Model building design that helps save energy and money by exploiting the sun’s movement
Designing sustainable buildings in a composite climate is a challenge. The techniques that are effective during summers do not work in winters. But a building in Chandigarh has achieved this. More than 10 years ago, the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) decided to construct an office building that utilises the movement of the sun for lighting, cooling and heating.
The Rs 5.5 crore building, a pilot, was ready in 2004. Six years later, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) awarded it a five-star rating, the highest grade of energy efficiency. With a built-up area of 6,146 sq m, the building incorporates the techniques of passive solar architecture that is based on seasonal and diurnal variations in the sun’s movement (see ‘Know the building’). Monuments like the Red Fort in Delhi were designed using these techniques. The PEDA office has an energy performance index (EPI) of 14 kWh/m2/year (the lowest in the country) in the category of non-air-conditioned buildings.