Applicable for new buildings with more than 500 sq mt area

Minister for Energy D.K. Shivakumar on Tuesday said the government has approved the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) and it will be applicable for new commercial buildings with more than 500 sq mt floor area across the State.

The code, drafted under the Energy Conservation Act, 2001, seeks to reduce energy consumption of commercial buildings by 30 to 40 per cent through adopting various designs.

Speaking after inaugurating a two-day Indian Sustainability Congress 2014 here, Mr. Shivakumar said the code would also be applicable to government buildings. He said the State Cabinet in its meeting here on Monday decided to adopt the code.

At a time when availability of power through conventional sources is becoming scarce, this move is likely to save considerable amount of energy in Karnataka, Mr. Shivakumar said. Also, the State has a vast potential of producing solar energy as it is sunny throughout the year in most parts of the State, he said.

The department would bring out a comprehensive solar policy so as to encourage domestic solar energy production and to mitigate hardships, he said.

The policy will also focus on addressing issues concerning requirement of land for setting up solar power producing plants. He urged academics and entrepreneurs to come out with innovative schemes for maximum utilisation of natural resources at a time when it is becoming scarce.

Enforcing agencies

Ravi Kumar P., Additional Chief Secretary to Government (Energy Department), said the scope includes the envelope of the building and systems pertaining to heating, lighting, air-conditioning and water supply.

While drafting the code, the Centre had given liberty to State governments to modify it to suit the geographical conditions of the region. Some States have already adopted the code. While the Public Works Department will enforce the code for government buildings, the Urban Development Department will do it for private buildings after suitably amending building bylaws, Mr. Ravi Kumar said. He said even without the code, many private and government buildings have adopted it and built green buildings. Now that the code is mandatory, all commercial buildings with more than 500 sq mt floor area have to follow the same, he said.

A Government Order to this effect will be issued in about a week, Mr. Ravi Kumar said.

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