How can building energy efficiency be improved in cities?

Posted by Stuti Parekh on 29 May, 2018

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Energy Efficient Home Improvement App

Posted by Prachi Kishore on 29 May, 2018

Most of us don’t even realize how things we do out of habit might be piling on to the worries of the planet. If we can create a centralized platform/application to keep a tab on all our activities inside our house that might be wasting energy or an application that reminds us to switch the lights off before leaving, turn the tap off while brushing our teeth, locate where to buy better energy efficient bulbs, rewarding us points on achieving each of these goals throughout the day. Such points could be utilized for redemption at some partner associations.

Optimal heating and cooling plans for the specification of our house can also be provided on this app. The same platform can also suggest insulation solutions etc.

Idle load: leaving a plug on in a socket without an appliance attached can consume more energy than we can fathom. The same application can remind us to pull the plug, power our homes with renewable energy such as solar geysers and other energy efficient appliances. 
 

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Seoul’s building retrofit program

Posted by Prachi Kishore on 29 May, 2018

Seoul’s Building Retrofit Program (BRP) aims to save energy and boost efficiency in buildings by installing new – or improving existing – equipment.

Launched in 2008, the program originally targeted public buildings, including City Hall, the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s affiliated offices and municipal corporations and social welfare facilities. Over time, the program has expanded to include residences as well as private buildings such as universities and hospitals, with the money saved from these retrofits in turn invested in citizen welfare programs. In 2013, approximately 14,000 different types of buildings were participating in the BRP. The rate that citizens have participated in the BRP has significantly increased over the course of three years. Specifically, insulation and improvement of the house environment have been popular among citizens.

In 2014, Seoul aimed to target high-energy consuming buildings, implement a pilot project to turn aging apartment complexes into an energy-saving buildings and make public disclosures of energy efficiency information for all the city’s apartment complexes.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government provides low-interest loans to buildings and energy service companies to help ease the burden of installation costs and enabling greater citizen involvement. Specifically, Seoul offers 8-year loans at 1.75% interest rate per year for up to $1.87 million for each project (current market interest rate is hovering over 3.8%).

Under the BRP, buildings follow eco-friendly construction practices – energy conservation, reduction of pollutants, etc. – throughout the whole process of construction from designing, building, maintenance, and demolitions.

New buildings are subject to stricter energy standards throughout the entire construction process, while existing buildings are required to improve energy efficiency in case of renovation or maintenance.

Benefits of the BRP include saving money through reduced energy consumption, reduction of construction waste and more funds available for citizen welfare programs. These positive effects of the program help lay the foundation for a sustainable city.

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