With a view to save electricity and conserve fossil fuels, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy recently invited proposals from state nodal agencies, municipal corporations, government bodies, NGOs, technical institutions and consultants under a program that is currently being implemented with the objective of promoting widespread construction of energy efficient solar/green buildings in the country.
The program on energy efficient solar/green buildings aims to achieve its objective through a combination of financial and promotional incentives that include incentives for capacity building and awareness activities aimed at promoting green buildings, awards to urban local bodies, awards to architects and design consultants, financial support for preparation of guidelines as well as case studies for green buildings rated under other prevalent rating system, popular literature and books on green buildings and retrofitting with renewable energy and energy efficiency interventions and incentives for renewable energy project installations.
For the year 2013-14 and the rest of the 12th Five Year Plan period, the MNRE has allocated a total budget of Rs. 10 crore for implementation of the program. To monitor the progress of projects under the program, a mechanism that includes monitoring by the MNRE independently and also third party inspection and reporting has been put in place.
The construction of energy efficient solar buildings is based on the techniques of solar passive design. The objective is to provide comfortable living and working conditions, both during summer and winter. The buildings can be integrated with renewable energy and energy conservation devices and systems which in turn will lead to savings of over 30 to 40 percent of conventional energy used for lighting and air conditioning.
The states of Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Nagaland have already issued orders under which it is mandatory to incorporate solar passive features certified by approved architects and experts in the design and construction of all new government and public sector buildings.
Given the increasing focus on energy conservation these days, more and more architects and experts are laying stress on incorporating solar passive features in the design of new buildings.
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency has introduced the Energy Conservation Building Code which includes energy efficient design features. The National Building Code, developed by the Bureau of Indian Standards, incorporates some of the concepts of energy efficient solar buildings. There are literature and publications available in the public domain for design of energy efficient buildings. The BIS has prepared a chapter on sustainability as part of the National Building Code to promote construction of green buildings in the country. Along with the need to go green in construction of buildings, there is now considerable importance being attached to issues such as water and waste management, environmental impact and minimum destruction of natural resources.