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Efficient Buildings Key To Meet Climate Goals 

By Naina Gautam February 08, 2024

WSDS 2024: India has an advantage that its building infrastructure is not already built unlike the developed world 

Efficient Buildings Key To Meet Climate Goals 
The World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) is the yearly Track 2 initiative by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). In its 23rd edition, it deliberated on various means to deal with triple planetary crisis under the umbrella theme: Leadership for Sustainable Development and Climate Justice.
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Experts point out that nearly one-third of India’s electricity is consumed by buildings and with the increase in urbanisation this will further increase.

On the carbon footprint of the buildings Santhosh Muzumdar, Director of Government Relations and Sustainability, Johnson Controls, differentiates between embodied and operational carbon of the buildings, “Embodied carbon is finally that comes from building materials and operational carbon comes from running the building over a period of time. 40% of the global emissions today come from buildings, if you break this 40% down, out of the 40% roughly around 28% comes from operational carbon and 11% comes from embodied carbon that is locked carbon.”

Muzumdar adds that digitalisation is critical. Buildings have building management systems from different companies and the lack of standardised digitalisation systems poses a significant challenge. With each company, offering its own proprietary system, compatibility issues arise, hindering seamless integration and efficient operation of these crucial systems within buildings. This impacts the data efficiency in building management.

Jiwesh Nandan, IAS, Distinguished Fellow, TERI, says, “By 2050 half of India will live in cities, the requirements of buildings will  increase we are going to be prosperous which essentially means that we are going to be in a position to afford better building spaces.”

He adds, “The biggest advantage that we have that most of this infrastructure is not already built and therefore we can choose a path which is very different from what most of the developed countries which we see today they have done right.” 

The existing loopholes in the construction sector are the lack of research and development, clashes between conventional and innovative practices that affect the adoption of efficient buildings by the industry. Factors like lack of knowledge related to advanced building material and design is stifling the progress. This gap also hinders the progress of Smart Cities Mission and its aim of achieving net zero emissions by 2070.

The World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) is the yearly Track 2 initiative by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). In its 23rd edition, it deliberated on various means to deal with triple planetary crisis under the umbrella theme: Leadership for Sustainable Development and Climate Justice. 

Thematic track on sustainable buildings titled, “Sustainable Skylines: Enabling Tomorrow’s Architectures with a Web- Based Knowledge Hub on Advanced Building Materials and Energy- Efficient Design” deliberated on various ways to reach the green buildings pathway.

In reaching the decarbonisation goal for the buildings various topics were touched upon like should going green be voluntary vs compliance based, domestic vs international standards, sustainable building materials such as bamboo and recycled materials, regulatory barriers, market constraints etc. 

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