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GREEN BUILDINGS FOR SUSTAINABLE BUILT

ENVIRONMENT IN SRI LANKA


GREENSL? OR LEED?
Prof. RanjithDissanayake
Executive Vice Chairman
Board of Training and Education of Green Building Council, Sri Lanka
ranjith@fulbrightmail.org
Introduction
Green building is an integrative effort to transform the way the built environments are designed,
constructed and operated. This concept should be applied from individual infrastructure to entire
communities. The scope of green building reaches from the earliest stages of planning to beyond the end
of a structure's life. It runs up and down in manufacturing and supplying chain. It encompasses the
production and fate of every substance that goes into or out of a green project. Therefore, scope of green
building requires an interdisciplinary approach.
In this article, we are aiming to provide our strategies for achieving those valuable and much needed
greener goals and GREENSL Rating System for built environment which is developed by the Green
Building Council of Sri Lanka (GBCSL) and compared LEED Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design which is developed by United State Green Building council (USGBC).
The ultimate objectives of these ratings areto achieve agoal ofecological quality and energy conservation,
ethical standards and social equity, economic performance and compatibility, contextual and aesthetic
impact and transferability.The main objective of developing GREENSL is to consider our own
requirements through the local research outputs.
GREENSL Rating System for built environment
Using GREENSL Rating System for built environment transforms the design, construction, and operation
of built environments and shift practice towards higher performance, lower environmental impact, and
ultimately leads to regenerative designs. The section that follows, describes the certification approach
used by the Sri Lanka Green Building Council and its GREENSL Rating System for built environment.
GREENSL is a tool that helps to create a high-performance, more sustainable built environment by
providing a framework for design, construction, and evaluation. It is up to green building professionals to
use this tool as part of an integrated planning and design process to achieve real results on the ground.
Green building requires integrated approach, but in practice it depends on new strategies in the various
aspects of design and construction. Accordingly, the heart of this rating is an introduction to the eight
categories used in GREENSL namely, Management (MN), Sustainable sites(SS), Water
efficiency(WE),Energy & atmosphere (EA), Material & Resources (MR),Indoor environment quality
(EQ),Innovation & design process (ID) and Social & cultural awareness(SC).
Each chapter reviews the basic concepts and strategies associated with each credit category, while
recognizing all intimately link relationships and consider together the effective integrative processes.

Why green building is important


Green building is important because of the conventional buildings, land use of the people, the
environment, and our shared natural resources. The cumulative impact of the design, construction, and
operation of built environment has profound implications for human health, the environment, and the
economy.
For example, with conventional development practices,
Clearing of land for development often destroys wildlife habitat;
Extracting, manufacturing and transporting materials contribute to the pollution of water and air,
the release of toxic chemicals, and the emission of greenhouse gases;
Building operations require large inputs of energy and water and generate substantial waste
streams; and
Building-related transportation, such as commuting and services, contributes to a wide range of
impacts associated with vehicle use energy consumption, and harmful environmental effects.
In general, buildings account for a high proportion of resource use and waste generation, as follows:
15% of potable water consumption;
30% of waste output;
40% of carbon dioxide emissions;
40% of raw materials use;
50% of energy use; and
70% of electricity consumption.
These values are varied depending on country, life styles of the citizens and economical level.
Modifying the conventional way in which homes, schools, offices, shopping centers, hospitals, and cities
are designed can have a beneficial effect on the environment. Green building practices can minimize
human use of natural resources while generating economic benefits that include lower operational costs
and higher human productivity. Green buildings are efficient and comfortable, and they contain the
amenities needed for a better quality of life, including improved health. Many of the elements of green
building are not new or even unique. For example, Energy efficiency, Smart growth, Water conservation,
and Indoor air quality have been the main focus on various programs and incentives, both governmental
and market driven. What distinguishes green building is its focus on all of these issues in an effort to
contribute solutions to pressing health, environmental, and economic challenges through the location,
design, construction, and operation of buildings.
The trend in Sri Lanka towards green building practices has quickened recently, contributing to a market
transformation in the supply of building products, and services and in the demand for skilled
professionals.

Procedure of getting GREENSL


The rating system of the GBCSL consists four categories. The categories are determined based on the
marks (points) that are obtained by the project. The total points available are 100. The four rating
categories and required points to obtain a rating are as follows.

Platinum 70 points or above


Gold 60~69 points
Silver 50~59 points
Certified 40-49 points

YES

PROCEDURE OF GETTING GREENSL

YES

CERTIFIED
RATING
ACHIEVED

REQUIREMENTS

SILVER
GOLD
PLATINUM

CREDITS

PREREQUISITES

POINTS

EIGHT
CATEGORIES
GREENSL
RATING TOOL

NO
NO

GreenSLAccredited Projects - 2013


With the industrial revolution, the built environment in Sri Lanka is believed to have accelerated impacts
inimical to the environment. The consequences of these environmental damages have sometimes caused
severe disruptions.Therefore the environmental consciousness among communities has been gradually
increased. Thus Sri Lanka has become home to many green buildings than before. The GreenSLAccredited
Projects in 2013 have been given in the table below.
No

Name of the Project

Award

Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB)

Gold

2
3
4
5

Holy Family Convent, Kaluthara


Hatton National Bank, Kalmunai
Department of National Archives
Vario Systems Electronics (Pvt) Ltd, Badalgama

Gold
Platinum
Silver
Platinum

World Trade Center, Colombo-01

Gold

GBCSL Green Criteria

Innovation and Design


process

cultural Awareness

2.9%

3.8%

Management

3.8%
Sustainable sites

Indoor Environmental
Quality

23.8%

12.4%
Materiala and
Resources

20.0%

Water Efficiency

13.3%

Energy and Atmospere

20.0%
Management
Water Efficiency
Materiala and Resources

Sustainable sites
Energy and Atmospere
Indoor Environmental Quality

LEED Criteria
Innovation and Design
Indoor environment 5.5%
Quality

Regional Priority

3.6%

Sustainable Sites

23.6%

13.6%

Materials and
resources

Water Efficiency

9.1%

12.7%

Energy and
Atmosphere

31.8%
Water Efficiency
Materials and resources
Innovation and Design

Sustainable Sites
Energy and Atmosphere
Indoor environment Quality

There are eight Green criteria considered by the GBCSL for evaluating a project as mentioned below. As
the Green Consultant, we will give our best proposals throughout the project for obtaining maximum
points with due considerations on safety, quality, time and cost aspects.
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Comparison of relative weight of points allocated in GREENSL and LEED


LEED

LEED (%)

GREENSL

GREENSL
(%)

Not specified

Not specified

04

3.8

Sustainable sites (SS)

26

23.6

25

23.8

Water efficiency (WE)

10

09.1

14

13.3

Energy & atmosphere (EA)

35

31.8

21

20.0

Material & resources (MR)

14

12.7

21

20.0

Indoor environment quality


(IEQ)

15

13.6

13

12.4

Innovation & design


process (ID)

06

5.5

04

3.8

Regional Priority (RP)

04

3.6

Not specified

Not specified

Not specified

Not specified

03

2.9

110

100

105

100

Criteria
Management (MN)

Social & cultural awareness


(SC)
Total

Percentage Credit Distribution in LEED and GBCSL


35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0

LEED

GBCSL

As the GBCSL, we will guide industry on how the essential requirements are achieved. Also, we will give
all necessary advices, assistance for preparing time targets, methods, related documents and evidences
etc.
Integrative Approach
The concept of an integrative approach is a new paradigm that emphasizes connections and
communication among professionals throughout the life of a project. It involves bringing building
owners, operators, architects, planners, engineers, and contractors together and working through an
integrative process of allowing building teams to cross traditional barriers and develop innovative
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solutions. The term integrative design is most often applied to a new construction design process;
however, the concept of integrative design is applicable to any phase in the life cycle of a building or
land-use project.
The building design process begins when the basic programmatic needs and requirements for the project
are determined. Schematic design follows, as the basic scheme that will be used to meet the project goals
in development. During design development, the scheme is further refined into a design, and each
component of that design is fleshed out. Finally, construction documents are prepared to translate the
design into something that can be built.
In a conventional design process, the architect, the engineers (civil, mechanical, electrical, structural), the
landscape architect, the construction contractors, and all others work relatively independently on their
individual scopes of work, handing off work products to other professionals along the way. This
separation of the disciplines and generally linear design process can limit opportunities for integration and
synergy, particularly with construction contractors and other specialists who traditionally become
engaged only towards the end of the process.
In contrast, in an integrative design process, all the disciplines come together at the beginning to discuss
the project goals and requirements. A clear statement of sustainability and performance goals guides this
team to find new approaches to the project. As the project progresses through the design phases, each
element of the design is reviewed to verify whether it meets the original goals and intent of the owner. In
this way, the project team engages in a more integrative approach that allows for deeper integration and
collaborative problem solving.
In an integrative process, the property owner, designers, construction contractors, and other project team
members establish a mutual understanding of the project's goals, priorities, and budget as early as
possible. Input from the major stakeholders and members of the design team is essential before schematic
design begins, particularly since many of the decisions associated with environmental impacts are made
early in the design process, starting with the location of the project.
GBCSL Associate Professional
In order to promote greener concept as well as to apply the integrative design process in Sri Lanka, we
need to train professionals. The Associate Professional Training Course conducted by the Green Building
Council of Sri Lanka (GBCSL) is designed to train property industry professionals to perform as Green
Professionals who could lead the transformation of construction industry in Sri Lanka with Green
building practices to ensure the future wellbeing of our Planet. For more information GBCSL secretariat
can be contacted through srilankagbc@gmail.com or 0112579130 or visiting Green Building Council Sri
Lanka, Vidyamandiraya,No: 120/10(Part),WijeramaMawatha,Colombo 07.
GBCSL has been training professionals such as architects, engineers (civil, mechanical, electrical, and
structural), landscape architect town planers, Quantity surveyors,facility managers, academics,
environmentalist, the construction contractors, project managers, executives and other relevant
professionals. They are trained together. The training program covers all areas such as Management,
Sustainable sites, Water efficiency, Energy & atmosphere, Material & resources, Indoor environment
quality, Innovation & design process and Social & cultural awareness normally in four days. Then they
are grouped to form an integrated team of professionals such as Architects, Engineers (civil, mechanical,
electrical, and structural), Landscape Architects, Construction Contractors, Project Managers and other
relevant professionals depending on the availability. These groups are assigned to design projects and
they will have to use the integrative design processes and the projects will be presented and evaluated.

The participants in this training course are required to sit for an examination conducted by the
accreditation board of the GBCSL. Duration of the examination will be two hours. Those who are
successful at the examination will be awarded with the certification of 'Associated Professional of the
GBCSL' (GSLAP).
There are three levels:
GREENSL Green Associate
GREENSL Accredited Professional
GREENSL Fellow
Time frame of Obtaining Green Rating
Obtaining a Green rating is not a task limited to several days or weeks. It must start at the preliminary
design stage of the project and continue up to the commissioning stage. There are procedures to follow
during site selection, initial planning on construction such as erosion control, site cleaning procedure,
reusing topsoil, existing habitat protection, development of footprint reduction, and assisting the architect
and engineers on designing the structure in such a way that the structure will use maximum daylight and
natural ventilation etc. During the design stage, the design team should achieve the Green targets related
to sustainable site development, water and energy efficient design concepts including obtaining proper
atmospheric conditions, indoor environment qualities and we will focus on selection of environmentally
friendly material etc. Quality monitoring and submitting progress reports to GBCSL throughout the
construction stage should be done. GBCSL will take part in site visits, inspections, discussions and
meetings.
Finally, verification of the commissioning plan, the onsite commissioning and building tuning procedure
etc should be done at the completion stage. Re-commissioning should be done after 12 months.

Conclusion
Both GBCSL and USGBC are members of WGBC (World Green Building Council) and both have
similar objectives in their respective countries. Therefore, GREENSL and LEED are similar rating
developed by respective council but GREENSLis much more relevant to Sri Lankan context as it has been
developed considering our own requirements and through the local research outputs. GBCSL would like
to request all building which are rated other than GREENSLtogo for a recertification.
GREENSL Rating system is a more appropriate tool for evaluating built environment than LEED in Sri
Lanka. With consideration of social atmosphere and environmental impacts in Sri Lanka, GBCSL
provides better approaches for Sri Lanka than LEED as the process is much in line with Sri Lankan needs.

Reference
GREENSL Rating System for Built Environment which is developed by the Green Building Council of Sri
Lanka (GBCSL), 2015 January
LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design which is developed by United State Green
Building Council (USGBC), 2011