Green buildings to reduce carbon footprint and earn carbon credits

Posted on February 18, 2011 by

Green buildings and LEED

The benefits from Green Buildings are threefold

  • Environmental – by reducing solid waste, improving air and water quality and conserving natural resources by reducing the rate of their consumption
  • Economic – by reducing operating costs, enhancing value of the asset and optimizing the life-cycle performance of the building
  • Health – by improving air, thermal and acoustic environment, enhancing occupant health and contribution to overall quality of life

Across the world, more than 30 green building ratings systems are followed. Some of these rating systems are BREEAM in the United Kingdom, LEED in United States, Canada and India, Green Star in Australia, CASBEE in Japan. More than 67 countries have adopted the LEED Rating System, making it the most prominent internationally recognized rating system.  The list of countries that have adopted LEED includes important countries such as Canada, India, UAE, Brazil etc. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas – Sustainable sites, Water Efficiency, Energy & Atmosphere, Indoor Environment Quality and Material and Resources.

Carbon credits for green buildings

Buildings as structures are important consumers of energy, taking up to 30-50% of total generation. Green Buildings as compared to conventional buildings do consume less energy – ranging upto 50% lower.  They also consume 20-30 % less water against conventional building, though this saving comes with an additional cost. Green buildings are basically energy efficiency projects that contribute to sustainable development, they have huge potential to earn CDM benefits. The key areas where energy efficiency can be enhanced in the buildings are the Air handling Units (AHUs), roof insulations, the air conditioning system encompassing chillers, pumping system and cooling towers.

The three areas in which the CDM projects can be implemented in the buildings are

Demand side energy efficiency – These are the initiatives that reduce power demand through either electric or thermal efficiency. The examples of this include energy efficient light bulbs, pumps, motors and air conditioners, insulation on windows, ceilings and walls

Supply side energy efficiency – These are the initiatives which increase the efficiency of power produced through interventions such as improved fuel combustion, waste heat or gas recovery and utilization

Clean energy production – By producing energy from cleaner sources than baseline energy consumption, the project can earn carbon credits. This includes renewable energy production such as wind, solar, biomass, hydro or fuel switch to cleaner fuels such as switch from coal or diesel to natural gas.

Green buildings CDM projects

A number of green buildings projects have been registered under the methodology AMS II.E – Energy efficiency and fuel switching measures for buildings. Some of the registered CDM projects in Energy efficiency in building are

  • ITC Sonar, Kolkata was the first Indian hotel to successfully be part of carbon credit trading in India. CDM Project 0686 : Improvement in Energy Consumption of a Hotel.
  • Technopolis office building, Kolkata another green buildings getting CDM benefits. CDM Project 1794 : Energy efficiency measures in “Technopolis”
  • Olympia Technology Park, Chennai (under validation)

Apart from these, 12 projects are in various stages of validation. They are listed below

Project Title Project Developer Average annual CERs
Energy efficiency measures in Office Building at Kalina of Ivory Property Trust Ivory Property Trust 1,808
Energy efficiency measures at Terminal T3 Delli International Airport Ltd. 16,444
Energy Efficiency Improvement Measures in a commercial building facility Infinity Infotech Parks Limited 7,047
Energy efficiency measures at Mindspace Airoli Building No 3, 8 and 14 of Serene Properties Pvt Ltd at Navi Mumbai Serene Properties Pvt Ltd 10,825
Vrindavan TechVillage Green Building Project M/s Vikas Telecom Limited (VTL)
M/s Assetz Property Services Private Limited (Assetz)
Energy Efficient Green Building at New Delhi by ONGC Ltd. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Limited 6,176
Energy efficiency measures at Ecospace Kolkata. Millennia Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. 14,534
Energy Efficiency Buildings at Maytas Hill County Maytas Hill County SEZ Pvt Ltd. (MHCSPL) 19,281
Energy Efficiency Measures at Commerzone Industrial Park, Pune Commerzone Industrial Park 12,937
Energy Efficient Design Project – OLYMPIA M/s Khivraj Tech Park Private
Limited (KTPL)
Energy efficiency measures in office building at BKC K Raheja Corporate Services Private
Energy efficient Information Technology Park by India Land & Properties Limited M/s India Land and Properties Ltd 9,406
Installation of high efficiency chillers in EIH group hotels EIH Limited 10,172

Technology measures in Green Buildings CDM projects

Hotel Sonar Bangla Kolkata

The energy efficiency measures were implemented in 2 key parts

Energy Efficiency and fuel switch measures

The list of measures implemented includes the

o    installation of variable frequency drives

o    Retrofit of existing HVAC system to reduce unwarranted moisture laded air load in the pre-cooled air unit (PAU) by installing U shaped heat pipes improving efficient heat transfer in the PAU pipes and reducing chiller load

o    Retrofitting various pumps

o    Enhancement of the treatment efficiency of the sewage treatment unit

o    Replacement of electric water heater with solar water heater

Supply Side Energy Efficiency improvements

The list of measures implemented here includes

o    Installations of magnetizer for better fuel atomization

o    Reuse of low energy waste heat of the flue gases exhausted from the boiler stack to pre-heat the boiler feed water and improve the generation efficiency of the boiler

o    Utilization of the waste heat of the return steam condensate to reduce HSD consumption

The net results achieved were

o    The measures were able to reduce around 3000 t CO2eq per annum – translating into corresponding number of CERs.

o    This first-in-sector project encouraged green technology adoption in other Indian hotels.

Technopolis, Kolkata – Demand side energy efficiency management

The interventions at Technopolis included measures in the demand management side only. The list of measures is as under

o    The demand for cooling was reduced by reducing the solar heat gain by using high performance double glazed panels with reflective low “e” glass panes having low U value

o    The heat gain from the roof was reduced by use of roof insulation. The U value of the roof was kept low with R-15 extruded polystrene insulation and roof gardening.

o    The AHUs are provided with VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) driven supply air blower. Each AHU room has a heat recovery wheel (HRW) with supply/ recovery air fan.

o    Two 650 TR water cooled centrifugal chillers with COP of 6.1 are installed and a 300 TR water screw with COP of 5.5, kept as a standby.

o    There are two 1700 TR cooling towers in the HVAC system for cooling the water used as cooling medium in the HVAC system of the building.

The net result is the average annual GHG reduction by 9000 tonnes of CO2, translating into corresponding CERs.

Olympia Technology Park, Chennai – Demand side energy efficiency management

The measures implemented at this under validation project include

o    Energy efficient design of wall construction (material with better insulation properties)

o    Energy efficient design of the roof construction- Over deck insulation and roof garden.

o    Energy efficient glass area – high performance glazing (double glazed with low U- value, optimum light transmission and optimum shading coefficient)

o    Energy efficient design of the HVAC system

o    High performance chillers

o    VFD (Variable frequency drives) for AHU and chilled water pumps

o    Heat recovery wheels

The net result is the average annual GHG reduction by 15,000 tonnes of CO2, translating into corresponding CERs.

To understand more about green buildings and to explore possible CDM projects for your green building projects, contact Agneya.

Know more about Green buildings

Image Credit: