With the concept of green buildings gaining prominence in India, developers are now focusing on developing structures that are eco-friendly and use energy-efficient techniques.

Depleting natural resources, rapid industrialisation and urbanisation have led to a negative impact on the environment. Eco-friendly buildings that are energy efficient and use water management techniques are the need of the hour. Some developers have succeeded in creating such buildings.

Which are India’s top 10 green buildings?

ITC Green Centre, Gurgaon

Spread across a sprawling 1,80,000 sq ft, the ITC Green Centre has set a benchmark for green buildings in India. Located in Sector-32, Gurgaon, the building has been awarded the Platinum Green Building rating by USGBC-LEED (Green Building Council-Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), making it the first corporate house in India to bag this award.

The building is designed keeping in mind the highest environmental standards. It is made up of bricks and concrete comprising of fly-ash and is equipped with high-efficiency equipment that reduces 53 percent energy consumption over a conventional building and 40 percent potable water requirements. Zero water discharge, solar thermal technology, stormwater management system, reflective high-albedo roof paint, minimal exterior lighting and separate smoking rooms with exhaust system are some of the other features of the building.

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Suzlon One Earth, Pune

With a capacity to accommodate 2300 people, ‘One Earth’ is another building that has received Platinum certification of LEED. The building is built using low energy materials thus, reducing carbon footprint. 90 percent of the occupied space of the building has access to natural daylight. While the exterior of the building uses renewable energy-based LED street lighting reducing approximately 25 percent of the total power. The ventilation system consists of jet fans that save 50 percent energy by periodically pushing out stale air and bringing in the fresh air. 

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Patni (i-GATE) Knowledge Center, Noida

Awarded with the prestigious LEED Platinum rating, Patni Knowledge Centre is next on the list of green buildings in India. Located in suburban Noida and built over 4,60,000 sq ft, the building’s depth is designed in such a way that it captures daylight for 75 percent of the occupied interiors. About 50 percent of the area is reserved for open green space. In addition to this, the campus follows the efficient water management practices like rainwater harvesting, solar water heating and drip irrigation. 100 percent sewage is treated and the recycled water is used for the purpose of cooling the tower makeup, gardening and flushing.

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Olympia Tech Park, Chennai

Located in the heart of Chennai (Guindy), the Olympia Tech Park has become one of the biggest and most sought after IT parks in Chennai. The tech park houses MNCs that operates day and night which is why energy-saving features and the eco-friendly environment becomes a necessity. Rated as one of the largest gold LEED rating buildings in the world, the building makes use of energy and water saving techniques (rainwater harvesting) and recycling and to attain zero per cent discharge. The dual plumbing line of the building which helps in treating greywater is used for flushing or in irrigation.

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Infinity Benchmark, Kolkata

Next on the list is Infinity Benchmark, another LEED Platinum level certified green building which covers an area of 5,60,000 square feet and is spread over 20 stories. The air quality inside the building is maintained by CO2 monitoring sensors and intelligent humidification controls. External walls of the building are made of brick wall block while the roof has under deck thick polyurethane foam for better insulation. An environment-friendly technique like the use of electric cars within the complex is used along with energy-efficient equipment and waste water recycling system.

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CRISIL House, Mumbai

With 14 gardens inside the complex, CRISIL House is rated as one of the greenest commercial complexes in India. The interiors of the building are made up of recycled construction material while the atrium at the center of the building allows natural light to seep in covering 70 percent of the work area. At night, energy efficient artificial lighting is used thus, reducing the carbon footprint. The natural lighting technique has helped reduce power consumption by 40 percent.

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Indira Paryavaran Bhawan:

Located in Jor Bagh, New Delhi, this eight-storey structure has been given a platinum rating by LEED and a 5-star rating by The Energy and Research Institute’s GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment). The building uses Geothermal heat exchange system to reduce the power required to run air conditioners and recycles all its water thereby reducing water demand by over 50 percent.
 
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ITC Maurya Hotel, New Delhi
 
The ITC Maurya is the world’s first and largest LEED Platinum rated hotel to use Parabolic solar concentrators. The magnificent building has been awarded the ‘Best Eco-Friendly Hotel’ at India’s National Tourism Awards and recycles almost 99 percent of its solid waste (by means of recycling programs or composting). Over 30 percent of food and beverages used are locally sourced - harvested and processed within a radius of 160 km. Another distinguishing feature of the building is that it uses low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paints.
 
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Infosys, Hyderabad
 
Winner of the UK’s prestigious Ashden Awards, also known as the ‘Green Oscars,’ Infosys has given a new high to energy efficiency as the world knows it. The software giant’s 460 acre Pocharam campus in Hyderabad has become a laboratory to test construction technologies. Three of its Software Development Blocks (SDB) 1, 2 and 3 are LEED Platinum rated.
 
Buildings in the campus are constructed along with the passive design principles such as minimising heat and glare, strategically situated windows, white-painted roofs and radiant cooling technology (pumping cold water through pipes embedded in concrete). The building uses efficient building envelope (that includes high-performance glazing, ample shading, radiant cooling, etc), energy efficient lighting and HVAC (Heat, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system to achieve energy efficiency.
 
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Cisco Building, Bangalore
 
Cisco’s B-16 office in Bangalore has been awarded the LEED Platinum ID + C (Interior Design and Construction) certification by the USGBC for scoring 96 out of 110 total points. The campus sources more than 70,00,000 Kwh of green power per annum and recycles 100 percent of waste water. It has a high-performance glazing and energy-efficient HVAC design and uses recycled materials and rapidly renewable materials for construction. Ventilation and temperature controls enable occupants (approximately 51 percent) to adjust temperatures according to their preferences.
 
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Which was the first LEED Platinum rated green building in India?
Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) Building, Hyderabad
 
At the time of its opening in 2004, the CII building was the first LEED Platinum rated green building in the world outside of the United States. It is also India’s first LEED certified building (being rated in October, 2003). The building is an embodiment of modern construction prowess with 55 percent of the 20,000 square foot structure being covered by a green roof in addition to having performance windows, biological water treatment ponds and wind towers. Around 90 percent of the building does not require artificial lighting during daytime while 20 percent of the building’s total energy requirements are generated by solar panels. Additionally, the building recycles 100  percent of wastewater making it a zero water discharge building.
 
With more and more buildings going green, India is on the fast track to reduce its carbon footprint and, in the process, saving on operational costs and well as contributing to human health. Building green is one of the solutions to contain global warming and surging sea levels. Sans doubt, it is the future of global construction.