Hyderabad Leads In Implementation of Energy Conservation Building Code
Recently, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) became the first urban local body (ULB) in India to comply with the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC). An initiative launched through the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) by the Ministry of Power in 2007, under the Energy Conservation Act 2001, the ECBC aims at promoting energy efficiency in buildings. According to the ECBC guidelines, all the buildings would be required to adhere with the prescribed norms that majorly focus on judicious utilisation of electricity and renewable resources, promote low-carbon growth and thus attain lower power bills.
Telangana is in the forefront in implementing the protocol among the 13 states which had been notified of the ECBC-2017 guidelines. In 2017, the GHMC also replaced the manual building approval system with an online approval system, the Development Permissions Management System (DPMS), to make the process of issuing building permits to real estate developers and builders easy and transparent.
Recently, some old municipal buildings were retrofitted in compliance with the ECBC norms and about 35 new buildings are coming up which would be ECBC-compliant.
Focus on reducing energy consumption
The GHMC started with enforcing the code by giving permits to 25 new government buildings and private commercial complexes. India is a country where the building sector consumes about 31 per cent of the total energy produced, according to the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. Commercial buildings consume as much as nine per cent of this amount. With Hyderabad emerging as a hub for commercial projects and demand for office spaces skyrocketing, the relevance of ECBC is much more in the city.
With minimum energy levels set for all buildings, it is estimated that the energy efficient building measures would cut down energy consumption by 50 per cent and result in huge energy savings by 2030 which would be sufficient to power 8.9 million Indian households a year across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
All building architects, developers, third-party assessors or owners can submit the online application for construction permits and ECBC online form. About 38 ECBC third-party assessors are empanelled with the Telangana State Renewable Energy Development Corporation and GHMC, who have been issued licences for the first time ever in India.
What the ECBC says
The rules would be applicable to all commercial and non-residential properties, including multiplexes, hospitals, hotels, and convention centres, with built-up area of 2,000 square metre or higher. The code offers a star rating system. With the residential sector also growing rapidly, the government is considering the establishment of the Energy Conservation Code for residential buildings.
The Energy Conservation Building Code prescribes minimum energy efficiency requirements for five building systems namely the building envelope (walls, roof, etc.), heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC), service water heating, lighting design and electrical power. Once the building is developed and furnished, it must undergo an ECBC compliance check. Only after the second round of certification, the occupancy certificate would be issued to developers.
- Developers must ensure that structures have proper provisions for heat transfer and minimal gain during summer, thus cutting down energy-consumption for air-conditioners.
- They must use energy-efficient lighting mechanisms viz. sodium lamps and CFL bulbs.
- It is mandatory to provide cool roof with initial solar reflectance of not less than 0.7 and initial emittance no less than 0.75.
- Commercial establishments, that include hotels, hospitals and guesthouses, with a centralized system must either have a solar water heating system or waste heat recovery system for at least 1/5th of the design capacity.