Overview Of Sustainable Development Construction Essay

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'Sustainable development stands for meeting the needs of present generations without jeopardizing the ability of futures generations to meet their own needs - in other words, a better quality of life for everyone, now and for generations to come'. (European Commission Environment., 2010)

'Development that meets the needs of present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'. World Commission on Environment and Development cited in (SD Gateway, no date).

'Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present but also for future generations'. ( Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2010)

Generally, sustainable development can be defined as undertaking today's activities without affecting the ability of future generations to meet their needs and also without impacting their well being.

Sustainable development considers both present and long term objectives and impacts on the local and global environment. In addition, social, economic and environmental factors are regarded as interdependent elements of a puzzle to achieve sustainable development. Sustainable development can be achieved by political and economic decisions at an international level and also through initiatives by each individual of the society. This achievement requires changes in thinking, economic and social structures and in production and consumption trends. Sustainable development is being promoted by the EU alongwith other organisations.

It has been recognised that education, research and public finance are the main instruments to facilitate the transition to increased sustainable production and consumptions patterns.

Sustainable development includes two main concepts:

The concept of needs - the basic needs of the world's poor should be considered and prioritised.

The concept of limitations - limitations should be imposed such that the environment's capacity to meet present and future needs is maintained. The use of natural resources should not exceed the capacity of the environment to supply them.

The concept of sustainable development can be interpreted as Man's actions in one part of the world that may have impacts on some other regions of the world. Moreover, present actions do cause impacts in the long future. It has been observed that air pollution in North America influences air quality in Asia and pesticides used in South America has affected fish stocks nearby Australia. Furthermore, the method of farming of our grandparents is affecting our present agricultural practice. (International Institute for Sustainable Development, 2010)

There has been increasing concern over the past 20 years that we are living in a highly unsustainable manner. Our production and consumption patterns are causing adverse impacts on the environment and the climate, and the burden is being imposed on our planet. Increasing stress on our resources and environmental systems, such as land, air and water cannot continue forever if the goal of sustainable development is to be achieved. The concept of sustainable development is an urgency and has to be addressed at the earliest. (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, 2009)

Sustainable development requires a trade-off amongst conflicting needs and the following can be considered as an example: someone's needs for firewood conflicts with the idea of preventing erosion and biodiversity conservation or the need for electricity in one country can result in acid rain which affects water bodies in another country.

In this respect, there must be a balance between our social, economic and environmental needs and objectives so that our activities are not at the detriment of sustainability. (The World Bank Group, ca.2001)

The following criteria may be used to assess the extent of sustainability:

Social criteria

Socially desirable

Culturally acceptable

Psychologically nurturing

Financial criteria

Economically sustainable

Technologically feasible

Operationally viable

Environment criteria

Environmentally robust

Generationally sensitive

Capable of continuous learning

Sustainable development is not a totally new concept. During ancient times, the need for harmony between environment, society and economy has been recognised. Greater emphasis is now being laid on these factors in order to achieve some desired objectives on a global basis.

Increased efficiency and reuse of materials will contribute to achieve sustainable development. Moreover, organisations must strive to improve the quality of life through competitively priced goods and services while not harming the ecology and preserving resources.

The concept of sustainable development has arisen from several environmental based organisations. The main origin is from the report of Brundtland Commission conducted by the US in 1983. The commission was setup to deal with the increasing concern related to the fast deterioration of the human environment and natural resources and the impacts thereof to global, economic and social progress. (The Dictionary of Sustainable Management, ca.2006)

2.2 Energy Use in Buildings

It has been estimated that buildings use up to 40% of the total energy use on a global scale. Moreover, if energy used in the manufacture of steel, cement, aluminium and glass is considered, the total energy used up in buildings is approximately 50%.

It is believed that available knowledge and technology can help achieve marked reductions in the consumption of energy in buildings. Market and policy failures as well as behavioural barriers are hindering progress to reduce energy use in buildings. (World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 2010)

The amount of energy that a building uses depends primarily on design of the building. Innovations in design of buildings can ensure that energy saving measures are introduced in new buildings. (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, no date)

In UK, homes actually account for 27% of the total carbon emissions. Lighting, heating, use of electrical appliances and other devices consume energy in houses and thus account for emission of elements of carbon such as carbon dioxide.

The building sector use the highest amount of energy compared to any other sector. Thus buildings are prime contributors to carbon dioxide emissions and climate change. Immediate actions need to be taken to reduce consumption in buildings.

In US, buildings make up about 16% of the total water consumption and generate 15% - 40% of waste found in landfills. Decreasing the use of energy in buildings will save resources and money while also decreasing pollution and carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Also, electricity producing plants will make savings on account of reduced losses in transmission lines. (Reed Construction Data, 2007)

Residential buildings in the US consumed 20% of the total energy in 2006 and it was observed that the highest use of energy was for heating purposes.

Reducing the energy use in buildings is fundamental in view to support achieve 77% reduction in carbon emission as targeted by the International Energy Agency in order to reach an acceptable level of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration as stated by the Intergovernmental panel on climate change. (Flex Your Power, 2010)

2.3 Definition of Sustainable Buildings

The UK Green Building Council (2009) has defined a sustainable building as follows:

"Probably the best known and most widely accepted definition of sustainable development is that produced by the Brundland Commission of development that 'meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future generations to meet their own needs'. In this context, a sustainable building should be one which meets people's needs such as a home, or a workplace for example in ways which enhance its positive impacts and minimize its negative impacts, environmentally and socially, both locally and globally over time. The main challenge in translating such a definition into a meaningful goal is that it is difficult to translate many of the potential facets of sustainability into quantifiable targets and milestone."

A sustainable building is designed, constructed so as to minimise overall energy requirements. Moreover, sustainable buildings are constructed from energy efficient materials and construction methodologies adopted requires minimum energy at erection stage. Also, buildings should be designed and constructed in such a way that minimum maintenance is required during the life of the building.

The key elements of a sustainable building include the following:

Increased efficiency of buildings and building sites.

Healthy indoor environment.

Use of locally manufactured goods.

Using the building site in a sustainable manner.

Use of recycled materials for construction. Impacts on the environment are reduced through better site planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance. (Healthy Holistic Living, 2010)

2.4 Advantages of Sustainable Buildings / Homes

The advantages of sustainable buildings/homes include but are not limited to the following:

Lower operating costs

The use of energy efficient appliances, lighting systems and HVAC equipment, solar electricity and heating results in reduced energy consumption and thus lower electricity bills. A decrease in the use of water through water-conserving faucets, showers, toilets and irrigation systems lowers water bills.

Healthier home

Reduced level of allergens and toxins through the use of toxin-free building materials and proper air exchange through ventilation helps to keep a better and healthier indoor environment. This results in increased productivity and feelings of well-being in the home and the work environment.

educed maintenance and replacement cost

Sustainable building materials usually imply materials which are more durable than the non-sustainable ones. Increased lifetime of products and materials means lower maintenance and replacement costs. Moreover, effective storm water management and landscaping helps in less time for maintenance of outside spaces.

Financial incentives

In some countries, they offer tax credit and rebates to promoters to encourage construction of sustainable buildings. There also exist programs which offer financial incentives to builders who are involved in green construction.

Environment Friendly

Constructing in a sustainable manner reduces carbon dioxide emissions and waste. Moreover, the use of renewable, recycled and efficient building products reduces the adverse impact on natural resources.

Higher resale value

Buildings with sustainable design components have a higher resale value since prospective buyers are aware that maintenance and utility costs are lower comapared to a non-sustainable buildings.

Improved retail sales

In the case of commercial buildings, a survey of over 100 stores in California showed that sales value were 40% above average value when stores were lit with skylights instead of electric lighting.

Improved quality of life

It is difficult to quantify a better quality of life in monetary terms. Benefits include living in a quiet, clean, safe and secure environment and the associated welfare results in healthier people and more productive staff in the case of an office. (Green Living Tips, 2010), (Green Healthy Home, 2010), (NAHBGREEN- National Green Building Program, 2008)

2.5 Energy Consumption of a Building

There are essentially 3 ways in which energy is consumed, directly or indirectly by buildings which include the following:

Embodied energy

Construction and demolition

Operation

2.5.1 construction

During the construction of buildings, energy is used up through operation of plants and equipment such as excavators, elevators and cranes, manpower activities, manufacture of construction materials and installation of services.

Moreover, construction activities generate a lot of waste. In the US, the amount of construction waste generated is 16 million tons annually which is about 25% - 40% of the total national solid waste in that country. Construction and demolition waste implies loss of useful property, wasted materials and embodied energy, the associated greenhouse gas production and involves putting additional stress on the environment while producing new materials instead of using existing materials.

An intensive waste management program needs to be developed to control construction and demolition waste. Promoting on-site awareness to workers in the construction industry about environmental issues, best practices, use of recycled materials, reducing energy and water use can be done as part of the program. ( National Building Technologies, 2010), ( Napier, 2010), (European Cooperation in Science and Technology, no date).

2.5.2 operating energy

Operating energy refers to energy for day to day activities such as lighting, heating and use of electrical appliances. Operating energy of buildings accounts for 40% of the global energy use. In US, 22% of the total energy is used by residential buildings while commercial buildings use up to 18% of the total energy.

A breakdown of the use of operating energy in residential buildings is illustrated below:

In commercial buildings, the energy use is distributed as depicted hereunder:

A study has revealed that the building sector in each and every country needs to reduce energy consumption by 60% by 2050 in order to help achieve the global climate change targets. (Anon, 2009), (Koerner, ca.2009)

2.5.3 embodied energy

Embodied energy of a material is the sum of all the energy required to extract, process and refine the material before its use in product manufacture. The concept of embodied energy has been introduced for the design of sustainable buildings. It is important to consider the embodied energy while assessing the lifecycle impact of a building. Each material used in the construction of buildings is accountable for the building's total embodied energy.

The embodied energy of buildings differs considerably depending on the nature of the buildings, materials used and source of these materials. Accordingly, the embodied energy of the same material may differ considerably. According to a research, the construction of a three-storey building in Canada, the different components of the total embodied energy were as follows:

Components

Percentage of embodied energy

Envelope

26%

Structure

24%

Services

24%

Finishes

13%

Site works

7%

Construction

6%

Cole and Kernan as cited by (Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program, ca.1996)

A study carried out by Ramdany in 2008 revealed that the resource energy for construction of a typical residential house of 128 m2 (1381 sq feet) in Mauritius is 5 511 GJ LHV. He also estimated that the associated CO2 emission is of the order of 381 tonnes. The materials which he considered in the research were concrete, cement, steel reinforcement, ceramic file, floor glass uncoated, sand and gravel, concrete block.

2.6 Impacts of Energy Use

Modern civilization has evolved through the benefits of energy and progress in the energy sector. While we rely heavily on energy today, we must also understand the impacts of energy use on the environment.

Many people do not realize the link between energy use and the environment. It is perceived that cars or motor vehicles are the highest energy users and polluters. The fact is that our homes consume far more energy than motor vehicles. Many of our activities in the house, like for instance putting on the light, using the oven, iron, and other appliances, requires electricity which is produced by power plants usually through the burning of fossil fuels. Burning of fuel produces greenhouse gases which in turn gives rise to global warming.

Most of our energy is derived from fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas. Burning of these fuels to produce energy produces carbon dioxide gas which is a greenhouse gas. It has been found that greenhouse gas emissions from an average house can be as twice as much as the average car when compared over the same time. It has also been found that energy use contributes more than 55 % to climate change. (Environmental Literacy Council, 2008)

During the last few decades, there has been growing concern that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will result in climate change which can be adverse to our social and economic welfare. Climate change or global warming implies an increase in the average global atmospheric air temperature. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change, the earth's temperature has risen from 0.6 to 0.9 degrees Celsius (oC) over the past 100 years. Moreover, the driving factor causing this increase in temperature is a direct consequence of human activity.

Researchers have estimated that greenhouse gases are causing global warming at a rate of about 0.3oC per decade.

Adverse effects of burning of fossil fuels also include acid rain. During the combustion of fossil fuels, gases such as sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen are produced. These gases mix with water vapour in the atmosphere through chemical reactions. Consequently, rain which follows from these conditions are acidic and return to the Earth as acid rain.

The effects of global warming will be highly visible in these following areas:

Weather

Weather conditions are expected to be more adverse and disastrous. African countries will be affected by droughts and floods. It is also expected that these events will occur outside the previous or commonly known cycles. Higher rates of evaporation will cause higher rainfall in some areas and thus cause soil erosion and probably desertification in other areas. It has been highlighted that Africa being the poorest continent will be the most affected by droughts and floods since they do not have enough means to combat the effects of these phenomena. Furthermore, permafrost melting will present risk of road and rail track subsidence in some countries.

Changes in weather conditions are already being experienced; stronger cyclones are occurring since 1970. Cyclone Nargis which hit Burma is referred to as an example of the devastating impact of global warming.

Oceans

During the period 1880 to 2000, it has been recorded that the ocean levels has risen by 20cm. This is a consequence of the expansion of the ocean water through its warming and water from the melting of glaciers and ice in Polar Regions. Since 1880, oceans have absorbed about 50% of the CO2 produced by Man. A high CO2 content makes the sea water more acidic and as a result, it has negative impacts on marine life such as coral, fish and plankton.

Rising sea water levels will invade low level areas such as islands and coastal areas. One example is Holland or Netherlands since much of the land is below sea level.

Ecosystems

Global warming affects all ecosystems. The UN Environment Program has predicted that by 2025, only a few locally endemic species will remain. 25% of the Earth's mammals and 12% of the birds' species will no longer exist in future years. Many species like butterflies, frogs and birds are shifting their habitats towards higher northern and southern latitudes. It has been reported the years 1995 to 2006 have witnessed the warmest years in terms of global surface temperature since 1850. Moreover, the warming rate has been calculated as 0.13o/decade over the past 50 years which is twice as compared for the last previous 100 years.

Human Health

Climate change will inevitably impact human health. Warmer winters may reduce deaths from cold weather. On the other hand, hotter temperatures during summer will be seriously hazardous, especially to children, old people and other vulnerable categories of people. There may be outbreak of infection and vector-borne diseases like malaria. Other health impacts may result from causes of food shortages. (Bedi et al. 2000), (Environmental Literacy Council, 2008), (Alternate Energy Sources, 2010)

2.7 Policies To Help Promote Sustainable Buildings Construction

Promotion of sustainable buildings will require involvement of building owners and builders, government, policy makers and other stakeholders. Some policies which can be introduced to boost up sustainable development include:

Standards and codes

Building codes should emphasize on strict energy-efficient requirements. These requirements should be enforced and tightened over time. Energy measurement and audit must be conducted at regular intervals in order to quantify energy use, identify improvement opportunities implement measures which are more efficient and penalize those who are non compliant with standards and codes.

Financial incentives

Financial incentives which can be given are tax credits, rebates and lower interest loans. These financial incentives can be given for new efficient homes, reducing energy use / improvement to existing buildings, energy efficient heating and cooling equipments as well as household appliances.

Information and education

Campaign in connection with sustainability must be established to bring about behavior change and to increase awareness of the adverse impacts of high energy use in buildings. People must be educated and be aware of the advantages of sustainable buildings. Moreover, training must be provided to all those involved in the construction industry specifically to designers, builders and manual workers.

Research and Developments (R&D)

R&D programs can pave the way for innovative design and building materials which can help in reducing energy required during life cycle of a building. According to the NRC Report (Cited LOPER, 2005), the Government should take the responsibility to invest in R&D because of the fragmented and very competitive market structure of the building industry. Also, the small size of most building companies discourage private R&D.

Energy standards

Energy standards for household appliances should be established and revised at regular intervals. Energy labels would help consumers to identify energy-efficient appliances.

Stakeholders

All stakeholders in a building project, including property developers, designers, contractors and end users should participate in the project and as an integrated team. Governments may offer incentives to promoters to submit applications for energy-efficient buildings. Subsidies or other incentives can be offered for improvement to residential buildings which is already being practiced in some countries. (World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 2009) (LOPER, 2005), (Pew Center, ca.2009a)

2.8 REDUCing ENERGY use IN BUILDINGS

There are a number of ways in which building related energies can be reduced. They include but are not limited to the following:

Improving building design and construction

Appropriate building design, the use of natural light and ventilation should be maximized in order to minimize the need for artificial light and AC equipment. This can be achieved through the use of appropriate building shading techniques, fixing window panes which control sunlight into the building and ensuring proper insulation to prevent unwanted air flow exchange between the indoor and the outdoor environment.

The building envelope is defined as the interface between the inside and outside of a building and includes the walls, roofs and foundation. Design of the building envelope affects the energy requirements in relation with lighting, heating and cooling of buildings. It is important to consider the local climate while designing the building envelope, for example a building can be designed for passive solar heating which uses solar energy to warm the building.

Proper insulation enables resistance to heat flow and hence the amount of energy to heat or cool a building is greatly reduced. Insulation can be done through the use of spray foam blanket, rigid foam insulating concrete forms, concrete block, and natural fiber insulation. On the other hand, insulation is effective if the building is adequately sealed to prevent air flow between the inside and outside of the building. Hence, there is the possibility to design and construct buildings which use less energy comparatively.

Reducing embodied energy

Embodied energy basically refers to the sum of energies expended during extraction, manufacture and transportation of materials. Disposal of materials is generally not considered in embodied energy for building materials. The embodied energy of buildings can be reduced through the use of locally manufactured materials, innovative materials and building waste that require less energy for their production.

Increasing end-use energy efficiency

The use of energy efficient appliances will undoubtedly reduce energy consumption during operation of buildings. ENERGY STAR-labeled appliances use less energy than other current or standard appliances. It has been estimated that a home which is fully equipped with ENERGY STAR-qualified products will consume about 30% less energy than a house with standard appliances. It has been found that refrigerators, clothes washers and dish washers are among the appliances which use the most energy in the household.

Moreover, lighting accounts for about 15% of the overall energy use in a house. A compact fluorescent bulb is much more efficient than an incandescent bulb and uses approximately 25% less electricity to give off the same amount of lighting. The price of a compact fluorescent bulb is higher than an incandescent bulb but they last ten times longer. Hence, the high initial outlay is paid back through lower utility bills.

There is the potential to further reduce energy used by appliances. When not in use (in standby mode), television, computers, microwaves and other appliances still use electricity which can total upto an astonishing 25% of a house' total electricity usage. There is the need to choose appliances with low standby energy consumption. However, it would be wiser to turn off appliances when not in use.

Moreover, gaps around windows and doors should be properly sealed to prevent air leaks to optimize heating/cooling requirements and hence minimize electricity when using HVAC equipments. It has been estimated that with appropriate insulation and air sealing, a house can save up to 12% on utility bills (including heating and cooling costs).

Use less water

Efficient use of water helps to reduce the energy needed to treat, pump and associated treatment of waste water. There are appliances/devices which use less water to operate as follows:

Toilets use the most water in the house which represents about over 25% of the total daily indoor water use in a typical single family home. Low flush residential toilets using 1.6 gallons of water per flush can be used instead of 3.2 gpf models.

Water-efficient showerheads and faucets are useful water-saving devices. Low-flow showerheads reduce the water flow to lower levels resulting in saving of about 20,000 gallons of water per year for a family of four. Fixing flow reducers into kitchen and bathroom faucets reduce the flow from 3 to 5 gallons per minute to only 2 gallons per minute.

Adopting new habits to cut energy use include inter-alia:

Planting shade trees around the house

Painting the house in light colour in warm regions and dark colour in cold regions

Do not overcool the rooms. It is not efficient to set the Air conditioner (AC) to 20oC when 23oC is appropriate and comfortable.

Clean and replace air filters in AC as recommended. Cleaning dirty AC filters can save up to 5% of the total energy used by the equipment.

Buy locally manufactured products. This reduces the embodied energy of the products. (Anon b, 2009), (Pew Center, ca.2009b)

Energy use of a building is affected by design and the material used for construction. Roof design and the construction material can determine the amount of solar energy which is absorbed or reflected. Appropriate roof design and construction material can reduce the air conditioning required in hot regions by reflecting more solar energy. It has been estimated that a roof which is ENERGY STAR qualified has the potential to reduce the demand for cooling by 10% - 15%. Roofs can also be designed to accommodate photovoltaic systems to produce on-site electricity.

Design of walls influence the energy lost to the environment. Windows and doors affect the energy loss across the building envelope and thus placement, size and location of windows and doors should be considered in the design to reduce artificial lighting and heating. Energy loss can be attributed to the extent of insulation provided by windows and doors. The insulation property is greatly influenced by the material and workmanship during installation of doors and windows. Recent innovations in windows include two or more panes of glass or multiple glazing which highly reduces energy loss to the external environment.

It should be noted that a new building may be more cost-effective with a costly design and high performing building envelope which would require smaller and less expensive HVAC system. On the other hand, for an existing building, it may be more efficient to provide more insulation to the building than installing a much efficient HVAC system. (Pew Center, ca.2009a)

2.9 MAURICE ILE DURABLE (MID)

The concept of MID was first announced by the Prime Minister of Mauritius in March 2008. The aim of MID is principally to support sustainable development through local and renewable sources of energy with the objective to reduce the country's dependency on fossil fuels for the production of energy. MID also aims at waste recycling to reduce harm to the environment and a more efficient use of energy.

To support the MID concept, the MID fund was set up under the Finance and Audit Regulations 2008. The MID Fund was set up to finance projects to enable Mauritius to become a 'green' island in the next 20 years. The objectives of the Fund as defined in the legislation is to finance a number of projects which include programmes to reduce consumption of fossil fuels, achieve greater efficiency in the use of energy in enterprises , offices, homes, public sector, transportation sector and hotels. The total budget allocated to the MID Fund was Rs 1 billion in 2008 plus a contribution of around Rs 300 million per year from the Government of Mauritius.

Moreover, there are donor agencies which are funding projects in line with the MID concept. Agence Française de Développement has made available to the MID Fund the amount of EUR 1 million for implementation of the project 'line of credit for energy and environment / technical assistance' and the UNDP has allocated a budget of USD 1 million for the project 'Removal of barriers to energy efficiency and energy conservation in buildings.

It has been stated that approximately 22% of the total energy required in Mauritius is drawn from renewable sources. The main source of renewable energy is derived from bagasse while the remaining share of the pie comes from hydroelectricity. The MID concept aims at doubling the energy generated from renewable sources in the next 20 years.

A 3-day seminar was organized by the University of Mauritius, as contribution to the MID week where Dr. Girish Beeharry stated that there is the need for research and development in the field of renewable energies and it is crucial that prompt action is taken. It has been recognized that current measures are very unlikely to remove barriers to energy efficiency in buildings.

The UNDP has embarked on a 3-year duration project named with the aim to reduce greenhouse gas emission related to existing and new buildings. The objective is to reduce a total of 245,000 tonnes of CO2 over a 10-year period. The project will target both residential and non-residential buildings and will address mainly three areas namely building materials, equipment, appliance and behavior of building users.

The project focuses on four issues:

Policy- building codes and regulations

Stimulating demand and supply of technology and services

Promoting information, knowledge and awareness

Monitoring and assessment

The UNDP has retained the services of a consulting firm for preparation of an Energy Efficiency Bill. Moreover, a draft copy of the Bill has been submitted and reviewed by a Steering Committee for this project. Furthermore, this Bill will be supported by regulations for standards and labeling for electrical appliances and the setup of an enforcing agency. It has also been mentioned that the Building Act will be amended to promote energy-efficient buildings. (Kotzot Journal Ile Maurice, ca.2008) (Ministry of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities, no date), (United Nations Development Programme, ca.2009)

2.10 ENERGY FACTS IN MAURITIUS

Mauritius relies on about 80% of its energy from imports. The import of petroleum products has increased from Rs 6.5 billion in 2000 to Rs 22.3 billion in 2007. Consequently, the island is extremely vulnerable and has to reduce its reliance on energy from imported sources. The Ministry of Finance in the budget speech in 2008 stated that each and everyone should cooperate to reduce energy use because every member of the society is part of the solution. The Minister also admitted that a relatively high percentage of electricity is used up by buildings. He announced that the Government would work out a way to enhance the performance of new and existing public buildings. The main areas of improvement would be efficient use of energy, decrease of greenhouse gas emissions, promote more renewable energy use, use of green materials, waste and water management and indoor air quality.

The Ministry of Finance had stated in 2008 that an Energy Efficiency Management office would be set up to conduct R&D in the area of green building together with other measures. In this respect, the Management office would provide the public with prototype design of green residential buildings. Moreover, the Management office would also coordinate with stakeholders of the construction sector and other professional bodies to enable promotion of green buildings. It would also have the responsibility to create and raise public awareness and cooperate with other countries to share their knowledge and experience.

It is worth to point out that Reunion Island, which is next to Mauritius (some 225 km away) produces 37% of its energy from renewable sources. However, this has been achieved through enormous financial support from French Companies and other agencies. France has provided about Rs 45 billion to Reunion's energy strategy for a period of 20 years as compared to the MID Fund at an initial budget of Rs 1.3 billion. In this respect, it may require that much more funding would be needed to considerably increase energy from renewable sources in Mauritius. (Kotzot Journal Ile Maurice, ca.2008), (Sithanen, 2008)

Additional Topics:

Are there measures in connection with sustainability in the current Building Act & Planning Policy Guidance

MCB Building- Ebene

Barriers to energy efficient buildings on Mu

How to make an existing house more sustainable

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