Net Zero Energy Buildings: A Sustainable Concept Of Urban India
Over the years, with growing population, the urban settlement has considerably increased than rural settlement. Urbanization has led to delocalization of people from rural areas, which has led to occupancy of lands by Industries, Skyscrapers, hotels, shopping malls etc.
Advancement in lifestyle and technology has led to intake of huge energy .Amid growing concerns about rising energy prices, GHG emissions and the impact of climate change, it shows buildings are the large consumer of energy. Green Architects , Ecologists and Environmentalist have come up with the concept of Net Zero Energy Buildings.
What is Net Zero Energy Buildings?
Net Zero Energy Buildings are those energy efficient Buildings in which actual energy delivered is less than or equal to renewable energy exported to the grids. Zero Energy Buildings concept is 100% use of natural resources and Zero Energy Consumption. Traditional Buildings are major contributor to GHGs and consumption of Fossil fuel .Net Zero Buildings are way to reduce carbon footprints and bring about climate change.
Designing Of NZEBs Buildings
Net Zero Energy Buildings uses less Energy consumption loads. The heating and cooling loads are replaced by energy efficient loads, Optimize design for passive strategies, Optimize design for active systems to recover Energy, generate energy on –site.
These are some basic principles which are kept while designing a NZEB Buildings.
Features Of Zero Energy Buildings:
- Zero Energy Buildings use glue laminated timber which has low carbon content as the main structural element in place of concrete and steel. This reduces the overall weight of house and is less vulnerable to natural disasters.
- Green roofs are utilized to act as insulation as well as cooling system.
- Thermal mass is used for passive heating and cooling.
- Installing solar panels on rooftop which is to be connected to Grids, which makes grid interdependent on other sources of energy.
- Optimizing passive solar orientation and use external shading to prevent unnecessary solar gains during summer.
- Using low e-glazing window panes would increase energy efficiency and saves our money.
- Using blended concrete structural steel, ceiling and floor tiles, carpeting, carpet padding.
- Provide a clean and healthy building. Use biodegradable and environmentally friendly cleaning agents that do not release VOCs or other harmful agents and residue..
- Conserve water and preserve site and ground water quality by using only indigenous, drought resistant and hardy trees, shrubs, plants and turf that require no irrigation, fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.
- Use Energy Star certified (ISI) marked energy efficient appliances, office equipment, lighting and HVAC systems.
Developments and Initiatives Adopted by Indian Govt
The Ministry of power with the help of United State Agency For International Development (USAID) has launched a web portal discussing about NZEBs: Buildings goals, sustainable architecture, design technology, Energy performance etc. The portal (www.nzeb.in) was launched by Shri Pradeep Kumar Pujari, Secretary, Ministry of Power, and Ambassador Mr Jonathan Addleton, USAID Mission Director to India. This portal was jointly build by Bureau Of Energy Efficiency and USAID. This portal can be accessed by the engineers, policy makers, students, environmentalist to know and promote NZEBs
India’s first Net Zero Energy Building has been established with the help of Passive solar design and energy efficient construction materials. The Indira Paryavaran Bhavan is the first Net zero energy buildings. It is one of the NZEBs which have been given Rating 5 under GRIHA Scheme.
India long term goal to make all the buildings NZEBs has started with a vision to launch 4-5 pilot projects per year . Long term goals have been established to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and enhance the use of renewable energy, with launch of USAID-ECO III which is to promote NZEBs in India.
At first the Govt Of India identifies the financial incentives for employing the renewable and energy efficient technologies from NZEBs viewpoint..4-5 projects are undertaken and design of project starts. After 2-3 years the projects become operational.
Along with USAID ECO III there are many national and international organization which are part of this projects. The research and development of these project are done in this Centre.
The various partners of this organization are:
CEPT University ,Vastu Shilpa Consultants, Schneider electric India, US department of Energy, Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for building performance and Diagnostics.
- MALANKARA TREE PLANTATION,KOTTAYAM
- CEPT RESEARCH LAB ,AHMEDABAD
- SUN CARRIER OMEGA NZEB,BHOPAL
- INDIRA PARYAVARAN BHAWAN, NEW DELHI & ECO COMMERCIAL BUILDING GREATER NOIDA NOIDANOIDA.EPI
Advantages Of Net Zero Energy Buildings:
- More energy efficiency allows more saving.
- Reduction in grid blackouts .
- Reduced total net monthly cost of living
- GHG emissions would reduce
- The cost of NZEBs would increase with increase in energy costs.
Disadvantages of Net Zero Energy Buildings:
- The initial investment is very high.
- There are very few architects, sustainable designers who have necessary skills to build NZEBs.
- The energy produced would be less during bad weather as solar panels don’t work in rainy days.
- Energy Efficient construction materials are not readily available.
Net Zero energy building (NZEBs) vs Green Energy Buildings (GEBs)
In Zero energy buildings the energy is very significantly reduced as compared to green energy buildings. GEBs are based on reduction of waste, efficient use of water and energy resource, occupant health and improving health.etc.
The Concept Of Zero Energy Buildings is new among the different communities of India. Renewable Energy market is still blooming stressing more on Solar And Wind Technology. Smart Grid Mission launched by Ministry Of Urban Development of India has initiated the concept of Green Buildings among people to large extent . Indian Government should provide subsidies to individuals and Organization to create Zero Energy Buildings. But the goal of Zero Energy Buildings would not be fulfilled till the people don’t understand the responsibility and contribute towards energy consumption.
- ↑ India’s first Net Zero Energy Building has been established with the help of Passive solar design and energy efficient construction materials