Green construction norms include 1% total energy needs to be met from renewable sources
States have broadly agreed to ensure compliance with the proposed Environmental Guidelines for construction projects in urban areas stating that the stipulations are feasible for implementation. A broad consensus in this regard emerged at a four hour long consultative Workshop on 'Climate Change Mitigation in Urban Sector' organized by the Ministry of Urban Development with all the stakeholders in New Delhi on September 21, 2015.

Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change made a detailed presentation on 'Environmental Guidelines for Buildings' containing about 30 parameters to be complied with for efficient management of energy, water, land, solid waste, air quality and noise levels during pre-construction, construction and post construction period.

The Workshop has been organized to sensitize the States and other stakeholders to the need for green construction in view of the fact that building sector consumes 40% of electricity generated in the country, 30% of raw materials and 20% each of water and land resources besides generating 30% of solid waste and 20% of effluents.

Further to detailed deliberations among the stakeholders, a broad consensus has emerged on the following major provisions:

1. At least 1% of connected applied load of power shall be met from renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic cells or wind mills or hybrid mode. All common area lighting must be of LED/Solar lights. Energy meters must be installed to measure over all energy consumption ;

2.Regular Energy Audit shall be ensured through energy auditors certified by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency ;

3.One tree shall be planted for every 100 of land area. When trees are to be cut or transplanted, compensatory plantation of 3 trees for every cut to be ensured;

4.Rain Water Harvesting Plan to be designed providing one recharge bore for every 3,000 of land area. A minimum of 30% of area open to sky (unbuilt) to be left unpaved to facilitate ground water recharge and reduce heat island effect. Area covered with grass will be treated as unpaved area:

5. Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) shall be installed to ensure treatment of 100% solid waste generated and adopting decentralized STPs for larger projects;

6. Natural flow of storm water channels can't be altered without the approval of competent authority. Entry and exit points of such channels must be retained;

7.Organic waste composter/Vermiculture pit with a minimum capacity of 0.3 kg/tenement/day to be installed;

8. Separate wet and dry bins to be provided at the ground level facilitating segregation of waste. All non-biodegradable waste shall be handed over to authorized recyclers;

9.Fertile top soil must be retained to the maximum and for reuse on the site, since it takes about 500 years for formation of one inch of fertile top soil; and

10. Possession of buildings to be handed over only after drainage and water connections are in place and No Objection Certification obtained from the competent authority. Durga Shankar Misra, Additional Secretary(Urban Development) urged the States to be pro-active in ensuring compliance with green construction norms in view of the commitment of the Central Government to mitigate emission of Green House Gases responsible for climate change.

Sushil Kumar, Additional Secretary(Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change) said that the objective of the Environmental Guidelines for Buildings was to enable energy efficient, water co-efficient and green sufficient construction through reduced use of natural and depletable resources, recycling, recharge and reuse of water.

Source: September 22, 2015, Business Standard