Growing spaces into green towns
With input costs on the rise, realtors have a business reason in going for eco-friendly development
Oct 27, 2013
Source : The Times of India

 

MUMBAI: As electricity bills soar and water scarcity looms every summer, it would be obvious that living in a building that enables its occupants to conserve water and power makes sense. Imagine living in a community or town geared towards conserving natural resources. Where public spaces are available for people to socialise and children to play, the roads are pedestrian-friendly and the work spot is within walking distance.

This is what building and town planning is moving towards, say experts. And that is what most modern towns are gearing up for — green towns and cities.

Pushing it forward

After spearheading green buildings concepts the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry hopes to enthuse developers and authorities to go for green towns.

But some incentives from the authorities will expedite such development, says S. Raghupathy of CII-IGBC. Over the last decade, the IGBC has promoted the concept of green buildings in India. By this it refers to buildings designed to be energy efficient, conserve and recycle water, use natural light and ventilation, and which use recycled materials where possible. Compared to a conventional building, these save up to at least 20 per cent of the resources and can go up to 40 per cent saving.

The council has facilitated the creation of over 1,745 green buildings with a footprint of 1.21 billion sq. ft. These include commercial and residential spaces, hospitals, retail, factories, townships and SEZs. IGBC standards for green homes are of international standards.

Over 45-50 per cent of the projects under development are targeting some level of green building certification. Over the last two years more than 60 per cent of the projects registered are green homes, says Raghupathi.

Need for incentives

“We are discussing with State Government and local authorities on incentives for green buildings,” he said, talking on the sidelines of the Green Building Congress 2013 inaugurated in Chennai on Thursday. There are a few instances of such incentives but these need to be more widespread.

For instance, the Noida municipality allows 5 per cent more built-up space for gold-rated buildings as compared with the normal floor area ratio (FAR) or floor space index (FSI) allowed for conventional buildings.

The Ministry of Environment provides for fast-track approval for projects that opt for green rating. But there is little awareness of this provision. Just about a dozen projects in Maharashtra and one or two in Tamil Nadu have opted for this scheme.

The National Housing Bank is also considering interest subvention on home loans for green buildings. But in most places, regulations are focussed on commercial buildings.

Look at any city: where are the open spaces, where are the playgrounds…?

According to Raghupathi, green ratings are now going beyond individual buildings to townships – entire projects of 10-20 acres of mixed development. This means where people live in self-contained communities, are able to walk to work and avoid hours of commuting, where transportation costs and pollution are down, and cities become healthy.

Business reasons

Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman, CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre (CII-GBC), a centre of excellence under CII that facilitates environment-friendly construction and urban spaces, says there is a strong business case for commercial buildings to opt for green development and the business case will only get stronger as costs increase. From the obvious benefits of saving on power and water, the focus is now spreading to the intangible benefits of good interior air quality and using daylight rather than artificial light wherever possible.

Both increase the wellbeing of occupants and improve efficiency and productivity at the workplace.

Over the years the cost of promoting a green building has come down. For just about a 1 to 5 per cent higher cost, builders are now able design and construct energy- and water-efficient buildings. But the premium they attract is much higher from the buyers.

Latest Realty News

'Fresh land not acquired, just records updated'
Oct 26, 2013
NAVI MUMBAI: The development authority clarified that it had only updated records of plots of land it had previously acquired in the rural belt. It also discussed the controversial issue of converting leasehold land plots to freehold.
Kharadi: one of the most promising upcoming residential hubs in Pune
Oct 26, 2013
PUNE: In real estate, along with the amenities offered by a project, location is of upmost importance. Within Pune, Kharadi is emerging as one of the most sought after and fastest growing localities that have the location advantage.
Wadias, Rahejas in battle over prime Mumbai land
Oct 26, 2013
MUMBAI: The Wadias are gearing up for another war. This time, the battle is over vast tracts of land owned by a Nusli Wadia-run estate in Mumbai. While the Wadia camp claimed the dispute was over 350 acres, the Rahejas said the dispute pertained to 100 acres.
Property firms gear up for first asset-backed property bonds
Oct 26, 2013
MUMBAI: Property firms, including DLF Ltd, are gearing up to sell the country's first bonds backed by rental income from their office buildings and shopping malls.
Grievances later, pay property tax first, says PMC
Oct 25, 2013
PUNE: The civic administration, struggling to achieve the annual budget revenue target of Rs 4,167.5 crore, is now focusing on property tax collection. The administration has asked property owners to pay their taxes before approaching the civic body with tax-related grievances.
Chembur: MMR’s best foot forward
Oct 25, 2013
MUMBAI: Located between South Mumbai on one side and Navi Mumbai on the other, Chembur enjoys seamless connectivity in the form of the Eastern Freeway and Monorail towards the southern parts of the city
Small cities, satellite towns defy realty slowdown
Oct 25, 2013
MUMBAI: Slowing house sales in major cities such as Mumbai and Delhi notwithstanding, growth in residential transactions in satellite towns such as Greater Noida and tier-II and tier-III cities show a different picture.
What isn't your investment?
Oct 25, 2013
MUMBAI: Have you ever considered whether you have become a crorepati after the price of your house rose 50 per cent in two years? Or, whether you have Rs 10 lakh of family jewellery?
Rental Housing In Mumbai – Economics And Dynamics
Oct 24, 2013
MUMBAI:Over the decades, Mumbai has been and continues to be the destination of countless migrants from all parts of India. This steady influx of people has also been driving perhaps the highest demand for rental housing in Mumbai than in any other Indian city.
Businessman booked for selling land with forged documents
Oct 23, 2013
AURANGABAD: The Satara police have booked a city-based businessman for allegedly selling a piece of land admeasuring four gunthas located at a prime location in the outskirts of Satara to a Jalna businessman by forging documents of the land.

Latest Realty News Of State

Realty Talk's