Builders in Mumbai have sensed an opportunity to obtain permission for more construction area. The state government is now considering allowing higher floor space index for environment-friendly green buildings and is also considering other incentives to prompt more developers to undertake construction of such green buildings, said Valsa R Nair Singh, Secretary (Environment), Government of Maharashtra.
"I am Looking forward to a day when we will only have green buildings in the state. And we have taken a few steps already. Right now I would not want to step into the subject of giving extra FSI for green homes but we are looking into it," she said. Floor space index is a ratio showing permissible development potential of a land parcel.
A green building or construction also known as sustainable building, is the practice of creating structures using processes and materials that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a structure's life-cycle. But, it's still early days. It is not known whether the state government's environment department will have its own qualitative and quantitative assessment criteria for these buildings or it will use the existing certification systems such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED-INDIA) Green Building Rating System or The Energy and Resources Institute's Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment . According to experts in the property industry, the proposal would be interesting and apart from end users, developers will be benefiting the most depending on the criteria set for receiving higher FSI.
"Green building certification is accorded once the construction is over and building is ready, while FSI approval is required at the beginning of the project. How will this gap be cemented? Also, if the building fails to get the certification, what will happen to the FSI approval?," questioned Pranay Vakil, chairman Knight Frank India. Apart from awarding higher FSI, the state is also contemplating other measures to encourage construction of more environment-friendly buildings.