Nations across the globe recognize that energy security is critical to fuel their economic and developmental engines. However, with the fast pace of industrial development, the world is facing a significant threat to the readily depleting non-renewable energy resources. This model of development poses a question on our ability to sustain the pace of our growth and compels us to explore newer ways of development.

  There are many pressing reasons why Industry needs to embrace energy efficiency, some of them are

• Global warming
• Reducing operating cost
• Compliance with statutory legislations
• Market demand

‘The GDP… A Dangerous Smokescreen’

  Energy is a strategic input for any economy, particularly, so for India (Oil & Gas contributes 34 % of primary energy consumption in India. Petroleum imports constitute 70% of petroleum products is imported to meet the domestic demand.

  Imagine a world where human well-being, social equity and protection of our natural capital (environment) are the considerations for making business decisions. Sounds too utopian? Not if you go by what some of today’s environmental think-tanks call the ‘Green Economy’. Environmental circles are buzzing with the term, much bandied sustainability. But what exactly does it mean? To understand it, we need to first look at India’s economic terms.

  India’s wealth as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) per capita which has been hovering @ 7%. Focus on GDP alone is myopic and flawed. Considering Natural Manufactured Capital the figure will be very disappointing.

  The prevailing economic growth model is increasing the GDP above all other goals. While this system has improved incomes and reduced poverty, it comes with significant and potentially irreversible social, environmental and economic costs, for as many as two and a half billion people, and the natural wealth of the planet is rapidly being drawn.

  According to a new ‘Inclusive Wealth Indicator’ designed to augment measure of economic progress, India’s natural capital or the sum of a country’s assets from forests to fossil minerals, declined by as much as 31%.

  It is essential to adopt sustainable business practice which will lead towards inclusive growth.

Green Life-Style…. Quality Of Rate Matter — Not Just The Rate!

  With changing socio-economic fabric of India, people have higher aspirations, than they have ever had before. With all the envisaged growth, it must be noted that, no development process can afford to neglect the environmental consequences of economic activity. This would mean use of far more energy efficient technologies, pursue development which is ‘inclusive & sustainable’.

Way Forward

Three pronged approach towards achieving energy efficiency:

• Design Efficiency: Selection of the best possible technology and most efficient system

• Construction Efficiency: Integration and commissioning of system

• Operations Efficiency:

– Best Management Practices (O&M)
– Measure, Monitor & Analysis of Energy End use.

  Attitude which governs the behaviour and ultimately forms a culture is one of critical aspect which cuts across all the above three approaches.

  One often reads about how cities in other parts of the world have successfully embraced greener lifestyles and technologies. Along with attractive incentives and returns on investment, a critical prime mover in these countries has been the change in people’s attitudes.

  Attitudinal challenge lies in the conventional way that people perceive resources. In our society, being in possession of excess and flaunting it, has always been construed as a mark of prosperity. The first step in dealing with these mindsets is aggressively creating awareness about resource conservation. A lack of information breeds ignorance and fallacious assumptions which leads people to make poor decisions.

Design Efficiency

  People often fail to look beyond the initial costs until they are shown hard hitting figures of the kind of payback that could be leveraged from making smart green choices. They are unaware of how they can contribute simply by making small changes- both behavioral and technological, in their own homes. It is a collaborative approach amongst all the stakeholders of the project.

  Design commences from architectural design of the building, simulating (energy / lighting simulation) the performance of the building systems, selection of hi-energy efficient equipment (motors, pumps, chillers etc), robust monitoring system by installation of measuring devices like energy meters, BTU meters etc.

  All the above aspects should be critically evaluated during the design stage. Hi-Performance Building Envelope will address the heat gain in the building which will be result in down-sizing of systems, reduction in contract demand with electricity board, which will result in considerable reduction in operational cost. Hence, a holistic approach towards investment will result in addressing the overall cost of the project.

Construction Efficiency

  Seldom one comes across poor design of the systems; the challenge is execution and implementation of the design. Construction stage is one of the most critical one to convert and realize best of the design. Project management by way of proper, timely communication and coordination at various stages amongst the stakeholders is of great essence.

  Systems installed should be tested and commissioned to validate its site performance with respect to design assumptions.

Operations Efficiency

Best Management Practices (O&M)

• Identification of areas for improvement and selection of appropriate technological intervention for improving the efficiency eg. Heat recovery is very beneficial in process where in one can offset the heating requirement. Key lies in implementation of the strategy as this is not off the self solution. Some of the technological interventions worth reviewing Solar Thermal heating for residential projects, Solar PV, Heat Pump (Heating & Cooling), etc.

• Capacity Building: Skill development, training programs for budding architects or engineers with case study will go a long way in inculcating a culture of sustainable design. Facility and project management team have initiated such programs at their end to sensitize and bring awareness towards best management practice.

Measure, Monitor & Analysis Of Energy End Use

What is not measured is not accounted for..?

  It is proven that energy metering and monitoring at macro level and micro level catalyses the energy accounting process. With goal of ‘Measure to Save’, over 5% energy cost saving is often pegged to granular metering.

  Successful metering strategy requires more than installing the meters and getting data from it. One of the significant merits of having metered data over long period of time is in enabling prediction of energy consumption. Metered data through a centralized Building Management or Energy Management system (BMS/EMS) is of great essence as it enables ‘Real Time of the Day’ (RTOD) data recording, correlate the data with some of the critical events in the building’s systems.

  It is high time that facility staff do away with manual data logging system which is prevalent in most of the projects. Very few (on conservative estimate not more than 20%) projects have been successful in integration of entire systems with BMS to gather the data for analytical use. Normal practice is to log the data manually, in isolation (energy / water / chiller / boiler). There is a big question mark on the time of the day accuracy. Data recording should be at same time every day.

  Manual data logged is converted into a spreadsheet — The data “rests in peace” over there for most of the projects.

  Modern Buildings have Complex Electro-Mechanical Systems. A systematic approach helps:

• Devising Formats

– Devising of Formats to record the data which can be easily interpreted, co-related and analyzed is of great essence.

• Benchmarking

– Defining of ‘Base & Variable Load’: Irrespective of change in operations (schedule, internal load variation over Time of day etc) a typical system experiences a base load.

– Time of the Day usage pattern, gap analysis between supply and demand, efficiency evaluation of each equipment in the system are very critical for energy management.

– Energy metrics like Energy Performance Index (EPI) or Energy Usage Intensity (EUI) has to be worked out.

• Data Acquisition, Analytical Interpretation and Forecasting

– Analyzing the energy data and co-relating the same with schedules and load is of great essence. Many a time it is observed that analysis of data is done in isolation not considering other operational factors.

– One of the significant merits of having metered data over long periods of time is in enabling prediction of energy consumption with improved accuracy

• Calibration of meters

– Once a year calibration of all metering device is very much essential to ascertain and maintain the degree of accuracy of data.

Existing Buildings

  Existing Buildings offers great potential (@ 15-20%) for energy or water efficiency improvement. The reason being the systems are pretty old, absence of system level monitoring which does not capture the information which impairs right decision making process by senior management.

  A lot of existing buildings all over the world now are striving for improved efficiency and ways to reduce their environmental impact. There is a significant difference in approach of looking at a new building and an existing building.

  In an existing building the ‘Architectural design, Façade, Glazing, HVAC system, Lighting’ are already in place. Hence the challenge is not best design but to best utilize these, operate and maintain these very systems.

  Hence the rating system for existing building under IGBC is referred to as ‘IGBC EB – O&M’. Here aspects like ongoing usage of water, energy, purchasing of consumables, durables goods having sustainability criteria, housekeeping equipments etc are given priority.

Case Study Of Existing Building Retrofit – Godrej Pl-13 Annex Building

  PL-13 Annex.’ building is ‘Platinum’ rated under the IGBC EB O&M. PL-13 Annex building also received 5 Star rating for energy efficiency by BEE.

  PL-13 Annex is a magnificent, iconic building of Godrej located at Vikhroli East. It is a mixed use building having diverse operations.

Green Features of the Building

Energy Management

• 36% saving in energy has been demonstrated w.r.t. base case as per ECBC.

• En. Cons. / Sq. mtr. / Ann. : 97 kWh/sq. mtr./ Ann.

• Solar PV 120 KW (Generating @ 7% of Total Energy Requirement)

• Recessed glazing and shading device

• Natural Daylight Harvesting in the occupied area

• Roof Garden

• High SRI paint on paved terrace areas

Water Management

• STP : Recycling of soiled water

• Non-Potable water use for landscaping, flushing & C. Tower make up

• Rain Water Harvesting

• Lo-Flow Fixtures

• Landscape: Native and adaptive species.

Waste Management

• Segregation of waste

• Vermicomposting

Major Challenges faced

• Diverse Building Operations ( Dining, Food Manufacturing, Office, Hubble, Conference Rooms)

• Varying Occupancy

• Benchmarking

Take-Away From Certification Journey

  The certification system facilitated in identifying the gap in operations and maintenance performance.

  Institutionalizing best practices which provide an outline for enhancement of building’s performance.

  Optimization in energy, water end use, natural resources; waste management improve the indoor environment; and continual focus on operating efficiencies.

Other benefits

a. Improve upon the building’s systems performance

b. Address cost streams associated with building operations.

c. Improvement in occupant comfort resulting in productive employee workspaces

d. Enlighten the building occupants / visitors regarding the benign impact on environment

e. Provide Public recognition for leadership in sustainability

f. Show case study for other corporate to emulate in future.


Rumi Engineer
Sr. General Manager, 
Head – Energy 
Management & Green 
Godrej & Boyce 
Mfg. Co. Ltd.