‘Building green is an opportunity to use our resources efficiently’

Kohinoor Hospital, Mumbai has been one of Asia’s first hospitals to receive the LEED Platinum Rating for its green hospital structure. Raelene Kambli interacts with Dr Rajeev Boudhankar, VP, Kohinoor Hospital to understand what is LEED certification and how Kohinoor Hospital has managed to stay green

Kohinoor Hospital, Mumbai has been one of Asia’s first hospitals to receive the LEED Platinum Rating for its green hospital structure. Raelene Kambli interacts with Dr Rajeev Boudhankar, VP, Kohinoor Hospital to understand what is LEED certification and how Kohinoor Hospital has managed to stay green

How important is it, in your view, to ‘build green’?

201505ehm22
Rajeev Boudhankar

‘Green’ or ‘sustainable’ buildings use resources like energy, water, materials and land more efficiently than the regular standard buildings. With more natural light and better air quality, green buildings typically contribute to improved employee health, comfort, and productivity. Generally, buildings account for 1/6th of the world’s fresh water withdrawal, 1/4th of its wood harvest and 2/5th of its material and energy flows. Hence it would be justifiable to say ‘building green’ is an opportunity to use our resources efficiently while creating healthier buildings that improve human health, build a better environment and provide cost savings.”

What is LEED certification and how does a hospital go about getting one?

LEED stands for The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The LEED Green Building Rating System developed by the US Green Building Council (USGBC), provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction. Since its inception in 1998, LEED has grown to encompass more than 14,000 projects in the US and 30 countries covering 1.062 billion sq ft (99 sq km) of development area. The hallmark of LEED is that it is an open and transparent process where the technical criteria proposed by the LEED committees are publicly reviewed for approval by more than 10,000 membership organisations that currently constitute the USGBC. The certifying authority for Kohinoor Hospital is the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). The intent of LEED India – IGBC New Construction is to assist in the creation of high performance, healthful, durable, affordable and environmentally sound commercial and institutional buildings.

LEED – India Certification Levels
Certification
New Construction
Core & Shell
LEED Certified
26 – 32
23 – 27
LEED Certified Silver level
33 – 38
28 – 33
LEED Certified Gold Level
39 – 51
34 – 44
LEED Certified Platinum Level
52 – 69
45 – 61

 

 

 

 

Green building ratings are classified into four categories, namely, LEEDs-certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The project must satisfactorily document achievement of all of the pre-requisites and a minimum number of points to attain the LEED ratings as listed in the table.

Is the LEED programme a valid way to encourage green design?

The LEED India Green Building Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based, market-driven building rating system based on existing proven technology. It evaluates environmental performance from a whole building perspective over a building’s life cycle, providing a definitive standard for what constitutes a ‘green building’.

The rating system is organised into five environmental categories:

  • Sustainable Sites
  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy & Atmosphere
  • Materials & Resources and Indoor Environmental Quality and an additional category
  • Innovation & Design Process

What are the benefits in building a green hospital?

Green buildings provide financial benefits that conventional buildings do not. These benefits include energy and water savings, reduced waste, improved indoor environmental quality, greater employee comfort/productivity, reduced employee health costs and lower operations and maintenance costs.

By going green, we can achieve energy savings up to 35 per cent over the ‘Ashrae standard’ which is the base of building design standard. Studies of workers in green buildings has reported substantial productivity gains of up to 16 per cent including reduction in absenteeism and improved work quality based on ‘people friendly’ green design. In other words, green building design has environmental, economic and social elements that benefit all building stakeholders including owners, occupants and the general public.

How did you manage to get a Platinum rating?

The prime driving force was that we aspired to make Kohinoor Hospital the first hospital/ healthcare institution in the world or at least in Asia to achieve Platinum Rating. The second reason was that Platinum is the highest rating in the green rating category and we wanted to go for the best!

Credit points are distributed as per the environmental benefits
under the below mentioned areas of activities
S. No
Credits
New Building
Core & Shell
Prerequisites
7
7
1
Sustainable Sites
13
14
2
Water efficiency
6
6
3
Energy and Atmosphere
17
14
4
Materials and Resources
13
11
5
Indoor Environmental quality
15
11
6
Innovation and Accredited Professional points
5
5
Total
69
61

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would specifically wish to add, that it was not only the ratings, the name and fame that prompted us to go for Green – Platinum. It is our CMD Unmesh Joshi’s dream that all Kohinoor projects will be green. It is also his foresight that green is the future of all the commercial projects to come, in a sense that it helps in the industry to save on the resources of the world which are slowly getting depleted. If we can be make a difference even by a small percentage of the benefits to the world, Kohinoor benefits so to say. Also, it takes only a small increase in the initial cost over their conventional counterparts, but the benefits are multi-fold as compared to the original investment in green features. Productivity, health benefits, reduced operation costs, energy, emission, water and waste benefits are just a few of the added benefits that Kohinoor has got by going green.

What are the challenges you face?

There is no challenge in maintaining a green hospital/ green building but the challenge is in making one. Green building projects cost more than regular projects. However, in terms of patient welfare providing better medical services it helps in the long run and proves more beneficial to society.

There’s a belief that one has to choose between building green and building beautiful. Can you combine aesthetics and sustainability?

Yes! One can certainly combine aesthetics and sustainability while running a green hospital. We have done it.

Which are the other hospitals that have received LEED certification?

Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas in Austin has been honoured as the first hospital to be awarded Platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) status by the US Green Building Council.

The 169-bed facility, which encompasses nearly 500,000 sq ft received a score of 54 out of a possible 69 total points, putting it two points over the threshold for platinum status. The facility which had a construction cost of $130 million opened in June 2007. We are the first in Asia.

What will take to make a real, substantive change?

Society plays an important role in this. As responsible citizens, we should know the importance of green buildings to have a healthier life tomorrow.

raelene.kambli@expressindia.com

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