Studying LEED and GRIHA rating systems and stating why GRIHA is more suitable in Indian context
Faculty of Architecture
Manipal Academy of Higher Education
With the spreading notion and need for sustainable development in the construction and design industry, the rating system schemes are becoming crucial than ever. Today, a lot of significance and effort is being put into sustainable strategies for the construction of buildings. The aim of this paper is to study the LEED rating system and GRIHA in order to identify the scope of improvement in the rating systems and the difference in rating procedures. Through a cross case analysis, the paper identifies the contribution and deficiency in the present sustainable parameters of the two rating tools identified. And explain why GRIHA is a much more suitable rating system for an Indian context.
Keywords: LEED, GRIHA, energy efficiency, benchmarks, sustainability, parameters, green buildings, life cycle assessment
The construction industry in India is considered to be one of the fastest growing construction sectors in the world. The need for built forms is quickly increasing due to rapid urbanization. The greenhouse gas emissions correlated to the manufacturing of construction materials also influences the pattern of energy consumption by occupants, increasing the need to consider low energy approaches to construction (Elnokaly, et al.). In addition to this, green building rating tools have been made to rate the structure based on its direct and indirect impact on the environment. There are noticeably two rating frameworks working in India. Indian green Building Council (IGBC) and The Energy Resource Institute (TERI) are executing number of rating programs all through India since 2001. A successful green building provides a comfortable, healthy and productive environment while balancing energy and resources efficiently. This requires cautious choice of criteria to rate the green building. LEED India and GRIHA are the most acknowledged rating systems in the Indian green building industry. In such manner, LEED and GRIHA frameworks are comparative in points, approach and structure to rate the performance of the building and make agreeing grade levels for accreditation. In any case, the rating procedure differs considerably, from tool rating system to another in terms of measurement of building performance, scope and environmental criteria within the infrastructure sector. Rating systems help builders and designers be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently. This paper intends to focus on the relationship between rating systems and its contribution to climate change and energy efficiency.
To understand and analyse the two rating systems, investigate and understand its relevance and contribution to sustainable buildings and to find out the limitations of the rating system and areas where there are opportunities for further enhancements.
Study and analyse GRIHA and LEED rating systems
Compare the two and find out their deficiencies
Study where there is scope for improvement
Prepare a general checklist for the assessment and certification of any small scale green building
1.3 Scope and Limitations
The purpose of this research is to understand LEED and GRIHA as rating systems and to compare and contrast it with each other.
The scope of this research is to analyse the systems, investigate its implementation and suggest measures and recommendations for further improvement.
Greater dependency on secondary rather than primary case studies.
Statistical or modelling analysis requires a process of normalisation of credits and local contextual factors due to which it couldn’t be undertaken for this research.
Background study:A great part of information in this research was acquired directly from the official manuals of the rating systems. Study available literature and rating system manuals to arrive at a basic understanding of green buildings, rating systems, process of rating systems.
Criteria analysis:Analysing LEED and GRIHA criterions, how and on what basis the buildings are rated, data derived from these studies are used to draw conclusions about how the system works on different fronts and what aspects it focuses on.
Of all the available rating systems in the world, only LEED-India and GRIHA have been taken into consideration for this study.
The research is inferred with an attempt to understand the accomplishments, disappointments and potentials of LEED and GRIHA for green building design in India.
Overview of Green building rating systems
LEED- Leadership in Energy and Environmental design. LEED sets a standard for the outline and development of new or renovated commercial and institutional structures, rating them as Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum depending on the points the structure acquired during its design process.LEED India evaluation criteria:- Sustainable Sites- Water Efficiency- Energy and atmosphere- Materials and Resources- Indoor Environmental Quality- Innovation and Design process- Regional Priority
Fig. 1 LEED Evaluation Criteria
GRIHA- Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment. India’s national rating system for green buildings, identified by the Government of India. It is based on nationally approved principles of energy and environment designed to meet the requirements and suite the local context. GRIHA Evaluation criteria: – Sustainable Site Planning- Health & Wellbeing- Building planning and construction- Energy end use- Recycle, Recharge & Reuse of water- Waste management
Fig. 2 GRIHA Evaluation Criteria
Firstly, it is observed that LEED has a category of ‘Regional Priority’ which makes it a suitable scheme for global adoption, whereas GRIHA lacks this category which customizes the assessment tool in context.
The ‘Site Planning’ category in GRIHA has various sub-categories like Site, transport, health, pollution, etc, which makes a total of 27%, whereas LEED handles all the categories separately.
Both the schemes have a special category for Innovation which shows its concern and importance of innovatively exploring and developing the sustainable development and its stand in the regions.
The total number of credits vary in the two rating systems but the benchmarks set are in percentage which makes it approximately comparable as seen in Table 1.
Table 1 LEED and GRIHA rating Benchmarks
PLATINUM ?80% FIVE STAR 91-100
GOLD 60-70% FOUR STAR 81-90
SILVER 50-59% THREE STAR 71-80
CLASSIFIED 40-49% TWO STAR 61-70
UNCLASSIFIED <40% ONE STAR 50-60
2.1 Literature Review
ARTICLE NAME NAME OF JOURNAL AUTHOR RESEARCH GAP REMARKS
Performance evaluation of energy conscious building rating as a LEED- A review International Journal of Engineering sciences and Research technology Aishwarya Dhopate, Prof. Saurabh Joshi, Prof. Shrikant V Kulkarni . This paper exhibits a conceptual framework to facilitate the development of an inclusive model for the assessment of green buildings.This is used to measure and monitor performance of green buildings.
Comparative Review criteria utilization by LEED and GRIHA: Green building rating systems for new construction in India International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 6, Issue 10 Mr. Rohan V Nalawade, Dr. SG Sonar No input on scope for improvement. Paper only compares LEED and GRIHA rating systems in a very basic and brief manner. Study shows that LEED have made mandatory requirements along with option criteria whereas, GRIHA system is found to be flexible in its approach. Both rating systems give different priorities to certain rating criteria.
Comparative Study of LEED and GRIHA Rating System Journal of Information, Knowledge and Research in Civil Engineering Mr. Iliyas Ikbal Sande, Prof. Mrs. NS Phadtare Compares the LEED and GRIHA rating systems based on criteria analysis. No case studies are used. LEED and GRIHA have both similarities and dissimilarities. Provides details on both rating system and does a comparison. Has a checklist for assessment of small scale green buildings that was inferred from the comparative analysis.
A Cross Case Investigation of Sustainability Assessment tools of the LEED, BREEAM and GRIHA University of Lincoln, UK Amira Elnokaly, Manvi Vyas Comparisons of actual individual project ratings is not done. No case studies. Statistical or modelling analysis is not done. The paper does an in depth study of the three rating systems and compares them based on Sustainability Parameters, Assessment methods, Strengths and weaknesses of the rating systems.
In terms of rating systems, LEED and GRIHA have similarities as well as dissimilarities. A key similarity is the use of credit based system, along with necessary requirements that have to be met to attain certification. Both LEED and GRIHA also use similar rating criterias focusing on land, energy, water, indoor environmental quality. The weightage of each criteria is shown in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2.
3.1 Process: GRIHA uses an offline questionnaire-based approach (SANDE, and PHADTARE). A report is generated that provides ratings, a list of sustainability achievements and recommendations for improvement. An independent third party verifier completes the task. LEED on the other hand is mostly paper based, documentation-intensive and more complex and time consuming.
3.2 Transparency: GRIHA uses mandatory and minimum performance requirements. But even if a building has been disqualified from the LEED evaluation, it could have an all-round performance. GRIHA grants points for executing methodologies, and additionally for results, while LEED essentially assigns points for accomplishing a specific performance level.
3.3 Popularity: In comparison to GRIHA, LEED is very popular, with more that 22 countries adopting the system. LEED was developed in 1994 and has certifies more than 12000 commercial projects. GRIHA was formed only in 2006 and has more than 2000 buildings with its certification.
3.4 Cost: Certifying a structure under GRIHA works out much cheaper than that for LEED. GRIHA has no appeal costs, free associate membership and fewer registration costs.
3.5 Mandatory criteria: From Table. 2 we can come to the conclusion that Energy Efficiency gets the most priority in both the rating systems, whereas, Building Materials and Innovation are totally neglected.
Table 2. Mandatory criteria weightage comparison
Theme GRIHA LEED
Mandatory criteria Weightage in % Mandatory Criteria Weightage in %
Site selection, planning and design 6 31.578 1 11.111
Water efficiency 2 10.526 1 11.111
Energy efficiency 8 42.105 4 44.444
Building materials 0 0 0 0
Waste management 0 0 1 11.111
Indoor environment quality 3 15.789 2 22.222
Innovation and others 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 19 100 9 100
3.5 Maximum Points analysis:
Table 3. Maximum points weightage comparison
Theme GRIHA LEED
Maximum points Weightage in % Maximum points Weightage in %
Site selection, planning and design 20 19.23 22 20
Water efficiency 19 18.25 14 12.72
Energy efficiency 26 25 33 30
Building materials 14 13.46 11 10
Waste management 6 5.76 2 1.818
Indoor environment quality 12 11.538 16 14.545
Innovation and others 7 6.73 12 10.9
TOTAL 104 100 110 100
There are numerous components which must be considered while developing a green building. It is extremely important to know how viable a specific task is in term of its environmental friendliness. This short examination would check where the structure stands in terms of green buildings.. Both rating frameworks are adequate to be utilized in certain parts of the nation yet they are not one of a kind in nature. Since these two frameworks depend on various parameters, there is a probability of both rating systems rate similar structures in an dissimilar way. Additionally, they are very complex and do not necessarily give an idea of the efficiency of the project. Every framework has certain solid focuses and certain feeble focuses and they are not particular on some evaluation criteria. Because of this, the two frameworks are at present confusing the Indian designers, developers over the certification of their structures. LEED originated in the US, where basic construction norms and regulations such as construction worker safety, health & sanitation, minimum visual and thermal comfort are strictly complied with and without which construction approvals are not granted (Anshul Sharma). LEED’s criteria assumes adherence to these basic codes and norms which may not be mandatory in India.On the other hand, GRIHA requires compliance with certain basic codes and norms prescribed by Indian standards such as the National Building Code (NBC), Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), by selectively enforcing a few of these even though they may not be required by local development authorities for construction approvals. This approach ensures that these basic standards are also achieved along with environmental performance. This is why GRIHA is more suitable in an Indian context.
5.1 Checklist for certification of small scale green building
Orientation of building
Energy usage of appliances
Use of renewable energy sources
Appropriate balance of openings
Optimized shading and insulation
Basic amenities and services
Retention of green spaces
Recycling and reuse of water
Rain water harvesting
Sewage treatment plant
Locally available materials
Indoor Environmental Quality
Natural light and ventilation
1 Mr. Rohan V. Nalawade* “Comparative Review criteria utilization by LEED and GRIHA: Green building Rating systems for New construction in India” International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, Volume 6, Issue 10, October 2016
2 MR. ILIYAS IKBAL SANDE “COMPARATIVE STUDY OF LEED AND GRIHA RATING SYSTEM” JOURNAL OF INFORMATION, KNOWLEDGE AND RESEARCH IN CIVIL ENGINEERING
3 2011 International Conference on Green Buildings and Sustainable Cities, “Is LEED leading Asia?: an analysis of global adaptation and trends”. Ruffina Thilakaratnea , Vikki Lewa
4 Author’s version (20.09.2006). Humbert S, Abeck H, Bali N and Horvath A (2007). Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED): A critical evaluation by LCA and recommendations for improvement. Int J LCA 12 (special issue 1) 46-57. https://escholarship.org/uc/item/01n0q8bx
5 Mehdi S. Kaddory Al-Zubaidy, “A Literature Evaluation of the Energy Efficiency of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) -Certified Buildings.” American Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture, vol. 3, no. 1 (2015): 1-7. doi: 10.12691/ajcea-3-1-1.
6 Amira Elnokaly and Manvi Vyas2 “A Cross Case Investigation of Sustainability Assessment tools of the LEED, BREEAM and GRIHA
7 Journal of Information, Knowledge and Research in Civil Engineering, “Comparative Study of LEED and GRIHA Rating systems” Mr. Iliyas Ikbal Sande