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IIT Roorkee Leads Consortium For Zero Peak Energy Building Design in India

 The Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee is leading an Indo-UK consortium working on addressing the problem of peak demand reduction by aiming to eliminate peak demand of power in buildings. The project named Zero Peak Energy Building Design in India (ZED-i) is being led by IIT Roorkee with the consortium partners being Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and CSIR-CBRI from India and Bath University and the UK Met office. The total project value is around Rs. 15 crore out of which IIT Roorkee will receive a grant of Rs 6 crore. The overall vision of the project is to decouple building energy use from economic growth in India through a new science of zero peak energy building design for warm climates. This will provide “thermal stress free” living conditions whilst minimizing mean and peak demand. The project will work majorly on improved building designs, low-energy cooling & heating, social practices of adaptive thermal comfort and post-occupancy evaluation in order to bring about peak demand reduction. It will also look at providing support through research to urban planning, and integration of information, communication and renewable energy technologies at building level. The ZED-i project will also entail careful consideration of the current and future weather signals, which will be critical for any realistic assessment of mean and peak energy demands. It hopes to replace the current use of a small amount of observed weather data from a small number of sites with a repository of computer generated weather data from approximately 10,000 sites. Importantly, this repository will contain examples of events such as heat waves and cold snaps that can be used to test the resilience of buildings and the stresses they subject their occupants to. It will also include weather up to year 2080, thereby, allowing the impacts of climate change over the lifetime of buildings to be fully considered. The second focus of the project is on delivering a method of construction that is compatible not only with the Indian climate but also its building practices and social customs, thus avoiding the trap of an "imported" standard. This will be delivered through the creation of 60 pathways for a range of building types in 6 cities comprising different climates. Speaking about the Zed-I project, Dr. E. Rajasekar, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, IIT Roorkee said “In many developing countries, rising energy demand, and consequently carbon emissions, is seen as an unequivocal indicator of increasing prosperity. This trajectory has important consequences not just for global carbon emissions but for the ability of countries such as India to achieve its developmental goals. This is because, in most developing countries, growth in energy demand far outstrips growth in supply due to the large capital investment required to build energy infrastructure. Thus, even people with access to energy networks often find that they are unable to meet their comfort needs due to supply shortages.” “The population of India is growing at 1.2% per annum and is expected to reach 2.3 by by 2080. The per-capita energy use, driven by greater urbanization, is growing at an even faster pace at around 3.3% annually. This project directly addresses the problem of peak demand reduction by aiming to eliminate peak demand in buildings, where it is created. In most developing countries, the vast majority of the building stock of the future is still to be built, so there is a real opportunity to decouple economic growth from building energy use whilst ensuring comfortable conditions.” Dr. Rajasekar added This project brings together world-leading academic expertise in the fields of architecture, civil engineering, computer science, mathematical sciences, environmental psychology, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, hydrology, climate science and advanced materials to tackle the problem of climate change driven peak energy demand in buildings.

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