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Painting roofs can cut energy costs

Islamabad: Experts at a seminar were unanimously agreed that painting the roofs and build environment with white can reduce temperature in cities and can drastically cut energy consumption by lowering the energy demand.

They urge on government to take subsequent measures and highlight the need to create awareness among citizens for Cool Roofs to address growing energy needs and combating climate change.

They were speaking at a special seminar on “Cool Roofs: Solar Radiation Management (SRM) Techniques to Combat Climate Change and Energy Crisis” organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday. Abrar Malik, Assistant Chief (Buildings) National Energy Conservation Centre (ENERCON), Islamabad, Tenveer Mehmud, Former National Programme Coordinator, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Syed Amjad Hussain, Advisor, Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Farzana Yasmin, Project Associate, SDPI spoke at the event while Shakeel Ahmad Ramay, Senior Research Associate, SDPI moderated the proceedings.

Farzana Yasmin explained that Solar Radiation Management (SRM) techniques are used to make earth more reflective by diverting incoming solar radiation. Cool Roof is one of the SRM technique that increase the reflectivity of the build environment by painting the roofs, roads and pavements with bright reflective white. This, she said, provides a cooling effect as the white roofs tropical regions absorbs about 70% less sunlight than an ordinary roof and hence counteracting the warming influence of increasing greenhouse gases.

She also cited research which shows that widespread installations of cool roofs and pavements can reduce summer air temperatures in cities by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius (4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit).

Abrar Malik said that we need to cultivate a new energy culture focusing on achieving sustainable development through conservation and efficient use of energy resources. And Solar Radiation Management (SRM) Techniques such as Cool Roofs can be a viable alternate, he added.

He informed that Building Code Of Pakistan (Energy Provisions 2011) has been approved by Steering Committee would soon be finalized by Task Force of Pakistan Engineering Council. He also highlighted initiatives taken by Enercon for energy conservation such as Buildings Energy Audits, energy efficient housing improvement by roof slabs, awareness campaigns, appointment of Energy Managers and amendment in building byelaws/ regulations of Building Control Authorities and Utility Providers.

Tanveer apprised participants on clean development mechanism (CDM) in Pakistan. He explained that CDM allows industrialized countries to invest in emission reductions wherever it is cheapest globally.

So there is an opportunity for developing countries like Pakistan to take measure towards cleaner environment while earning valuable resources at the same time, he added. He said that Pakistan has initiated 12 projects in CDM while India has launched over 700 projects in this subject.

Amjad Hussain said that cool roofs can typically reduce summer air-conditioning energy use by 10% – 20%. He gave example of Masdar city while talking about reducing carbon emission to combat climate change around the world. Masdar City, he said, is a 15 billion$ initiative by government of UAE which has zero carbon emission where everything is greener, cleaner, recycled and environmental friendly.

He added that was initiated on a broad slate of reducing emissions and sustainability technologies, aiming to generate the skills, institutions and intellectual capital necessary for a low-carbon future.

For more information, contact:
Faisal Nadeem Gorchani
Coordinator, Policy Advocacy and Outreach
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI)
38 Embassy Road, G-6/3 Islamabad, Pakistan
Postal Code: 44000
Tel: +92-51-2278134, (Ext: 113)
Fax: +92-51-2278135
Cell: 00-92-333-559 2210
Email: main@sdpi.org

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