The Green Footprint

The Green Footprint

Dr P C Jain

Ambition and implementation go hand in hand with Dr P C Jain, Chairman, Indian Council. In conversation with Anurag Yadav, Dr Jain remarks, “On India’s platinum jubilee in 2022, we target to create 10 Billion sq. ft of registered green footprint.” 

What is the green status of much of commercial building space in Indian cities?
The Green Building Movement in India has had an inspiring and enriching journey through its meaningful contribution to the construction industry. With what started as one green building of 20,000 sq. ft in 2003, today India has over 3,400 large and small projects going the green way. India with over 3 Billion sq. ft, has the second largest registered green building footprint in the world.

IGBC’s largest contribution has been through large energy and water savings in commercial buildings. It may be of interest to note that despite the slump in the construction industry, green commercial buildings are fully leased and occupied across the country.

CII Building
CII Building

How is IGBC encouraging new constructions to follow the ’green’ guidelines?
IGBC thrust has been in developing Green Building Rating Systems which are India-centric and are based on Indian Codes, Standards and Practices in various parts. IGBC rating systems include all variety of applications like new and existing buildings, homes, schools, factories, metro stations and more recently beyond buildings, the cities, townships and campuses.

In order to enhance awareness in various regions, IGBC has 19 Chapters across the country. Through constant efforts of Chair & Co-chair of these various Chapters, we have been able to obtain incentives for Green Buildings by various municipalities and local bodies. These incentives include additional built-up area, faster government approvals, municipal clearances, and in some cases, a lower registration fee by the local authorities.

How does it compare with other international bodies with similar objectives?
IGBC is one of the Founding Member of WorldGBC and works closely with various Councils across the world, by taking forward the global green building movement. Today, IGBC is on its own and has fully indigenised all its green building rating systems. We are well poised to shape Indian construction go the IGBC way and develop world class green building standards and practices.


In the new thrust on climate change and climate justice, how can IGBC help influence the environment?
It is heartening to witness how construction industry has played a catalytic role in the preservation of the environment. The environmental benefits for every million sq. ft of Green Building footprint comprise CO2 reduction of 12,000 Tons, Energy savings of 12,000 Mega Watt Hours and Fresh Water savings of 45,000 Kilo Litres. Therefore, with our present 3 Billion sq. ft registered green footprint, the environmental benefits amount to:
– CO2 reduction 36 million tons
– Energy savings 36 giga watt hours
– Water savings 135 billion litres fresh water

In commercial buildings, energy and water are the most vital and extensively used features. Can already constructed spaces benefit from IGBC markers?
There are several beautiful examples of commercial buildings having adopted IGBC Green guidelines in their retrofit. A classic example is Bombay House, Headquarters of TATA Group, which is India’s first IGBC rated EB Project. Through retrofitting various energy systems, the Energy Performance Index (EPI) has reduced from 172 kWh/yr/m2 in 2010 to 112 kWh/yr/m2 in 2014.

Similarly, CRISIL House in Mumbai has achieved 89 percent savings in fresh water consumption through the use of low flow fixtures and reuse of every drop of treated waste water.

IES College of Technology (Bhopal) has successfully put in place a Rain Water Harvesting System by installing recharge wells with a capacity to capture 86 percent of run-off volumes from roof and non-roof areas. The RWH system is able to effectively capture 280 cubic meter of rain water.

Office Building of the Commissioner of Industries, has installed Phytoremediation system with a capacity of 3KLD. Plant species included in the system include- Canna Indica, heliconia, Alacaria. Phytoremediation involves use of green plants for in-situ risk reduction and removal of contaminants from soil, water & air. It has benefit of adding aesthetics to the site.

What is the target you have set for IGBC? How soon do you plan to reach it?
With the help of more than 3000 corporate organisations as members of IGBC, our 19 Chapters from across the country, and having tasted success with more than 3 billion sq ft of registered green footprint, IGBC has set ourselves a target of 10 billion sq ft of registered green footprint in India by 2022, when India completes 75 years of Independence.

In days to come, IGBC would be looking beyond buildings and would focus more on sustainable built-environment. It would focus on green campuses, affordable (EWS & LIG) green housing complexes, green schools, green cities and green metro rails.

IGBC aspires to reach young minds by working closely with the stakeholders in facilitating 1,000 green schools by 2017, under the IGBC Green Schools Rating System. Green Schools not only save energy & water, but also sensitize children to be environmentally responsible.

On a personal level, is the future success of IGBC one of your ‘legacy’ efforts?
I firmly believe that “No Man is an Island”. I have been fortunate that God has granted me a long and meaningful life, completing my 80 years on January 26, 2016. I have made my humble contribution in country’s growth to eventually become a global leader in Green Building Movement which is in our DNA and in our bloodstream. We are all working towards fulfilling the prophecy of our great sages that India will become, in this century, the world leader for preserving all life forms on our beautiful Mother Earth.

About The Architect

Dr P C Jain is the doyen of the Indian Green Building movement. Completing his Mechanical Engineering degree from Benaras Engineering College in air conditioning in 1957, he joined Illinois Institute of Technology at Chicago in 1958 and enrolled with the PhD program in 1962 at the University of Minnesota where he designed many of NASA’s air conditioning systems.

Founding Spectral Services Consultants Pvt Ltd in India in 1980 when he began his India innings, Dr Jain held many senior positions including as Technical Advisor to the then Prime Minister. He was bestowed Distinguished Fellow ASHRAE award in 2005.

Since 2007 when he founded Indian Green Building Council, as a part of CII, he devoted his attention and considerable time to the green status of India’s new buildings. Today, IGBC leads an ambitious target to create a new generation of smart buildings that are green, clean and smart, perfectly in tune with present day focus in the country.