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Home / Business News / 2007 / November 2007 / November 26, 2007
Sustainable Real Estate Development gains momentum
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Sustainable Real Estate Development gains momentum

Sustainable Real Estate presents India with an unique opportunity to make concrete progress in the countrys effort to improve its environment.

New Delhi, Nov 26 : Sustainable Real Estate presents India with an unique opportunity to make concrete progress in the country's effort to improve its environment.

In a recent research report titled 'Sustainable Real Estate Development in India', Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj highlights the increasing trend of sustainable development in India.

Manisha Grover, Head Strategic Consulting and Research, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj and also co-author of the paper said, "It is important that developers and occupiers develop an understanding and work together in successfully achieving improved sustainability performance. Occupiers can greatly assist in implementing a sustainability programme. The overall sustainable building movement has significant business implications and is an opportunity to make a real contribution in the effort to curb India's environmental crisis."

"The business advantages that sustainable buildings create are enormous. Sustainable buildings use design techniques, materials and technologies that minimize a building's impact on the environment in their design, construction and operational systems while adequately servicing and supporting activities within. Sustainable buildings provide occupiers with several operating cost reductions. Electricity is one of the largest operating expenses for commercial buildings in India. Buildings with sustainable elements can save up to 20 per cent in total electricity costs," added Grover.

In India, sustainable buildings in Tier 1 cities are at best limited to a handful of top-quality Grade A properties. However, it is encouraging to know for owners and occupiers that the number of sustainable buildings in India are increasing and in the long term are cheaper to run and make for a better working environment.

There is greater consciousness towards the environmental crisis in India with terms such as sustainable development, corporate social responsibility and triple bottom reporting becoming more common in the real estate industry.

The report also details the best practices and processes that owners and occupiers can adopt to reduce the environmental impact of their real estate assets and at the same time, gain from substantial ROI (Return on Investment) from their 'green' initiatives.

The 'Sustainable Real Estate Development in India' report points out that despite the ever rising construction activity, awareness of sustainability in India has significantly lagged behind countries in the West.

Nevertheless with the growing importance of environmentalism in India, the Indian commercial sector has begun to make conscious efforts towards creating sustainable real estate.

With support from the Indian government, almost 40 construction projects that are currently underway are registered with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

LEED is soon emerging as the preferred rating system as it is flexible enough to be applied to a diverse variety of markets and also because it enjoys the greatest recognition of the various international rating systems.

This recognition is especially important when one considers that a prime motivator for developers to create a certified sustainable building is to differentiate their project from competition.

The government has introduced several schemes to encourage sustainability such as the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) schemes for subsidising capital for installation of solar water heaters, encouragement of energy audits and management schemes, mandatory use of fly ash-based construction material, groundwater and rain water harvesting and most importantly increased monitoring of air and water pollution.

The research paper also highlights the process of implementing sustainable development. This development can be achieved through synergy between developers and occupiers to establish goals, undertake audits and ascertain where savings and improvements can be made.

This can be achieved by focusing on high-impact, low-cost solutions that can be implemented within a realistic time frame.

The importance of educating occupiers on the impact their use of space will have on sustainability outcomes is integral to the success of a sustainability programme.

To properly educate developers, their patterns of behaviour must be changed to accommodate and reinforce any sustainability features that have been implemented in a building.

The main objective of any education and communications program should be to encourage developers and occupiers to follow practices such as energy and water conservation, waste management and improve indoor air quality.

Vincent Lottefier, Chief Executive Officer , Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj said, "The shift towards sustainability is gaining momentum in India as environmentalism and sustainable buildings are an important part of doing business in this part of the world. Sustainable real estate is not a passing trend but is a new way of doing business in real estate as sustainable buildings provide considerable financial savings."

"In developing, maintaining, owning and occupying sustainable buildings, individuals can help make a positive impact on the environment. Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj as the leading property and facility manager is a strong advocate of creating a more sustainable environment for current and future generations," he added.


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