Despite rampant violations of its housing laws and rules, its slums and unauthorised colonies, India holds promise when it comes to green buildings. The country secured third position this year in the US Green Building Council (USGBC) annual ranking of the top 10 countries for LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ), a green building rating system. China, currently battling red-level hazardous smog, led the rankings, followed by Canada.
Buildings account for an estimated one third of global emissions and a green certification provides cost-effective solutions to climate change as such structures generate significant environmental, economic and societal benefits.
India leads in the rankings because it has 15.90 million gross square metres (GSM) of LEED-certified space and an additional 89.28 million cumulative GSM of LEED-certified and -registered space. About 2,386 projects are participating in LEED across the country. India is also among the top 10 countries outside the United States making progress in sustainable building design, construction and operations. According to Dodge Data and Analytics, which provides data, analytics in the North American commercial construction industry, global green buildings are expected to double every three years and India is a part of that trend.
The analytics company’s World Green Building Trends 2016 Smart Market Report, has found that emerging economies will continue to be engines of green growth, with development varying from twofold to sixfold over current green building levels.
Increased consumer demand has also pushed the world’s green building market to a trillion-dollar industry, a surge that has led to a corresponding increase in the scope and size of the green building materials market, which is expected to reach $234 billion by 2019.
Calling India a leader in the international community driving market transformation across the globe, Mahesh Ramanujam, president and chief executive officer of USGBC, said, “With a focus on LEED and green buildings, India is prioritising environmental and human health in the built environment on a holistic scale and helping us get one step closer to a green building for all within this generation.”
LEED-certified buildings save energy and water, helping residents and businesses make savings. Such spaces reduce carbon emissions and create a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. The analysis used to develop the list ranks countries in terms of cumulative commercial LEED-certified GSM space as of December 2016. The full Top 10 Countries for LEED ranking is as follows:
As of now, 82,000 commercial projects have involved LEED, totalling more than 1.4 billion GSM of space worldwide. An additional 112,000 residential units that have been certified under LEED Homes. An estimated 170,000 GSM of space achieves LEED certification every day in more than 162 countries and territories across the globe.
USGBC is striving to achieve Net Zero Carbon designation and spot leaders in the building sector for reduction in carbon footprint across the buildings sector as is necessary for successful implementation of the Paris Agreement, which India signed earlier this year.