Eight out of nine buildings guilty of energy wastage

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

NGO Greenpeace claimed that most of our existing infrastructure was actually a big menace as far as climate change goes. It claimed that eight of the nine buildings it surveyed at random in Delhi and Mumbai were guilty of energy wastage due to leakages on account of faulty design, use of inadequate insulating material and non-maintenance.

In a first of its kind exercise, these buildings were selected randomly for a thermographic test wherein their images were taken with a special infrared camera that was claimed to have captured the excessive energy leakage in them. The buildings included Mumbai Stock Exchange building in the financial capital and National Stock Exchange building, American Center and a five star hotel in Delhi. Officials of American Centre refused to comment on the exercise. A majority of buildings in our cities would meet the same fate.

Only the ITC building in Gurgaon could pass muster and was awarded the ‘Green Building’ tag.

K.Srinivas, climate and energy expert, Greenpeace India, said: “Our probe into the building sector in India has yielded startling results. Energy efficiency in the first important step to address India’s energy crisis and fight climate change. Our energy consumption can be halved by smart use of energy. The photos we have taken are indicative of the electricity wastage that a cross-section of our climate buildings are responsible for as well as the requirement for mandatory efficiency in the building sector.”

Thermography is a technology that shows temperature difference on the building surface area. A uniform temperature difference on the building surface means an environment friendly building. Temperature variations on the surface indicate that the cool air from inside the building is allowed to escape, implying that more energy is required to maintain the temperature inside the building.

In the past five years, the use of air-conditioning in India has been growing at the rate of almost 50% each year, according to figures made available by Greenpeace. Electricity consumption for air-conditioning in residential buildings has been about 7-10%, with a growth rate of consumption in the range of 15-20% per annum. Reduction in the leakage of cool air from buildings has the potential to reduce electricity consumption by over 40%.

According to a recent Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change report, the building sector also has a high level of electricity usage and hence the total emissions from this sector are very high. The report also states that energy efficiency in new and existing buildings in India can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 30% by 2030. The bureau of energy efficiency came out with a building efficiency code for new buildings in India in May 2007. However, compliance with the code is voluntary at present.

Deeksha Chopra

Times of India, 28th June,2007

Posted by Kaks at 1:48 PM  

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