For healthier cities in the future, a paradigm shift to energy efficient strategies that enables growth such as, constructing cleaner, is fundamental. When we speak about building better and more efficient cities, India’s rapid economic development, fast growth of rural to urban migration and employment brings with itself an array of challenges that has resulted in an unprecedented increase in energy use and related greenhouse emissions. Additionally, there is a greater need for climate- resilient cities as the impact of climate change is fast becoming daunting, especially for vulnerable communities in urban areas. A critical question arises of how can we as developers, turn these challenges into business advantages, as well as look at it as a national opportunity for clean energy to power cities while reducing the impact of climate change?
One way to strengthen the Indian real estate market is through boosting building codes and incentives. It is estimated that by the year 2030, approximately 3,500 twh of cumulative electricity could be saved, the equivalent of 358 million homes based on the current annual consumption level for electrified households, by instilling stronger building efficiency codes and ratings programs such as Leadership in Environment and Energy Design (LEED) and Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) in India’s commercial buildings. As these huge potential savings demonstrate, widespread adoption of the Energy Conservation Building Codes (ECBC) in Indian states and greater awareness and adoption in ratings programs could provide powerful energy savings as demand rises, while fighting climate change. It is also observed that ECBC compliant buildings can use 40- 60 percent less energy than conventional buildings, which if enforced nationwide in the near future, could yield annual energy savings up to 1.7 billion kwh.
Whilst there is an urgent need for developers, building owners, financial institutions and policymakers to participate in the discourse, to achieve optimal benefits of energy efficiency, we have to aim at reducing energy use, saving costs, increasing worker productivity, increasing asset value and market advantage. Stakeholders across the buildings market can work together to ensure that sustainable and efficient cities become a reality in India.