Choosing to live green? Ensure these sustainability certificates are in place
Construction impacts the environment in more ways than one. The new generation of homebuyers is conscious of their carbon footprint and the impact their actions can have on the ecosystem.
The sustainability quotient is turning into an important aspect of the home buying guide. Moreover, integrating green features into homes significantly increases the resale value. Many buyers and investors are on board with paying the extra premium that such green homes incur.
All eco-friendly projects or homes require residential green building certificates to ascertain the level of sustainability compliance. The developer or owner must fulfil multiple green parameters and get the project registered under the accepted rating system.
With green housing becoming commonplace in the real estate sector, it is important to be aware of the different green certificates and sustainability documents needed when buying a house:
- Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) – This is one of the most popular green building rating systems in the country. IGBC offers 27 types of certifications that include ‘Certified’, ‘Silver’, ‘Gold’, ‘Platinum’, and ‘Super Platinum’ levels. These levels are awarded based on the total credits earned for satisfying mandatory sustainability requirements.
- Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA by TERI) - This has been adopted as the national rating system for green buildings in India. GRIHA has a star rating that evaluates the environmental performance of a building throughout its life cycle. GRIHA certification is based on the building’s resource consumption, waste generation and overall environmental impact.
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) – This certification program defines a roadmap for developing green buildings. LEED has many key focus areas such as site selection, water efficiency, energy performance, indoor environmental quality, usage of sustainable materials and the eco-friendly innovations introduced in the design process.
- Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) – This comprehensive assessment system is the most widely used green building certification program in the world. The major categories assessed under BREEAM include energy, land use, materials, pollution, waste, water, transport, and the health and well-being of occupants.
- National Green Building Standard (NGBS) – This building certification has a wide reach with four levels of certification that take into account energy efficiency, water conservation, resource conservation, lot design and development and indoor air quality.
- Living Building Challenge – This green building certification program challenges builders to create sustainable structures that use less energy and water and generate minimal waste. Living Building Challenge is an international certification that can be applied to all types of developments.
- WELL Building Standard (WELL) – This certification system prioritises improving people’s health and well-being in the built environment.
WELL certification evaluates factors that influence the well-being of occupants, with a primary focus on eight key areas: fitness, comfort, air quality, water quality, mental health, nutrition, lighting, and innovation.
From a better quality of life and resource-efficient processes to a high resale value, the advantages of owning a green home are many especially if you are environmentally conscious. Sustainable homes most often bring down maintenance costs. As far as homeowners are concerned, energy and water savings of up to 20% -30% is probably one of the most attractive benefits of green living.
It is integral to choose a green building certification program that is the right fit for your sustainability needs. LEED is the best program if the energy-saving criteria is at the top of your list. If you are looking for a program where the focus is the use of sustainable building materials, then go for the Living Building Challenge.
At Brigade, sustainability is imbibed at our core; we adopt eco-friendly initiatives across all our commercial and residential projects. Most of our developments are LEED or IGBC- certified. Brigade consistently challenges traditional approaches, striving to incorporate eco-friendly building practices.