Green Building Rating Systems in India

Green Building is a term that is constantly garnering attention in our world today. There is a growing need for sustainable development and Green buildings ensure the efficient use of natural resources that reduce the harmful impact on the environment. Technologies implemented in these buildings use sensors that can automatically adjust the room temperature according to people inside a room, or a smart lighting system that automatically saves electricity when it is not being used.

How does one decide whether a Building is "Green?

There is a predefined set of guidelines that relate to the design, construction and operation of buildings which determines whether its performance is creating a harmful impact on the environment or not.

There is a certain mandatory criterion that is predefined which would determine whether a building is certified or not in terms of Green building. They are:

1)    Selection of site and its design

2)    Energy efficiency

3)    Building materials

4)    Waste management

5)    Water efficiency

6)    Quality of indoor air

7)    Innovation and other technologies

In India, there are three rating systems which are most often used that have their own set of criteria to be followed. They are:

1) LEED India               2) GRIHA               3) IGBC

LEED India

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is recognised in India and globally as a point of reference for design, construction and operation of Green Buildings. It was originally developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) for promoting sustainability through the construction of Green buildings. The standards used by LEED are developed to suit every kind of building type and phase including new construction, interior designing layout, operations, maintenance, core and shell.

A LEED certification can be achieved by a building if it meets all prerequisites and achieves the bare minimum standard according to them. Their rating system is based on points and establishes the intent and technology or strategies for every credit. Based on the number of points received, a project can earn one out of four levels of LEED certification which are:

•    Certified (40-49 points earned)

•    Silver (50-59 points earned)

•    Gold (60-79 earned)

•    Platinum (80 + earned)

The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad is LEED ‘Silver’ rated.


Indian Green Building Council

IGBC stands for Indian Green Building Council. This Green building rating system was developed with a holistic approach towards creating environmentally-friendly buildings. The IGBC system uses an arbitrary approach with a few mandatory requirements to award credit points. The system is designed to initiate a need to address national priorities and increase the quality of life for its occupants and it keeps pace with current standards and growing technology. It is mainly designed for newly built structures, both air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned buildings including residential, factory buildings, schools, integrated townships, offices, commercial buildings, etc.

The rating system is classified into two types:  Owner-occupied and Tenant-occupied buildings.

Based on the total level of credits earned, a building is awarded a level of certification.


Level Of Certification Recognition
Certified Good Practice
Silver Best Practice
Gold Outstanding Performance
Platinum National Excellence
Super Platinum Global Leadership


Wipro Technologies in Gopanpally, Hyderabad has a Gold level certification.


Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment

GRIHA is a National Rating System that was developed keeping in mind the different climatic zones in the country. It is suitable for rating all kinds of buildings. GRIHA stands for Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment. The rating system takes into account the National Building Code of India, Energy Conservation Building Code, several IS codes and local standards and laws. The GRIHA rating system evaluates the environmental performance of a building over its entire life cycle and provides a standard for what is represented as a ‘green building’. The standard criteria are revised every three years to maintain a balance between established practices and technology that is emerging in the field.

GRIHA’s rating system has 100 points where certain requirements are mandatory to receive a minimum score of 50. There are also innovation points that can be awarded over the 100 point system. A project can hypothetically apply for a maximum score of 104 points, however, the final scoring is awarded out of 100 points.

Points Awarded Rating
50-60 One Star
61-70 Two Stars
71-80 Three Stars
81-90 Four Stars
91-100 Five Stars


Rail Nirman Nilayam in Hyderabad has a 3-star GRIHA rating.

Please check out:

Green Building Principles in Construction