The good news for those living in apartments is that the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) recently launched a Green Residential Societies Rating System (perhaps the first of its kind in the country) for apartment blocks at the Green Building Congress 2015 held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, last week.
If a society does not wish to make a huge investment and just wants a basic certified level rating (around 20 to 39 points), all it needs to do is ban smoking in common areas, for which it will get three points. An annual maintenance contract with an electrician, plumber, mason or the lifts engineer will add four points to the score. An ATM and a medical store within a distance of 1 km from the society will mean two points. The society in which residents are informed through newsletters, meetings and emails about the benefits of going green will get one point.
Massive six points can be scored if white paint is used on the roof of the building to minimise heat exposure (cost is about Rs 20 per sq ft). Provision of health and well-being of its residents mean two points. Adding aerators on taps in common areas and individual units add six points; installing an automatic waste level controller for about Rs 1500 can fetch one point; putting up separate metres for lifts and common areas can fetch two points and using waste segregation methods can mean four points. Societies can be upgraded to a silver rating if residents spend Rs 20,000 per annum plus taxes.
Some of the other basic changes residents can make is by installing a solar water heating system for Rs 15,000.