Markets, infirmaries to use Zero Energy Building technologiesTuesday, August 16, 2016
Government has plans to use Zero Energy Building (ZEB) technology in the construction of markets and infirmaries in the island, according to Minister of Local Government & Community Development Desmond McKenzie
McKenzie referencing the work being done to establish a Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, the minister said that the ministry "is taking active steps to reduce costs by using energy conservation technologies".
He was speaking during a courtesy call paid by a team from UWI led by Prof Anthony Clayton, Professor of Caribbean Sustainable Development, Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD), UWI. The purpose of the visit was to present an update on the construction.
UWI’s NZEB is designed as a prototype for the region under a project being implemented by the ISD with financial support from the Global Environment Facility and technical assistance from the United Nations Environment Programme.
Minister McKenzie said that while there is a general need across the island for retrofitting of buildings to achieve greater energy efficiency, those who have already put such systems in place are seeing significant reductions in their utility bills."
He therefore urged Prof Clayton and his team to expand their public education programme on NZEB as a means of promoting energy conservation technologies across stakeholder groups islandwide, including the parish councils.
The minister said that ZEB as well as state-of-the-art rainwater harvesting and related technologies will be used in the construction of several new markets and infirmaries and public buildings in the pipeline, and that several audits conducted by his ministry was informing new construction and refurbishing programmes.
Prof Clayton, noting that many of the buildings in Jamaica today "are the legacy of an era when energy was cheap" said that architects and engineers in Jamaica should now be focused on building energy efficient buildings".
He noted that the UWI NZEB project includes a component which will see the retrofitting of the National Housing Trust headquarters in Kingston, its car park and the adjoining Emancipation Park, in line with NZEB guidelines.
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