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A CHANCE TO GAIN ENERGY-EFFICIENT BUILDINGS

There are numerous ways to increase the energy efficiency of a building, and many different parts of a building that can be improved to promote this value. Better insulation, more efficient windows, doors, and skylights, as well as high-efficiency air conditioners and furnaces, can all contribute to a more efficient home by keeping warm air inside or outside the home. 

As well, being able to properly regulate the temperature of a home through the use of a thermostat is a major part of having an energy-efficient home, as having the right equipment is just as important as using it accurately. 

  • The Buildings where ECBC is applicable are  

  • Large Commercial Buildings 

  • Office Buildings 

  • Large Amenity Buildings 

  • IT Parks 

  • Government Buildings 

  • Hospitals 

  • Retail Malls 

  • Hotels 

  • Major Residential Buildings 

 

Energy Efficiency is a word related to the efficiency and minimum use of energy so that natural resources can be saved, Ministry of Power initiated and formed BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) in 2002, since then it’s function is to develop programs that will increase the conservation and efficient use of energy in India. 

It was formed after the Energy Conservation Act 2001 that was initiated by Govt. of India to promote and tackle the increasing use of Energy Efficiency and promote Energy Conservation. 

At first BEE’s Main function was to promote Energy Efficiency and develop awareness about Energy Conservation among people, initially, they come up with giving the standards and ratings to different electronic equipment on the basis of their energy consumption, But later on with the increasing Green Building Movement in India they realised the need for Energy Efficient Buildings in India and create awareness among people about that. 

Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) was initiated by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Power in the year 2007 to Promote Energy Efficient Buildings in India. Initially, the Buildings which needed to be made according to ECBC were Buildings having a connected load of 500 KW or more but now the Code is applicable to buildings or building complexes that have : 

  1. Connected Load in excess of 100kW 

  2. Contract Demand in excess of 120 kVA 

  3. Recommended for all buildings with conditioned area >500 m2. 

The objective of ECBC is to provide minimum requirements for energy-efficient design and design of buildings and their systems. ECBC encourages energy-efficient design or retrofit of buildings so that it does not constrain the building function, comfort, health, or productivity of the occupants. ECBC also mandates that the building has appropriate regard for economic considerations. The code sets clear criteria for builders, designers and architects to integrate renewable energy sources in building design Buildings where ECBC is applicable are : 

  1. Large Commercial Buildings 

  2. Office Buildings 

  3. Large Amenity Buildings 

  4. IT Parks 

  5. Government Buildings 

  6. Hospitals 

  7. Retail Malls 

  8. Hotels 

  9. Major Residential Buildings 

THE BUILDING SYSTEMS IN WHICH ECBC IS APPLICABLE ARE:

  1. Envelope of the building – Building envelope, including thermal performance requirements for walls, roofs, and windows 

  2. Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) – HVAC system, including energy performance of chillers and air distribution systems. 

  3. Service hot water and pumping – Water heating and pumping systems, including requirements for solar hot water systems. 

  4. Lighting – Lighting system, including daylighting, and lamps and luminaire performance requirements. 

  5. Electrical power – Electrical system 

This Year Bureau of Energy Efficiency does some amendments to the Energy Conservation Building code and relaunched the code with Energy Conservation Building Code 2017 (ECBC 2017), It was launched by then Minister of Power Mr Piyush Goyal on 20th June 2017. ECBC 2017 aims to optimise energy savings with the comfort levels for occupants. The code aims to achieve energy neutrality in commercial buildings. 

Apart from the current and futuristic advancements in building technology, the new code takes into account market changes and the energy demand scenario of the country. The code has been set in such a way that it will set a benchmark for Indian buildings to be amongst some of the most efficient globally. 

To be ECBC-compliant, the new buildings should be able to demonstrate minimum energy savings of 25%. Energy savings of 35% and 50% will enable the buildings to achieve higher grades like ECBC Plus or Super ECBC status respectively. 

The adoption of ECBC 2017 is expected to achieve a 50% reduction in energy use by 2030 which will translate into energy savings of about 300 Billion Units by the year 2030. It will result in expenditure savings of Rs 35,000 crore and a reduction of 250 million tonnes of CO2. 

Apart from the current and futuristic advancements in building technology, the new code takes into account market changes and the energy demand scenario of the country. The code has been set in such a way that it will set a benchmark for Indian buildings to be amongst some of the most efficient globally. 

So let us understand what are the benefits Involved for ECBC Compliant Buildings

  1. Reduce energy consumption; 

  2. Reduce CO2 emissions; 

  3. Lower costs through energy savings; 

  4. Accelerate deployment of energy-efficient technologies. 

  5. Use of Energy Efficient Equipments. 

  6. Awareness and importance of Energy Conservation. 

  7. Better use of Natural Resources 

How ECBC Compliant Buildings of this ECBC Code is Affecting our Economy :

Impact of ECBC Compliance 

  1. Market Development for Energy Efficient products. 

  2. Building Insulation 

  3. High Efficient windows 

  4. High-efficiency HVAC system 

  5. Improved Design Practices 

  6. Lighting And Day Lighting 

  7. Natural Ventilation/Free Cooling System 

  8. Improved Building Performance 

  9. Lower HVAC load 

  10. Lesser addition of power generation capacity 

Till now ECBC is notified in the following states: Rajasthan, Odhisa, Uttrakhand, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and UT of Puducherry. Total 10 states have amended ECBC to suit their local and regional climatic condition these are Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Gujrat, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Maharashtra, Punjab & West Bengal and also they have set up the ECBC Cell in their states to assist the project managers regarding ECBC. The other remaining states that are in the process of amendment of ECBC are – Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Tripura, Mizoram, Jharkhand, Goa and Madhya Pradesh. go through the inclusion of passive design strategies. 

Energy Efficiency in Buildings 

With the current rate of urbanization and the subsequent increase in energy demand, energy efficiency in buildings has a significant role to play in contributing to energy security in developing countries. Energy consumption patterns can be substantially reduced by energy conserving measures, particularly during the phase of building design.  

Space heating load can be reduced by about 50%, when economically-viable insulating measures are applied to the building envelopes, i.e. to ceiling and walls. In conventional Indian buildings, energy consumption is 200 kWh per sq. meter. This energy consumption can be reduced to 120 kWh per sq. meter by applications of energy-efficient building techniques. Energy efficiency measures for buildings are approaches through which the energy consumption of a building can be reduced while maintaining or improving the level of comfort in the building. They can typically be categorized into: 

  • Reducing heating demand.

  • Reducing cooling demand. 

  • Reducing the energy requirements for ventilation. 

  • Reducing energy use for lighting. 

  • Reducing energy used for heating water. 

  • Reducing electricity consumption of office equipment and appliances; 

Climate and the need to heat or cool a building plays a major role in the design of the external envelope – transparent elements like windows and sunspaces, walls, roofs and floors of a building. By improving the building envelope, passive solar strategies can be developed to improve comfort and reduce energy demands. 

Building energy codes for new buildings is an important regulatory measure for ushering energy efficiency in the building sector. They are particularly relevant for countries like India where the building stock is rising rapidly. India has begun the gradual introduction of energy efficiency solutions in the building sector. In 2001, the Indian Government introduced the Energy Conservation Act (Bureau of Energy Efficiency, 2011). As an outcome of this act, a first-generation building code, the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), came into effect in 2007. Currently, ECBC applies to buildings that have a connected load greater than 100 kW or contract demand greater than 120 kVA (Bureau of Energy Efficiency, 2011). 

 In practice, ECBC requirements are generally only applied to buildings with air-conditioned floor areas of over 1000m2. In principle, the ECBC also applies to large residential complexes, when their connected load or contract demand exceeds the thresholds. The Energy Conservation Act, 2001 empowers the Government of India to prescribe ECBC in India. Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) an autonomous body under the Ministry of Power, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under its Energy Conservation and Commercialization Project (ECO- II Project) launched the first version of ECBC for its implementation in commercial and office buildings on a voluntary basis.  

As the first stand-alone National Building Energy Efficiency code of India, it sets the minimum energy performance requirements of Commercial Buildings and their components. ECBC has been developed by extensive data collection and analysis of different building types, materials, services and usage patterns. Different climatic zones in which buildings would be constructed were also taken into account. Base case simulation models were then developed for buildings using this background data in these climatic zones. The code is applicable to five major areas of energy consumption in buildings which are: 

  • Building Envelope 

  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning 

  • Service Water Heating 

  • Lighting 

  • Electric Power and Motors. 

The successful implementation of the code requires the development of compliance procedures (compliance forms and development of field-test compliance forms and procedures), in addition to the building capacity of architects/designers/builders/contractors and government officials in States and Urban and Local Bodies (ULBs). It is also dependent on the availability of materials and equipment that meet or exceed performance specifications specified in ECBC.  

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) with the support of the USAID ECO- III Project is promoting ECBC awareness and voluntary adoption through training and capacity building programmes, pilot demonstration projects, and identifying steps for compliance check and monitoring of ECBC. ECBC User Guide was developed to support ECBC implementation by providing detailed guidance to the users on how to comply with the Code. 

Four ECBC tip sheets on Energy Simulation, Building Envelope, Lighting Design and HVAC are also available and provide useful information on Code compliance at the system level and through the Whole Building Performance approach that requires knowledge of energy simulation to model the proposed building. 

The ECBC provides design norms for:

  • Building envelope, including thermal performance requirements for walls, roofs, and windows 

  • Lighting system, including daylighting, and lamps and luminaire performance requirements 

  • HVAC system, including energy performance of chillers and air distribution systems 

  • Electrical system 

  • Water heating and pumping systems, including requirements for solar hot water systems. 

The benefits involved for ECBC Compliant Buildings are:

  • Reduce energy consumption 

  • Reduce CO2 emissions 

  • Lower costs through energy savings 

  • Accelerate deployment of energy-efficient technologies. 

  • Use of energy-efficient equipment. 

  • Awareness and importance of Energy Conservation. 

  • Better use of Natural Resources 

     

ECBC-Residential

It is of vital importance for India to develop energy-efficiency strategies focused on the residential sector to limit the current trend of unsustainable escalating energy demand. The production of the residential building stock in urban areas is shifting quickly toward multi-storey residential buildings from the earlier model of building individual homes. It is expected that, with the economics of land and the need for cities to be geographically compact, multi-story residential buildings will be the dominant form of meeting the demand for housing in urban areas.   

This will be the trend for housing for people across the socio-economic spectrum, from low-income to the middle and high-income categories. The initiation of the Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings (Part I: Building Envelope Design), addresses this category of residential buildings.  

The code is expected to assist a large number of architects and builders who are involved in the design and construction of new residential complexes in different parts of the country. Implementation of this code will have potential for energy savings to the tune of 125 billion units of electricity per year by 2030, which is equivalent to about 100 million tons of Co2 emission [4]. 

The ECBC-R aims at limiting heat gains/loss from building envelopes and for ensuring adequate natural ventilation and daylighting. To limit the heat gain/loss from the building envelope, the code specifies: 

  • The maximum value of Residential Envelope Transmittance Value (RETV) for the building envelope (except the roof) is applicable for four climate zones, viz. Composite Climate, Hot-Dry Climate, Warm-humid Climate and Temperate Climate. 

  • The maximum value of thermal transmittance of the building envelope (except the roof) for the Cold Climate zone (Uenvelope, cold). 

  • The maximum value of thermal transmittance of roof (Proof) for all climate zones 

     

ECBC-Residential

  • Minimum Openable window-to-floor area ratio (WFRop) 

  • To ensure adequate daylighting, the code specifies. 

  • Minimum Visible Light Transmittance (VLT) for the non-opaque building envelope components 

  • The code is applicable to all residential use building projects built on plot area = 250 m2. The type of building projects includes, but not limited to: 

  • Group housing projects: Building units or units constructed or to be constructed with one or more floors having more than two dwelling units having common service facilities where land is shared and commonly used by the dwelling units, and the construction is undertaken by one agency. 

  • Mixed Land Use Building projects: With buildings partly used for non-residential uses and partly for residential use. 

  • Multi-dwelling unit building on residential plots 

Buildings are responsible for an enormous amount of global energy use, resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Architectural design based on environmental preservation is the only option for maintaining the quality of life and preventing lasting environmental damage. Pollution reduction, waste minimisation and energy conservation can be furthered through environmentally friendly architectural design and construction. There is a vast potential for energy-saving possible through the implementation of ECBC.  

 

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