Getting Cities Climate Ready: Green and Efficient Buildings

Credit: NRDC

Guest blog by Laasya Bhagavatula and Prima Madan

This week in Hyderabad, thousands of delegates are gathering at the Green Building Congress 2018. The Congress, now in its 16th year, is one of India’s flagship events showcasing green building technologies and progress.

Tribute to Dr. Prem C Jain

This year, the Congress and the green building community lost a visionary leader, Dr. Prem C Jain. Former chair of the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and founder of the Indian Society for Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ISHRAE), Dr. Jain was instrumental in bringing efficient and sustainable building design technologies to the forefront in India. Dr. Jain was a kind and welcoming friend to NRDC, and his loss is felt keenly in the community.

With Dr. Jain’s leadership, India’s green and energy efficient building sector has thrived. Most importantly, multi-stakeholder efforts, bringing developers, industry, manufacturers to the table with architects, designers and government, are a part of his legacy.

Green Built Environment for People and the Planet

The Green Building Congress is yet another testament to Dr. Jain’s vision. This year, the Congress’ theme is “Green Built Environment for People and the Planet”.

The Congress lineup includes a two-day conference on Green Buildings, followed by a daylong seminar on Green Smart Cities. Over 3,000 delegates from around the world are expected in Hyderabad.

Getting Cities Climate-Ready

Credit: NRDC

During the Congress, NRDC and partners Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) are releasing a new case study “Getting Cities Climate-Ready”, which showcases the pioneering work by the state of Telangana and Hyderabad in implementing a ground breaking online compliance system for the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC). The case study is aimed at helping other cities and states formulate their own efficient building codes and compliance systems.

Energy Efficiency and Building Codes

Telangana’s online ECBC launched in Hyderabad in December 2017, was the first compliance system in India to go online. The online ECBC system ensures compliance with energy efficiency codes and streamlines building approvals for new commercial buildings and major retrofits. The energy efficiency building code framework and online system were nearly eight years in the making and are the result of a collaboration among city and state officials, ASCI and NRDC.

Buildings account for more than 30% of India’s electricity consumption, and the total built-up space in the country is growing at a tremendous rate. The ECBC has the potential to transform the way buildings are constructed and to unleash significant energy savings. Constructing energy efficient buildings is also a central strategy to achieving India’s climate targets under the Paris Agreement.

Telangana is committed to locking in energy savings through efficient buildings. Minister K T Rama Rao states in the case study: “India has made a commitment to contribute to global efforts to cut down carbon emissions. The State of Telangana and the City of Hyderabad will do our part. We are committed to energy efficient buildings and developing a sustainable city that protects our communities and grows our internationally based economy.”

Telangana is now poised to scale this leadership. At the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, Principal Secretary Arvind Kumar of the Telangana Government announced that all five major cities in the state of Telangana would adopt energy conservation building codes and online compliance systems by 2020.

This leadership at the city level is providing a roadmap to the transformational change that the recently published IPCC report calls for in addressing climate change. Building greener buildings and creating healthy communities are tangible and achievable measures we can implement today for a safer tomorrow.

The Green Building Congress 2018 takes place from October 31 to November 3, 2018 in Hyderabad, India.

Our new publication “Getting Cities Climate Ready” will be discussed during the following sessions:

  • 3:00 pm, Thursday, November 1st – IGBC Project Awards, Arvind Kumar, Principal Secretary, Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Government of Telangana
  • 12:00 pm, Friday, November 2nd – Net Zero Buildings, Rajkiran Bilolikar, Associate Professor, Administrative Staff College of India