Green building construction for sustainable future

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  1. Alexander Decker
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    • 1. Civil and Environmental Research www.iiste.orgISSN 2224-5790 (Paper) ISSN 2225-0514 (Online)Vol.3, No.6, 2013 - Selected from International Conference on Recent Trends in Applied Sciences with Engineering Applications7Green Building Construction for Sustainable FutureProf. H. S. Mehta1, Vishal Porwal2AbstractGreen building construction is relatively new phenomenon in Indian construction industry. With increasingawareness about global warming and climate change movement for sustainable development is gaining force.Indian Government also realizes the need for sustainable construction as its economy is growing at fast pace (7to 8 percent annually) and that needs a rapid and vast infrastructure development. This paper provides a state ofthe art literature review on green building construction movement in India. This study provides an overview ofgreen building rating systems, cost & benefits, green design strategies, and discusses their implications for futureof sustainable development in India. A need for widespread awareness about sustainable development andcapacity building for design, construction and operations of green buildings is realized.Key Words: Green Buildings, LEED, GRIHA, Intelligent BuildingsIntroductionThe Indian construction industry is experiencing a fast rate of growth with a continual increase in gross built-uparea of 10% [1] per annum over the last decade. Demand for housing, expansion of organized retail, commercialoffice spaces by multinationals, the setting up of special economic zones (SEZs), are all increasing. This isspurred on by increasing per capita income and standard of living. Energy consumption and associatedgreenhouse gas emissions will therefore continue to rise unless actions to direct the construction industrytowards sustainable consumption and production are taken urgently.More positively, the practice of green building is becoming more popular in some sectors.A strong highperformance buildings movement to rethink the built environment is rapidly emerging and affecting the design,construction, and operation of new buildings; changing the renovation process for existing buildings; andreshaping cities and communities. There are two established rating systems used for certification of GreenBuildings in India. The first and most widely used rating system internationally is LEED (Leadership in Energyand Environmental Design). In India IGBC (Indian Green Building Council) has adapted LEED to create LEED-INDIA and is responsible for certifying buildings under this system.Keeping in view of the Indian agro climatic conditions and in particular the preponderance of non-AC buildings,a national rating system – GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) has been developed whichis suitable for all kinds of buildings in different climatic zones of the country. The system was initially conceivedand developed by TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) as TERI-GRIHA which is modified to GRIHA asnational rating system after incorporating various modifications suggested by a group of architects and experts.Green building construction is getting momentum in India. So far 203 buildings received certification underLEED-INDIA rating system [2] that comprises of around 1 Billion square footage of built up area. GRIHA hascertified 8 buildings so far and another 67 buildings are under review for certification [3].Awareness about green building construction is increasing day by day, thanks to IGBC, TERI and CII(Confederation of Indian Industries) efforts. However, capacity building for green building professionals, greenbuilding materials and technologies is needed to achieve the goals of sustainable construction in India.Emerginggreen building technologies and new green materials market is estimated to be around 40 Billion USD and it isexpected to grow [4].This paper gives an overview of green building in general and sustainable constructiondevelopments in India. Importance of artificial intelligence (AI) for building intelligent homes is likewisehighlighted for constructing high performance buildings.What is a Green Building?“Green” or “sustainable” buildings use key resources like energy, water, materials, and land more efficientlythan buildings that are just built to code. With more natural light and better air quality, green buildings typicallycontribute to improved employee and student health, comfort, and productivityEnvironmental Protection Agency (EPA) of USA defines green building as follows –“Green building is the practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsibleand resource-efficient throughout a buildings life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation,maintenance, renovation and deconstruction. This practice expands and complements the classical building1Dr.(Prof.) H. S. Mehta, Advisor to Prestige institute of Engineering &Science, Vijay Nagar, Indore, M.P., India2Vishal Porwal, Green Building Engineer at IntelloBuild Project Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India(
    • 2. Civil and Environmental Research www.iiste.orgISSN 2224-5790 (Paper) ISSN 2225-0514 (Online)Vol.3, No.6, 2013 - Selected from International Conference on Recent Trends in Applied Sciences with Engineering Applications8design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Green building is also known as a sustainable orhigh performance building.”Some of the salient features of a Green Building are:• Minimal disturbance to landscapes and site condition• Use of recycled and environmental friendly building materials• Use of non-toxic and recycled/recyclable materials• Efficient use of water and water recycling• Use of energy efficient and eco-friendly equipment• Use of renewable energy• Indoor air quality for human safety and comfort• Effective controls and building management systemsBasic Green Building Design Strategies• Carefully planning building orientation. Making sure that smaller surfaces are facing east and west.• Designing buffer zones on east and west facades like verandas, equipment rooms and staircases.• Integrating screens to allow natural ventilation and cross ventilation to cool the building.• Designing inclined windows on the south façade to avoid direct sun radiation on the windows.• To avoid any openings like windows on the east and west.• Using ceilings which reflect the natural light and bring it deep into the room.• Using green roofs and green walls.• Designing rainwater harvesting pits to collect all rainwater from the site.Benefits of Building GreenThe immediate and most tangible benefit is in the reduction in operating energy and water costs right from dayone, during the entire life cycle of the building. Energy costs can be reduced by 25% - 30% in green buildings. Anumber of corporate are now seeing green building rating as a tool to enhance marketability.Green Buildings provide financial benefits that conventional buildings do not. These benefits include energy andwater savings, reduced waste, improved indoor environmental quality, greater employee comfort/productivity,reduced employee health costs and lower operations and maintenance costs. Various benefits from greenbuildings are discussed below-EnergyEnergy is a substantial and widely recognized cost of building operations that can be reduced through energyefficiency and related measures that are part of green building design.A detailed review [5] of 60 LEED ratedbuildings, demonstrates that green buildings, when compared to conventional buildings, are:• On average 25-30% more energy efficient• Characterized by even lower electricity peak consumption• More likely to generate renewable energy on-site• More likely to purchase grid power generated from renewable energy sources (green power and/ortradable renewable certificates)In India CII published studies show that LEED certified buildings have significantly reduced energyconsumption [6]. Table-1 shows energy savings realized in some landmark green buildings in India.Table-1 Energy Savings Realized in Landmark LEED Certified BuildingsBuilding Sq. ft Normal EnergyConsumption (insimilar buildings)(kWh)Actual EnergyConsumption(kWh)%Redu-ctionAnnual EnergySavings (Rs. inLakhs)Wipro 1,75,000 48,00,000 31,00,000 40% 102ITC 1,70,000 35,00,000 20,00,000 45% 90CII Godrej GBC 20,000 3,50,000 1,30,000 63% 9Productivity and healthThe relationship between worker comfort/productivity and building design/operation is complicated. There arethousands of studies, reports and articles on the subject that find significantly reduced illness symptoms, reducedabsenteeism and increases in perceived productivity over workers in a group that lacked this features [7]. Forexample, two studies of over 11,000 workers in 107 European buildings analyzed the health effect of worker-controlled temperature and ventilation. The Report relies in large part on recent meta-studies that have screenedtens or hundreds of other studies and have evaluated and synthesized their findings.
    • 3. Civil and Environmental Research www.iiste.orgISSN 2224-5790 (Paper) ISSN 2225-0514 (Online)Vol.3, No.6, 2013 - Selected from International Conference on Recent Trends in Applied Sciences with Engineering Applications9Following are some relevant attributes common in green buildings that promote healthier work environments:• On average 25-30% more energy efficient• Much lower source emissions from measures such as better siting (e.g., avoiding locating air intakesnext to outlets, such as parking garages, and avoiding recirculation), and better building material sourcecontrols (e.g., required attention to storage).• Significantly better lighting quality including: more daylighting (half of 21 LEED green buildingsreviewed provide daylighting to at least 75% of building space [8]), better daylight harvesting and useof shading, greater occupancy control over light levels and less glare• Generally improved thermal comfort and better ventilation—especially in buildings that use underfloorair for space conditioning• Commissioning, use of measurement and verification, and CO2monitoring to ensure better performanceof systems such as ventilation, heating and air conditioningBenefits for building owners• Potential higher occupancy rates• Higher future capital value• Reduced risk of obsolescence• Less need for refurbishment in the future• Ability to command higher lease rates• Higher demand from institutional investors• Mandatory for government tenants• Lower tenant turnover• Costs less to maintain and operateCost of Building GreenGreen buildings are commonly perceived to be a lot more expensive than conventional buildings and often notworth the extra cost. Considerable research and analysis has been carried out with regard to the cost impacts of agreen building. Table-2 lists rise in cost of building green [9] in India. The cost could be slightly higher than aconventional building but then, this needs to be seen with a different paradigm. The question is how do wecompare the costs? There needs to be a baseline cost for all comparisons to be alike. The incremental cost isalways relative and depends on the extent of eco-friendly features already considered during design. Theincremental cost would appear small if the baseline design is already at a certain level of good eco-design; Itwould appear huge if the base design has not considered green principles.The second and rather a critical paradigm is to look at the incremental cost in relation to the life cycle cost. Thiskind of an approach could be revealing. Who knows, buildings would last for a 50 years or 60 years or 100 years!Over its life cycle, the operating cost would work out to 80-85 % while the incremental cost which is a one-timecost is only about 8-10 %. There is a decreasing trend in the incremental cost over the years. This trend wouldcontinue and we all look forward to the day when the cost of a green building is lower than a conventionalbuilding.Table-2 Typical Payback Period in the Recently Constructed Green Buildings in IndiaBuilding YearAwardedBuilt-in Area(Sq.ft)RatingAchieved% increasein costPayback(years)CII-Godrej GBC, Hyderabad 2003 20,000 Platinum 18 % 7ITC Green Centre, Gurgaon 2004 1,70,000 Platinum 15 % 6Wipro, Gurgaon 2005 1,75,000 Platinum 8 % 5Grundfos Pumps, Chennai 2005 40,000 Gold 6 % 3Technopolis, Kolkata 2006 72,000 Gold 6 % 3Spectral Services ConsultantsOffice, Noida2007 15,000 Platinum 8 % 4HITAM, Hyderabad 2007 78,000 Silver 2 % 3Green Building Construction in IndiaGreen building construction has taken-off significantly in last decade. Several institutional and governmentbodies have come forward to build sustainable buildings.
    • 4. Civil and Environmental Research www.iiste.orgISSN 2224-5790 (Paper) ISSN 2225-0514 (Online)Vol.3, No.6, 2013 - Selected from International Conference on Recent Trends in Applied Sciences with Engineering Applications10LEED-INDIA Certified BuildingsLEED-INDIA rates buildings in 4 categories – (1) Certified (2) Silver (3) Gold and (4) Platinum. We willelaborate two green building case studies here, highlighting key green features of these buildings and point outkey design strategies applied for making these buildings green.Suzlon One EarthSuzlon One Earth is 816,000 SF commercial building. It three levels high and is sited on 10.5 acres. Figure-1shows completed building picture. It achieved LEED for New Construction Platinum certification from the IndiaGreen Building Council, as well as Five-Star GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment)certification. Five percent (154 kilowatts) of its annual energy is generated on-site through conventional andbuilding-integrated photovoltaic panels (20%) and wind turbines (80%). All balance energy required for thecampus is generated through Suzlon’s off-site wind turbines, making One Earth technically a zero energy project.Figure-1Suzlon One Earth Building, Pune – LEED Platinum and GRIHA Certified3The design provides 90% of the work stations with daylight and external views. Aluminum louvers act as aprotective skin, allowing daylight and cross-ventilation. Energy is saved by employing LED lighting systems andsolar water heating. 100% of sewage grey water is recycled into flushing, landscaping and air cooling systems,while 100% of rainwater is harvested. Glass exhaust chimneys with tropical plants act as visual connectorsbetween all floors and allow aeration of the basement parking area.The project site was selected for the advantages of an already-developed area. It is flanked by offices of othercorporations and a high-density residential area. Given its location, the building has accessibility to urbaninfrastructure and facilities, public transport, and established infrastructure for power and water supply.CII Sohrabji Godrej Green Business CentreCII Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre is a 20,000 SF office building located in Hyderabad. Figure-2 showscompleted project picture. It is the first LEED Platinum rated green building in India. Building uses a BuildingManagement Systems (BMS) for real-time monitoring of energy consumption.The use of aerated concrete blocks for facades reduces the load on air-conditioning by 15-20%. Double-glazedunits with argon gas filling between the glass panes enhance the thermal properties. All of the wastewater,including grey and black water, generated in the building is treated biologically through a process called theRoot Zone Treatment System (RZTS).The treated water is used for landscaping. The building design wasconceived to have minimum disturbance to the surrounding ecological environment. Extensive erosion andsedimentation control measures to prevent topsoil erosion have also been taken at the site during construction.3Source:
    • 5. Civil and Environmental Research www.iiste.orgISSN 2224-5790 (Paper) ISSN 2225-0514 (Online)Vol.3, No.6, 2013 - Selected from International Conference on Recent Trends in Applied Sciences with Engineering Applications11Figure-2CII Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, Hyderabad – First LEED Platinum Certified Building inIndia4Eighty percent of the materials used in the building are sourced within 500 miles from the project site. Most ofthe construction material also used post-consumer and industrial waste as a raw material during themanufacturing process. Fly-ash based bricks, glass, aluminum, and ceramic tiles, which contain consumer andindustrial waste, were used in constructing the building to encourage the usage of recycled content. Officefurniture is made of bagassebased composite wood. More than 50% of the construction waste is recycled withinthe building or sent to other sites and diverted from landfills. 20% of the building energy requirements arecatered to by solar photovoltaics. The solar PV has an installed capacity of 23.5 kW.Indoor air quality is continuously monitored and a minimum fresh air is pumped into the conditioned spaces atall times. Fresh air is also drawn into the building through wind towers. The use of low volatile organiccompound (VOC) paints and coatings, adhesives, sealants, and carpets also helps to improve indoor air quality.GRIHA Certified BuildingsGRIHA awards different levels of certification (one star to five stars) based on the number of points earned. Weare giving details of one GRIHA certified building below.Doon School Residential BuildingsThe old buildings at the Doon School, Dehradun, were demolished and five duplex three-bed room masterresidences were constructed. The built up area of each residence is 2,336 sqft with a total of 11,680 sqft for fivehouses. The exterior of the buildings have exposed brickwork with sloping profile sheeting.4Source:
    • 6. Civil and Environmental Research www.iiste.orgISSN 2224-5790 (Paper) ISSN 2225-0514 (Online)Vol.3, No.6, 2013 - Selected from International Conference on Recent Trends in Applied Sciences with Engineering Applications12Figure-3Doon School, Dehradun – GRIHA Certified5A summary of the key green features adopted is stated below:• Effective design planning to allow maximum light and ventilation inside the rooms.Use of double wallswith 50 mm polystyrene insulation.• Use of double roof.• Use of aluminum windows with insulated double glass.• Use of natural stone (Kota stone) in flooring.• Use of low energy materials such as particle boards in cupboards.• Using minimum area for paving.• Plumbing system designed for solar water heating and recycling of waste water/rain water harvesting.• Use of power saving light fixtures.ConclusionBenefits of building green include cost savings from reduced energy, water, and waste; lower operations andmaintenance costs; and enhanced occupant productivity and health. Despite data limitations and the need foradditional research in various areas, the data demonstrates that building green is cost-effective today, particularlyfor those projects which start “green” design early in the process.Moreover, achieving higher green building construction area in India would require-• Bridging the knowledge gap on sustainable building strategies, which exists at various levels within theindustry;• Enforcing implementation of strategies to encourage adoption of sustainable, green and energy efficientbuildings; and• Conducting research and development on technology for lowering costs.• Support and cooperation between all the players of the sector is required. The immediate actions to beconsidered include:• Development of a national platform to project individual efforts and exhibit financial benefits ofsustainable buildings;• Undertaking extensive capacity-building at various levels, including construction of demonstrationprojects across the country;• Developing a business model to provide a further impetus to initiatives to minimize the detrimentalimpacts of construction on the environment and society;• Introducing a green rating for residential developments and directing real estate developers to adopt this;and• Developing, enforcing and implementing sustainability performance benchmarking for industry sectors.5Source:
    • 7. Civil and Environmental Research www.iiste.orgISSN 2224-5790 (Paper) ISSN 2225-0514 (Online)Vol.3, No.6, 2013 - Selected from International Conference on Recent Trends in Applied Sciences with Engineering Applications13In India, green building movement has matured to a point where today’s architects, engineers, contractors andfacility owners started thinking beyond the rating system and focus is shifting towards sustainable development.This paper has provided an overview rather than focused market research. The next step is to look in more detailat lessons learned across green buildings with design, technical, organizational, business and user perspectivestreated equally; providing the crucial information of what works well, what does not, and how we can feed thisforward into the design and implementation of the next generation of buildings.References:Construction Industry Development Council, India. India Country Report, 2005-06; 801, Address: HemkuntChambers, 89, Nehru Place, New Delhi[1] Indian Green Building Council. Web Address -[2] Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA). Web Address - http://www.[3] Balakrishna B. (2011). "Gaining Ground - Sustainable Buildings Rising in India." Master Builder.[4] Kats G. (2003). “The Costs and Benefits of Green Buildings.” A Report to California’s SustainableBuilding Task Force, October 20003.[5] CII –SohrabjiGodrej Green Business Centre, Hyderabad - Presentation.“Green Building Case Studies.”Web Address -[6] Heerwagen J. “Sustainable Design Can Be an Asset to the Bottom Line - expanded internet edition.”Environmental Design & Construction, Posted 07/15/02. Web Address,4120,80724,00.html.[7] United States Green Building Council (2002). “Capital E analysis of USGBC data.” November andDecember 2002.[8] Confederation of Indian Industries (2003). “Green Building Movement in India – Catalysts andCourse.”
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