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Saturday, Aug 28, 2004

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`Green' buildings rating system on the anvil

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Mr Mahes Mehta of Ecochem demonstrating the Vaporetto Lecoaspira, a steam cleaner-cum-vaccuum cleaner at an exhibition at the Green Building Congress in Hyderabad on Friday. The steam cleaner is being produced by Polti's, a Italy-based company. — A. Roy Chowdhury

Hyderabad , Aug. 27

THE Indian green business activity has got a shot in the arm with Indian Green Business Council (IGBC) signing a memorandum of understanding with its US counterpart to facilitate setting up an Indian system of rating of buildings.

The IGBC has promised that it would come out with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) India by the end of 2005.

The MoU was signed between the officials of the two councils at the inaugural of the two-day Green Building Congress-2004 here on Friday.

The MoU would also look at sharing of information between the councils. The US Green Business Council accords ratings to buildings world over on their green competitiveness.

Mr Parsu Raman. R, Chairman of IGBC and Vice-Chairman of World Green Building Council, said absence of certified green products was a major hurdle in promotion of the green building concept.

He said creation of India-specific LEED rating system would give an impetus to the movement. "We can take the US model, which was evolved after an extensive research. There is no point in repeating the whole exercise. We can at best make changes to suit the Indian needs," he said.

Going green would not incur much additional expenditure provided that there were enough certified products. In the US, the add-ons came down to plus or minus three per cent to overall project cost as against 30 per cent a few years ago.

It was estimated that the potential for green building materials and equipment was put at $400 million in the next four-five years in India. By 2010, the overall potential would be around $4,000 m.

Mr Che Wall, Chairman of WGBC, said Governments should come out with minimum standards.

In his inaugural address, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, said environmental degradation had led to ecological imbalance. "Over the last few years, rains have been failing us, leaving the farming community in the lurch," he said.

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