Climate Smart Cities

Workshop for developing Green Building Framework for commercial and institutional buildings in Kochi

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As part of the Indo-German development cooperation, GIZ India, under the Climate Smart Cities Project has been supporting the Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs (MoHUA) Government of India and 3 cities of Coimbatore, Kochi and Bhubaneswar with the objective to provide “climate friendly solutions for urban infrastructure supply and urban development are anchored in the planning and implementation of projects within the framework of the Indian government’s Smart Cities Programme”.

One of the focus areas of the CSC project is green buildings/building energy efficiency for the city of Kochi. The project intends to stimulate understanding and adoption of green building technologies in the selected cities and states in order to contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. CSC project intends to bridge the gap between research and practice in the sector of green and energy efficient buildings in India by introducing replicable measures at the city, state, and national levels. In this regard a 2-day workshop was held in Kochi on 14 – 15 November 2019. The workshop used a collaborative approach to create realistic and achievable solutions and approaches that would work in the context of Kochi. It brought together stakeholders and experts engaged in the green building sector, both locally and nationally, to brainstorm and provide their inputs to develop the draft framework for green buildings in the commercial and institutional sectors for Kochi. GIZ facilitated the discussions to discuss potential actions for boosting the implementation of green buildings in the city.

The experts came from various cities within Kerala and other parts of India including Delhi and Hyderabad. The workshop also witnessed participation from India-based GIZ experts/consultants belonging from countries such as the Netherlands and Germany. The experience that they brought in from their respective sectors ranged from 5 years to over 40 years.  The workshop started with an input presentation from Ms. Chitrangada Bisht, Green Building Consultant for Climate Smart Cities project.

She talked about the climatic conditions and architectural identity of Kochi/Kerala. She then explained the various green rating systems available in India and the policy framework currently available for green building practitioners. She explained the current status of green building construction in Kochi and the reasons for slow adoption of green construction in Kochi. Additionally, input presentations on sustainable architecture, water management, and energy efficiency were given by local experts. Following these presentations, the participants were divided into three groups to work on the following thematic areas over the two days:

  • Design, Architecture & Planning of Buildings
    • Site planning and urban design
    • Bio-climatic architecture
    • Building Materials
  • Building Services
    • Energy efficiency
    • Water efficiency
    • Waste management

At the end of each session the key takeaways from the thematic breakaway sessions were then compiled in a plenary discussion round in order to shortlist actionable points and open-ended points. At the end of the second day a moderated discussion was conducted to seek inputs from the participants for formulating a framework for implementing green buildings principles in the commercial and institutional sectors of Kochi. The participants organized themselves into two groups- pink and green, each of which had members with different expertise. The groups individually discussed the various challenges and barriers in mainstreaming green construction in Kochi, the drivers for green building construction, and policy recommendations for mainstreaming green buildings in the city which was then presented to the larger audience.