Cityscape India: Highlighting Green Building Initiatives (IN)

Cityscape India 2007 – The International Property Investment and Development Conference - from 19-21 November at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai, will be examining the rapid pace of India's real estate market, including how it can be sustained. Cityscape India also features India's first business-to-business real estate exhibition.

Sustainable development was a key issue at the Cityscape Abu Dhabi event which took place in the capital of the United Arab Emirates in April this year. Property developers in India are also now looking for ways of increasing their "green footprint."

In 2003, only 20,000 ft² of new buildings in India could be described as "green." That figure, it is estimated, will rise to 10 million ft² by the end of next year.

"The idea of 'green buildings' is catching the imagination of the construction and real estate industry worldwide, including the Middle East and India," said Dubai-based Rohan Marwaha, Group Director, Cityscape.

"Increasingly, developers are incorporating energy efficiency and environmentally-friendly systems and processes into their buildings so as not to overburden already stretched infrastructure.

"Quite apart from adding to the 'green' corporate image of developers, there can also be massive savings of 40% to 50% in energy costs and similar reductions in water consumption."

Marwaha added: "Creating buildings and workplaces that are environmentally friendly is a growing, global phenomenon. India, like the Middle East, is part of an international trend with an increasing number of buildings going green."

Green building projects are coming up in Indian residential complexes, exhibition centers, hospitals, educational institutions, laboratories, information technology parks, airports, government buildings and corporate offices. The move is opening up new challenges and opportunities for everyone from architects, builders, material and equipment suppliers to real estate developers and property operators and owners.

Of the numerous buildings in India now incorporating green materials and practices, those that stand out have been awarded certification under a scheme called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Started in the US, and adopted in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it has become a standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings and an international benchmark.

Among the pioneering buildings in India to have received an LEED rating are the CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, Hyderabad; the ITC Green Centre, Gurgaon; NEG Micon India, Chennai; Wipro Technologies, Gurgaon; and Grundfos Pumps, Chennai.

The CII-Godrej building was the first to get the highest level platinum rating under the LEED system in India and is a model of sustainable development. It has zero water discharge with all waste water biologically treated. There is a 50% saving in overall energy consumption when compared with a normal building as well as an 88% reduction in lighting consumption.

The building also harvests solar energy with 20% of its energy requirement coming from solar photovoltaic cells directly converting sunlight into electricity. In construction, 80% of the materials used were either recycled or are recyclable and more than 50% of construction waste was recycled within the building or sent to other sites.

LEED-India has been established to give building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance. It aims to do so by promoting a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognising performance in five key areas: sustainable site development; water savings; energy efficiency; materials selection; and indoor environmental quality.

The Cityscape India Real Estate Awards will also be launched at the November event to honour both existing and future projects within India.

Cityscape India has drawn support from leading industry players. Jordan-based Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority; Dheeraj and East Coast, from Dubai; and major India

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