On sustainable building materials

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Environment, Ecology and Disaster Management, Topic: Indian Initiatives, efforts, and Commitments, Issue: Energy Efficient Building

Need for energy efficient building:

  • The building sector consumes over 33% of India’s electricity.
  • India Cooling Action Plan foresees an eight-fold increase in cooling demand by 2037.
  • To address escalating energy and cooling demand, heat islands, climate change.

Existing initiatives:

  • Eco-Niwas Samhita (ENS) and Residential Energy Conservation Building Code.

Concerns

  • Priority to fast-paced, energy-intensive techniques over climate-appropriate design.
  • Knowledge about climate-appropriate design and architecture is lacking.
  • High initial costs hinder the adoption of climate-responsive building practices.

The way ahead:

  • Innovation from manufacturers to develop cost-effective, durable, and climate-resilient solutions.
  • Reimagining construction practices and fostering sustainability culture are essential.
Prelims Connect (Schemes/Policies):

The Eco-Niwas Samhita (ENS) is a two-part code developed by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) in India to promote energy-efficient residential buildings.

Components:

ENS 2018 (Part I: Building Envelope): Focuses on the building’s shell, including walls, roof, and windows.

ENS 2021 (Part II: Electro-Mechanical and Renewable Energy Systems): This part addresses the building’s mechanical and electrical systems, including lighting, air conditioning, and renewable energy sources.

 

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