US report finds Indian building activity among the world's most 'green'

The US Green Building Council (USGBC) has ranked India third in its list of the top 10 countries for LEED outside of the United States.

Canada tops the list followed by China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany and Brazil.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It uses a detailed rating system for buildings of all types, with rating on four levels: certified, silver, gold and platinum. It is the most recognised brand in the trend toward measuring building sustainability.

The list demonstrates the global reach of the movement that is transforming the built environment into healthy, high-performing structures that benefit the planet and its people.

''The global community is increasingly recognising the imperative for action as we combat the extraordinary challenge of worldwide climate change,'' said Rick Fedrizzi, president, chief executive and founding chairman of the USGBC.

''LEED's success in India represents not only a growing recognition of its demonstrated benefits for human health and operational cost-savings, but also its unparalleled potential to be part of the solution to a warming planet and rising sea levels,'' Fedrizzi added.

However, the LEED findings are risible to environmentally conscious Indians, who know that the country's almost non-existent building regulations are leading to a looming environmental crisis.

According to a statement, the list of the top 10 countries for LEED reflects the global adaptability of the world's most widely used and recognised system guiding the design, construction, operations and maintenance of green buildings.

To date, project teams in more than 140 countries and territories have implemented LEED in their building projects, taking advantage of its global, regional and local applicability to create structures that mitigate greenhouse gas emissions; create healthier indoor environments for workers, students and community members; and lower utility bills for building owners through reduced energy and water use.

The ranking of the top 10 countries for LEED outside of the US is based on cumulative gross square meter (GSM) of space certified to LEED in each nation as of April 2014.

India has 11.64 million GSM of LEED-certified space, and in total, it has 1,657 LEED-certified and -registered projects representing 66.22 million GSM.

In June 2013, USGBC launched the LEED Earth campaign, offering free certification to the first projects to certify in more than 100 countries where LEED has yet to take root. Since then, 15 projects in various nations have earned free certification.