The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has appealed to the Finance Commissions and local bodies to encourage green buildings through various measures including tax incentives. He was speaking at the inauguration of the 12th GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) Summit, organised by the GRIHA Council from Hyderabad yesterday. He also wanted all states to create online portals to provide single window clearance to green buildings.
The Vice President said that India has the potential to lead the Global Green Building Movement and emphasised the need to promote green building concept by both the private sector and the government. Recognizing that there is a lack of awareness among people about green building concept, he also called for the launch of a mass media campaign on the advantages of building green homes. “Green buildings movement should become people’s movement”, VP said.
Quoting the World Green Building Council data, the Vice President said that buildings and construction account for 39% of energy-related CO2 emissions in the world and called for accelerating the process of total de-carbonization of the built environment.
Noting that “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan” envisions making India self-reliant in all spheres, the Vice President re-emphasised the need for sustainable development and wanted awareness to be increased among the people in this regard.
“Because buildings are one of the major contributors of greenhouse gas emissions, and the majority of the buildings that will exist in the India in 2030 are yet to be built, there is a need for concerted and coordinated efforts from all stakeholders to ensure the use of construction material that is environment-friendly and the buildings are energy and resource efficient as well. The construction material we use today should be sustainable—it should not in any way jeopardize the ability of future generations to meet their needs,” the Vice President said.
He expressed happiness over several government and private bodies committing to build their future buildings greener. The Vice President wanted every future building to go green mandatorily and said that this should apply to all kinds of building. Not only new buildings, the existing buildings too have to be retrofitted to make them environment-friendly, he added.
Opining that the roof cooling should be an area of priority for all, Shri Naidu mentioned that in India, over 60 percent of roofs are made from metal, asbestos, and concrete – thus trapping heat inside buildings and contributing to heat island effect in urban areas. Observing that cool roofs offer a simple and a cost-effective solution that can lower indoor temperatures by 2 to 4 degrees Celsius as compared to traditional roofs, the Vice President said that these can be very effective for low-income households and slums in urban areas. Stating that need for air conditioners is expected to rise substantially with improvement in living standards and rise in temperatures due to global warming, he said that Cool roofs can reduce the heat stress in homes and offices and bring down the dependence on air conditioners. Simple techniques such as lime-based paint, reflective coatings or membranes can reflect the sunlight and reduce heat absorption, he added.
Emphasising the need to utilize light and air that is naturally available to us, Shri Naidu said that Covid-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of good air circulation in the buildings reducing the infection rate.
Observing that the implementation of Bureau of Energy Efficiency’s Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) has not been uniform across the nation, Shri Naidu appreciated the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for taking a lead in this regard.
He suggested for capacity building at the local level through customized training programs for the architects, engineers, government officials, and builders in energy-efficient buildings.