Q & A : GREEN BUILDING RATING SYSTEM

A Business Case of Green Building Rating System:

Q&A with Mr. Juzer S Kothari

What is the pitch you make to clients as to why they should use LEED?

The requirements of the client and the project have to be understood before making a suitable pitch. The application of the right green certification process is important to get the best results. We try and communicate the features and the benefits that a green certification program offers. LEED, like most other green certification programs, has a set of standards and benchmarks to follow.

You can actually measure, at every point of the design and project development, where you are and systematically build upon the performance of the building, where you want to be. If you want to see how you can go up the ladder of sustainable performance, you would want to use a suitable green rating process.

I also tell our prospective customers that a common rating target like Platinum, Gold or Silver brings a variety of people together with common backgrounds. The integration of all design parts, all the project teams…they get together to achieve a common goal. Otherwise, everyone is scattered. LEED, like most other rating programs, corrals everyone and gives them a set of focused and achievable aspirations.

In terms of benefits, you are quite sure of creating a valuable and well-performing asset. LEED and other green certification programs also enable clients to communicate their achievements to the market at large. “What interests me about LEED is that it is a very well-designed and articulated process. It’s a step by step process. It quantifies things beautifully. It has a holistic approach in all areas of construction and design. The LEED process, the way the entire process gets communicated to all building stakeholders…it is managed quite well.”

What should be done to articulate the value of LEED and green building in India?

We should be able to make it clear to people that LEED or any other certification program is making good business sense for them. That the process creates a valuable asset and reduces operating costs. The owner must be able to see this. It also motivates and helps organizations and project teams to rally together to achieve a common set of goals. Case studies, white papers, seminars, one on ones with leaders and all stake holders, etc., should be done on a regular basis to disseminate the benefits.

Is this a challenge?

These thoughts are appreciated by visionary leaders and managers in any organization. To meet these people in an organization is a challenge. To be able to articulate this without appearing to be “selling“ to them is also a challenge. They must be able to see the return on investment. It should make business sense to them.

There is also a section of the market that has a different idea of green. They believe that green building certifications, like LEED and others, do not deliver their idea of green. To get them to be a part of this movement is also a challenge.

How do you continue raising awareness in the market for LEED?

Awareness continues to grow. The challenge is how do we rally any third party verification system as a good choice for integrated design so LEED gets a certain level of importance? Any certification managed properly—which is communicated properly—will grow in India. Third party certification is there to stay.

Do you highlight the importance of LEED as it relates to human health? 

 We have measured CO2 levels inside offices and have shared this information with prospective clients and how that will affect the health of people inside the building. It’s not a priority right now for clients but we are getting there. Consider air conditioning. Eight or nine years back, air conditioning was a luxury in office buildings. So older buildings never worried about fresh air. Now air conditioning is expected in buildings. The same will come true for fresh air.

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This Article was originally published in LEED® in Motion: India Magazine-Report Series

Mr. Juzer S Kothari is Managing Director ofConserve Consultants. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from the prestigious IIT Kharagpur. Mr. Juzer is one of early adopter of green building technologies in India ; a LEED Accredited Professional (from United States Green Building Council-USGBC) since 2007 and a Certified Trainer for GRIHA Rating System. He is a part of ‘Train the Trainers’ faculty programme of National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Department of Energy- USA, for their Energy Simulation Software. A Certified Energy Auditor and Manager from Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Energy, Government of India and ECBC Empanelled Expert (Energy Conservation Building Code, a UNDP-GEF-BEE programme). Mr. Juzer has been in the energy industry for the last 30+ years including 11 years of super specialized expertise pertinent to high performance, sustainable green buildings. He is the recipient of LEED Fellow Award 2016 by GBCI-USGBC for his pioneering contribution to green building movement.

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