Energy Conservation Building Code – A Move Towards More Energy Efficient Buildings

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Blog   wpadmin   August 16, 2022

Executive Summary:

This article throws light on:

      • Energy Conservation Act, 2001 and Energy Conservation Building Code.
      • The advantages of ECBC Compliant Buildings
      • Building criteria of ECBC
      • Challenges in implementation of Energy Conservation Building Code.


Energy demands are constantly increasing in India’s rapidly growing economy. Energy Efficiency is a word that applies to the efficient and minimal use of energy in efforts to protect natural resources. Energy codes for new buildings are an important regulatory tool for enhancing energy efficiency in the building projects.

Energy Conservation Act, 2001

The Energy Conservation Act, 2001 (The EC Act) was enacted by the Government of India in 2001 to provide for the effective use of energy and its conservation, as well as things connected with or incidental thereto. The Government of India established the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) as a statutory body under the Ministry of Power (MoP) in March 2002, in accordance with the Act. The EC Act has given the State and Central governments the authority to create a legal framework that will help in the creation of an institutional set-up that promotes energy conservation in the country, as well as monitoring efforts to meet energy saving targets.

Energy Conservation Building Code

  • On May 27, 2007, the Government of India developed the Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) for new commercial buildings. The ECBC sets minimum standards for energy-efficient building design and construction.
  • The State government share supported by section 15 of the Energy Conservation Act 2001 to develop an Energy Conservation Building Code (ECBC) for efficient use of energy and conservation. ECBC encourages energy-efficient building design or retrofitting that:
    • Does not restrict the building’s function, comfort, health, or productivity of its occupants and
    • ECBC also requires that the building be designed with economic considerations.
  • The code establishes clear guidelines for builders, designers and architects to use passive design strategies to include renewable energy sources into building design.

The advantages of ECBC Compliant Buildings:

  • Lower costs by saving energy
  • Speed up the use of energy-saving technologies
  • More efficient use of natural resources
  • Lower CO2 emissions
  • Reduce on electricity usage
  • Make use of energy-saving devices

ECBC’s Building Criteria:

Initially, buildings with a connected load of 500 KW or more were required to be built in accordance with the ECBC, however the Code is currently applicable to buildings or building complexes that have:

  • A connected load of more than 100 kW
  • Contract demand greater than 120 kVA
  • Recommended for all buildings with conditioned area of greater than 500 m2.

ECBC applies to the following types of buildings:

  • Office Buildings
  • Large Amenity Buildings
  • IT Parks
  • Major Residential Buildings
  • Government Buildings
  • Hospitals
  • Retail Malls
  • Hotels

Challenges in Implementation of ECBC

  • Lack of motivation among architects, consultants, and developers to get familiar with ECBC criteria may hamper widespread acceptance and implementation.
  • Developers are hesitant to invest in better infrastructure (such as energy-efficient buildings) if they are unsure that they will be able to recover their investment.
  • Because the cost of an ECBC-compliant construction is slightly higher, financial justification of the additional cost can be difficult to force the building owner.
  • Architects and engineers do not work closely together in traditional design practices.
  • Insufficient skilled and trained workers in the field, as well as a lack of understanding of simulation software.
  • There is a lack of understanding about the availability of ECBC-compliant materials.


The ECBC was created as a first step in improving energy efficiency in the building projects. The ECBC is the outcome of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency’s (BEE) and its Committee of Experts’ extensive work.ECBC establishes minimum energy efficiency norms for commercial buildings, ensuring long-term energy savings while maintaining occupant comfort and tackling climate change. Till now ECBC is notified in states such as Rajasthan, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Telangana, Haryana, West Bengal, and Karnataka.Several challenges still exist in implementing ECBC at the state level and implementing ECBC provisions into real building designs.

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