January 15, 2021

How to Get Green Building Certification?

Green-rated buildings apart from reducing operating costs and having a minimized negative impact on the environment gets incentives from many government bodies. Check out the incentives provided by the Indian government here. This article briefs on the green building certification process of different rating systems.

How to get IGBC - Indian Green Building Council Certification for buildings?

Registration and Certification:

To get your project IGBC certified you must first register with IGBC. After registration, you are provided access to the required documents, necessary communication, and other information to pursue certification. The project team must then start preparing documents and calculations necessary to meet submittal requirements. All required information to achieve at least the minimum credit points needs to be submitted.

Submission documents:
  1. Filled-in Template
  2. Supporting drawings, calculations, contract documents, purchase invoices, manufacturer cut-sheets, material test reports, etc., to validate each credit.

The project documentation is submitted in two phases:

1. Preliminary phase: It involves the submission of all documents including fulfillment of all mandatory requirements fulfilling the minimum number of credits. This is followed by a review by third party assessors which will be provided within 30 days. The credits and points earned in the preliminary review are expected to be met and are not awarded until the final documents are submitted.

2. Final submission: The next phase involves submissions clarifying the queries submitted in the preliminary review. Changes in credit points after the preliminary review need to be updated in this submission. The final review will be provided within 30 days after which the credits are awarded. IGBC certification is valid for 3 years after which the project needs to be submitted for renewal.

The certification applies to the following rating systems:

  • IGBC Green New Buildings
  • IGBC Green Existing Buildings
  • IGBC Green Homes
  • IGBC Green Schools
  • IGBC Green Factory Building
  • IGBC Green Townships
  • IGBC Green SEZs
  • IGBC Green Landscapes
  • IGBC Green Mass Rapid Transit System


Projects by developers are eligible for registering for Precertification. These projects get precertified during the design stage. Documents submitted for precertification must provide details on what will be implemented in the building. This rating is awarded based on the project design that is per the requirements of the rating system. Precertification may or may not correspond to the final certification. Mandatory submission of at least 6 monthly project updates before final certification is required. The final award will be given based on on-site verification by experts from the IGBC team.

Precertification applies to the following rating systems:

  • IGBC New Buildings (Tenant-occupied buildings)
  • IGBC Green Homes
  • IGBC Green Townships
  • IGBC Green SEZs

Provisional Certification

IGBC also offers Provisional certification for projects applying for Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) Clearance. Application of Provisional certificate is similar to that of Precertification process. Precertification is valid for 3 years.

The provisional certification applies to the following rating systems:

  • IGBC New Buildings - Owner-occupied buildings
  • IGBC Green Factory Building

How to get GRIHA- Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment certified?

  • Online registration: The EOI (Expression of Interest) form from the GRIHA website needs to be filled and the project is registered once the registration fees are paid. After registration, a username and password will be provided for submitting the required documents in the GRIHA online portal.
  • Orientation workshop: After registration GRIHA officials conduct an Orientation workshop where detailed information is given on the rating, criteria, and queries are answered. 
  • Due diligence I: A site visit by GRIHA officials is made to validate that all sustainable measures during the construction phase are adopted and will be scheduled once the project has reached the plinth level.
  • Due diligence II: The second site visit will be conducted to validate internal finishes, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical components installed during the construction phase. It is scheduled after the completion of building structural work.
  • Submission of documents: As the project is nearing completion, the project team must upload the documents for all criteria using the username and password provided at the time of registration.
  • Preliminary evaluation: A team of experts from the GRIHA council with external evaluators review the documents.
  • Final due diligence: The final site visit after project completion involves the verification of submitted documents with on-site implementation by GRIHA officials.
  • Final evaluation: The final submitted documents and the final site visit report are evaluated by GRIHA Council officials and external evaluators with the preliminary evaluation. The final rating is then awarded based on the final evaluation and is valid for up to 5 years.
  • Green awareness drive: This is a visit after awarding the rating to impart basic knowledge and understanding of green buildings and their working to the project occupants.
  • Rating renewal: The rating can be renewed by submitting an audit data report every 3 years having energy, water, and waste management report (this report should be prepared by a BEE – certified energy auditor) or by enrolling the project for GRIHA EB (Existing Building) rating to maintain its certification for the next cycle of 5 years.

How to get LEED- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for buildings?

Make sure your project meets all minimum LEED Requirements.

LEED certification involves 4 major steps:

  1. Registering the Project
  2. Applying for LEED certification
  3. Review of submissions by GBCI
  4. Certification of the project.

Registering the project:

All projects pursuing LEED certification need to register on the LEED online platform. Provide the information required with registration fees and ssign agreement conditions in LEED online.

Project team roles:

Owner – The person who holds authority over the property and accepts certification agreements. When multiple owners are involved one of the owners needs to administer the project. It is also required to submit a Confirmation of the Primary Owner’s Authority Form.

Agent – The agent is granted authority by the owner for the project registration. This requires you to upload a signed Confirmation of Agent’s Authority form.

Project administrator – The person oversees the entire LEED project and is responsible for assigning tasks for each member of the team. This person needs to check if all prerequisites for the LEED application are met.

Applying for LEED certification

The project team needs to collect information and submit the necessary documentation after identifying the LEED credits to the GBCI. Once the documents are ready with calculations and analysis demonstrating the needful for the selected credits upload the application online for review.

Common characteristics of high-quality submissions:
  • Relevant prerequisite and credit information are highlighted
  • File attachments are clearly labeled
  • The documentation is clear and concise. Only the required documents are submitted.
  • Concise narratives for each section making it easier for GBCI reviews.

Review of submissions by GBCI

After you’ve submitted your application and once the certification fee is cleared, GBCI will conduct a thorough technical review.

Part 1: Preliminary Review

  • GBCI will check the application for compliance with the chosen rating system and attempted credits.
  • GBCI will respond within 20 – 25 business days, indicating the credits that can be awarded and the ones that are pending requesting more information.
  • Your team can accept the preliminary review as final or revise documentation or add additional credits before submitting it for the final review.

Part 2: Final Review (optional)

  • This stage allows you to submit the supplementary information requested by the reviewer during the preliminary review and make amends to the documents. It is suggested to submit these within 25 business days.
  • After reviewing the documents a review report will be sent marking prerequisites, attempted credits awarded, and denied considering changes made after the preliminary review. This report will be sent within 20 – 25 days after submission.
  • The results can be either accepted as a final or to revise the application you need to appeal for a supplemental review which involves a fee to be paid.

Part 3: Supplemental Review (optional, fees to be paid)

  • After the review, you can either accept the awards or appeal for another supplemental review.

Certification of the project:

After accepting the final certification report, no more supplemental reviews can be applied for. The LEED green building certificate is then awarded as per the final certification report.

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