On the April 30th 2020, the ASSOCHAM GEM Council organised a Webinar on GEM Sustainability Certified Professional – (GEM CP) Online Exam in support with the ISHRAE Jaipur Chapter. More than 500 participants attended the webinar which included professionals, architects, engineers, energy auditors and managers, and MEP equipment manufacturers.

The webinar covered topics based on the latest versions of BEE ECBC 2017 and NBC 2016 which comprised of sustainability, energy and water efficiency, fire and life safety, more green area, indoor air quality, daylight, fresh air and human comfort. Projects under the GEM sustainability certification will achieve points from level one to five on a scale of 0-135 depending on the fulfilment of requirements in each level. This rating depends upon the project design including building architectural and elevation design, materials used during construction, HVAC, lighting and plumbing system designs, water and energy consumption of the building. GEM Sustainability Certification Rating is organized into Thirty Principles that are fundamental to enhance sustainable development. There are certain essentials and suggested requirements of each principle and points are rewarded on the accomplishment of each requirement. ASSOCHAM has come up with a reference guide for people attending the exam.

Some of the crucial principles discussed during the webinar were as follows:

Post-occupancy waste management: The purpose is to collect, segregate and dispose of the waste. Two points are provided for implementing separate bins to segregate biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste at the residential unit, tenant level or floor level as applicable. Providing central waste collection yards biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste from the entire project will be given two pints.

On-site conversion of organic waste: This principle aims at the conversion of organic waste into a nutrient-rich, usable material encouraging zero waste. Projects are given four points on fulfilling this requirement.

Sustainable development of construction engineering:  The utilization of alternative material in the construction industry to conserve natural resources preventing valuable recyclable materials going to landfill as waste.

Sites using facade glass with recycled content more than 15% is given two pints.

Use of Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC) from masonry and plasterwork with 50% is provided one point and with 75% use is awarded two points.

Usage of fly ash bricks or AAC blocks or similar products with 40% implementation are given one point and 80% are provided two pints.

Using fly ash in concrete mix or ready-mix concrete are given two points.

Installing TMT steel bars with recycled content of more than 25% will get two points

Similarly using 50% of tiles with recycled content of more than 25% is given two points.

Local sourcing of construction materials: Using local available building construction materials manufacturers or suppliers for buying materials to reduce environmental pollution and transportation cost. Maintaining source distance from the project site within 250 km, 550 km and 850km are given two points each. These distances are not the radial distance it can be pedestrian, rail or road distance.

Energy management best practices: Implementing energy management best practice in the project to achieve energy savings consist of 12 points depending on each requirement being full filled.

Use of imperishable energy resources: Utilizing resources of imperishable energy to reduce dependency on exhaustible fossil fuels. Acquiring each per cent contract demand of the onsite project are given points accordingly from 1-5 with contract percentages being multiples of five. Offsite projects are provided points from 1-3 with contract percentages being multiples of ten.

Optimal use of natural light: Optimistic utilization of natural light to reduce dependency on artificial lights and save lighting energy.

Stimulating approach- Ensure through computer simulation that occupies an area of daylight space with 40%, 60% and 80%, wherein 40% is mandatory, 60% is given two points and 80% is provided 4 points.

Manual approach – Ensuring coverage area of daylight space to be 40%, 60% and 80%%, wherein 40% is mandatory, 60% is given two points and 80% is provided 4 points.

Daylight/occupancy sensors/ timer on exterior lighting- Residential and industrial units and Commercial and industrial units are given two points each.