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Ranking Buildings by Energy Use - New York has just published its data. Can we do it Bangalore.

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Excerpt of an article in the New York Times. Doing this in Bangalore would be very powerful. Ofcourse we would have to measure not just the power pulled from Bescom but also that coming from onsite generators. But it should be doable. 

Interestingly, and not unexpectedly, the modernist buildings do much worse. Not only did the create ugliness in our cities, their buildings don't work as well. Talk about 'form follows function' !!! For those without context, the Seagram and Lever buildings are modernist icons, worshipped by Architects.

City’s Law Tracking Energy Use Yields Some Surprises

In courting tenants over the last six years, 7 World Trade Center has trumpeted its gold LEED rating, an emblem of sound environmental citizenship.

But when it comes to energy efficiency, the young 52-story tower is far from a top performer, according to data released under a city law that tracks energy use in New York buildings. It had a score of 74 — just below the minimum of 75 set for high-efficiency buildings by the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program.

On the other hand, two venerated show horses from the 1930s, the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, sailed to an 84 and an 80 as a result of extensive upgrades of their insulation and mechanical systems.

And the MetLife Building, a 1963 hulk looming over Grand Central Terminal? It scored 39. Still, solace is at hand for MetLife’s owners: the Seagram Building, Mies van der Rohe’s bronze-toned 1958 masterpiece on Park Avenue, posted a 3.

“I was probably as shocked as you are,” said Gerard V. Schumm, executive vice president of RFR Realty, which owns both the Seagram Building and Lever House, another glassed-in Park Avenue landmark. (It earned a 20.)



murali772's picture

Namma buildings have a long way to go

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A 2009 debate on PRAJA (accessible here) is of relevance here.

Besides, these factors too need to be taken into account while designing public buildings (maintained out of tax payers' money). Unfortunately, however, none of the recent constructions in Namma Bengaluru, the TTMC's or the Kandaya Bhavana, meet even the basic purposes they were supposed to serve, leave alone the LEED or any other norms.

We certainly have a long way to go.

Muralidhar Rao
n's picture

Before the advent of office

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Before the advent of office space with "modern" amenities, many buildings were (and still are) serviced by windows that could be operated, fans during summer and no artificial heating during winter.  Our college classrooms were and probably still are the same.  Highly energy efficient, with minimal energy use.  People used to sweater up in winter and be exposed to the outdoors most of the time.  Some window AC units were utilized when heat was deemed unbearable.  Compared to New York or any American city, we should be a lot more energy efficient even now.  LEED broadly measures sustainability with energy efficiency just one part of it. Most of Bengaluru of say even up to 25 years ago would easily have been LEED platinum or higher due to the usage of bicycles, walking, public transportation, less generation of waste/sewerage/usage of water - per capita, high amount of recycling etc.  Building owners/planners/architects should suitably adapt to local conditions than copying "state-of-the-art".

idontspam's picture

cyclical effect

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Most of Bengaluru of say even up to 25 years ago would easily have been LEED platinum or higher due to the usage of bicycles, walking, public transportation, less generation of waste/sewerage/usage of water - per capita, high amount of recycling etc.

So agree with this... add there has been a cyclical effect of surface level heating & increased pollution due to larger vehicle usage, less open spaces, lesser greenery etc this has caused us to resort to blocking out open air, cooling using A/C's which release even more heat & pollution. There has to now be an effort to roll back this cyclical effect using less polluting vehicles, increasing greenery & open spaces etc. The green chain needs to be reestablished of course without having to go back to horse drawn carriages. Dwellings alone not having cooling/shuttering but with the same levels of pollution/heat/greenery/open spaces is not working. Again a case of failed urban planning causing trickle down effect.

idontspam's picture

Beijing air pollution is off the charts

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Eleanor Roosevelt - "Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself. "

"This is a historic record for Beijing," Zhao Jing, a prominent Internet commentator who uses the pen name Michael Anti, wrote on Twitter. "I've closed the doors and windows; the air purifiers are all running automatically at full power." Other Beijing residents online described the air as "post-apocalyptic," "terrifying" and "beyond belief."


silkboard's picture

Data is there ...

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BBMP would have built up area

BESCOM - power usage for every mont

and BWSSB, water usage for each month (but this may not be accurate if water is supplemented through tankers etc)

Just using these three together, I think a top-20 and worst-20 list can be made. A nice idea, and sounds like an exciting but tough project. tough only because BBMP may not be as easy to get data from.

Also, are all three above "public" data? Perhaps yes. We are not asking for building plans, just the built up area.

idontspam's picture

Critical levels of Air pollution

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You Think the Air in Beijing Is Bad? Try New Delhi.


We are living in a danger zone breathing terrible stuff already. Bangalore is no better. This measurement in 2007 shows PM 2.5 levels were close to 400 in majestic. It will ony be worse now. comment guidelines

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