Today there is widespread awareness amongst the people around the world about the need for sustainability and ill effects of global warming. Even school children nowadays talk about the necessities for going green and environment friendly.
Buildings of today are designed to be built with materials that consume low energy and release less carbon monoxide emissions in their manufacturing. Offices and workplaces of today are located close to public transport to minimise fossil fuel consumption in commuting.
The buildings are oriented and designed to maximise the letting in of ample sunlight and cutting down on entry of heat and glare. This minimises load on artificial lighting and air conditioning. These offices consume low amount of water and thus are water and energy efficient.
Heat reflective tiles on the terraces and external glazing, cladding and painting as well as use of nontoxic paints are the norm today. It’s unfortunate that existing buildings in cities like Chennai especially the smaller ones try to do a facelift by adding aluminium composite panels on its street facing walls to get a sleek appearance. But the problem is that such panelling traps heat into these buildings which in turn brings huge electricity bills for air-conditioning.
Such green offices have been becoming increasingly the norm all over the world as well as India. It is heartening to note that India is ranked 3rd globally in the number of LEED rated green buildings. The number of global green buildings are expected to double every 3 years. JLL also reports that large number of IT and ITES companies as well as banking and financial firms have an explicit green mandate when it comes to leasing commercial spaces. It is also said the demand for green office space is equally high among Indian corporates.
So, amidst raising concerns over climate change real estate players in India too are expanding their green footprints with sustainable office complex designs. Becoming water positive, carbon neutral and energy efficient are the primary goals of these green buildings.
It is also pertinent to note that the operating cost of green office buildings tend to be lower than conventional ones. Consumption of water and electricity are less. The ambient quality of the working space is also high increasing work efficiency. It is high time the government of India and all the state governments come up with uniform policies that encourage and reward green buildings by lower taxation both on the property and lease rental. Other incentives like higher FSI etc. would go on a long way in helping growth of green buildings which benefit the society large.
— The author is md, Navin’s