Hospitals and manufacturing units turn green

Tags: Real Estate

From 20,000 sq ft in 2003 to 245 m sq ft green built-up area, the eco-friendly building movement is gaining momentum

Hospitals and manufacturing units turn green
Green is in. Several new assets such as residences, hospitals, manufacturing units and hotels are rushing to register for a green rating. So far, IT parks and corporate offices have dominated the green building space in the country.

“The green building movement has gained tremendous impetus over the last six years. With a modest beginning of 20,000 sq ft green built-up area in the country in 2003, today 360 green buildings with a built-up area 245 million sq ft are being constructed. 32 green building projects are certified with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating,” according to an official of CII-GBC (Green Business Centre).

The 32 LEED-rated buildings in the country include Motorola manufacturing unit, Hyderabad Airport and Grundfos factory near Chennai.

Several manufacturing projects of the global firms are constructing their factories with eco-friendly features in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai. Germany-based Sew-Eurodrive’s factory at Sriperumbudur has become the group’s first assembly plant in Asia to adopt green concept, and it has applied for LEED certification. “The company has made an additional 15 per cent in its capex to make the unit eco-friendly,” according to M J Abraham, chief executive officer, Sew-Eurodrive India.

However, Ramesh Nair, managing director, (Chennai and Hyderabad), Jones Lang Lasalle Meghraj (JLMM), a real estate consultancy company, pointed out that there is a growing momentum for green practices in the commercial segment as most multinationals are seeking green offices. “Those seeking office space want at least the basics such as energy efficient lighting, controls and electrical systems, flexible/zoned efficient air-conditioning, ability to measure and control consumption of water and power, and sensible building design, among others,” Nair added.

It is interesting to note that the green building movement is spreading to smaller cities and towns as well. Green buildings are coming up in Goa, Puducherry, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Trichy, Aligarh, Dehradun, Rohtak, Surat, Nashik, Jabalpur and Navsari, among others.

Though the construction industry is going through a lean phase, developers see great opportunity in promoting green buildings in view of their future potential. “The construction industry would have to provide customers a better place to work and help them save energy. Green buildings, which can save 40-50 per cent energy compared to conventional buildings, will be the right option,” said an official of UK-based firm on conditions of anonymity. This firm is exploring business opportunities in Indian green building sector.

According to estimates, conventional buildings in India consume about 20 per cent of the total electricity in India.

According to a CII survey, a few green buildings, which have been monitored over the past five years, have achieved substantial savings on energy costs. Due to

substantial reductions in operational cost, the total cost of ownership of green buildings is invariably lesser than conventional buildings over the life cycle, said the

CII report.

Over 3-5 years, public awareness on green buildings is expected to rise significantly in the country and there may be an emerging trend of developers charging a premium for eco-friendly buildings, a practice that is prevalent in some western countries, according to industry experts. India is forecast to develop about 110 million sq ft of green space in the next few years, according to a JLMM report.

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