Energy Efficient Buildings

Nepal is one of the fastest urbanizing developing countries. It is estimated that 1 million homes will be built in Nepal in the next decade. Apart from housing, large new additions to building stock are anticipated in the tourism and hospitality sector. Over the past few decades, market demands for space have resulted in buildings being designed without consideration of local climate, resulting in uncomfortable building spaces, or, high energy consumption to compensate for this discomfort.

Nepal currently doesn’t have any standards/guidelines/regulations regarding energy efficient building design for new construction or for retrofitting of existing buildings. Awareness and capacities of building MSMEs on energy efficient buildings and service offerings remain low. While structural stability of buildings has received attention in Nepal due to earthquakes, consideration of climate responsiveness and energy efficiency are lacking in most of new building designs. Because of this, energy consumption in buildings is increasing in trend. Energy consumption is very high especially for space heating and cooling in commercial buildings such as hotels, shopping malls, hospitals, offices and use of HVAC is becoming more common resulting in higher energy bills. Moreover, the use of building materials with high embodied energy will also result in higher carbon emission through the building sector.

Many of these issues could be addressed by implementing energy-efficient and renewable energy measures in building design and construction such as proper insulation of walls and roofs, design of windows, shading for optimizing daylight and ventilation, efficient HVAC systems, use of resource materials, and use of renewable energy sources. These measures can reduce carbon footprint, create a comfortable living and working environment, minimize air pollutants, and improve the health and productivity of building occupants.