The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and United Technologies Corporation (UTC) recently launched the Center of Excellence for Energy Efficient Buildings in India. The Center’s launch coincides with the government’s introduction of the Smart City Programme to address the challenges of rapid urbanisation and the efficient use of energy resources.
TERI and UTC spokespersons informed that the Center will work towards the development of an energy-use reporting framework for existing buildings, evaluation of the existing building energy rating systems, derivation of tool and techniques for energy management, real time reporting of consumption, and identification and cost benefit analysis of conservation measures.
Dr RK Pachauri, Director General, TERI, who could not be present for the launch event, addressed the gathering though his video message in which he said, “I am extremely happy that we are launching this initiative. We hope that this will be a model not only for this country but for other countries as well. With UTC, we can work together in bringing about a smarter world and a more sustainable world, particularly as it relates to buildings and habitat design.”
Zubin Irani, President, Building and Industrial Systems India, UTC, added, “Given the energy challenges faced by the nation, energy efficiency in the buildings sector is an important priority. World over, there has been a rapid pace of innovation when it comes to technologies and systems that go into making a building more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. It is important to note that not only do many of these technologies reduce the energy footprint of a building or infrastructure project but they also pay back for themselves in a matter of few years.”
“The Center of Excellence will have a core research agenda on enabling energy efficiency in existing buildings in India. The collaboration between TERI and UTC in this endeavour will help unlock the potential of energy saving in this sector,” said Mili Majumdar, Director, Sustainable Habitat, TERI.
Globally, buildings account for 40 per cent of the total energy consumption. By using energy efficient technologies, energy consumption could be reduced by up to 60 per cent. In India, the building sector accounts for approximately 35 per cent of the total energy consumption and is growing at a rate of eight per cent annually. The UTC- TERI Centre of Excellence will endeavour to evaluate energy efficiency and ascertain energy requirements in existing buildings. The findings of the study will be instrumental in building 100 smart cities as planned by the government as it will involve upgrading existing cities, expanding and building around them.
Mili Majumdar, Director, Sustainable Habitat, TERI and Zubin Irani, President, Building and Industrial Systems India, UTC speak with Monica Chaturvedi Charna at the launch of the ‘Center of Excellence for Energy Efficient Buildings’…
What is the objective of the Center of Excellence for Energy Efficient Buildings?
The center will first conduct a Pan-India study of 100 buildings and is scheduled to cover a wide range of climatic zones, covering cities such as Allahabad, Ajmer, Vishakhapatnam, Varanasi, Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Surat, Jaipur etc. These have been selected as per the ‘Smart Cities’ programme.
The study will include an energy survey, derivation of tools and techniques for identification and cost-benefit analysis of energy conservation measures (ECMs), calibration and validation of simulation tools, development of measurement and verification (M&V) protocol for implementation of ECMs, development of financial mechanism, development of remote monitoring protocol and review and revision of existing building energy standards/codes/rating systems. The initiative is expected to deliver the proposed results within the next five years.
How is the programme different from what GRIHA is already doing?
The Center of Excellence for Energy Efficient Buildings aims to strengthen the GRIHA protocol and framework. Currently, the GRIHA framework looks at new buildings and new construction, which has several elements to it. The programme will delve into the elements to see whether the buildings are actually saving what they have committed to save at the pre-design stage. Further, there are also opportunities for buildings which haven’t been designed green but can be made green through retrofits. All this will be taken care of by the Center.
What would be the role of UTC in the government’s Smart City programme? Are you planning to engage with the government for some of the projects?
We see the Smart City programme as a great opportunity and are very excited about it. Having said this, while the programme is more broad based, our solutions are focused essentially on buildings. Our engagement will be in the form of doing buildings in cities that are to be made smart. Besides, we will be working closely with the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE).
Would you be studying only the government buildings and have you already identified a few of them?
It will be a mix of both government as well as private buildings. We have identified the typology of the buildings that we will focus on i.e. we have charted out the category of buildings that are high on energy consumption but also have high growth potential. We will do the preliminary studies and research on which typology to address. For example, a study has already been done on the President House. Besides, commercial office buildings, retail spaces, hospitality and hospitals that are high energy intensive spaces with great growth potential, will also be our target.
By how much will the energy consumption be reduced once the measures are implemented?
In existing buildings, there is a scope for atleast 20-30 per cent energy savings.
What would be UTC’s role in implementing the objectives of the sector?
UTC will be working with TERI’s local team in doing energy audits of buildings. We would utilise our expertise and experience in the field of buildings. For instance, chiller plants account for nearly 40-45 per cent of the total energy consumed by a building. UTC has a research facility in the US, called UTRC which has developed analytical tools and software that we use in other countries for assessing the scope of cutting down a building’s energy consumption. We will closely work with TERI to ensure that this programme is duly implemented. Our focus is not just about creating awareness but to also ensure the implementation. In addition, UTC has a strong customer base, so, some of the buildings that we choose to do might be of our customers only.