ADOPTING ENVIRONMENT RESPONSIVE STRATEGIES FOR EXISTING BUILDINGS: A PRESCRIPTIVE STUDY
Free (open access)
Volume 7 (2012), Issue 3
333 - 344
Buildings around the world are known to be highly energy intensive through their life cycle consuming about 40% of the world’s primary energy supply. This is especially true for hospitality buildings, since they cannot compromise on the comfort conditions for the guests and have to ensure 24 h continuous energy and water supply. In urban areas, particularly with high-end tourist facilities, energy efficiency measures are widely used. However, in case of remote natural areas with erratic supply of grid electricity, use of fossil fuels for backup power supply is common. Energy efficiency measures are rare when the facility caters to budget tourists. In such cases, it is important to adopt environment-sensitive measures for the buildings so that their negative impact on nature and surrounding environment can be minimized. This paper discusses some of the strategies that can be easily integrated with existing buildings and also evaluates their economic feasibility for successful adoption. The case studies selected are typical two tourist lodges located in the coastal belt of West Bengal in India, popular for its beach tourism. Data collected on their energy and water consumption pattern have been recorded and case-specific adoption and integration of environmentally appropriate measures into the existing building forms have been identified. While further evaluation of these has shown favorable environmental impact, the cost payback analysis had different results to share. It was found that financial viability of some of the measures could not be achieved as long as the natural resources are available as free goods.
cost payback, energy, environmental compatibility, GHG/CO2-e emissions, solar energy, sustainability