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Building code puts accent on energy efficiency

india Updated: Oct 04, 2006 01:29 IST

IT WILL become mandatory for builders and others to construct energy efficient-buildings, failing which they may be prosecuted.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency has, in cooperation with the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has come out with Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC)-2006.

It lays down how much insulation buildings must use, what kind of windows they must use and what should be the height of the roof.

Besides, it has many other provisions regulating, lighting, cooling, heating and ventilation of buildings.

The code which is likely to come into effect by December this year is currently being discussed by states.

The States’ suggestions, if any, will be incorporated in the final document before it came into effect. “We are studying the ECBC and its implications,” said UP Power Corporation Ltd (UPPCL), MD, Avnish Awasthi. 

The provisions of the draft code apply to heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, service hot water, pumping, motor and lighting. The code is mandatory for commercial buildings or building complexes that have a connected load of 500 KW or greater or a contract demand for 600 KVA or greater. The code is recommended for all other buildings.

The code provides that residential facilities, hotels and hospitals with a centralised system shall have solar water heating for at least 20 per cent of the design capacity.

It says that interior lighting systems in buildings larger than 500 m2 (5,000 ft2) shall be equipped with an automatic control device. Within these buildings, all office areas less than 30 m2 (300 ft2) enclosed by walls or ceiling-height partitions, all meeting and conference rooms, all classrooms, and all storage space shall be equipped with occupancy sensors. Significantly, occupancy sensors that shall turn the lighting off within 30 minutes of an occupant leaving the space.

Lighting for all exterior applications shall be controlled by photo-sensors or astronomical time switch that is capable of automatically turning off the exterior lightings when daylight is available or lighting is not required.

Energy expert and technical advisor to UP Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd Girish said, “Energy efficient buildings offer benefit of reduced energy consumption without sacrificing comfort level of the occupants.” He felt that the code would prove to be revolutionary in preserving energy and reducing pollution level. He said once the code was applicable, a builder would have to seek an NOC for a building from the authority as nominated by the State Government.

Girish even looks beyond. “The day is not far when we will also advance our watches by a few hours in summer to use more daylight for work.”

He said most of the advanced countries including the US, the UK and Russia advanced their clocks during the summer. This helped the people begin their day earlier and utilise more daytime for work, saving more electricity, he pointed out.