Indian Green Building: The Top 7 Green Building Professional Credentials in India

Post date: Feb 11, 2013 7:13:14 AM

The most relevant and recognized credentials in the Indian green building sector are listed in order of relevance below. I would recommend taking exams in the order below if you are serious about working in the Indian Green Building sector.

  1. IGBC AP
  2. GRIHA Trainer
  3. GRIHA Evaluator
  4. LEED AP
  5. LEED Green Associate
  6. PMP (Project Management Professional)
  7. BEMP (Building Energy Modeling Professional Certification)


The Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) Accredited Professional exam is administered by IGBC and can be given at any of the Meritrac on-line test centres around the country.

I recommend attempting the IGBC AP exam first because the IGBC green building rating systems are the most popular in the country. IGBC also provides the LEED India ratings through an understanding with the USGBC. Hence your IGBC AP credential will be of maximum importance in the coming years.

The IGBC AP exam will require you to have good knowledge of sustainability in the built environment along with basic understanding of the LEED India rating system.

GRIHA Trainer and Evaluator: Green Ratings for Integrated Habitat Assessment

GRIHA (Green Ratings for Integrated Habitat Assessment) Trainer & Evaluator is administered by an organization called ADARSH which is a subsidiary of TERI (The Energy Resources Institute).

GRIHA is the preferred rating system among government projects and is increasingly becoming popular in the private sector due to the government sponsored incentives on GRIHA certified projects.

The GRIHA Trainer credential allows you to provide training services to people interested in learning the rating system and will also give you basic knowledge of the GRIHA rating system and its requirements. As a GRIHA Evaluator, one can be invited by ADARSH to evaluate GRIHA project submissions.

The GRIHA Trainer exam is very similar to the IGBC AP exam, whereas the GRIHA Evaluator exam requires you to have thorough knowledge of one specific field. It could be energy, water, site, materials or indoor environment. You can only pick one area of expertise at a time.

You will have to attend one of the GRIHA Evaluators' and Trainers' program if you wish to appear for these exams. The schedule for these GRIHA training programs is available at their website.

LEED Green Associate and LEED AP

The LEED Green Associate and LEED Accredited Professional (AP) are part of USGBC suite of credentials administered by the Green Building Certifications Institute (GBCI). These are by far the most popular green building professional credentials in the world, but they are not an absolute necessity if you only plan to work on projects within India.

I would still recommend becoming a LEED AP as it is the best way to demonstrate a through understanding of the LEED rating system. One cannot become a LEED AP without first passing the LEED Green Associate (GA) exam and having some proven green building experience. The LEED GA exam is not very different from the IGBC AP exam and can be given at any of the Prometric online test centers in the metro cities.

Once you have passed your LEED GA exam and gained sufficient experience by working on at least one LEED project, you can then apply for the LEED AP exam. A bit like GRIHA Evaluator exam, you will have to choose your area of expertise from building design & construction, interior design & construction, homes, operation & maintenance and neighbourhood development.

PMP: Project Management Professional

The Project Management Professional (PMP) is administered by the Project Management Institute and the exams can be taken at any Prometric test centres in the country.

The PMP credential is not very popular in the green building sector but in my personal opinion, it is the most relevant. Most work that green building professionals do requires top project management skills.

Facilitating green building ratings becomes a difficult task when the teams lack the project management expertise and go about handling tasks as and when they come up instead of having an integrated plan. My suggestion to you would be look to become a PMP as soon as you are comfortable with your knowledge on green building rating systems.

ASHRAE Certification: Building Energy Modeling Professional

Building Energy Modeling Professional (BEMP) certification program is administered by American Society of Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The purpose of this program is to certify the individual's ability to evaluate, choose, use, calibrate, and interpret the results of energy modeling software when applied to buildings' and systems' energy performance and economics. It also certifies the individual's ability to model new and existing buildings and systems with their full range of physics.

Energy analysis is an integral part of green building and if energy modeling is something you are interested in you should aim to become a BEMP at some point in your career.

Please note that achieving the above credentials will require at least two to three years of continuous work and study in the field of sustainable high performance buildings. This is a good time to start working towards this goal as there are only a handful of professionals in the sector who hold all the above credentials.

Professional Credentials