Green building encompasses all that facilitate skillfulness in avoiding energy wastage, the utilization of sustainable construction materials, and processes that promote not only human, but also those that promote environmental health. There are profound effects that revolve around green building, effects that are either positive or negative. The results not only point to the individuals living or surrounded by the Green Building, but also at the natural environment which we as people share every day of our lives. The green building comes in as a way to curb the adverse effects, amplifying the positive ones in an attempt to make the world a better place for us to live and call home.
Building permission precedes green building architecture focuses solely on the proper operations, planning, the construction processes, the design of buildings with core and most profound considerations. These factors include both energy and water utilization, within environmental quality, building material selection and the effects that may come as a consequence of building at the particular site. The practices involved all play around profound scientific principles that are considered to bring forth a constant development. Sustainable green building very much relies on the field of science a great deal.
Utilization of energy that is near its source is preferred. It is important as energy conversion losses are substantially minimized. All forms of heat transmissions are considered in the choosing of the better sustainable construction materials and the practices involved. Air barriers are created and maintained like that throughout the construction process. Ventilation and a pressure neutral interior are equally significant. Construction details that can accommodate the movement of water by the process of gravity, by capillary action or by diffusion are considered. They all form part of the green building architecture.
Some of the sustainable construction materials that are typically taken to be green encompass lumber, electric renewable plant components such as bamboo and straw, recycled metal, dimension stones, reclaimed stone, together with other goods which are reusable, renewable, recyclable and non-toxic. Using already used substances like processed coal materials and other reusable substances in the construction processes are equally recommended.
Inspection is a key thing that is important after any procedure has taken place. It gives room to finding out whether the whole process was okay and whether specific expectations are achieved. A pre handover inspection helps assure value, it is a brief review of the entire process before the full review commences. There are specific issues that are considered to a particular level to reach the green building structure inspection standards. These items include energy efficiency, sustainable construction materials and practices and human and environmental health.
Efficient use of energy is recommended. Power consumption involves not only the equipment and methods employed in the green building process, but also its design and the effectiveness of the equipment set up within the building. Green building inspection should above all provide information on the economic utilization of the energy. Smoke alarm testing is often done to find out if proper fixing was done in the building process. The inspection focuses on the evaluation of the effectiveness of the design of the building in trying to save energy. All these are also often included in the energy audit process apart from the home inspection process. Different skills are used in the energy auditing process, that are relatively dissimilar to those used in the review process.
Sustainable building materials
It is during the consideration process when it is determined whether sustainable equipment and practices were applied. Sustainable building materials and the methods involved include those that uphold environmental health. They also include those that encourage the efficient use of resources throughout the entire process of construction. Durable materials are low-energy materials. Materials like wood are regarded as sustainable when obtained from trees that grow at a fast rate and which once cut are replaced quickly to ensure no deficit when they are badly needed. Conserving water by using equipment that encourages this is recommended. Such are the good practices helped hitherto. The training of home inspection does not, however, address the utilization of these materials and the carrying out of these practices. The lack of address makes it difficult for the individuals carrying out the inspection processes to identify the existence of both the materials and the practices. It is just, but one of the challenges, which the persons are going round to inspect the green buildings incur.
Human and environmental health
The inspection process also focuses on certain features of homes that are kinder the health of people. It also focuses on aspects that are environmental friendly. During the review process, the inhabitants of greenhouses are encouraged to embrace practices that are health friendly. It means that when all seems right, it may necessarily not be good enough. The inspection process brings to light all these.
Research paper claims renewable energies and energy efficiency can maintain economic growth and provide a sufficient supply of energy.
More job opportunities can be created through investment in clean energies than through fossil fuels, according to a new report.
Research by The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) outlines how a commitment of 1.5 per cent of GDP per year to renewable energy and energy efficiency investment will deliver economic growth, a sufficient supply of energy resourcesr and a new source of job opportunities.
Yvo de Boer, director-general of GGGI and former head of the UN’s climate change secretariat, stated that the report helps in countering claims that cutting greenhouse gases is incompatible with economic growth.
“Significant progress has already been made in overcoming the hitherto conventional wisdom that taking steps to cut GHGs was incompatible with economic growth,” he said. “This report moves the debate another positive step forward by showing that employment and development result from sustainable, green growth.”
The international organisations explored the impacts of the large-scale clean energy plans in five countries including emerging economic powers Brazil and South Africa where, for every $1m invested in clean energy, 16.2 and 33.1 jobs would be created respectively.
The report, which also looked at clean tech policies and investment in Germany, Indonesia, and South Korea, calculates the level of job creation from green projects is higher than would be the case for maintaining or extending fossil fuel investment.
Li Yong, director general of UNIDO, said in a statement that all countries can benefit from delivering on the proposed 1.5 per cent GDP investment commitment.
“The results of the five countries presented in this report show clearly that green growth investments are not only viable or beneficial for the most highly industrialised countries,” he said. “On the contrary, all countries, be they developed or developing, can derive significant benefits from investments in clean and renewable energy.”
The document echoes an Anglia Ruskin University report – commissioned by Green Party MEP Molly Scott Cato – which last week argued for a programme of quantitative easing to stimulate the green economy.
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In the fog of confusion caused by the chaos at Eskom, we lost sight of where the government had done really well in the area of power generation, said investment director Rob Spanjaard.He said the state-run renewable energy programme had won international awards for its efficiency and impact and its success could provide a model to help Eskom out of its difficulties, which were currently dragging the whole economy down.Spanjaard, the investment director and portfolio manager at Rezco Asset Management, said before the implementation of the state’s renewables programme, wind generation projects were about to be approved at a cost of 125c per kilowatt- hour (kWh).”The government, under the auspices of the Department of Energy, then did some amazing work and developed the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme [REIPPPP]. Companies and consortia were in 2009 invited to competitively bid around clearly constructed criteria.”Round one bids were accepted at 115c/kWh, round two came in at 100c/kWh, round three at 74c/kWh, and by the time round four was reached in August 2014, the bid price had dropped to 62c/kWh. The same process caused solar power to be bid down from 275c/kWh in round one to 79c/kWh in round four.
Cost of coal generation
“This should be compared to the expected cost of 128c/kWh of new coal power from Medupi. Coal-generated cost increases to 168c/kWh if the cost of infrastructure like dams is included. The final costs of nuclear power are forecast to be more expensive than coal. These renewable energy projects are very profitable to the bidders, so there are increasing numbers of groups bidding for the projects available. At the last round, only 20% of bidding projects were selected,” Spanjaard said.The REIPPPP had already brought power and hope to communities that had never had access to basic services. The Duineveld township in !Kheis Municipality in Northern Cape was one such example, where 300 households benefited from the renewable energy programme.Led by Acwa Power Southern Africa, the project won the African Community Project of the Year award at the African Utility Week on 14 May for connecting 300 homes through 75 watt photovoltaic solar systems, making it possible for children to do their homework at night.The community project formed part of an IPP programme called Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Park, located in Groblershoop, Northern Cape. Once completed, the solar park will add 50MW of clean energy to the national grid.
REIPPPP is inspirational
On 16 April, the Department of Energy approved 13 more new renewable IPP bids, which means there will now be 79 REIPPPP projects with 5 243MW being added to a national grid desperately in need of power.”The renewable programme is inspirational and visionary,” bid-winner Andrzej Golebiowski of Scatec Solar told Fin24 at the time.”It’s really big on a global scale. It’s over 4 000MW they [Department of Energy] are planning to award this year. It’s going to make it by far one of the biggest markets globally for renewables. That’s pretty impressive,” Golebiowski said after his company won three bids to produce solar energy in South Africa.His projects – solar photovoltaic Sirius Solar PV Project One, solar photovoltaic Dyason’s Klip 1 and solar photovoltaic Dyason’s Klip 2 – will collectively add 225MW to the grid.Spanjaard said these investments in energy benefited the country in many different ways, over and above energy generation.”In the process the country got an unbelievable bargain. Currently, 5 200MW has been approved at a capital cost of R168-billion. The project winners had to supply all their own capital. About 40% of the spend is now local content and thousands of jobs have been created,” he added.”In addition, billions will be donated to community projects over the life of the projects, and all projects have to be [black economic empowerment] compliant.”The projects take about 12 to 18 months to get up and running from the time of approval, as compared to 10 years at Medupi.”
Tax instead of subsidise
Referring to Eskom, he said the state got to tax the projects instead of having to subsidise a loss-making state entity. South Africa also got to protect its environment and, finally, the country got much-needed cheap electricity, he said.There were some basic lessons that could be learned from the Department of Energy’s renewable energy programme.”The lessons have nothing to do with privatisation or even renewable energy. The state – anywhere in the world – works best when it regulates, takes the position as referee, forces groups to compete openly and transparently, and then taxes them.”At the very least the government should analyse what has worked so spectacularly well for [it] in one area of power generation and apply these lessons to Eskom.”
Coal and renewable energy executives at climate conference in Paris clash over future energy mix as value of storage brought to the fore.
Leading executives from the solar and wind industries went on the offensive this week at a climate conference in Paris, telling coal executives that renewable energy is the future, and that they had better get used to it.
Responding to comments from Tony Hayward – chairman of mining company Glencore – that “solar is not the answer to broad scale industrialization”, SkyPower chief executive Kerry Adler retorted: “Solar is the new world. You’ve got to get used to it.”
The power executives were attending a Paris business summit on climate change, six months prior to November’s highly anticipated UN
conference on global climate change, which is set to be represented by 200 countries.
Glencore’s Hayward told the audience that it is simply not possible to remove coal from the energy mix, particularly in growing countries such as India, which will require a steady, reliable power supply if the economy is to reach its potential. To that, SkyPower’s Adler pointed to the falling costs of storage, arguing that solar and wind could “easily supply” large amounts of cheap and reliable power to countries like India.
Adler’s stance was backed by the chief executive of Acciona group, Jose Manuel Entrencanales Domecq, who remarked that it was “absolutely possible for renewable to provide baseload electricity in emerging markets” provided electricity grids were properly integrated.
The coal industry is evidently feeling the pinch as the world continues its slow but noticeable pivot away from fossil fuels. Hayward said that coal is the best choice for meeting the power needs of countries such as China and India right now, adding that wealthier countries must help developing nations transition from polluting to clean technology.
“Unless what we deploy allows China and India to complete their industrialization in a different way to the way we industrialized then we are simply shifting the deck chairs on the Titanic,” he said.
Rachel Kyte, a climate envoy for the World Bank, revealed that China is hoping to have in place a national emissions trading system by next year – a development that could potentially prompt many other countries to follow suit.
A report by the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA) published earlier this week revealed that solar PV is the largest employer within the renewables sector, with more than 2.5 million people working in the industry, and that renewables now employ 7.7 million people worldwide – an 18% increase in the space of one year.
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It is becoming more evident daily that we are experiencing an energy efficiency entitlement epidemic, where hand-outs are expected.
So writes Yolanda de Lange of Energy Cybernetics: Eskom DSM and similar energy efficiency ‘assistance-type’ programmes has in my opinion, in a majority of companies, created a culture of expectation, even before initiatives are taken to implement energy efficiency projects.
No sustainable mind-shift
The DSM approach, whilst creating significant awareness and being overwhelmingly successful to ensure the lights stay on when needed – has not actually created a sustainable mind-shift. But it did what it had to do when it had to do it.
Yes, an ESCO and energy ‘expert’ market quickly mushroomed when Eskom DSM started their programmes. Now that DSM is gone, most of these knowledgeable companies and skills that have been developed are virtually ‘hanging in the air,’ so to speak, and are struggling to make ends meet.
What’s in it for me?
Industry is just not as keen to embark on energy efficiency projects, as they are not able to “get something out of it”, other than the savings. ESCO’s and other energy consulting-type firms and entrepreneurs that relied on the DSM programme have had to become very creative in changing their offerings to be able to successfully quote for jobs.
On a daily basis we receive enquiries at the Energy Training Foundation (EnTF), and of late the questions asked have moved from mere, “What is the course about?”, followed by a booking or not, or, “Where can I buy product ‘X’?”, or helping to find a Certified Professional for a project; to in the last few months me feeling like a career guidance officer brainstorming with enquirers as to how they can use their training or qualification they received from the AEE to get business in.
Yes, there are some tenders out. Some emulating another ‘assistance-type’ solution to clients, but this energy industry is a tough one, which is the backbone of the ‘green skills’ and environmental jobs the government wants to grow. Tenderers are finding that they have to tender and quote to the bone, offering lean quotations, whilst having to cover increasing expenses to keep businesses afloat.
No holistic focus on sustainable energy management
Is the problem not that the real benefits of sustainably implementing energy management to ensure continuous energy efficiency with all the related benefits have not been the focus, but rather one project at a time? Offering a client a properly constructed energy management plan is the only way one can make sure the project(s) that have been implemented remain optimal in delivering what the client needs, and more importantly, it gives the energy market a lot more credibility than just churning out once-off projects.
Besides enabling South Africans to become internationally qualified as energy professionals through the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), at the EnTF we are passionate about making sure companies get started correctly so they can continuously benefit from optimal energy management. Which is why we believe ISO50 001:2011 Energy Management System standard is the only way to go – whether it is for Certification purposes, to ensure that continuous benefits from energy efficiency improvements are gained. We offer workshops where we have skilled staff to get you going towards ISO50 001 in three full days, in which all your key staff participate and so understand the journey your company needs to be on to become truly sustainable.
Maximum savings targets for sustained long-term return
This approach provides the client with enough information to make informed decisions to implement an energy management policy and plan according to a standardized approach. This in order to set and meet maximum energy savings targets and achieve sustained long-term and maximum return on any energy efficiency and renewable investments. After the session the client will have a clearer understanding of:
- What needs to be done on the site to achieve optimal energy management
- Where energy could be saved at significant energy use areas
- Estimates of what energy savings could be expected
- What needs to be further investigated for more accurate energy saving targets
- Who needs to be trained and to which level
- Which services would need to be outsourced
- Which services could be catered for in-house
- How much needs to be invested in the short, medium and long-term
- Which technologies and retrofits need to be considered
- Which incentives and rebates could be pursued
- What is required to continuously save energy
For course dates for next year, please click here.
Source: The Green Times