Due to the growing pollution in the country, Government of India has adopted primal measures to promote a low carbon environment in its economy. To combat the various impacts of climate change, the National Action Plan on Climate Change has been launched. Energy Efficiency is a foolproof method of saving energy for the future times. These robust and effective energy efficiency measures are to be implemented majorly in the building sector.These can be incorporated in traditional as well as modern designs. Rapid urbanization and energy scarcity in regions of high energy demand has stirred the need for these efficiency initiatives all across the country. As a result, The Ministry of Power through the Bureau of Energy Efficiency(BEE) and the Ministry of Urban Development are working out plans for advancing building efficiency in India. According to a survey, less than 5 percent of the $11.4 billion market for energy efficiency has been explored. An investment of about $64 billion is required for the provision of sustainable resources by 2031. Therefore, adhering to the rising energy crisis in this large scale economy, energy efficiency measures are mandatory to sustain a healthy ecosystem.
What are Green Buildings?
According to the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC), energy efficient equipment used in building constructions are the best way to promote eco-friendliness in the economy. So, energy efficiency is one of the most important components of Green Buildings. These buildings are designed to be environmentally harmless and resource friendly. Durability, Energy Savings, Utility and Cost Efficiency are some of its yielding advantages. They are also called sustainable buildings.
For eg: Central Government’s Indira Para Bhawan in Delhi is known as India’s first Net Zero Building. It is a high-energy efficient building which on an annual basis consumes as much energy as it produces at the site using renewable sources.
Major Energy Efficiency Schemes undertaken by the Government of India are as follows:
The Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), set up by BEE is a stepping stone towards energy efficiency in buildings. It was launched by the Ministry of Power in May 2007. ECBC compliant buildings are prone to lesser energy consumption than usual buildings. It provides for new and major retrofits used in the building construction. These include commercial spaces, high rise structures and residential buildings. The ECBC provisions adhere to a building’s electric consumption, lighting system, HVAC system, water heating and pumping system. State and local governments are responsible for its implementation. The Ministry of Environment and Forests need ECBC compliance for major building project clearances.
Green buildings are rated according to GRIHA standards. It is called the Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment. It has been established by The Energy Resources Institute (TERI) in collaboration with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. GRIHA assesses the building performance in a holistic way, thereby evaluating its entire life cycle. GRIHA rates naturally ventilated as well as air conditioned buildings. Also, ECBC compliance is essential for a GRIHA rating. The evaluation is done on the basis of “greenness” and is measured against certain set benchmarks.
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BEE Star Ratings
Bureau of Energy Efficiency was set up by the Government of India to enhance the energy consumption in the economy. It develops and channelizes policies that mitigate the energy scarcity. It analyses and compares the functional quality of a building, and sees its environment-friendly potential. BEE star ratings of office spaces conduct the energy audit to measure its energy efficiency. It accelerates various such activities in promotion of green buildings.
The Ministry of Urban Development has implemented the ‘100 Smart Cities’ programme, which would be laid along the guidelines of the Green Initiative. The sustainable buildings in compliance with green building rating systems such as GRIHA and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) are the mandates of such cities. The National Housing Bank has also launched an Energy Efficient Housing Scheme to reduce energy wastage. The Centre of Excellence, set by the United Technology Corporation along with TERI, promotes resource efficiency in the existing building stock. Researches are conducted and human behavior is monitored to evaluate the consumption patterns of energy in the economy.
Thus, a balanced approach is needed to implement energy efficiency. It should not be restricted to just minimizing energy consumption. We can use energy efficiently in our workaday life as well. For eg, better insulation. The use of LED lights or natural lights in homes can reduce the energy consumption, thereby ensuring a cost-effective strategic way to efficient use of energy. It is a collective effort towards having a cleaner environment. Constructing eco-friendly buildings can contribute a lot to having a pollution-free economy.
Authored by editor at Wienerberger India
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