Adopting Low-cost Alternative for Energy Saving

About HPCB


India is one of the largest growing economies in the world with economic growth rate of 8.9%. Commensurate with economic growth, urbanization in India is growing fast. The construction sector in India is witnessing a fast growth due to several factors. Some of the key growth drivers are increased demand for housing, strong demographic impetus, expansion of organized retail, increased demand for commercial office spaces by multinationals and IT (information technology) hubs, and coming up of SEZs (special economic zones). The gross built-up area added to commercial and residential spaces was about 40.8 million square metres in 2004/05, which is about 1% of annual average constructed floor area around the world, and the trend shows a sustained growth of 10% over the coming years. With a near consistent 8% rise in annual energy consumption in the residential and commercial sectors, energy consumption in buildings has seen an increase from a low of 14% in the 1970s to nearly 33% in 2004/05. This is directly related to higher greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, it is the need of the hour to design and construct High Performance Energy Efficient Buildings.

To fulfill this objective, TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute), in association with BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) Ministry of Power, Government of India, and White Box Technologies, USA, has undertaken a project ‘High Performance Commercial Buildings in India’ so as to make commercial buildings in India energy efficient.

About ECBC

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Government of India, launched the ECBC (Energy Conservation Building Code) in 2007 for commercial buildings with peak demand in excess of 500 kW or connected load in excess of 600 kVA.

Analysis done during the development of the ECBC shows energy savings in the range of 27%–40% in an ECBC-compliant building over a typical commercial building with an annual energy consumption of 200 kWh/m2.

The ECBC sets minimum energy performance standards for the design and construction of large commercial buildings. It encourages energy-efficient building systems, such as building envelope; lighting; HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning); water heating; and electric power distribution, within the building facilities while enhancing thermal and visual comfort, and productivity of the occupants.

The Project

The project on ‘High Performance Commercial Buildings in India’, which has been undertaken under the aegis of the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, aims at establishing relevance and impacts of low-energy passive strategies and ECBC-recommended measures on improving energy performance of commercial buildings in five climatic zones of India.

The proposed project is targeted towards fully air conditioned new commercial buildings and aims at mainstreaming high performance buildings through large scale adoption of energy efficient building design strategies and Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC).

In the proposed project, activities are carried out to study the impact of various energy efficiency measures, bioclimatic design strategies, low energy cooling strategies, raise level of awareness by conducting training programs, building capabilities to strengthen the policy and financial mechanism to enable mainstreaming of high performance new commercial buildings in India.

Under the project, commercial buildings from different eras in India are being analyzed. Firstly the old existing commercial buildings are being analyzed for their Energy Performance Index (EPI), comfort levels, construction and equipments installed.

The second Pre ECBC era, in which commercial buildings were designed with solar passive design features. In these buildings designers are able to achieve satisfactory energy savings through the adoption of low-energy/solar passive design strategies, such as proper orientation, shading, natural ventilation, daylighting, and so on, to reduce energy consumption and meet required thermal/visual comfort norms as per Indian codes and standards. These buildings however, do not comply with ECBC (Energy Conservation Building Code). These buildings are documented and analyzed in this project as case studies.

ECBC compliant new commercial buildings are the next set of buildings that are studied under this project.


The project is supported and funded by the US Department of State and the Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Government of India. It has been implemented by TERI, India, and White Box Technologies, USA.

The project has various steps and stages which have been carried out over a period of three years.
  • Step 1 [Energy and comfort performance of existing commercial buildings - Pre ECBC era and new ECBC compliant commercial buildings]
  • Step 2 [Energy performance validation through computer modelling]
  • Step 3 [Potential of energy efficient measures in commercial buildings and market demand forecast]
  • Step 4 [Information sharing & capacity building of various stakeholders]
  • Step 5 [Devising appropriate policy interventions & financial mechanism]
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