New green building code can save Energy upto 50%

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The Bureau of Energy Efficiency( BEE) has launched a code for new commercial buildings in the country. There could be a 5 per cent increase in building cost, but the savings in energy could be as high as 50 per cent.

Features of the code:

  • It is a building code for architects, builders, designers and other stakeholders that prescribe the energy performance levels for new commercial buildings.
  • The ECBC aims to synchronise minimum levels of energy efficiency in buildings with advances in technologies and building materials.
  • It sets parameters to integrate renewable energy sources in building design while focusing on passive design strategies.
  • Daylighting and natural ventilation are highlights of the passive strategies of compliant buildings.
  • The code aims to optimise energy savings and prefers life-cycle cost effectiveness to achieve energy neutrality in commercial buildings.
  • The ECBC also provides for futuristic energy performance standards. In order for a building to be considered ECBC-compliant, it will need to demonstrate minimum energy savings of 25 per cent. Additional improvements will enable new buildings to achieve higher grades like ECBC+ or SuperECBC, leading to further energy savings of 35 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively.

Monitoring standards:

  • A central aspect of this framework is suo motu testing of samples to ensure product models meet performance claims. A third-party NABL-accredited laboratory determines whether the test results conform to the relevant schedule, standard or regulation and information on the label.
  • The permit-holder and relevant state designated agencies are informed if the sample fails in repeat tests, and the permit-holder is asked to correct the label display, withdraw all stocks from the market and change all promotional and advertising material.

Importance of the code in reducing carbon emission

  • Buildings consume approximately a third of the country’s electricity and are one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
  • With 70 per cent of the buildings required in the country by 2030 yet to be built, energy efficient buildings will play a crucial role in cutting energy costs and reducing air pollution.
  • The ECBC provides the direction for achieving such net-zero energy buildings. Applicable for new commercial building construction, the code sets parameters for builders, designers and architects to integrate renewable energy sources into building design.
  • It is estimated that adoption of the ECBC could lead to 30-50 per cent energy savings in commercial buildings.
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