Eco offices boom in Garden City

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Published on December 6, 2022 by

 

Nationally 35 percent of all Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are in certified green projects.

Sourabh Kumar

Bengaluru sees a rapid rise in the adoption of green-certified buildings with the office sector contributing the most. According to a report from real estate research firm Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis (CBRE), Bengaluru accounts for 24 percent of all environment-friendly office spaces across the country, after the National Capital Region (NCR).

Green certification is given after assessing a project’s performance from a sustainability and environment perspective. It includes use of environment-friendly materials, having cross ventilation for reduction in energy use, good indoor air quality, and use of other such measures to make the occupants comfortable. These sustainability certificates are given by agencies such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and IGBC (Indian Green Building Council).

Srikanth, an architect with DSP Design Associates, said these green projects help in reducing the carbon footprint. Green building concept also includes the previousness of a project. It is the ability of the soil to absorb water. If the site is impervious it may lead to urban flooding.

“From an architect’s perspective, if a building is designed in such a way that the requirement of air conditioner is less then it will lead to reduction in energy consumption. When talking about green buildings, it includes factors such as architectural features of that building, construction management, energy optimisation, water management, waste management, building materials, monitoring methods of the building etc. So there are multiple parameters that define what a green building is. A project may not include all of these features and that will reflect in the star rating of the certification,” said Srikanth.

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), buildings account for nearly 40 percent of the greenhouse emissions. There are several benefits of having a project green certified, as discussed by concerned stakeholders. It helps the owners financially by holding a greater value in the market. Certified green projects command a rental premium of 6 – 16 percent over non-certified ones.

Dr P. Pavan Kumar, professor in the department of Architecture, Bangalore University, suggested people need to be more aware of the concept of green buildings. He said, “today we see the urban heat island effect in the major cities. In Bengaluru too, the temperature in the city is rising as compared to the area surrounding it. So the adoption of these green certifications is necessary now more than ever.” Heat island effect is the phenomena where an urbanised area experiences higher temperatures than its surrounding.

Builders say though the construction cost is around 5 – 20 percent more than the conventional buildings, these costs can be recovered within three to four years. They generally save 25 – 40 percent of operational cost. The concept is unpopular among the residential sector as people are still not ready to spend on green buildings. 

Swaminandan, project manager with Rohan Builders, said, “Office sectors see major investments in green certifications as they are the ones who consume most energy. They also find it lucrative to show that their project is green certified as it increases its value.”

In 2021, Bengaluru received the most investment in the real estate sector that is 40 percent of total real estate investment. Almost half of those investments were in the office sector. Majority of the green certified projects are in no-SEZ areas. Experts believe this trend of green buildings is going to increase in the future due to a decrease in the cost of primary materials.

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