Green construction in India: Gaining a deeper understanding
Environmental concerns have moved from being a fringe issue in any project to main agenda items at senior executive meetings (Walton et al. 1998). Massive construction activity is taking place globally to accommodate the migration of world population to urban areas, a proportion that is expected to reach 60% by the year 2030 (Syal et al. 2006). In recent years India has seen major economic growth, and with this growth, construction activities have gone up significantly. In India the current annual investment in construction is around $70 billion, with an identified need for an additional $50 billion and a projected annual growth rate of 15%. It is estimated that supporting infrastructure will need an investment of around $163 billion over the next 10 years (Syal et al. 2006). With a shortage of 41 million housing units to accommodate the existing population (Tiwari 20010, construction activities of all types are taking place at a rapid pace. However, with increased construction activities comes increased environmental concern. In developed countries where the benefits of going green are extensively documented and the construction sector is encouraged to go green and promote sustainability, there is a reluctance among companies to commit themselves to go green at the corporate policy level (Ofori 2000). However, it would be interesting to elicit the views of the Indian construction sector on the issue of green construction practices and analyze the challenges that can potentially inhibit the adoption of sustainable practices in a growing economy. Under the wider umbrella of green issues, several initiatives are under way worldwide. The definition of “green” is quite broad, and a wide spectrum of issues is subsumed under this umbrella. Some of the major issues that fall under the “green” category are sustainability, environment, energy, waste minimization, etc. Although we talk about green all the time, individuals from regulatory bodies, private corporations, government agencies, and final consumers view green from different perspectives and use different sets of variables to choose the path of going green. For every member of the supply chain of any construction or infrastructure project, drivers are different, and hence a view of these drivers for different stakeholders is important to understand how green can be made successful and popular. With this background in mind, a workshop was organized by academics from the University of Salford, U.K., and Jamia Millia Islamia University, India, in New Delhi in July 2008. The workshop included participants from regulatory bodies, public and private construction companies, academics, and researchers from India. This forum presents the findings of that workshop and identifies future directions of research in the area.
Citation : Arif, M., Egbu, C., Haleem, A., Ebohon, J. and Khalfan, M.M.A. (2009) Green Construction in India: Gaining a Deeper Understanding. Journal of Architectural Engineering, 15 (1), pp 10-13
ISSN : 1076-0431
Peer Reviewed : Yes