This came as a pleasant surprise with the start of 2010! The Indian government announced that all new buildings of the public sector undertakings will now have to follow a green start rating. To go down to details, they should have a 3-star rating under GRIHA.

At a time when the world is going through an energy crisis, such government rulings are very crucial and change the dynamics of energy efficiency and usage in emerging economies like India. GRIHA is a national rating system under which green buildings will be rated by technical expertise from TERI, The Energy Resources Institute, headed by, R.K. Pachauri. The aim of a green building design is to minimize the demand of non-renewable sources and maximise its utilisation.

The GRIHA Rating system promotes low energy consumption, limited waste generation, low consumption of water and reduced pollution load and liability. It consists of 34 criteria categorized under various sections such as Site Selection and Site Planning, Conservation and efficient utilization of resources, Building operation and maintenance, and Innovation points. Eight of these 34 criteria are mandatory, four are partly mandatory, while the rest are optional. Each criterion has a number of points assigned to it. It means that a project intending to meet the criterion would qualify for the points. Different levels of certification (one star to five stars) are awarded based on the number of points earned. The minimum points required for certification is 50.

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