What is GRIHA?

GRIHA (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) is a system for evaluating green buildings. It facilitates the assessment of a building’s performance based on nationally accepted standards or benchmarks. GRIHA analyses the holistic performance of buildings concerning the environment over their entire life cycle. Thus, creating a standard for what constitutes a ‘green building’.

GRIHA means Abode in Sanskrit, as in humble abode. This national rating system has been developed by TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute), Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India. GRIHA was adopted as a national standard for green buildings by the Indian Government in 2007.

The GRIHA Council is an independent forum for addressing scientific and administrative issues related to sustainable habitats in India. According to recent data, about 550 projects are registered with them.

What is GRIHA Certification and why it is beneficial? - Sheet1
GRIHA_ ©www.grihaindia.org

Objective of GRIHA

The main goal of the organization is to minimize the building’s resource consumption. Also, it aims to reduce waste generation and overall ecological impacts per certain limitations and rating norms. GRIHA encourages buildings to reduce their resource consumption, waste generation, and overall environmental impact by comparing them with certain benchmarks and limits.

What is GRIHA Certification and why it is beneficial? - Sheet2
Evolving landscape of sustainable habitats in India genesis of GRIHA_ ©www.grihaindia.org

Five ‘R’ Philosophy

  1. Refuse: Adopting international trends, materials, technologies, products, etc. Especially in places where local substitutes are readily available.
  2. Reduce: The dependence on systems, high energy products, processes, etc.
  3. Reuse: Designing buildings with materials, products, and traditional technologies to reduce costs.
  4. Recycle: All possible wastes generated from the building site, operation, during construction, and demolition.
  5. Reinvent: Engineering systems, designs, and practices so that India creates global examples that the rest of the world can follow, rather than just following global examples.

Internationally, GRIHA has been recognized as:

  1. An innovative tool developed by the United Nations to promote sustainable development.
  2. A tool for implementing renewable energy in the building sector developed by ‘The Climate Reality Project’- an organization founded by Mr. Al Gore
  3. The UNEP-SBCI has developed a “Common Carbon Metric”, based on input from GRIHA – to collect building energy data internationally.

In India

  1. MoEF has accepted GRIHA’s pre-certification for rapid clearance of the environment.
  2. Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, Maharashtra gives financial incentives to developers (up to 50% rebate in premium) and occupants of GRIHA-compliant projects.
  3. NOIDA Authority has notified the FAR incentive program for GRIHA projects with 4- and a 5-Star rating.
  4. CPWD Plinth Area Rates have been revised per GRIHA norms/benchmarks.
  5. CPWD Green Building Centre of Excellence and GRIHA has been established in Ghaziabad.
  6. The documents of DDA, NBCC, and BHEL have been revised to include a minimum GRIHA compliance rating of 3 stars.
  7. PWD Kerela and PWD, Government of Assam have adopted GRIHA
  8. GRIHA has been adopted by the Cabinet of the Government of Delhi 
  9. Chandigarh Administration has adopted GRIHA

Criteria for GRIHA Certification

The buildings will be evaluated and rated on a three-tiered system. A team of professionals and experts will conduct the preliminary evaluation and award points. Criteria fall into one of the following major categories:

  1. Conservation and efficient utilization of resources
  2. Health and well-being
Aspects for GRIHA and IGBC_ ©www.grihaindia.org

The benefits of holding a GRIHA certified building

In a broader sense, this system as well as the activities that lead up to it will benefit the community at large by reducing GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, reducing energy consumption, and reducing the burden on natural resources. The following are some of the benefits of a green design to building owners, users, and the society as a whole:

  1. Reduced energy consumption without compromising comfort
  2. Reduced destruction of natural areas, habitats, and biodiversity, as well as reduced soil erosion, and other destructive activities
  3. Reducing waste generation through recycling and reusing
  4. Reduced water consumption
  5. Enhanced image and marketability
  6. Reduced air and water pollution
  7. Reduced pollution loads
  8. Increased user productivity

Benefits from The Government of India

The Indian Government has recognized the efforts of the green building developers and has announced great offers for green builders in certain parts of the country. 

The developers coming up with new construction projects in the jurisdiction of Pune Municipal Corporation will get certain discounts on the premium charges payable to the corporation, as per the star rating awarded by GRIHA Council.

According to Jaipur Development Authority Act 1982, a body under the Department of Urban Development and Housing, the Government of Rajasthan has notified that the buildings constructed on plot areas greater than 5,000 m2 will qualify for an additional 5% floor area ratio (FAR) if they obtain a 4- or 5-star rating from GRIHA.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, Government of Punjab has announced that buildings that provide relevant certificates from the Bureau of Energy Efficiency or GRIHA will be allowed an extra 5% floor area ratio free of charge. In accordance to ensure resource optimization in the built environment, this notification has been issued under the Punjab Regional and Town Planning and Development Act, 1995.

References:

  1. www.grihaindia.org. GRIHA. [online]. Available at: https://www.grihaindia.org/griha-rating [Accessed date: 04/05/2022].
  2. www.pcmcindia.gov.in. About GRIHA [online]. Available at: https://www.pcmcindia.gov.in/green_building_about.php [Accessed date: 05/055/2022]
Author

She is an Architect and an artist who loves to paint and watch movies a lot!!! A nature enthusiast person loving Nature and believes that conservation is a state of harmony between men and land. She likes to learn new art forms in her spare time.

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