Augmenting Nature By Green Affordable New-habitat (ANGAN)

  • On 9th September, 2019, a three day international conference on Augmenting Nature by Green Affordable New-habitat (ANGAN) focused on Energy Efficiency in Building Sector commenced in New Delhi.
  • It is being organised by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) under the aegis of the power ministry in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaftfür Internationale Zusammenarbeit(GIZ) under the Indo German Technical Cooperation.

Aim

  • It seeks to explore various alternative options and technologies in the field of design and construction of energy efficient commercial as well as residential buildings and will suggest the effective ways in implementing the same through policies and programmes.

Key Highlights

  • Experts from 16 countries will discuss various options and technologies for energy efficient buildings.
  • To discuss and deliberate on the aspects of sustainability in the context of inclusiveness, international cooperation and education.
  • Technologies demonstration in the area of insulation, AAC block, Glass window, Fenestration shooting etc.
  • To provide thrust in this direction so as to address such challenges faced by the stakeholders.
  • Apart from energy savings, the emphasis is also given to other resources like water and other materials that can be saved in building sector.

Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)

  • It is a statutory body under the Ministry of Power, constituted on 1st March 2002 under the provisions of the Energy Conservation Act, 2001.
  • It launched the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) in 2007 in order to set energy efficiency standards for the design and construction of buildings.It was revised in 2017.

Mission

  • To assist in developing policies and strategies with a thrust on self-regulation and market principles with the primary objective of reducing energy intensity of the Indian economy.
  • BEE co-ordinates with designated consumers, designated agencies and other organizations and recognize, identify and utilize the existing resources and infrastructure, in performing the functions assigned to it under the Energy Conservation Act.

Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), 2017

  • The purpose of the Energy Conservation Building Code (Code) is to provide minimumrequirements for the energy-efficient design and construction of buildings.
  • It also provides two additional sets of incremental requirements for buildings to achieve enhancedlevels of energy efficiency that go beyond the minimum requirements.
  • The Code is applicable to buildings or building complexes that have a connected load of 100kW or greater or a contract demand of 120 kVA or greater and are intended to be used for commercial purposes.

Building components covered by ECBC, 2017

  • Building envelope
  • Mechanical systems, includingHeating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning(HVAC), water heating
  • Lighting
  • Electric power and Renewable energy.
  • Buildings intended for private residential purposes only are not covered by the Code.
  • ECBC 2017 is one of the first building energy codes to recognize beyondcode performance. There are now three levels of energy performance standards in the codes- ECBC, ECBCPlusand SuperECBC.
  • ECBC 2017 is technology neutral. Energy efficiency requirements have been framed to providearchitects and engineers artistic and technical freedom as long as minimum efficiencyrequirements are fulfilled.

Significance

  • The International Conference will provide a platform to deliberate on interdependence between organizations, systemic sustainability and feedback loops for better resource efficiency.

Energy Efficiency of Building(EEB)

  • It is the extent to which the energy consumption per square metre of floor area of the building measures up to established energy consumption benchmarks for that particular type of building under defined climatic conditions.

Need for Energy Efficient Building

  • The building sector in India consumes over 32% of the total electricity consumed annually in India making it second only to the industrial sector as the largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
  • According to the NitiAayog, energy demand from India’s buildings will increase by more than 800 percent by 2047.
  • Under the current standards, the country will face higher energy costs and skyrocketing consumption for decades. At the same time, air pollution will worsen, adding to the impact of climate change.

Benefits

Environmental

  • Energy-efficient buildings reduce indoor as well as outdoor air pollution. It helps lowering greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, as well as decrease water use, therefore reducing the impact of global warming.

Economic

  • Energy efficient buildings typically have longer lifecycles, lower maintenance fees, and cost less to operate.
  • The incremental capital investment for a green building is recovered with paybacks of one to three years. The cash savings accrued from these green buildings not only compensate for this initial cost increment but provide benefits to the owners/occupants throughout the life time of the building.
  • In addition strong efficiency mandates for new buildings can create markets for jobs, materials and expertise.

Challenges towards Energy Efficient Buildings

Lack of Market Demand

  • There is an apprehension that energy efficiency and business would not go together. Building owners tend to delude energy efficiency during building design and construction due to the presence of a strong first cost bias as developers seem to believe that they don’t directly gain from the initial investments towards energy efficiency.
  • Also financing energy efficiency is not too lucrative for financial institutions due to uncertainty about returns. There is a need for innovative financing schemes to promote energy efficiency in buildings.

Lack of Awareness

  • Lack of information to building owners and residents on energysavings potential in buildings is also one of the major challenges faced by this sector.

Lack of Materials and Related Technology

  • Situations of non-availability of energy-efficient equipment/materials in the local marketplace as most energy-efficient equipment and materials are imported, often ends up with the imposition of high cost mark-ups and duties.

Lack of Technical Expertise

  • Inadequate technical expertise and supply chains make it difficult for implementation agencies to embed the ECBC into building bye-laws, as compliance by the industry and the government’s ability to enforce needs to go hand in hand.

Way Forward

  • Energy efficiency has become a pillar of the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs recognize the cross-cutting importance of buildings and cities in achieving global objectives related to sustainable energy and infrastructure. Better buildings can also make significant contributions to addressing climate change, one of the other SDGs.
  • By investing in them today, cities can yield “triple bottom line” benefits-including economic, social and environmental opportunities-long into the future.

Source : Civil Services Chronicle Online, September, 2019