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Evaluation of a green building, Classification of green building certification

Er. Parbhakar Dwivedi
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Since green building is a comprehensive concept to minimize the impact on environment, there has to be a mechanism to evaluate the closeness with which building has been constructed and its impact on environment. Evaluator parameters have been developed on the basis of which buildings can be evaluated to have achieved desired closeness to being environment friendly.

On the basis of the number of parameters achieved different agencies evaluate and audit the project right from the concept stage and certify the building in different rating patterns which vary from country to country and with certifying agency due to country specific bye-laws, codes and standards and their cultural behaviour. The most coveted rating is considered to be from United States Green Building council (USGBC) and the buildings certified by them are judged as Platinum, Gold, Silver and buildings certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Different countries have formed their own rating systems as well and have pre-defined parameters based on their culture and constraints. In India, Indian Green Building council (IGBC) has adopted LEED system and has launched LEED India version for rating of new constructions, homes, factories, among others. Another agency, The Energy Research Institute (TERI) has developed its own tool for evaluation of buildings on green parameters. This tool, popularly known as "Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment" (GRIHA) is a five star rating system.

Other popular evaluation tools developed by various countries are listed below:

1. United Kingdom: Building Research Establish- mint’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM)

2. Japan: Comprehensive Assessment System for Building Environmental Efficiency (CASBEE)

3. Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Building Environ- mental Assessment method (HK-BEAM)

4. GB Tool developed by International Framework committee for the Green Building challenge, an international project that has involved more than 25 countries.

Every agency has defined performance criterias for their own rating system. Every performance criteria has points associated with it. Some of the criteria may earn more points as compared to other depending upon the effectivement associated with environmental impact Based on the number of points earned, a building or project gets rating in terms of standard fixed by the rating agency. The rating certificate based on the number of points earned for two rating agencies of India are given.

Classification of green building certification by Indian agencies

S.No Name of agency Points earned Certification awarded
1 GRIHA 50-60 One Star
61-70 Two Star
71-80 Three Star
81-90 Four Star
91-100 Five Star
2 IGBC 50-59 Certified
60-69 Silver
70-79 Gold
80 or more Platinum

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