Dr. Sonal Desai
When we are talking about net-zero carbon dioxide production, the building comes first on the list. To make them net-zero carbon dioxide producers, many countries have developed energy codes. Consistent and comprehensive implementation of energy conservation and building code by all the buildings can help to achieve the mission of COP26.
Like fire, electrical, structural, and plumbing laws, Energy conservation and building codes apply to all types of buildings to provide minimum requirements for energy-efficient design and construction of buildings and their systems.
Apart from benefits in climate mitigation, building energy codes have other benefits, like reduced energy bills to end-users, improved energy security, health and comfort, and lower need for energy subsidies. Due to these add-ons, many countries have developed codes and standards for building.
The Energy Conservation Building Code was introduced by the Government of India for new commercial buildings and released on 27th May 2007. ECBC compliance has targeted minimum energy standards for commercial buildings with either a connected load of 100kW or a contract demand of 120 KVA and above.
Studies have reflected that building energy codes have helped save 6-22% of average annual energy consumption in buildings. Energy-efficient buildings are key targets for achieving a low-carbon future, and Energy conservation building codes create a blueprint for new energy-efficient buildings. Still, effective implementation systems are what we look forward to. Gradually policymakers are increasingly recognizing the need for stronger implementation codes to achieve climate and energy goals in the buildings sector. Still, there is thus a shift in emphasis from adopting more strict requirements to supporting the implementation of existing conditions.
These codes are more likely to achieve energy savings if they provide total coverage of buildings, regardless of their application, age, floors, physics, size, and geographic location. It is important that countries depute or certify an agency to inspect construction for code compliance. As implementation is usually done by local authorities that might not have uniform structure and capabilities, engaging code enforcement in training programs is also essential, while offering compliance resources will ensure that stakeholders understand how to achieve compliance with the code.
Dr. Sonal Desai