LEED 2011 for India: When Should we Register Our Hostel Project?

Post date: Feb 10, 2013 4:05:42 PM

Manoj asks: We a pioneer organisation in India planning to get LEED certification for our training student's hostel which is under construction. At what stage do we have to register for certification? I mean after finishing the building and interiors and other needs or even during the construction process since its a hostel, we have to register under LEED Indian NC/CS, is it right? and finally is there any eligibility criteria need for getting green certification?

Advice provided by: Yusuf Turab, Y T Enterprises

Dear Manoj

Many thanks for your question, I just wish you raised this question at an earlier stage in your project. In any case I will try and answer each of your questions in the correct order.

Green Building Rating System and Eligibility

Since your project is a students' hostel, the rating system you should apply for is LEED 2011 for India for New Construction and Major Renovation.

This is the most recent update in the LEED rating system and as per the information provided within the guide; "LEED 2011 for India - NC is designed primarily for new commercial office buildings, but it can be applied to many other building types by LEED practitioners. All commercial buildings, as defined by standard building codes are eligible for certification as a LEED 2011 for India - NC Building. Commercial occupancies include (but are not limited to) offices, retail & service establishments, institutional buildings (libraries, schools, museums, places of worship, etc.), hotels and residential buildings of four or more habitable stories".

LEED Project Registration

It does not really matter when you register your project with the IGBC, though it is recommended you register your project immediately after your site plan, building layout and floor plans are ready.

What really matters is if your design, construction, choice of materials, systems and policies will enable you to meet all the mandatory requirements for LEED 2011 NC. This process should have been initiated in project planning stage well before the design was initiated.

The developer should ideally hire the LEED consultant at the same time as the architect and other contractors so that everyone has an input on the design and is well aware of their respective responsibilities. This helps keep the cost of greening the building low and also improves your chances of gaining the certification in a smooth manner.

In your case, depending on what stage of construction you are in, you may or may not be able to meet the criteria required to fulfill the mandatory requirements under each category.

There are two things you can do:

1) Contact an experienced LEED consultant or the IGBC itself. Provide them with all details of your project along with information about the construction that has already taken place. They will be able to tell you whether or not your project will qualify and what changes might be required to get it on track for certification.

2) Go through the LEED 2011 for India Abridged version thoroughly and check if your project might still be able to meet the criteria for mandatory requirements and hence qualify for certification. For your convenience I have uploaded the LEED 2011 for India Abridged version on my website.

If your project is still able to meet the eligibility requirements stated above and the mandatory requirements under each of the categories then go right ahead and register your project with the IGBC.

Cost of LEED India

The cost of registration is R.s. 35,000 for non members and Rs.25,000 for members. The minimum fees payable to IGBC for certification is R.s. 350,000 (incl registration) for projects with a built up area of less that 5000 Sq Mts and will increase at the rate of R.s. 5.30 per additional Sq Mtr of built up area.

All in all it is an excellent idea to build a students' hostel with green building principles and getting it certified. But just ensure all the features of the building are well highlighted to all the students with hard data on the building performance. This will instill environmental consciousness and the knowledge of green buildings in all students that occupy the building which I am sure will augur well for their future.