IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessments (GRIHA) for Buildings

6th September, 2023 Environment

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.


  • The Indian Army’s new Thal Sena Bhawan (TSB), coming up on a sprawling 39 acre site with a built-up area of 143,450 sq. m., boasts of several green measures conforming with GRIHA-IV (Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment) norms.

Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessments (GRIHA) for Buildings


  • Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment, Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) Council.

Type(s) of Tool

  • Rating Systems


  • Buildings

Lifecycle Phase(s)

  • Project Planning, Concept Design, Procurement, Detailed Design, Construction, Operation and Maintenance

Date of Development

  • 2017


  • The Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) is India’s national framework for the assessment of environmental impacts of built environments with an individual version applying to new buildings and one for existing buildings (both starting at 2,500 sqm built-up area).
  • For both versions, the net impact of buildings on quantitative and qualitative parameters is totaled and compared against a rating table, resulting in a sustainability certification. Thereby, the tool aims to support the reduction of detrimental impacts of buildings.

Tool Outcome

  • Depending on the total point score, buildings receive a sustainability rating of one to five stars.

Sustainability Criteria

The sustainability of new buildings is assessed across a broad set of criteria clustered in eleven categories:

– Sustainable site planning (3 criteria)

– Construction management (3 criteria)

– Energy efficiency (3 criteria)

– Occupant comfort (3 criteria)

– Water management (4 criteria)

– Solid waste management (2 criteria)

– Sustainable building materials (3 criteria)

– Life cycle costing (1 criterion)

– Socio-economic strategies (4 criteria)

– Performance metering & monitoring (3 criteria)

– Innovation (1 criterion)

For existing buildings, the sustainability is assessed across six categories:

– Site parameters (2 criteria)

– Maintenance & housekeeping (2 criteria)

– Energy (2 criteria)

– Water (2 criteria)

– Human health & comfort (2 criteria)

– Social aspects (2 criteria)

The basic features of GRIHA

  • The system has been developed to help 'design and evaluate' new buildings (buildings that are still at the inception stages).
  • A building is assessed based on its predicted performance over its entire life cycle – inception through operation.
  • The stages of the life cycle that have been identified for evaluation are:
  1. Pre-construction stage: (intra- and inter-site issues like proximity to public transport, type of soil, kind of land, where the property is located, the flora and fauna on the land before construction activity starts, the natural landscape and land features).
  2. Building planning and construction stages: (issues of resource conservation and reduction in resource demand, resource utilization efficiency, resource recovery and reuse, and provisions for occupant health and well-being). The prime resources that are considered in this section are land, water, energy, air, and green cover.
  3. Building operation and maintenance stage: (issues of operation and maintenance of building systems and processes, monitoring and recording of energy consumption, and occupant health and well-being, and also issues that affect the global and local environment).

The benefits

  • On a broader scale, this system, along with the activities and processes that lead up to it, will benefit the community at large with the improvement in the environment by reducing GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, reducing energy consumption and the stress on natural resources.

Some of the benefits of a green design to a building owner, user, and the society as a whole are as follows:

    • Reduced energy consumption without sacrificing the comfort levels
    • Reduced destruction of natural areas, habitats, and biodiversity, and reduced soil loss from erosion etc.
    • Reduced air and water pollution (with direct health benefits)
    • Reduced water consumption
    • Limited waste generation due to recycling and reuse
    • Reduced pollution loads
    • Increased user productivity
    • Enhanced image and marketability


Q. Outline the basic features of Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessments (GRIHA) for Buildings.  What are the benefits of a green design to a building owner, user, and society as a whole?