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A state-of-the-art Energy Efficient building is planned to be built in Lahore by the Government of the Punjab (GoPb). A German architectural firm, Carpus+Partner, was hired for an initial concept design for the building through GoPb’s development cooperation partner Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The study focused on the use of locally abundant regenerative energy sources such as solar energy as well as the use of traditional and locally availale building materials and styles to meet the goal of creating a near zero-emission building and make office buildings sustainable and energy efficient. Further, this approach is to save investment costs, and to make the Energy Efficient building concept easily replicable in future building projects by the private sector. It is the strategic goal of the project beyond the mere energy savings aspect to follow certified international standards and display the cost efficiency of such measures to serve as a role model project to be emulated by other stakeholders.

The building, to be called the “Energy Resource Center” (ERC), will perform two main purposes:

i) to serve as an office building for the Energy Department, GoPb and all its affiliate departments that are currently in  6+ different locations across the city

ii) to double as an educational space for disseminating information on the concept of energy efficiency and conservation (EE&C) as well as renewable energy sources by displaying renewable energy technologies in an Exhibition Room. The auditorium will beused for seminars on EE&C and all specific topics covered under it, such as energy audits and Energy Management, Energy Service Companies (ESCo) and necessary market mechanisms to establish them, standards and labelling of appliances, retrofitting, building codes, Green Building concepts etc.

The ERC will be seen to serve as an ignition spark. It will be the first truly Energy Efficient building in Pakistan that is meant to catalyze the private sector to invest in more EE&C measures in buildings and set the blueprint for sustainable buildings combining traditional and innovative measures to give the best possible outcome. Following the linking business and research sector approach of the Pakistan German Renewable Energy Forum (PGREF), the designing and construction of the ERC will include a transfer of knowledge and close cooperation between the German consultants that produced the initial concept study and the local planning partners comprising architects and developers. The capabilities of the local partners will be enhanced regarding approaches to designing and building an Energy Efficient building.

The building concept highlights the cost-efficiency of Energy Efficiency measure by including only such measures that lead to a pay-back period of under six years combined. Local materials will be used for the walls, while jalis will provide shading as well as a traditional look. Indoors, an adiabatic cooling system will be complemented by a tri-generation system for heating, cooling and electricity, which will make the building independent of the grid. This successful technical innovation, a first for Pakistan, will increase the use of natural gas in the generator only minimally, while also providing 24/7 electricity and cooling at no additional costs compared to standard buildings. The potential for net-metering from the solar PV panels on three facades and the roof-top leads to additional income (and a shorter pay-back period) for the building owners, while also helping directly to combat Pakistan’s energy shortage by feeding electricity back into the grid and having a major building which consumes less energy.

ERC article

All the energy efficiency measures will be combined with ergonomic measures and innovative office solutions for work spaces and facilities to create an all-round sustainable building and positive working environment. 

 

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