Energy Efficiency in Affordable Housing Sector in Andhra Pradesh: A Way Forward

 

      
Sameer Maithel is the Founder Director of Greentech Knowledge Solutions Pvt Ltd and Co-Head Indo-Swiss BEEP. Sameer is a mechanical engineer by training and his main area of interest are energy planning, monitoring & analysis of renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies, building energy efficiency, dissemination of clean energy technologies etc.
Anandh S Krishna is the program officer in Greentech Knowledge Solutions Pvt Ltd and a mechanical engineer by training. He is a sustainability professional trained in Energy and Environment management with work experience in the areas of sustainability disclosures, green buildings standards, carbon footprinting etc.

Indo-Swiss Building Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP) is a bilateral co-operation project between the Ministry of Power (MoP), Government of India and the Swiss Government, implemented by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE). The overall objective of the project is to promote energy-efficient building design and construction in India. BEEP provides technical support to stakeholders in the built environment for designing energy-efficient commercial and residential buildings. BEEP’s approach to energy-efficient building design is based on integrated design process, climate-responsive architecture and use of modern design tools and new technologies. BEEP has provided technical assistance to several large building projects in India and the results show estimated energy savings of 25-45%. At the national level, BEEP has provided technical support to the BEE for the development of the Eco Niwas Samhita: Part I (Building Envelope). Andhra Pradesh is one of the three states where BEEP is working with the BEE to provide technical support for the implementation of energy efficiency in buildings and, specifically for the implementation of the Eco-Niwas Samhita (ENS), which is the Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings.

Beneficiary Led Construction or Enhancement (BLC) is one of the four components under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U). Under this component, financial assistance is available to individual eligible families belonging to economically weaker section (EWS) to either construct new houses or enhance existing houses, on their own. The intent is to provide support to those eligible who are not able to take advantage of other the three components of the PMAY-U.

Under BLC scheme, Andhra Pradesh State Housing Board (APSHB), one of the state nodal agencies for PMAY-U is planning to construct 30 lakhs houses for the EWS by 2022. As per the current plan, each dwelling unit, which is around 300-400 sqft plinth area, comprises of a living room, bedroom, kitchen and a toilet/bath. BEEP, in collaboration with APSHB, organized a webinar on 07 May 2020 to increase awareness on ENS in the state of Andhra Pradesh. During webinar, Mr. Ajay Jain IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Housing, Government of Andhra Pradesh and head of APSHB, expressed his keen interest in integrating energy efficiency measures into the affordable housing projects and complying with all the provisions of Eco-Niwas Samhita (ENS), which is the Energy Conservation Building Code for Residential Buildings in India.

Considering Andhra Pradesh’s climate (mainly warm-humid), the BEEP team recommended the following key strategies to make the affordable housing projects as energy efficient and thermally comfortable (EETC) as possible:

Orientation:

  • Generally, orientation depends on plot location. If possible, the houses should be oriented so that the longer façades are facing north and south. This will reduce direct solar heat gains and will make solar protection easier

      
Roof:

  • Ensure all concrete slabs are treated, with preference for over-deck insulation. At the very least, they should be treated with brick bat coba or tiles.
  • The roof should be finished with a coating of reflective (high SRI) paint or a layer of reflective tiles placed to reflect off a large part of the incidence solar radiation.
  • Install solar PV panels or solar water heaters to help in generating energy as well as shading the roof.
  • Provide shade on the roof.

      
Outer walls:

  • The minimum thickness of the outer walls should be 200 mm or more.
  • Construct outer walls with lightweight bricks/blocks, e.g. hollow clay blocks, AAC blocks etc.

      
Windows:

  • Provide adequate number and size of windows. The openable window area should be at least 17% of the carpet area. Place windows on opposite or adjacent walls to provide cross-ventilation.
  • For better ventilation, opt for casement windows over sliding (two-pane) windows as the former provides 90% openable area as compared to 50%, in case of latter.
  • Provide adequately sized extended overhangs and side fins to protect the windows from solar radiation and rain

      
BEEP, focusing on EETC building design, is keen on supporting APSHB’s prestigious affordable housing project by providing technical support on design as well as making them ENS compliant. It is important to further study the current construction practices and available materials to design specific solutions for Andhra Pradesh. BEEP will be working on those specifications over the next few months

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Written by Sameer Maithel & Anandh S Krishna, GKSPL/Indo-Swiss BEEP