Optimizing Energy Efficiency


1. What are the point thresholds for reaching a silver or gold certification?

It varies according to the types of project as follows :

  • IGBC NC & CS: Silver: 50-59; Gold: 60-79 (Total 110)
  • Green Homes: Silver : 60-69; Gold: 70-79 (Total 100)
  • Factories: Silver: 61-70; Gold: 71-80 (Total 100)
  • USGBC COMMERCIAL INTERIORS (CI) : Silver: 50-59; Gold: 60-79 (Total 110)
  • EXISTING BUILDING (EB) : Silver : 60-69; Gold: 70-79 (Total 100)

2. Does the government provide any incentives for taking up a green building certification?

Noida has been sanctioning additional FSI to the developers. SBI gives loan for Housing at 0.5% discounted rate, and also the waiting period for getting MoEF clearance is reduced considerably.

3. How do we go about getting a building certified once we hire you?

Once hired, following are the steps involved in getting a building certified:

  • Project Team coordination and determining the project rating system and feasibility study
  • Inclusion of confirmed green features in the tender documents
  • Collation of required data, credit wise
  • Project registration online
  • Detailed review of each credit to achieve optimum rating
  • Coordinate the design process & help make informed decisions
  • Incorporation of Energy simulation, strategies for material selection & water efficiency
  • Periodic LEED review and documentation
  • 1st preliminary pre-certification review by IGBC review
  • 2nd phase of precertification document submission for IGBC review
  • Final review by IGBC & Project precertification
  • Bi-annual Project update to IGBC
  • 1st preliminary certification document submission for LEED review
  • 1st preliminary certification review by IGBC
  • 2nd phase of certification document submission for LEED review
  • Final review by IGBC
  • Certification of Project complete

4. Can we (client) get a certification from the USGBC?

IGBC awards LEED India rating Certificate for 'New Construction' (NC) and 'Core & Shell' (CS). IGBC awards IGBC rating certificate for ‘Green Homes', 'Factories', 'Green Township' and 'Existing Building' (EB) comes under IGBC. USGBC awards LEED USGB rating certificate for Commercial Interiors (CI) & Existing Building (EB)

5. What is the approximate overall cost increase in your opinion to get a green building certification of Silver or Gold?

This depends on the type of the project, the type of utilities required for the project, etc. But if there has to be a number given, then there would be an increase in the cost by around 3 to 5 % approximately.

6. When should I go for GRIHA or LEED rating?

Both the System has its Merits and Demerits. One needs to evaluate the Rating system per se with the project.

7. What are the mandatory requirements related to green buildings?

The mandatory requirements mostly consist of : Soil Erosion Control, Water Efficient Fixtures, Rain Water Harvesting, Commissioning, Optimize Energy Performance, CFC Free Equipment, Storage & Collection of Recyclable Material, No Smoking, Maximum Ventilation, Daylighting

8. What are the economic benefits of green building?

A well-designed, constructed, operated and maintained green buildings can have many benefits, reduced costs for energy, water, operations and maintenance; improved occupant health and productivity; and the potential for greater occupant satisfaction than standard developments.

A green building may cost more up front, but can save money over the life of the building through lower operating costs. These savings may be more apparent through life-cycle assessment (LCA). Cost savings are most likely to be fully realized when incorporated at the project's conceptual design phase with the assistance of an integrated team of building professionals.

The integrated systems approach aims to design the building as one system rather than a collection of potentially disconnected systems

9. How can I verify that building is saving energy after green building certification?

Develop a Measurement & Verification (M&V) plan to evaluate the building and/ or energy system performance. Characterize the building and/or energy systems through energy simulation or engineering analysis. Install the necessary metering equipment to measure energy use. Track performance by comparing predicted performance to actual performance, broken down by component or system as appropriate. Finally, evaluate the energy efficiency by comparing actual performance to baseline performance

10. Why as a developer I should encourage green building?

As a developer, I will encourage a green building for the following reasons:

  • It promotes sustainable living
  • It promotes biodiversity
  • Conserves water and energy
  • Materials used are environment friendly
  • It also encourages the use of materials with recycled content and those materials which are locally extracted & manufactured
  • Special importance is given to ventilation, daylight and low VOC paints

11. I have a non-air conditioned building? How can I get green building rating for my project?

It doesn’t matter if it is an air-conditioned building or not, since it not only caters to air-conditioned, but also naturally ventilated buildings. In order to acquire the green rating project, the same procedures will have to be followed.

12. We are already applying green strategies in my design? Why should I go for green building certification?

One should go for a green building certification, despite adopting green strategies for the following reasons:

  • Brand image
  • Shows that developer is environment conscious
  • Promotes sustainable living
  • Give certain leverages while looking for MoEF clearance

13. Can you tell us the % energy saving if we go for some specific material or a pay back period or cost benefit analysis?

It is difficult to give an exact number, since it is very project specific. Because following parameters have to be considered:

  • Building envelope
  • HVAC systems
  • Types of electrical equipment
  • Passive architectural features
  • Facility, size of the building
  • Usage etc.

14. What is Building Commissioning?

It is a managed coordinated activity which ensures the which ensures all the mechanical electrical systems installed in the building meet the design intent and the operational needs of the owner before handing over to the facility

15. Why Commission a Building?

Any systems installed in the building needs to operate as per design. Few benefits obtained are when systems are commissioned properly

  • Additional savings from improved equipment lifetimes
  • Reduced change-orders due to early problem detection
  • Prevention of premature equipment breakdown by timely detection
  • Reduced operation and maintenance costs
  • Improved indoor environment combine to essentially offset the entire cost

16. Is commissioning of systems mandatory for LEED certification process?

Yes, as per LEED guide lines it’s a pre requisite to be eligible for certification. Commissioning is an owner's means of verifying that the planning, design, construction and operational processes are achieving their goals and ensure the delivery of high quality building with maximum asset value

17. Which type of facilities can be commissioned?

Generally all facilities which have mechanical electrical systems installed can be commissioned. The facilities include but not limited to are

  • Core & Shell
  • New Construction
  • Commercial Interior
  • Data centers
  • Factories
  • Pharmaceuticals

18. Who are commissioning authority (CxA) and what is the role in a project?

A commissioning Authority (CxA) serves as an objective advocate of owner and validates the performance of installed M&E systems and ensures they are operating as per the design intent. The role of CXA is:

  • Documenting the owners project requirement
  • Directing the commissioning process
  • Preparing the commissioning plan
  • Preparing the commissioning report
  • Verifying the Operation and Maintenance manuals
  • Ensure systems operate as per standards and client guidelines (if any)

19. What procedures or guidelines are followed during commissioning process?

A commissioning process involves the following

  • Planning the testing and commissioning of the systems as per project schedules
  • Coordinating with stakeholders
  • Assisting in achieving the milestones
  • Validating the performance of the system

20. Does scope of commissioning remain same for all the project?

No. The scope of commissioning does not remain same but changes as per the requirements of the project and the systems installed

21. What type of equipments/systems is covered under commissioning process?

The systems covered under commissioning process but not limited to are

  • Electrical systems- LV panels, Bus ducts, UPS, Transformers, Lighting, etc
  • Mechanical systems- AHUs, Chillers, Cooling towers, Exhaust systems, PACs, etc
  • Fire systems- Pre action, Fire alarm panel, PA systems, VESDA, etc
  • Building Management systems

22. What type of instruments is required for commissioning?

The instruments required for commissioning includes all calibrated instruments which needs to be certified by CxA prior to start of the testing

23. When should the commissioning requirements be introduced in the project?

The Commissioning authority should be introduced ideally at the project inception so that all the testing and commissioning requirements can be provided during the pre design phase and same can be included during bidding stage to ensure smooth execution of project

24. Does commissioning only include the steps recommended in guidelines like ASHRAE, NFPA, IEE, etc.?

Commissioning of systems are carried out as per the guidelines mentioned in ASHRAE, NFPA, IESNA, IEE, etc and also includes guidelines mentioned by client.

25. Is the CxA responsible for onsite quality related issues?

Yes, CxA are responsible for identifying testing related issues. Generally CxA prepares site observation report which includes both critical and non critical snags of each system. The identified snags needs to be closed prior to energizing the equipment

26. Is Commissioning Worth the Cost?

Commissioning provides both tangible and intangible benefits which reduces the operational cost of the system. Few of them are

  • Reduction in energy consumption and operating cost over the life of the facility
  • A comfortable working environment, thus minimizing the potential for complaints from staff or tenants.

27. What is Re-Commissioning?

It is a type of commissioning that occurs when a building that has already been commissioned undergoes another commissioning process. The decision to re-commission may be triggered by

  • A change in building use or ownership
  • The onset of operational problems, or some other need.
  • Ideally, a plan for re-commissioning is established as part of a new building's original commissioning process or an existing building's retro-commissioning process

28. What is Retro-Commissioning?

It is the application of the commissioning process to existing buildings. Retro-commissioning is a process that seeks to improve how building equipment and systems function together. Depending on the age of the building, retro-commissioning can often resolve problems that occurred during design or construction, or address problems that have developed throughout the building's life

29. Can't the vendor or construction firm perform their standard start up and testing?

Yes, the vendor or construction firm can perform their standard start up and testing but the same should match with the owners’ requirement. Most of the test involved by the vendor are routine in nature and does not involve the actual performance verification based on the site conditions

30. How do you help the facilities or operations team to understand the system?

Prior to handing over of systems from project to operations team, training is arranged for the facility staff to understand the operation and the working logic of the systems installed. In addition support is also provided to operations team post occupancy to resolve any system related issues or modifications.

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