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How to Obtain Green Building Certification in India


Introduction: Green Building

“The Proper use of science is not to conquer but to live in it”, said Barry Commoner, the man who initiated the modern environmental movements. Many present-day scientists-activists have followed in his footsteps and are trying to make the world a better place to live in, organically, without launching a full-scale Earth-Resource-Harvesting movement and rather taking the route of sustainable and environmental friendliness; giving back to nature, nourishing it. 

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Environmentalists realized that we as a society live in a close-knit society whether it be an urban concrete jungle or rural backcountry establishments. The modern scientists-activists had envisioned and portrayed a world in which not only our living standards are uplifted with an easement in our daily life through modern and smart technology integrated right into our homes and, a world in which we can sustain and nurture our mother, The Earth. 

Integrating smart and modern technology into our very homes, which helps in sustainable development, and sustainable energy resources while nourishing and giving back to nature gave rise to a new concept of building architecture called Green Buildings. 

What Is A Green Building? 

In its very essence, a green building, through its design, materials used for construction, and the nature of its use and operation tries to diminish the detrimental effect on nature while bringing a positive and affirmative change to our natural environment. 

Each country has its approach to green buildings and no specific or conditional checklist focuses on green buildings to produce the same results universally. Every Country has its notions about the climate and environment, and its very own tradition, character specification for buildings, and climatic conditions amongst other distinctive differences; hence the different approaches of every country for green building. 

The Concept:

The foundational concept of green buildings is that of an all-hands-on-deck approach to constructing and designing buildings that could essentially use minimal resources, just enough to keep the building functioning in the ordinary course of nature while conserving energy and using it for later and also provide a healthy lifestyle for the occupants of the building and bringing relative ease to their daily life. 

It is worth noting that any building could be transformed into a Green Building and there are numerous characteristics and aspects to a building that make it ‘green’ or by adding and installing these features will transform the building into a green building.

The features are: 

  • Using energy resources efficiently, including water.
  • Extensive use of renewable energy such as solar energy or wind energy 
  • Maintaining a healthy quality of air inside the building premises.
  • Using eco-friendly products and actualizing the concept of re-use and re-cycle with minimizing toxic waste by waste reduction methods and strategies/ 
  • Constructed in a way that doesn’t harm the environment and immediate premises. 
  • Designed in a way that enables the building to adapt to the changing environment. 

What Is Green Building Certification?

The Green Building Certification is a process of rating and assessing a building’s performance from an environmental and sustainability point of view. The entire process aims to uplift the quality of the building, designing, and, constructing infrastructures and buildings by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Goals And Benefits Of A Building Certification

The main objective of the certification system is to rate and assess the environmental impact of the building and check how resource efficient the building is. 

The certification aims to minimize impacts on the environment and optimize the performance of the building while setting standards for assessing buildings. 

Having a certified building or a property gives you the benefit of understanding the negative impacts on nature because of the building, thereafter allowing the owner to further modify the construction of the building to make the building even more sustainable and consume more renewable energy. A certificate of the green building also increases the monetary value of a building in the real estate market. 

Criteria(S) For Green Building Certification

There are 5 main criteria(s) for attaining a Green Building Certification in India, which need to be fulfilled to attain the certification. The criteria(s) are: 

  • Sustainable Design

The construction of the building project shall be through sustainable means and the development of the building project shall progress by not harming the already existing ecosystem. 

  • Water Usage

The building, when properly functional, shall efficiently use water while making efforts to preserve water through the water cycle process. Water preservation methods like stormwater tanks equipped with water filtration equipment on site and preservation of surrounding hydro-ecosystems are advised. 

  • Energy Efficiency

Maximum efforts to reduce carbon footprint and usage of renewable energy sources are advised. The use of green technology like solar panels to power the electrical gadgets of the building and using smart appliances like Smart Grid refrigerators to immensely save on electrical energy consumption are a few suggestions. 

  • Comfort indoors

The building should provide optimal and adequate creature comforts, healthy air quality, and comfortable temperature according to changing weather and ventilation which also provides sufficient daylight for the conservation of electrical energy. 

  • Materials

When the building is being constructed, minimal or no non-renewable construction materials shall be used. A significant amount of focus shall be given to environmental design with maximum usage of recyclable, eco-friendly construction materials.

Why Do We Need A Green Building Certification System? 

A proper certifying system is needed to promote practices of building ‘green’ architectural buildings. The certification system evaluates a building on multiple characteristics and features of the building and gives them an assessment based on the said regulations. The entire system adds additional monetary credibility to the project while the building itself nurtures the ecosystem surrounding it through environmentally friendly means. Adhering to the certification norms and practices, not only does it significantly increase the value of the building, but it also increases the resale value of the building, and since the building would be compliant with the certification norms and practices, the maintenance cost of the building will be significantly lower, thus making the building much more viable and easier to make modifications with the ever so changing climate and surrounding ecosystem. 

Who Certifies A Green Building In India?

Certifying agencies are the most common in India for the issuance of a certificate for a green building, there are 4 main agencies, which provide support and proper support for the same and were purposefully built for the same task. 

The 4 main agencies are: 

  • Green rating For Integrated Habitat Assessment

This agency is commonly known as GRIHA and is India’s rating system which was built from scratch and purposefully developed by TERI and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India. GRIHA national rating system is adopted when designing and evaluating new building structures. There is a checklist of more than 30 criteria which are categorized into 4 key criteria for satisfying GRIHA standards and attaining the Green Building Certification. 

  1. Planning and site selection
  2. Efficient and conservatory use of resources
  3. Maintenance and building operation
  4. Innovative technology, designs, and structural use. 
  • Indian Green Building Council

This Agency is commonly known as IGBC and is a part of the Confederation of Indian Industry. IGBC is a quasi-governmental agency that aims the promotion of sustainable green building constructions in India. IGBC evaluates building on 4 levels namely, Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Certified; the certification lasts for 3 years after the attainment of the certificate. 

  • Energy Conservation Building Code

This agency is commonly known as ECBC and was established by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency. The main objective of this agency is to set a standard that dictates the level of efficiency when it comes to energy consumption and design before the construction of the building. 

  • Leed India

This agency, commonly known as the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design is one of the globally recognized agencies which issues a green building certificate. It is considered to be the gold standard of established benchmarks for sustainable green building designs. 

Indian Green Building Council

The IGBC has drawn a two-phase submission system

  • Preliminary Submission
  • Final Submission

The Preliminary Submission is the mandatory requirement and the credits that the project team aspires for. A third-party assessor reviewer is appointed by the IGBC for each specific project. The review details are submitted to the IGBC within 30 days, thereafter upon receiving the reviews by the assessor, the rating is awarded. 

To receive an IGBC Green Building Rating, the building project must satisfy the requirements which are mandatory and also procure the minimum number of credits in each and every section. The applicant must submit the following documents in the preliminary as well as the final stages of submission: 

  • General information about the building which includes a brief about the building, the type of building, the number of floors, different types of spaces, occupancy schedule, and the area statement. 
  • General drawings which include the parking plan, floor plan, rendered images, photographs, and site plan. 

Physical Audit

Through a third-party team of assessor team, IGBC carries out a physical audit of the project in detail, to make sure that the building project has met all the requirements for the procurement of a green rating.  The Audit is usually conducted when only 20-30% of the building is constructed thus providing IGBC an opportunity to take stock of the progress being made and also to keep track of the project team’s incorporation of the IGBC recommendations.

Read Our Blog: Green and Environment Audit

Final Award of Rating

After verifying all the submitted documents of the building project, IGBC awards a final rating.

NOTE:- The application process for GRIHA, Leed India, and ECBC is provided on their official website(s) with proper support and a front desk.


The benefits which come from green construction and green buildings are obvious. Apart from the obvious benefits, there are many other compelling reasons born out of green buildings, for example- lower maintenance costs will result in a higher budget for other expenditures like marketing and appealing to consumers/customers of an endlessly growing brethren of environmentally conscious consumers. 

Using Green technology architecturally has definitely provided aid to society as a whole and in turn, reduced operation costs and skyrocketed your brand value.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not corpseed, and have not been evaluated by corpseed for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.


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