Press Releases

  • GRIHA organises its first National Conference and Exhibition on Green Building- Materials and Technologies with TERI and MNRE

    4 January 2010

    ADaRSH, an independent platform for building professionals, developers and government officials was formally launched.

    The sustainability of our building industry is crucial to the economic, social and human development of our country. The annual growth rate of our construction industry is far higher than the global average. Further, it contributes significantly to our GDP (5 - 10%). Direct employment generated is second only to agriculture; with indirect employment generation in ancillary industries, as high as 5 -10%. Recognising its relevance, GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) Secretariat, with the help of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) organised the first GRIHA National Conference. Dr Farooq Abdullah, Hon'ble Minister, MNRE was the Chief Guest and present on the occasion were Mr Deepak Gupta, Secretary, MNRE, Dr R K Pachauri, Director General, TERI and Mr Siva Kishan CEO, GRIHA Secretariat. The one-day conference on GRIHA and Green Buildings included an exhibition of Green Building Materials and Technologies.

    Speaking on the occasion, Dr Farooq Abdullah, said, "We are greatly interested that new buildings should be energy efficient and aesthetically beautiful. While planning, regional conditions must be taken into consideration. It is vital to find out what can be done to make the process easier. Either we wake up now or sleep forever."

    While giving his special remarks, Mr Deepak Gupta, said, "It is estimated that two-thirds of the world population would be living in cities by 2050. India is already witnessing a process of rapid urbanization. This will lead to tremendous energy demand in urban areas. Thus, keeping in mind our climatic conditions, a National Rating System - GRIHA has been developed that is suitable for all types of buildings in different climatic zones of the country. The Ministry has incentivised GRIHA to promote large scale design and construction of green buildings that includes re- imbursement of registration fee, cash awards, etc. The Govt. of India now proposes that all its new buildings must be GRIHA 4* compliant subject to site conditions. We now have to go beyond buildings and develop green habitats so that all new urban complexes or cities adhere to these principles. The Ministry along with TERI and other stakeholder institutions are preparing a comprehensive capacity building programme.'

    Explaining the importance of green buildings, Dr R K Pachauri, said, "There is a building boom in India that is only going accelerate and we need to build in a way that does not get locked in inefficiency. To bring about a major change, ratings based on solid scientific principles, architectural techniques and methods that stood the test of times are essential. TERI has been at the forefront of this and is fortunate to get MNRE's support and encouragement in this process. GRIHA is suited to Indian conditions than any other overseas ratings. India could provide help to other nations to see that building sector across the globe is efficient and does not be a parasite on our depleting natural resources."

    More than 70% of the infrastructure needed for a developed India is yet to be built and that gives great opportunity to build green. The scale and pace of construction in India is unparalleled and at this scale, cost of green building materials, renewable energy systems and design services can all be brought down for everyone's benefit.

    Green Rating systems for buildings emerged in various countries to strike a balance between development and environment preservation. India has maintained this balance for centuries and can fallback on its architectural heritage and traditional wisdom to maintain this balance. Green Ratings can help sustain it by combining time-tested wisdom with scientifically rigorous validation procedures available today.

    GRIHA emerged out of a protracted exercise involving researchers at TERI, policy makers at the highest level, practicing professionals and concerned citizens. Most development decisions are taken at the building project level and the first version of GRIHA is decision making tool for any developer to gauge and achieve sustainability in his project.

    Currently there are around 40 projects of various types registered with GRIHA across India. GRIHA helped make a bid difference in the triple-bottom-line of these projects. IIT Kanpur, Environmental Science and Engineering Block was able to reduce its energy consumption significantly in its bid to earn a 5 star rating. The Common Wealth Games village won accolades from the Ministry of Labour in its bid to comply with GRIHA. Quality and Quantity approach of GRIHA is slowly drawing green building professionals into its ambit.

    ADaRSH, a platform to facilitate a pan-India, ongoing interaction and networking between building professionals, developers and government officials was formally launched.

    To make green building a household word and common knowledge, computer games for school children on Green Buildings were inaugurated during the conference. The conference will be annual affair to provide a platform for exchange of ideas and thoughts for various stakeholders in this industry.

    Around 300 participants - architects, engineers, developers, govt. officials from CPWD, NBCC, IEL, NTPC, etc attended the conference. The conference sought inputs of leading design professionals and industry people in developing GRIHA guidelines for the entire range of development activities and to frame guidelines for existing buildings and large agglomerations like SEZ, townships as GRIHA currently provides guidelines only for new buildings.