The Government of India has taken several steps to address the ever-increasing housing demand, one among many being the ‘Housing for All’ or Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme which aims to bring ‘pukka’ house to every family in urban cities by 2022. In addition, the Government is keeping the aspects of sustainability while pursuing rapid economic growth and building new infrastructure to meet the targets set in COP26 of ‘net zero’ carbon emitter by 2070. Achieving these targets is difficult without the taking into consideration the contribution of standalone small-scale buildings. The standalone buildings comprise of a huge building stock, and though the impact of one such building may be negligible, but a conglomerate of smaller buildings can have massive adverse results in terms of impact. Likewise, this conglomerate also has huge potential to contribute to reduction in negative environmental impact, which in turn will help achieve reduction in carbon emissions. Therefore, it is imperative that the consumers are aware of the impact of their establishments and the means to avert severe negative impacts.

Considering the importance of climate change, the need for sustainable affordable standalone housing in India and to work towards the common goal of achieving carbon neutrality, GRIHA Council is launching a new certification called ‘Jan Awas Nirman GRIHA’ also known as ‘JAN GRIHA’.JAN GRIHA will cater to the smaller low-cost residential buildings in India with built-up area ≤ 200 m2. This certification is formulated with the intent to:

  • spread the idea of sustainability at grass root level,
  • recognize the small efforts made by low income group people towards sustainability,
  • encourage them to adopt modifications in their choices to lower their carbon footprint

GRIHA Council is registered under the Societies Act and conducts charitable activities as a part of this act. This certification is being launched as a part of charitable activities to be conducted by GRIHA Council. This activity is aimed at ensuring that sustainability in the built environment is easily adoptable by the masses to reduce their carbon footprint and help fight climate change, through this certification. The certification is simple, easy to understand and has been developed keeping in mind the limitations of the affordable housing sector and focuses on minimizing any additional cost that the project proponent incurs in making their homes ‘Green’. It will be available to the project proponents in the form of a simplified calculator-based online tool offsetting the dependency on software for analysis. This is to ensure that ‘Sustainable Housing’ is not only to be endorsed by selective economic sections of the society, but can be easily implementable by all homeowners. The main focus around which the certification has been developed is making the project proponent aware of the environmental impact of the steps taken by them while building their houses.


All new residential projects with a built-up area of ≤ 200 sqm. are eligible for JAN GRIHA certification. The minimum number of projects to be registered under this certification should be 50.

Salient Features
  • Affordable: It keeps in consideration low-cost strategies and eliminates the use of any cost adding software-based analyses or third-party audits.
  • Simple: The rating is developed as a simple online tool where project team can select the attempted appraisals, input relative data and add the respective documents in the same space. A summary of the project will be made available online to the project team at the time of final award of rating.
  • Impact Analysis Tool: The JAN GRIHA panel will enable the users to design their buildings sustainably and obtain certification. Additionally, it will also help them to understand the quantitative impact of their project in terms of a tentative reduction of energy consumption, water consumption and carbon emissions.
Certification Framework

JAN GRIHA rating system is a 50-point system consisting of 12 criteria categorized under six sections as follows:

  • Sustainable Building Design
  • Energy Optimization
  • Sustainable Building Materials
  • Water Management
  • Waste Management
  • Sustainable Lifestyle

The section breakup indicating the criterion name and points are listed below:

Section Criterion no. Criterion name Maximum points
Sustainable building design 1 Reduction in urban heat island effect (UHIE) 4
2 Passive architectural design 2
3 Fenestration design 4
Energy optimization 4 Energy efficient artificial lighting 2
5 Energy efficient appliances 5
6 Renewable energy integration 3
Sustainable building materials 7 Reduction in embodied energy 8
8 Sustainable building materials in interiors 4
Water management 9 Reduction in building water demand 5
10 Rainwater harvesting 3
Waste management 11 Waste management 2
Sustainable lifestyle 12 Adoption of sustainable lifestyle 8
Total points 50
Certification Threshold

Different levels of certification (one star to five stars) are awarded based on the number of points earned. The minimum points required for certification is 10.

Points JAN GRIHA Rating
Certification Process

The process of evaluation of projects under JAN GRIHA would be accomplished according to the steps as follows:

Step I: Registration of Projects
  • To apply for JAN GRIHA Certification, an entity has to send their expression of interest (EoI) to GRIHA by filling an online registration form available on GRIHA website (www.grihaindia.org). The right time to register is during the inception of the project. This would ensure seamless integration of sustainable design and construction strategies, and procurement of low-energy materials and efficient systems.
  • Confirmation of registration: Once the online form is duly submitted and registration fee is paid, of the entity can get initiate the process to submit documents for all the projects registered for JAN GRIHA Certification.
Step II: JAN GRIHA Training
  • The project team who will be responsible for submitting the JAN GRIHA documentation will have to attend training programme on the requisites of the Certification, for an additional fee.
Step III: Submission of Documents and Online Calculations
  • Each project shall have a maximum of two site visits at the following stages of the project:
  • During construction: The visit shall be conducted to validate sustainable measures adopted during the construction phase and capture requisite photographs as mentioned in the ‘Compliance’ requirements. Any shortcomings observed during the visit would be communicated to the project team with possible solutions to overcome the same.
  • Post completion: The post completion of the project, a site visit will be conducted to assess the compliance and capture photographs as mentioned under list of requisite documents. Similar to the first site visit, all observations shall be recorded in the site visit report.

Based on the stage of the project, the time of the visit can be decided.

Step IV: Submission of Documents and Calculations

After the project is complete and occupied, the documents for all the criteria should be submitted to GRIHA Council. The list of the documents is provided under each criterion. Once the submission of the documents for all the criteria is completed, the evaluation process for the certification would commence.

Step V: Evaluation and Award of Certification

After the submission, an evaluation is carried out by a team of GRIHA Council officials. On completion of evaluation, GRIHA Council will award the certification achieved by the project and subsequently share a project summary sheet, and certificate with the project team.

Certification Fee

The registration cum rating fee (subject to review and modification) is ₹7,500/- (excluding taxes), Fee USD - 100 .

It may be noted that award of the rating is subject to fulfilment of all requirements as elaborated in the JAN GRIHA manual.

Please write to info@grihaindia.org for more details.