How to select the right green building consultant for a building project?


What is the role of green building consultant?

Each Built-Environment Project is unique by virtue of its location, design, application and usage, building materials etc. All Project Stakeholders viz. Builders, Architects, Consultants & Contractors contribute to the uniqueness of a project. Different experts with diverse background co-creating myriad functional and aesthetic aspects of building, make it more complex. If the objectives and needs of a project are inclined towards developing a sustainable green habitat, then the task becomes more intricate. A dedicated focus on sustainability essentially demands a Sustainability Consultant to address the unique need of a project by integrating the sustainable performance with other project objectives of all stakeholders.

We, as a sustainability consultant, play a pivotal role in a typical project flow, creating and nurturing the Green Quotient from the very beginning till execution; or you can say that from drawing board to its commissioning, by rigorously working along with other project stakeholders. In a nutshell, Conserve Consultants main role is to enable the project team to develop better buildings with features that benefit both the final occupants as well as owners. Above all, the priority to achieve sustainability within the budgeted project cost and time remain the major focus. We strongly believe that Green Buildings and Sustainability Concepts should appeal as a strong business case to all the stakeholders.

Why projects need a green building to achieve the desired certification?

Green Buildings may seem to be the Latest Trend in the Construction industry, but in a way, it has always been there but rarely promoted explicitly. The main reason behind it becoming more evident is that institutions and individuals are becoming more consciously aware of the consequences of neglecting environment viz. El Niño, Global Climate Change effects, to name few. Exponential growth in construction activities has also started an inclination towards Sustainability due to a strong requirement of differentiating oneself in terms of high performance and efficiency. Buildings which operate on fewer resources are also getting incentives by Government and Civic Authorities, further facilitating sustainable growth.

What does a good green building do better than others?

Green Building Consultants also integrates four pillars of Sustainability (Environmentally/Economically/Socially/Culturally) as a guiding tool. Their role is holistic and achieved by integrating all aspects of the performance of all the stakeholders. In spite of all the niche value addition and inputs, the awareness about Green building Concepts and Consultants in the Indian Construction Industry is comparatively low when compared with western context.

What is the right time to appoint a green building consultant?

A green building consultant should have both theoretical and application knowledge on all aspects of a project, be it architecture, construction, electrical, mechanical or public health engineering. As a Built-Environment Consultant, we believe in integrating innovative building technologies by staying relevant to the sector we cater to. The core-technical skills help us in being updated with the green building movement while the industry-specific expertise brings an extra advantage of serving the client’s needs with empathy.

Besides, one should be strong in developing viable business case considering making the project economically feasible. Also, the Consultant should also have tremendous project management skills carry on the sustainability quotient throughout the project without losing the fire from the drawing board until the buildings inception. Along with this, one should also have the marketing and communication expertise in order to help project owner to position the project with a strong appeal to the target audience.

Any project workflow will have Design, Planning, Procurement, Execution, Commissioning and Occupancy stages; at Conserve Consultants, we raise the sustainability quotient at each stage of the project life cycle through Liasoning with Project Owners; Architects & MEP Consultants; Contractors and finally the tenants & occupants.

At what stage the Green consultants should be engaged?

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When sustainable value addition is initiated during the concept stage of a project(as illustrated in the above image ). The Project life cycle analysis shows exactly that at the initial design stage, sustainability inputs have much lesser costs compared to, what it would incur if such interventions are done at a later stage. This is indeed a huge opportunity for the Sustainability consultants to capitalize upon.

How green building consultants help businesses and projects during the COVID crisis?

COVID has handicapped our movement and confined to our homes, due to the nature of their spread. This is after we have stayed for prolonged hours at our homes, we realised the need for thermal comfort, air quality and well-being at our community. Many home buyers have realized the importance of daylight access and good ventilation after they were forced to work from their homes.

As a green building consultant, we can offer a quick analysis of the existing condition at their homes, to understand the areas of improvement in regards to the health and well-being of the occupants. This could result in better managing their existing infrastructure and reduce harmful impacts. In-office environment, we can conduct a comprehensive audit on Air Quality, Energy Consumption and Water Audit, to understand the gaps in performance and outline strategies on how the facility team can achieve a healthy environment for their occupants.

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Written By : Conserve Consultants Pvt Ltd, Green Building Consultant Locations : Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore

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