United Technologies India provides a wide range of high technology solutions to Building Automation & Security, Climate Control, & Aerospace Industries.
Gaurang Pandya, Managing Director, UTC Climate, Control & Security Products, India Region explains his company’s commitments in developing green products that significantly help to save energy in buildings, also reducing India’s carbon footprint. Interview by Renu Rajaram.
Excerpts from the interview:
Please discuss various measures to save energy in buildings.
In the next 10 years, India aims to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20 to 25 per cent. Given that buildings contribute to about 40 per cent of the GHG emissions, the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has launched the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC), set standards and developed a labelling program for various electrical appliances, including air conditioners that became mandatory as of last year. In terms of saving energy in buildings, the use of Intelligent Building Management Systems (IBMS) is a steadily growing trend. Today, around 15 to 20 per cent of businesses are opting for IBMS during the building design process. By combining an understanding of customer needs with required technology, these systems can reduce the building’s energy consumption by a tremendous percentage.
Tell us about UTC’s green products / projects and various green measures?
At UTC Building & Industrial Systems, we are committed to developing green products and have significantly helped reduce India’s carbon footprint. Our approach to sustainability is rooted in three beliefs:
1. Green products must start with a green company. Carrier is a founding member of the Indian Green Building Council, along with China, France, Singapore and the U.S. Green Building Council. More than 42 percent of all LEED-certified buildings have UTC products in them, as of Aug. 1, 2012.
2. Global dialogue can rebalance the built environment with the natural environment. Carrier’s Distinguished Sustainability Lecture Series is a collaborative program with international universities and communities, designed to bring sustainability thought leaders and international building-industry experts together to transform the built environment.
3. Green building will accelerate with education. Carrier strongly believes that creating awareness among schoolchildren and future generations will help accelerate sustainable building solutions. We strongly support initiatives like Bat for the Planet and the Green-I Contest that encourage children to think of and understand the need to implement eco-friendly solutions.
Moreover, we offer customers the confidence that comes from working with a company that has been creating new technologies and improving lives for more than a century.
What is your view on sustainable building materials?
Research says that buildings worldwide are responsible for more than 40 per cent of energy consumption. The majority of the end-use energy consumption is associated with heating, ventilation, cooling and lighting, and there is great potential to save energy in these areas. We believe a building’s energy consumption can be reduced by almost 30 per cent with a reasonable return on investment. There is already a lot of traction in environmentally sustainable building design in India: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) has 25 million square feet of certified buildings with another 40 million square feet in the pipeline today.
What is your outlook on green buildings?
According to McKinsey & Co.’s “India’s Urban Awakening” report, the number of million-person cities will grow from 42 to 68 by 2030. Growing urban populations and the subsequent need for housing and commercial buildings are driving builders to turn to sustainable solutions. In regard to real estate, sustainability is not limited to just energy conservation, but includes resource usage, impact on the surrounding environment and working conditions for the tenants. This concern has led to the development of green buildings. According to the Indian Green Building Council, India has 398 green-rated buildings and a green-building footprint of 1.63 billion square feet. The green building concept integrates many interests and aspects of sustainability. It emphasizes the reduction of environmental impacts through a holistic approach of combining land and building uses with construction strategies.
What are the major challenges faced by the Indian green building movement? Could you please suggest a few solutions?
One of the challenges is the growing population. According to the 2011 Census, the population of India was 1.21 billion. The current population is close to 1.25 billion. This population growth has huge implications. According to the McKinsey “India’s Urban Awakening” report, 700 million square meters (the equivalent of a new Chicago) of residential and commercial space must be built each year until 2030 to accommodate the increasing population.
Another major challenge is rapid urbanization. The need for living space and infrastructure is rising, and green solutions are the need of the hour. According to the McKinsey report, it is estimated that Indian cities are home to 340 million people, or 30 per cent of the country’s population. By 2030, it is expected that cities will house 590 million people, or 40 per cent of the population.
If construction companies and building-solution providers collaborate, they could focus their attention on implementing sustainable building practices. Working hand in hand will help to better understand customer needs and building requirements to be economically efficient.