All buildings in Punjab are going to be designed to use maximum daylight and least electricity, yet be cool in summer and warm in winter. It will cut the emission of greenhouse gases that damage the environment.

For all upcoming commercial and public buildings to be energy-efficient , the state government is going to notify a code that requires power-saving to be built into design. It is also a must countrywide under the Energy Conservation Act of 2001. The state cabinet has cleared the proposal to become a law after notification, after which, all new buildings with a connected load of 100 kilowatt and more have to follow the code.

Punjab Energy Development Agency (Peda) and the state Ministry for Non-renewable Energy will convey the decision to the chief architects, chief town planners, local bodies, and agencies involved in clearing construction projects in urban centres. “Before the start of construction, each building design will be checked for energy efficiency,” said Peda chief executive Amarpal Singh. He says the code covers building aesthetics; envelope; mechanical system; the equipments for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning; interior and exterior lighting; and hot-water service; besides electrical power and motors for thermal comfort in non-central-AC buildings.

A committee of engineers, architects, and town planners has designed the code to cut energy consumption by 30-to-40%. The code applies to all buildings with an air-conditioned area of 500 square metres, besides to complexes, group houses, offices, hotels, shopping zones, and private hospitals. The committee claims that it will reduce the need to add power-generation capacity; save money on energy infrastructure; ease load on power utilities; lead to effective power-load management and grid stability; and decrease the scope for power breakdowns.

Year’s saving equivalent to planting 6 lakh trees

Peda chief executive Amarpal Singh said considering 8% growth in new commercial buildings, 1.8 crore units of electricity could be saved by implementing the Punjab energy-conserving building code, and 15,000 tonnes of carbon-dioxide emission could be checked, which was equivalent to planting 6 lakh trees a year.

Source: May 26, 2016, Hindustan Times