Building change with energy building codes in India
Guest blog by Prima Madan and Jessica Korsh
By 2030, India will have added nearly one billion square meters of new retail space, more than the area of New York and Washington DC combined. Building smart from the start is a real opportunity to reduce emissions, save energy and improve prosperity. The good news is that India is committed to building energy efficient buildings, which are at the heart of India’s Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Climate Agreement.
Buildings in India are the second largest consumer of electricity and will likely become the largest by 2030. Energy building codes that ensure energy savings in the construction and operation of buildings have existed in India since 2007 and have the potential to achieve huge energy savings. The NRDC and the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) estimate that nationwide implementation of the Indian Building Code for Energy Conservation (ECBC) could prevent 1,065 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide between 2019 and 2030. Significant progress in the implementation of these codes has been made; however, much remains to be done to realize the potential savings that full code compliance could bring.
New energy efficiency programs
New initiatives for the built environment were released last month by its national hub for energy efficiency, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). These initiatives ranged from a revised code for residential buildings, a comprehensive training program for architects and building engineers on energy building codes, an online directory of building materials and awards for the design of exemplary energy efficient buildings. . These initiatives will give new impetus to increasing energy efficiency in the built environment. The National Energy Efficiency Roadmap for Movement Towards Affordable and Natural Habitat (NEERMAN) Awards, announced by India’s Minister of Energy and Renewable Energy, RK Singh, will nationally recognize exemplary building designs that comply with building code BEE Energy Conservation Center (ECBC). The NEERMAN Awards are another example of how building energy codes are essential for India to save energy, reduce pollution and move towards net zero emissions.
BEE has also issued a revised and comprehensive version of the Eco Niwas Samitha 2021 Residential Building Energy Code, which now includes all building systems in addition to the building envelope included in the earlier version of the code. More details on the other initiatives launched during the event are here.
Indian states take action
While the national government sets building standards, it is the states that modify, notify, adopt and implement the code. Today, 18 states and two Union Territories (UT) notified ECBC 2007 and ECBC 2017. In June 2021, Madhya Pradesh became the 18the adopt ECBC and made it mandatory for all new commercial buildings after November 1, 2021.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are leading the efforts to notify and implement ECBC. Both states promote code compliance by building technical capacity, hiring third-party assessors, creating a two-tier approach to design and construction, and incorporating ECBC into their online building compliance systems with the city scale. NRDC and ASCI have been working as knowledge partners in both states since 2011. Since then, more than 500 buildings in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have been ECBC compliant.
Uttar Pradesh was the first state to notify the updated version of the code, ECBC 2017. It is successfully implementing ECBC as part of the building regulations of more than 27 development councils in cities across the country. ‘State. In 2021, Uttar Pradesh had more than 134 ECBC compliant buildings at the design or implementation stage.
Looking towards Gujarat and Maharashtra
Gujarat and Maharashtra are key states in India’s transition to energy efficient buildings. The area of the two states combined is greater than that of California. The successful implementation of the code in these two states will take India’s energy conservation efforts to the next level. The NRDC and its partners are working with stakeholders in Gujarat and Maharashtra to develop a framework for implementing the code.
Gujarat is one of the major industrialized states in India. Study estimates that implementing ECBC with high code compliance would result in massive savings in Gujarat: the state would save 6,200 megawatts (MW) in added electric capacity and $ 9 billion in avoided capacity additions and in O&M costs by 2050. These are big numbers and will lead to action on code implementation. As the state moves towards adopting ECBC 2017 with an amended building code, it is important for the state to accelerate the incorporation of ECBC into the broader building compliance process of the Gujarat.
Maharashtra, India’s largest state economy, has taken the first steps to draft a state-amended code. He identified the roles of the different stakeholders and carried out demonstration projects to present the real energy savings of ECBC compliant buildings. In 2021, the state formed a technical committee with officials from the planning and housing departments to speed up notification. A simple compliance process, backed by a group of certified experts to help real estate developers comply, will be important for a large state like Maharashtra to successfully implement ECBC.
There is growing recognition accompanied by action in India on the value of saving energy through energy efficiency in the built environment. However, to truly realize the potential savings, there is a need to focus more on implementation and compliance.
Prima Madan is a cooling and efficiency expert who works as a consultant to the NRDC.
Jessica Korsh is a climate and health expert who works with the NRDC.