The building sector in India is growing at a rapid pace and contributing immensely to the growth of the economy. This augurs well for the country and now there is an imminent need to introduce green concepts and techniques in this sector, which can aid growth in a sustainable manner. 

The green concepts and techniques in the building sector can help address national issues like water efficiency, energy efficiency, reduction in fossil fuel use in commuting, handling of consumer waste and conserving natural resources. Most importantly, these concepts can enhance occupant health, happiness and well-being.

Against this background, the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) has launched IGBC Green New Buildings rating system to address the National priorities. This rating programme is a tool which enables the designer to apply green concepts and reduce environmental impacts that are measurable. The rating programme covers methodologies to cover diverse climatic zones and changing lifestyles.

IGBC has set up the Green New Buildings Core Committee under the leadership of Ar. Raghavendran, to develop the rating programme. This committee comprised of key stakeholders including architects, builders, consultants, developers, owners, institutions, manufacturers and industry representatives. The committee, with a diverse background and knowledge has enriched the rating system, both in its content and process.


Green homes can have tremendous benefits, both tangible and intangible. The most tangible benefits are the reduction in water and energy consumption right from day one of occupancy. The energy savings could range from 20 – 30 % and water savings around 30 – 50%. Intangible benefits of green homes include enhanced air quality, excellent day lighting, health & well being of the residents, safety benefits and conservation of scarce national resources. The Green Homes rating system can also enhance the marketability of a project.

IGBC Green New Buildings rating system® addresses green features under the following categories:

       – Sustainable Architecture and Design

       – Site Selection and Planning 

       – Water Conservation 

       – Energy Efficiency 

       – Building Materials and Resources

       – Indoor Environmental Quality

       – Innovation and Development

The guidelines detailed under each mandatory requirement & credit enables the design and construction of new buildings of all sizes and types (as defined in scope). Different levels of green building certification are awarded based on the total credits earned. However, every green new building should meet certain mandatory requirements, which are non-negotiable.

Certification  Levels

Different levels of green building certification are awarded based on the total credits earned. However, every Green Home should meet certain mandatory requirements, which are non-negotiable.

The threshold criteria for certification/pre-certification levels are as under:

Certification LevelIndividual UnitsMulti-dwelling UnitsRecognition
Certified38 – 4450 – 59Best Practices
Silver45 – 5160 – 69Outstanding Performance
Gold52 – 5970 – 79National Excellence
Platinum60 – 7580 – 100Global Leadership

 Water Conservation:

 Most of the Asian countries are water stressed and in countries like India, the water table has reduced drastically over the last decade. Green Homes Rating System encourages the use of water in a self-sustainable manner through reducing, recycling and reusing strategies. By adopting this rating program, green homes can save potable water to an extent of 30 – 50%.

Handling of House-hold Waste: 

The handling of waste in residential buildings is extremely difficult as most of the waste generated is not segregated at source and has a high probability of going to landfills. This continues to be a challenge to the municipalities which needs to be addressed. IGBC intents to address this by encouraging green homes to segregate the household waste. 

Energy Efficiency:

 The residential sector is a large consumer of electrical energy. Through the IGBC Green Homes rating system, homes can reduce energy consumption through energy efficient lighting, air conditioning systems, motors, pumps, etc., The rating system encourages green homes that select and use BEE labeled equipment and appliances. The energy savings that can be realized by adopting this rating program can be to the tune of 20 – 30%. 

Reduced Use of Fossil Fuels:

 Fossil fuel is a slowly depleting resource, the world over. The use of fossil fuels for transportation has been a major source of pollution. The rating system encourages the use of alternative fuels for transportation and distributed power generation. 

Reduced Dependency on Virgin Materials: 

The rating system encourages projects to use recycled & reused material, and discourages the use of virgin wood, thereby, addressing environmental impacts associated with the extraction and processing of virgin materials. Reduced usage of virgin wood is also encouraged. 

Health and Well-being of Residents: 

The health and well-being of residents is the most important aspect of Green Homes. IGBC Green Homes® Rating System ensures the minimum performance of daylighting and ventilation aspects which are critical in a home. The rating system also recognizes measures to minimize indoor air pollutants. 

Reference: IGBC New Building rating system version 3.0