India: ‘Glass buildings consume more energy’

Date: 12 May 2007

This is a revelation of sorts for Mumbaiites who are standing on the threshold of a power crisis. Buildings with glass facades—like the many malls and corporate structures mushrooming around the cities—are guzzling unimaginable amounts of electricity every day.

The structures made of glass consume at least 4 times more energy than conventional brick buildings, says Dr Rajat Gupta, a senior lecturer at the Oxford Brookes University and the co-director of Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development, Architecture. His observations are based on a report—ECON19: Energy consumption in office buildings.

Stating what is required in Mumbai today is an enforceable minimum energy standards for buildings, Gupta said, “All building elements (walls, roofs, windows, floors) should have a minimum U-Value (see box)and insulation standards to reduce heating. Only after a building meets those values and standards, should air-conditioners be allowed.”

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