Better Places for People in India: Our research shows green buildings support healthier, happier lives

Thursday 06th July 2017

 

Eight out of 10 people working in green offices, factories and shopping malls in India have reported good thermal comfort, showing they are happy with the temperature inside those spaces. Nine in 10 occupants of those same buildings have been educated on the benefits of introducing environmental measures.

These are just two findings of a major piece of research we released in May, capturing the perceptions and experiences of the occupants of 25 green buildings - including offices, institutional buildings, factories and malls - across seven major cities in India… all certified under our green building rating system.

The objective of the study was to understand how people’s perceptions and experiences could be used to inform and enhance health and wellbeing features in certified green buildings.

Our rating programmes address concepts of physical, emotional, intellectual, and social wellbeing. They include green strategies such as ample daylight, greenery within the spaces, increased fresh air ventilation, as well as health and fitness amenities which all enhance the overall wellbeing of occupants. Certified green buildings must also provide an environment which is thermally, visually, and acoustically comfortable for occupants. They also ensure that the ergonomic design of spaces and furniture further enhance the comfort level of the occupants.

The study of green buildings provided some fascinating findings, including:

These findings are some of the first of their kind to come from India on the actual impacts that green buildings have on the people inside them, and are the first to come from the India Green Building Council itself. In our country, there are still tremendous opportunities to advance the development of green buildings, and this report may help to strengthen the business case for health and wellbeing in buildings in India, thus potentially increasing the demand and supply of green buildings.

We also recently held a National Workshop in New Delhi to discuss this research, which was conducted through our involvement with WorldGBC’s Better Places for People project.

The workshop, attended by 30 people, aimed to find informed solutions for building better places in India based on the research, and to use the report to inform how we administer our green building certification system. The workshop was also designed to encourage people-centric designs and to make the concepts of health and wellbeing in certified green buildings more applicable to various stakeholders including building owners, operators, and developers in India.

We are proud to say that we are pioneering the implementation of health and wellbeing principles in green buildings in India, that are particularly suited to the Indian national context.

Developing healthier, happier and greener buildings in India is of huge importance given the size of our building sector and our population, and we hope that our activities will inspire others to do so in their countries.

Anand Muthukrishnan is the Principal Counsellor at the Indian Green Building Council. He is representing India GBC for the Better Places for people campaign. For any further details, you can connect with him at m.anand@cii.in.

Within the Better Places for People project, we hear first-hand about local success stories happening around the world on health and wellbeing for people inside green buildings – and we will continue to share those stories with you right from our Green Building Councils.

To read IGBC’s report Impact of Green Buildings on Occupants Wellbeing, download it here: https://igbc.in/igbc/