Sustainable zero net design can save both the environment and money

Reallocation of existing buildings is also a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to new construction – adaptive reuse and conservation projects allow us to convert uninhabitable spaces into habitable spaces and preserve built heritage.

New Delhi: Durability is not an additional construction; it’s a way of life. When it comes to enabling sustainability through architecture, the role of design that prioritizes energy efficiency is of immense importance, say the Indian architects.

According to Sachin Rastogi, Founding Partner and Director, Zero Energy Design Lab, “A ‘net zero energy’ building is a building where the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of energy used by the building. renewable energy created. on site or nearby. Contrary to popular assumptions, a “near net zero building” (built to minimize net energy; one that strives to be net zero) does not need to be expensive to build and operate; such a building is designed to function with its climate and context.

In addition to the important role of daylighting and ventilation, a building like this relies on the use of passive design strategies that can, for example, reduce solar heat gains by as much as 60-70%. .

He adds, “In addition, the thermal loads to the building can be greatly reduced by incorporating heat sinks such as bodies of water and incorporating native vegetation; and window shapes and sizes can be designed to maximize daylight in interior spaces by up to 100 percent, thereby reducing home electrical loads. By means of such techniques, the costs of constructing and operating the building can be considerably reduced.

Naveen Thomas, Vertical Head of Enterprise Architecture at Edifice Consultants, says the design of Atal Akshay Urja Bhawan, their next project in New Delhi, emerges as an exemplary precedent by creating a landmark that embodies energy awareness in the urban fabric of the city.

“As the government actively supports energy efficiency in the country, public buildings should lead the way in minimizing their environmental footprint. Serving as the headquarters of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energies, the design demonstrates a new model of civic development that blends iconicism with an interactive public interface. Atal Akshay Urja Bhawan is expected to achieve Net Positive Energy Status through the energy generated by solar panels and the use of energy efficient materials for floors and ceilings, cavity walls to reduce HVAC loads and electrical equipment dedicated to energy saving. “

Akshat Bhatt, Principal Architect at Architecture Discipline, New Delh, recommends principles for designing buildings in a sustainable manner.

* Orient the building to increase the entry of daylight and fresh air, and design it with sufficient thermal mass to regulate internal temperatures. This limits the need for artificial lighting and air conditioning and thus reduces the energy consumption of the building.

* Build it in a modular and flexible way that adapts to the future needs of its users. This reduces the need for costly modifications and eliminates pollution due to demolition or new construction.

* Make it self-sufficient in electricity and drinking water, thanks to renewable energies and rainwater harvesting. Areas for agriculture and food crops must also be integrated in the form of vegetable gardens or growing rooms.

* Treat all dry and wet waste that is produced on site so that no untreated waste is released. Using locally sourced materials can also reduce intrinsic energy and building costs.

Reallocation of existing buildings is also a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to new construction – adaptive reuse and conservation projects allow us to convert uninhabitable spaces into habitable spaces and preserve built heritage.

While it is true that their initial costs can be high, green homes are much cheaper to operate over the long term and over the entire building life cycle, as they significantly reduce water requirements and fuel consumption. energy from lighting and air conditioning. The cost of maintaining most green systems or appliances is also low, allowing residents to recoup the initial costs in about 3 to 4 years.


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About Kristina McManus

Kristina McManus

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