Chennai ranks 4th among green cities in India. According to the data available with the IGBC, Chennai has 321 registered green projects, of which 119 are residential, 117 are commercial, 19 projects are city railway stations operated by the MRTS. The remaining projects fall under the other rating systems like factories, landscape and existing buildings.
In comparison to other big cities, Chennai is next to Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru that have 698, 362 and 333 registered green projects respectively. Speaking to City Express, renowned architect C N Raghavendran, who is also chairman, IGBC (Chennai), has credited Chennai’s success to the State government’s policy such as making rainwater harvesting compulsory and also the solar power plants atop all high-rise buildings. “As on date, in India, over 3 billion sq. ft of green spaces have adopted IGBC Green Building Standards. This has pushed India to the 2nd spot in the world in terms of registered green building footprint. IGBC aspires to facilitate 10 billion sq. ft of registered green building footprint by 2022,” Raghavendran said.
In fact, Chennai is home to India’s first platinum-rated green home, ‘Vishwa Syamalam’ in Madipakkam. The 100-year-old Ramakrishna Mission Students Home in Mylapore got a platinum rating and is only the 4th school in the country to get the ‘green’ recognition. Only recently, the new hostel of Reserve Bank Staff College received IGBC platinum rating and is the 1st RBI project that was adjudged as green building.
Swami Satyajnanananda, secretary of Ramakrishna Mission Students Home, said the institute is planning to add a 20 KVA solar photovoltaic plant to the current 115 KVA unit. Ajit Kumar Chordia, president of Chennai-chapter, CREDAI and MD, Olympia Group, said, “Commercial and top construction firms whose project area size exceeds 20,000 sq. ft are naturally going in for green certification because it helps them get environment clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forest. But the challenge is to make small builders adopt the concept.” He further remarked, “We have just installed a state-of-the-art membrane bioreactor (MBR) at Olympia Tech Park in Guindy, where the entire 5 lakh litres of sewage water is recycled and being used in air conditioning for cooling towers, gardening and flushing. We have stopped buying water now because the quality of recycled water is crystal clear.”
Some of the green buildings in Chennai are ITC Grand Chola Hotel, TCS Techno Park, Mahindra Technical Academy, L&T Ship Building Ltd, Hotel Leela, Shell Business Service Centre and Turbo Energy Limited, all with platinum certification.