first green township near Chennai.
- Covai Property Centre (India) Pvt Ltd.: They are one of India's largest developers of green retirement and comfort communities for senior citizens. All of their projects aim to achieve Platinum-level certification from IGBC Green Homes.
- Akshaya Homes: All of Akshaya's new projects have been certified by IGBC with the LEED India green building rating system.
- Hiranandani Group: They are one of India's largest developers and have a solid commitment to building green.
- Biodiversity Conservation India Ltd (BCIL): BCIL has created some of the most energy-efficient residential homes in India.
Databases of Green Buildings in India
You can also use databases of green building projects to find their developers.
The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) has listed all the IGBC certified green buildings on their website.
ADaRSH, Association for Development and Research of Sustainable Habitats has listed all the buildings that have been certified through the GRIHA rating system.
I hope this helps!