August, 2020
  GRIHA Virtual Conference
With the spread of COVID-19 virus all over the world, our future looks uncertain. This pandemic has forced us to think about green and healthier living spaces. In this present scenario of pandemic, where people are not able to survey the market, GRIHA Council had organized a virtual exhibition from 21st - 25th, July 2020 providing an opportunity to the various stakeholders such as builders, architects, NGO's, manufacturers, academicians, Government agencies and many more. It acted as a virtual platform to interact and to disseminate information about the benefits, specifications and sustainability features of the respective technologies, solutions, research, products and much more.
  Day 1- Inauguration of GRIHA Virtual Conference
While it is far-fetched to claim that the built-environment in our country is inherently sustainable, it is also true that the largest part of the infrastructure of our rapidly developing country is yet to be built. Since its inception in 2005, GRIHA has been responsible for significantly upping the ante for sustainability in the built infrastructure. Now, with the unprecedented situation of a global pandemic inhibiting development, GRIHA strives to adapt and continue to push the boundaries of sustainability by organizing its maiden Webinar and Virtual Exhibition series from July 21st, 2020 until July 25th, 2020.

Inaugural session, hosted by the GRIHA Council, was held on 21st July, 2020. Webinar was marked by the presence of Dr. Shailesh Kumar Agrawal, Executive Director, Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) emphasized on the role of sustainable building materials and technologies to reduce carbon emissions in the built environment. It was followed by a session on Bamboo as an alternative sustainable building material by Shri R.S. Sinha, Additional Commissioner-NRM, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India. Dr. Ajay Mathur, President, GRIHA Council mentioned the uniqueness the virtual platform and its prime advantage - the ability of people to join from across the country, and from the safety of their own homes. Mr. Sanjay Seth, Chief Executive Officer, GRIHA Council extended their gratitude to the eminent guests for their presence, by lighting the lamp of knowledge.
  Inauguration of GRIHA Virtual Exhibition
GRIHA Virtual Exhibition was inaugurated jointly by Dr. Shailesh Kumar Agrawal, Executive Director, Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC), Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Government of India, Shri R.S. Sinha Additional Commissioner-NRM Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, Dr. Ajay Mathur, President, GRIHA Council and Mr. Sanjay Seth, Chief Executive Officer, GRIHA Council on 21st July, 2020.

The initiative also laid emphasis on the direct interaction of product manufacturers with the clients. It helped to improve the connectivity within the market and explore about the various sustainability aspects and alternatives of the products.

Through this platform the companies /organizations had displayed their work, products and were able to interact with the audience one to one through a chat feature provided in the software.
  Launch of GRIHA Product Catalogue Brochure
GRIHA Product Catalogue Brochure was launched on the first day of GRIHA Virtual Conference by Dr. Shailesh Kumar Agrawal, Executive Director, Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC), Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Government of India, Shri R.S. Sinha Additional Commissioner-NRM Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, Dr. Ajay Mathur, President, GRIHA Council and Mr. Sanjay Seth, Chief Executive Officer, GRIHA Council
  Day 2 - Virtual Site Visit Tour – Bamboo Research and Training Center
On the second day, a virtual site visit was conducted where Mr. Jayesh Vira Gadin Consultancy & Co, presented the institutional project ‘Bamboo Research and Training Centre’ located in Chandrapur, Maharashtra and explained passive design strategies incorporated in the project. Later, PWD, Nagpur team, Mr Jawale, and Mr. Sanjog, conducted a site visit where various strategies discussed during the presentation were explained in detail.

After the virtual site visit, Mr. C.N.Jha, Deputy Chief, Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC) elaborated on the various aspects of BMTPC’s work and the primary objectives of the organisation involving the mainstreaming of alternative and environment friendly building materials through research, disaster mitigation, capacity building & skill development, consultancy & project management work.

Mr. Shadab Ahmed, National Manager - Defence & Govt. Segment & Key Accoints, India & South Asia and Country Manager - Sri Lanka & Maldives, ARMACELL India Pvt. Ltd., explained the development of technologies by Armacell including the recycling of PET bottles using the foaming process and Mr. J.P. Singh shared his insights on the sustainable earthing solutions offered by Inter Tech.
  Day – 3, In conversation with Ar. Parul Zaveri and Prof. Deo Prasad
On the third day of the webinar series, Mr. Sanjay Seth, CEO, GRIHA Council kicked the session off with welcoming remarks, and went ahead to introduce the sponsors Mr. Sailesh Ranjan, Head – Business Planning & Operations, AIS, who explained how the glazing and window industry remains unorganized in India, summarized his company’s various offerings, Mr. Abhinav Luthra, Caterogy Head, USG BORAL, introduced the gypsum based drywall and ceiling solutions that his organisation offers. Ms. Chhavi Bhatia, Associate Vice President, HINDWARE, expressed how GRIHA certification has helped their product, and further introduced Hindware’s various brands.

Mr. Seth offered a detailed introduction of Ms. Parul Zaveri, Principal Architect, Abhikram, Mr. Deo Prasad, Associate Dean, Innovation & Partnerships, UNSW (TBC) and goes on to initiate the conversation with the panellists. Ms. Parul Zaveri explained the problems of sustainability (or the lack thereof) from its roots. She spoke about the existence of 16 climatic zones, 155 soil types and 21 agro-ecological zones in India, and their significance in shaping our cultural and built heritage. She explained that these features have been instrumental in shaping the ‘holistic sustainability’ now recognized by the UN for its 2030 sustainability goals, to which India is a signatory. She emphasized the use of only what is required and reducing our wants as the only way to be sustainable.

Mr. Deo Prasad clarified that climate change is real and that policies are required to deal with it as evidence points to the fact that it is human-made. Now that the extent of the problem is known, a low-hanging fruit to deal with in beginning to address it would be architecture and urban design. He cited examples of mitigation such as sustainable low-embedded-carbon materials, using solar energy and mentioned that his UNSW department is the largest user of solar energy nationally, and elaborates its on-site and off-site initiatives. He talked about the carbon-movement and architectural movement and mentions that well designed buildings can make a major contribution.
  Launch of Policy Brief - Sustain the Sustainable Change
To combat the growing COVID-19 pandemic, On March 24, 2020, India entered a state of nationwide extended lockdown. This unprecedented event created a unique opportunity to take a closer look at how pollution levels respond to a decrease in economic activity, especially of the industrial, construction and transportation sector. However, it also establishes the fact that as restrictions loosen and regular activity resumes, pollution will not only return, but may intensify as we attempt to make up for the lost time. With India easing out on its own lockdown, there arises a pressing need for the introduction of policies that ensure the present drop in pollution can be sustained.

On the third day of webinar, 23rd July, 2020, Mr. Sanjay Seth, along with Prof. Deo Prasad, Associate Dean, Innovation & Partnerships, UNSW (TBC) and Ar. Parul Zaveri, Principal Architect, Abhikram launched GRIHA Council’s policy brief to sustain the benefits of the COVID-19’s lockdown on air, water, and noise pollution levels in India.
  Day 4 - Panel discussion on ‘Commercial Solar Roof Tops’
On the fourth day of the webinar, Mr. Sanjay Seth, CEO, GRIHA Council, briefly introduced his guests on the panel, then introduced the topic at hand, speaking about India’s ambitions and strides in solar rooftop, the advantages of rooftop solar.

Mr. Rohit Kumar, Head of Indian Subcontinent, REC India, began by talking about the limitations of solar that have been observed so far to inhibit the technology from achieving its full market potential. He spoke about his organization REC, its mission, and its global reach. Mr. Sachin Agarwal, Head of Solar EPC, Godrej and Boyce, introduced the audience to ‘Plant – 13 Annexe Building’ part of its Vikhroli campus, a Net-Zero building in Maharashtra. He shared his take on the developer’s and EPC perspective about consumer inhibitions about adopting the technology. Mr. Saswat Das, Director at Sunmeister Energy Solutions shared his views on return on investment and the lack of reliability of the systems.
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