fbpx

Building Industry

  • IASbaba
  • December 1, 2022
  • 0
Governance
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Context:

  • Building and housing projects are growing exponentially, thanks to rapid urbanisation, population explosion and economic expansion.
  • Throughout the life-cycle of a building, the sector consumes a significant amount of energy.
  • Therefore, increased participation and coordinated action from stakeholders in the entire value chain are imperative to effectively de-risk the industry from climate hazards while continuing to innovate and provide a sustainable environment.

About building industry:

  • The building and construction industry accounts for around 6.5 per cent of the India’s GDP.
  • Embodied carbon is all the carbon dioxide (CO2) released during a building’s construction as opposed to operational carbon, which is carbon released during the building’s operations in terms of lighting, heating, air-conditioning, use of elevators, etc.
  • The total building floor area is expected to increase from the 2015 baseline of 15.8 billion m2 to around 30 billion m2 by 2038.
  • This will significantly escalate the demand for embodied carbon-intensive construction materials like cement, steel, bricks, glass, etc.

Challenges:

  • The decarbonisation initiatives in the country’s building and construction sector are focused mainly on tackling operational carbon, with little attention paid to the life-cycle approach, including embodied carbon.
  • India lacks a well-defined set of standards for appropriate material use in buildings, inhibiting thereby the exploration of alternative materials and their demand optimisation through economies of scale.
  • India spends 0.65 per cent of its GDP on R&D, which is very low compared to that of major economies like China (2.4 per cent) and the US (3.06 per cent).
  • There is a lack of commitment from customers and suppliers of building materials to embrace low-carbon approaches. Only a few cement producers and construction companies have committed to net-zero operations.
  • The lack of reliable, high-quality data from life cycle assessments (LCAs) and environmental product declarations (EPDs) makes setting benchmarks and establishing targets challenging.
  • This is made worse by the dearth of affordable technological options to support the development and application of embodied carbon reduction initiatives.
  • Although technologies like carbon capture and hydrogen-based production of iron for steel have been explored, their commercialisation is yet to happen.

Suggestions:

  • The government initiatives measure energy performance based on the operational usage of the building, but ignore the structure’s embedded carbon. This must be addressed.
  • A building’s life cycle can be increased and demolition waste reduced by utilising the built space for adaptability, disassembly, and reuse. The 4Rs — reduce, replace, recycle and reuse — benefit communities, owners, tenants, the economy, and the environment.
  • The decarbonisation of the industry would require a significant expansion in renewable energy capacity.
  • Building design professionals are discovering new opportunities that can decrease environmental consequences, conserve resources and cut costs. This will ensure material efficiency across the value chain of the construction sector.
  • It is necessary to find, examine and evaluate the viability of best practices and technologies for decreasing embodied carbon emissions in the building and construction sector.
  • Eco-Niwas Samhita by Bureau of Energy Efficiency provides tools to know a building’s energy performance and focuses on various measures like space cooling, population pressure, rate of urbanisation, etc.

Way forward:

  • The Energy Conservation Building Code sets minimum energy standards for new commercial buildings without compromising on the comfort of the occupants.
  • Therefore, increased participation and coordinated action from stakeholders in the entire value chain are imperative to effectively de-risk the industry from climate hazards while continuing to innovate and provide a sustainable environment.
  • SDG 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities further stresses the importance of improving building infrastructure.

 

For a dedicated peer group, Motivation & Quick updates, Join our official telegram channel – https://t.me/IASbabaOfficialAccount

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel HERE to watch Explainer Videos, Strategy Sessions, Toppers Talks & many more…

Search now.....

Sign Up To Receive Regular Updates