Jamaica to get first Net Zero Energy Building
By the end of 2016, Jamaica will have its first Net Zero Energy Building.
The pioneering project to construct the building is being implemented by the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and technical assistance from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
A Net Zero Energy Building is one in which the total amount of energy used on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site or at other renewable energy sources.
According to Prof. Anthony Clayton, Director of the ISD, “the main objective of the project is to research and develop practical working solutions that will transform building policies and practices.”
Prof. Clayton said that “the goal is for a modal shift in building forms and technologies making zero net energy construction the preferred option in tropical and sub-tropical regions.”
Prof. Tara Dasgupta, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, pointed to the benefits of the project including “the development of building standards which will significantly increase the size of the market for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in Jamaica and across the Caribbean”.
Prof. Dasgupta said that “The UWI Net Zero Energy Building will consist of an advanced prototype which demonstrates emerging and best practices in the built environment”.
Why Net Zero?
A Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB), also known as Zero Net Energy (ZNE) or Zero Energy Building (ZEB) is one in which the total amount of energy used on an annual basis is roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site or at other renewable energy sources.
The Net Zero concept includes a wide range of options for producing and conserving resources in buildings including energy, water, waste and can contribute to cost savings in all of these areas. Also, by incorporating designs and technologies complimentary to the location, climate and use of the building, such as natural daylight and ventilation, the Net Zero Energy Building can be a more healthy place to live, work and play.
NZEB can create as much energy as they use, reducing their reliance on the national grid and in instances where they generate more energy than they need, can boost national resources. NZEB will reduce energy use and related emissions, enhance energy security and reduce pollution.
NHT to participate in Net Zero Energy Building Project
The Net Zero Energy Building being established under the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Net Zero Energy Building project is already having a multiplier effect.
First out of the blocks will be the National Housing Trust (NHT) which has signed an MOU with the ISD/UWI for the NHT headquarters in Kingston to be used as a demonstration project.
While work proceeds to construct the Net Zero Energy Building at the UWI, the NHT will benefit from an assessment and implementation of the most advanced retrofit solutions to increase energy efficiency and performance of their existing buildings, their adjoining car park and the Emancipation Park.
It is expected that with the retrofitting under the 2-year MOU delivering substantial environmental and economic benefits, the demonstration of the various facets of Net Zero building technology will encourage others in Jamaica to follow suit and inform new Net Zero construction.
A number of stakeholders are cooperating with the ISD, GEF and UNEP in the implementation of the UWI Net Zero Energy Building project. They include:
- Bureau Of Standards Jamaica
- Caribbean Academy Of Sciences Jamaica
- GEF Focal Point (Ministry Of Water, Land, Environment & Climate Change)
- Incorporated Masterbuilders Association Of Jamaica
- Inter-American Development Bank
- Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association
- Jamaica Institution Of Engineers
- Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd.
- Jamaican Institute Of Architects
- Meteorological Service Jamaica
- Ministry of Science, Energy & Technology
- Ministry Of Transport, Works & Housing
- National Housing Trust
- Office Of Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Management
- Planning Institute Of Jamaica
- Scientific Research Council
- University Of Technology Jamaica
- University Of The West Indies Mona
The UWI Net Zero Energy Building Project
Institute for Sustainable Development
University of the West Indies, Mona
Kingston 7, Jamaica
+1-876-977-7764 • firstname.lastname@example.org
* NHT Office & Emancipation Park photos courtesy of the National Housing Trust.