January, 2021
Mr. Sanjay Seth, CEO GRIHA Council
As we move into 2021 with renewed hope and the promise of new beginnings, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy new year. With a vaccine on the way to ease the lasting impacts of the ongoing pandemic, this New Year brings us a possibility of building back better. In hindsight, we should look at the global pandemic as a lesson that emphasises the importance of co-existing with our natural environment. No one feels this more strongly than us here at GRIHA Council, with several of our colleagues having battled the COVID virus and returned to work with renewed vigour upon recovery.

In the last month of 2020, we successfully conducted our first ever GRIHA Summit on an online platform and I am pleased to announce that the event was a grand success. During his inaugural address, the Hon’ble Vice President of India Shri Venkaiah Naidu voiced his opinion that India has the potential to lead the global shift towards building green and emphasised the need to promote the green building concept as a peoples’ movement. His sentiment that there needs to be a balance between ecology and economy resonates strongly with our mission here at GRIHA Council.

Augmenting our efforts at building a sustainable tomorrow in the face of economic slowdown, GRIHA Council looks forward to the transition from v2015 of the rating system to the newer version, v2019, this year. We at GRIHA look to be among the frontrunners in reinvigorating the economy and spearheading the sustainability movement in 2021.
  Highlights of 12th GRIHA Summit
The 12th GRIHA Summit 2020 with the theme “Rejuvenating Resilient Habitats” was organized on 15th-16th December, 2020, on the virtual platform, graced by the Hon’ble Vice President of India – Shri M Venkaiah Naidu, and Shri Hardeep Singh Puri - Hon’ble Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs and Civil Aviation. This year summit served a platform to deliberate on innovative technologies and solutions which shall helped in creating robust mechanisms for developing sustainable and resilient solutions for the benefit of the entire community. The 12th GRIHA Summit revolved around launch of various e-publications, e-training modules and signing of MoUs.
A. Launch of e-versions of GRIHA Publication:
E-version of GRIHA publications and e-learning modules were launched by Shri Venkaiah Naidu - 30 Stories Beyond Buildings, Shashwat Magazine and GRIHA Version 2019 Manual, Online Portal and E-Learning Modules.
“30 Stories Beyond Buildings” is the illustrated account of the successful collaborative venture between PWD Maharashtra and GRIHA Council. The book contains details of the processes, contributions, results and successful completion of this ambitious undertaking.

The GRIHA rating system itself has undergone extensive revision in order to account for on-going advancements in the highly dynamic construction sector. The new rating variant GRIHA v.2019 introduces newer concepts while incorporating user experience, market feedback and ease of implementation. All new construction project can register under GRIHA v.2019 from 1st January.

GRIHA Council has also taken a massive step to shift its training program for the latest version v.2019 to an e-learning platform, designed, developed and delivered by our own team of professionals.

The Annual Magazine of GRIHA Council "Shashwat - Let Nature Be”, is released every year during the national summit. The theme for the 7th edition of the magazine is ‘Rejuvenating Resilient Habitats’, and the publication features articles, interviews, and testimonials from experts from diverse backgrounds who have made an impact in the realm of sustainability.

B. Signing of Memorandum of Understandings:
GRIHA Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Energy Management Centre, Confederation of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and International Institute for Energy Conservation on 16th December, 2020 for promotion and implementation of GRIHA.

Click here to view: GRIHA Version 2019 Manual | 30 stories beyond buildings | Shashwat-Let Nature Be
  Inauguration of 12th GRIHA Summit
Embracing the new normal, GRIHA Council conducted the 12th GRIHA Summit on a virtual platform with the theme “Rejuvenating Resilient Habitats”. The inaugural session was graced by the presence of Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu (Hon’ble Vice President of India) and Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, (Hon’ble Minister of State (I/C) for Housing & Urban Affairs and Civil Aviation).

The session saw the launch of three e-publications of GRIHA Council - 30 Stories Beyond Buildings, the Shashwat Magazine and GRIHA Version 2019 Manual. The Vice President in his inaugural address expressed his satisfaction over government and private bodies making commitments toward building a greener future. Observing that our ancient cultural values teach us to live in harmony with nature, Shri Naidu called for revisiting our traditional and nature-friendly design philosophies refined over thousands of years by our ancestors. He reiterated the fact that climate change was real and that a balance between economic development and environmental protection was essential - economy and ecology can coexist only if we respect nature. Shri Hardeep Singh Puri in his ministerial address stressed that the theme of the summit - “Rejuvenating Resilient Habitats” was of extreme importance in the modern day and that cities bear a massive responsibility for balancing the needs of the present with the requirements of future generations.
  Setting the Theme Session
The second session of the 12th GRIHA Summit welcomed distinguished dignitaries H.E. Barry O’Farrell AO (High Commissioner to India, Australian High Commission in India), H. E. Freddy Svane, (Ambassador, Royal Danish Embassy in India) and Mr. Amit Dasgupta (Strategic Advisor, UNSW India). H.E. Barry O’Farrell congratulated India for achieving 7.17 billion sq.ft of green building footprint in 2020 and spoke at length about the actions taken by Australia in its efforts to reduce emissions and strengthen the resilience of communities in the face of challenges posed by climate change. He emphasized that changing global climates patterns place most sectors of business across government and communities at risk and that we must collectively prepare for extreme changes, with adaptation being a key responsibility requiring the collaboration of governments and communities the world over.

H. E. Freddy Svane spoke about the partnership Denmark and India have embarked upon – a collaboration hailed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a “new partnership of a new age”, with Denmark aiding in the development of skills and solutions for Indian challenges. In the face of a pandemic, mobilization of this nature has the potential to transform into action. Mr. Svane laid emphasis on urbanization as unavoidable, and applauded GRIHA on setting its focus toward building resilient habitats and rejuvenating existing ones. Mr. Dasgupta emphasized that the pandemic creates collective responsibility in the face of adversity and focused on the need to co-create and collaborate. He espoused the need for capacity building and exhorted architects in India to draw upon best practices from across the globe.
  Technical Session I: Sustainable Buildings for Atmanirbhar Bharat
The first technical session on the subject “Sustainable Buildings for Atmanirbhar Bharat” featured Shri Saurabh Kumar (Executive Vice Chairperson, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) Group), Ar. Parul Zaveri (Principal Architect, Abhikram, Ahmedabad), Mr. Fredrick Royan, (Vice President - Sustainability and Circular Economy, Frost and Sullivan) and Mr. Ben Huskisson (Managing Director, Gleeds Consulting (India) Pvt. Ltd). Shri Saurabh Kumar elaborated on the fact that the energy sector is changing rapidly with the housing sector at the centre of this transformation. He emphasized that 60% to 70% of the total buildings that are expected to exist in 2030 are yet to be built and that policy makers have a huge opportunity to drive change by ensuring energy efficiency, resilience and sustainability.

Ms. Parul Zaveri shared the design practices of ‘Abhikram’ and her core belief that modern trends should not be followed blindly, as traditional concepts are contextual, sustainable and the result of evolution in response to local conditions. She laid strong emphasis on the need to design responsibly. Mr. Fredrick Royan introduced the emergence of a circular economy as a new business model and stated that digital elements in governance in the form of AI, robotics, life cycle management, track and trace to monitor materials have great potential to drive the transition. Mr. Ben Huskisson shed light on digital construction technology as being of immense importance in designing sustainable communities in the years to come. He explained the need for design and cost to find balance in order to usher in sustainable construction practices.
  Technical Session II: Building Smart using Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The second technical session on the subject “Building Smart using Artificial Intelligence” featured Dr. Amarnath Chegu Badrinath (Head-BIM Strategy, Larsen & Toubro Construction and Founder & President, India BIM Association) and Dr. Teresa Kerber (Head of Program, Global Program “ICT-based Adaptation to Climate Change in Cities” (ICT-A)). Dr. Badrinath introduced the topics of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and spoke about various global trends in BIM education. He shared his extensive involvement in various on-going projects involving BIM and explained various aspects of BIM and its application across the construction industry as a whole.

Dr. Teresa Kerber spoke at length about her work into digital solutions with algorithms contributing to Bhubaneswar as a Smart City. She shared a brief overview about the global climate change and its impact, introducing everyone to the work her team has carried out on a pilot project in Bhubaneshwar. As part of the session, GRIHA Council released a limited-time web application-GRIHA REACT (Resource efficient & Affordable Choice of Technologies) on 15th December, 2020. It featured an interactive activity where participants could compete against each other to optimize the resource demand for a virtual apartment. The winners, Mithun Kadri, Vir Rajput and Trupti Doshi were presented with gift vouchers for INR 2000, 1500 and 1000 respectively.
  Session on ‘Mindfulness’
This session, focussed on understanding the need for mindfulness as an essential tool, was conducted by Major Deepshikha Gupta Retd. (Senior Counsellor, 1to1help). Major Gupta explained the key concepts behind the art of mindfulness and how it might help overcome situations where one is stretched beyond the limits of one’s physical, emotional and mental resilience – an exceedingly common occurrence in our stressful modern lives, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. She dispelled myths associating mindfulness with religion and went on to elaborate on the multiple benefits of the practice. A brief explanation of Kabat Zinn’s seven core attitudes – being un-judgemental, patient, non-striving, accepting of experiences, to cultivate a beginner’s mind, trust in oneself and let go – was followed by a guided breathing exercise for self-awareness. The session concluded with a quote attributed to the Buddha, which says that “the secret to health for the mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
  Award Ceremony and Valedictory Session
The session kicked off with a recorded message from Ar. Habeeb Khan President, Council of Architecture (COA) wherein he reiterated the validity of the theme and its pertinence to today’s time and context. He stressed on the importance to introspect during this pandemic and think of a better way forward. In his valedictory address, Shri Kamran Rizvi questioned the choices available to individuals and their role in making the world more sustainable. In introspection he spoke of the need to buy things that are environmentally friendly and stated that one need not always be an activist in order to save the environment.

The speeches were followed by an awards ceremony, with thirty-three GRIHA Rated projects being awarded plaques under the GRIHA, GRIHA Provisional, GRIHA for Large Developments and SVAGRIHA rating systems. Seven outstanding projects received the GRIHA for Exemplary Performance Award, in the categories of Passive Architecture Design, Energy Management, Sustainable Building Materials and Technologies, Integrated Water Management, Renewable Energy Utilization, Site Management, and Construction Workers Health and Safety during construction. Two projects demonstrating exemplary performance under Existing Buildings and GRIHA for Day Schools categories were also awarded. During the session, three Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) were signed between the GRIHA Council and Energy Management Centre (EMC) Kerala, Confederation of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (CIMSME), and International Institute for Energy Conservation (IIEC) respectively.

Click here to view: List of exemplary performance award winners.
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