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Collaborations key to green buildings

(03 Nov 2018)

Globally, green buildings occupy 1.24 billion sq m of footprint. There are increasing country-level collaborations with the network of the World Green Building Council. India which is a part of the Asia Pacific region is collaborating with countries such as Singapore and Australia. Best practice sharing has become a key part of the mandate of the whole broad global green initiative.

The World Green Building Council is a non-profit organisation and global network of national Green Building Councils. It has member councils in 67 countries worldwide, which collectively have 49,000 members.

Lisa Bate, Chair of the board, World Green Building Council, told Telangana Today in an exclusive interview, “Each member country within our council is focusing on implementing its own set of green practices that are tailor-made to meet their needs. It needs a conscious effort to establish leadership team (CEO) and board of directors in each country to carry out specific and sustainable initiatives that are ongoing. Through the network of green building councils under WGBC, projects are designed that best suit to each country.”

She adds, “Our studies show that 33 per cent of the global green-house gas (GHG) emissions come from buildings. And 40 per cent of the energy is consumed by building globally. There are 2-5 times more pollutants inside of the buildings than they are outside of the buildings.”

A greenhouse gas is a gas that absorbs and emits radiant energy within the thermal infrared range. The primary greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere are water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone.

Bate explains, “A variety of efforts are being carried out by the respective green building councils in each country. For instance, countries can focus on creating better places for people bringing improvement in indoor environment and occupant health within the buildings. WGBC member nations are targeting Net Zero Energy goals. The zero-carbon buildings are being designed where a building has zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy. This is done with the support of stakeholders that include government, developers, manufacturers, consultants, architects and citizens for rapid expansion and acceleration.”

Different countries are seeing contribution from different set of stakeholders. For instance, Chines green initiatives are led and influenced by the government. Europe has been focusing on retrofitting buildings. India is among the leading nations in terms of the green rated building space. The US has been a conscious nation in terms of implementing advanced green practices.  The US Green Building Council is committed to a sustainable effort through LEED.

“Rating systems, tools and best practices depend on what suits the country and what suits the government. Whether it is the case of government ‘pulling’ people or citizens ‘pushing’ sustainability. We don’t promote one particular model for all countries but we promote the ‘green’ outcome,” she adds.

Countries have to focus on managing waste, clean water supply and sanitation. Nations need to look at tapping alternate and renewable energy sources by reducing dependence on coal and gas. Clean energy is the future of the world.

Bate is in Hyderabad for the Green Building Congress 2018 organised by the CII-Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) .

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