Overview of building sector in India

Buildings account for over one third of India’s total electricity consumption which is mainly in the residential and commercial sector. Energy consumption in the building sector is function of the type of construction, usage pattern, the climatic region and the energy consuming devices installed in the buildings. Different types of energy end-use in buildings such as lighting, space heating, space cooling, plug-in loads and appliances all together account for the overall energy consumption pattern of the building. Energy consumption is not only dependent on the type of the end use appliances but also on the operational efficiency and maintenance of these end use appliances. Building design and material can have a significant impact on the energy consumption levels of a particular end-use application.  For instance, the overall energy consumption pattern of a typical home depends heavily on appliance efficiency. In a commercial building, the overall energy consumption of the building gets significantly affected by the design and selection of the building material and glazing along with the choice of appliances and HVAC systems.

Although growth of the building stock in developed countries has reached saturation, the building sector in developing countries such as India is experiencing a very high growth (about 8% per year). Such a high growth leads to a significant increase in the energy demand in the building sector and hence energy efficiency in this sector becomes a prime concern for energy planners including relevant governmental agencies. Since the specific energy consumption in a building varies due to varying climatic conditions and building usage patterns, GoI has come up with certain set of standards and codes which are to be followed by new building developers. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) has been entrusted to implement these codes known as ECBC which is currently in the voluntary phase. Implementation of ECBC has the potential to reduce energy consumption in buildings by 30%-40%.

There has been tremendous growth of the IT sector, resulting in a corresponding growth in the commercial floor space. The commercial building sector currently contributes to about 659 Million sq. m. and even at a conservative growth rate of 5-6% per year, the commercial building space is expected to grow to 1932 Million sq. m. by year 2030[1]. Every year about 38 Million sq. M. is added through construction of new commercial building space. Figure 1 illustrates the expected future growth of the commercial building sector in India.

[1] ECO III Estimates


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