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Architects stress upon need to encourage energy efficiency

30 Sep, 2014
The Indo-Swiss Building Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP), in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) Chandigarh - Punjab chapter, organized a seminar on "Sustainable Architecture: Integrated Approach to Energy-Efficient Building Design". The seminar was attended by around 100 architects and building sector professionals. 
 
Architect Gunter Lohnert, who is a leading European expert in the area of integrated environmental and energy-efficient building design, was the key-note speaker. Lohnert said, "There is a need to integrate energy-efficiency and green building features during early-design phase to maximize energy savings and minimize the incremental cost for energy-efficiency measures". 
 
He informed that BEEP has been popularizing the concept of integrated approach to energy-efficient building design in India and has provided technical support to 10 large commercial building projects in India, resulting in potential energy savings of 25-50% in these projects. 
Sameer Maithel, representing the Project Management Unit of BEEP, informed that with the increased use of air-conditioning, electricity consumption in buildings was increasing rapidly in India and there was an urgent need to promote construction of buildings that require less energy for cooling. BEEP is being implemented by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Government of India and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The project has prepared "Design Guidelines for Energy-Efficient Residential Buildings", which has recently been released by the Ministry of Power in New Delhi. He presented 15 recommendations of these guidelines and said that by following these guidelines, up to 50% reduction in energy consumption is possible in residential buildings. 
 
Architect Surinder Bahga, a prominent architect from Chandigarh and the Editor of Journal of Indian Institute of Architects, spoke on Integrated Design for Sustainable Architecture. He said that energy-efficiency is a very important component of sustainable architecture. He presented case-studies of buildings exemplifying sustainable architecture.