State targets new buildings for a 'brighter' future

Code seeks to make them eco-friendly

New buildings being planned in Karnataka may become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than the ones currently standing. 

The State’s version of the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), which specifies the energy performance requirements for buildings, is in the last stages of finalisation and will be initially implemented in all new government buildings.

ECBC was launched by the Ministry of Power in 2007 to promote energy efficiency in the building sector. ECBC-Karnataka is being framed to suit the regional and climatic conditions of the State.

The code has requirements for architects and engineers to apply energy-conservation principles and techniques in their designs for new buildings (green buildings) as well as for alterations to existing buildings.

Nodal agency

A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary S V Ranganath in Bangalore on August 7 obtained feedback on the draft code from various departments, including energy, public works, office of the chief electrical inspector, principal chief architect and other stakeholders, according to officials in the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL). KREDL is the nodal agency for promoting energy conservation in the State. The final version of the ECBC will now be placed before the State Cabinet for clearance.

Initially, new government buildings will have to suit the specifications under the code which includes lighting, ventilation, building envelope, electrical systems, heating and air conditioning, piping and duct work.

For instance, the schedule under lighting will specify the number and wattage of lamps for a particular building, automatic lighting shutoff requirements if any, lamp efficacy of exterior lamps, etc. The schedule under energy include maximum allowable distribution transformer losses, installation of energy-efficient motors among others, the officials said.

Analyses conducted through energy simulation indicate that ECBC-compliant buildings use 40 per cent to 60 per cent less energy when compared with normal buildings.

Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje said ECBC is a step towards the State government’s endeavour to conserve energy.
 Monetary  benefits

“We have already taken measures to conserve energy by promoting the use of Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CLF), installation of energy-efficient pumpsets and developing solar villages.

It will not only help in saving power but will also have monetary benefits,” she said. 

During the first stage of ECBC implementation, the State government plans to rope in the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) to conduct training programmes for government engineers and architects on energy-conservation principles.

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