The Net Zero Energy Building Project Newsletter – March 2017

A Teachable Moment For Engineering Students

University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona School of Engineering students got a “hands on” demonstration of construction management on a tour of the construction site of the prototype Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) on campus on February 14, 2017.

Engineer Peter Thompson, Managing Director of M&M Construction Limited, contractors on the project, gave the year 2 students of the Civil Engineering Management Course a riveting presentation on the landmark building.

The NZEB being constructed at The UWI utilizes construction concepts designed to minimize energy consumption and increase resilience to climate change.

Being constructed under the “Low Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Promoting Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Building in Jamaica” (LGGE) project, the NZEB project is being implemented by the Institute of Sustainable Development (ISD) at The UWI with the financial support of the Global Environment Facility and the technical assistance of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The building will generate renewable energy on site and will be earthquake and hurricane resilient.



UWI To Host Energy Policy Workshop March 23, 2017

The University of the West Indies (UWI) is currently developing a draft national building policy to promote higher standards of energy efficiency in buildings and a transition to renewable energy in Jamaica. The project team will host a workshop on March 23, 2017 with its stakeholders and co-financiers to further develop the draft national building policy through the lens of the Energy Policy and how it impacts the built environment.

The workshop, entitled “Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment in the Caribbean: Energy Policy”, is being presented at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel under the “Low Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Promoting Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Building in Jamaica” (LGGE) project of the Institute of Sustainable Development (ISD) at The UWI.

Primarily aimed at professionals in the architecture, engineering and construction industries and government policymakers, the workshop will be declared open by the Minister of Energy, Science & Technology, Hon. Andrew Wheatley.

Topics to be explored include: “Jamaica’s Energy Policy In The Built Environment”; “Retrofitting Of Existing Buildings: What Is Happening Now Locally And Globally”; “Project Economics For Renewable Energy In The Caribbean Region”; “Building Capacity To Access Clean Technology Funding” and “Drafting Policies For NZEB Construction & Retrofitting Guidelines”.

A cadre of eminent architects, engineers and energy industry professionals will present at the workshop including Dr. Earl Green; Messrs Richard Lawrence, Kamau Kambui and Dr. Ruth Potopsingh. Keroma Bernard, Policy Consultant on the LGGE/NZEB project, will lead deliberations on the draft national building policy.

Work Starts On Draft Policy For NZEB Construction

The work to develop a draft policy for NZEB construction in Jamaica has begun with engineer Keroma Bernard, Policy Consultant on the “Low Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Promoting Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Building in Jamaica” (LGGE) project, driving consultations with a range of stakeholders.

Mr. Bernard is researching and developing practical working solutions that will transform building policies and practices in both new buildings and in the retrofitting of existing buildings.

The work encompasses three phases including pre-consultations leading to the development of the first draft of the policy documents; workshops to seek feedback and refinement of the draft and finally, presentation of key documents including:

  • A national policy and plan for retrofitting all suitable existing buildings;
  • A comprehensive policy and regulatory framework for development of Net Zero Energy Buildings in Jamaica; and
  • Amendments of existing draft building codes to mandate the new standards required across Jamaica.



NHT Energy Audit Completed

An energy audit of the National Housing Trust (NHT) headquarters in Kingston has been completed, paving the way for retrofitting work under the “Low Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Promoting Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Building in Jamaica” (LGGE) project of the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD), University of the West Indies.

A 2-year Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the NHT and the UWI in 2016 to cover the assessment of the most advanced retrofit solutions to increase energy efficiency and performance of existing buildings while withstanding anticipated impacts of climate change.

The existing buildings, adjoining car park and the Emancipation Park in New Kingston are part of a demonstration project under the LGGE designed to show the various facets of Net Zero building technology, which will inform new NHT construction and encourage others in Jamaica to follow suit.

The energy audit gathered data on the performance of the NHT buildings, established benchmarks based on industry standards and set performance goals.

The NHT retrofitting project aims to achieve at least 30% reduction in overall energy consumption over the life of the project and build a strong foundation for future reductions with replicability of applications which may be easily adopted by other stakeholders.

For the complete NHT Audit Report visit the Documents section. 


National Housing Trust Building


Meet The Team

The “Low Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Promoting Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Building in Jamaica” (LGGE) project is being implemented by an eminent team of professionals.

In this issue of the NZEB Newsletter, we introduce you to the two Principal Investigators: Professors Tara Dasgupta, C.D., Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, University of the West Indies and Professor Anthony Clayton, C.D., Professor of Caribbean Sustainable Development, Institute of Sustainable Development (ISD), UWI.

Professor Tara Dasgupta, C.D.

Professor Tara Dasgupta, C.D., is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry in the Chemistry Department at the UWI Mona for close to 40 years. His renown as a scholar and researcher has qualified him for mention in several biographical reference books such as Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in the Commonwealth, Dictionary of International Biography, International Book of Honour, Men of Achievement and Personalities in the Caribbean.

Professor Dasgupta whose research interest include Renewable Energy, New Inorganic Materials and Inorganic Reaction Mechanisms, established a vigorous research programme in the Department of Chemistry and the findings from his research work form an impressive output of nearly 120 research publication in top international refereed journals, 80 papers presented at international conferences and form the basis of lectures delivered at more than 30 different universities worldwide. He has also supervised record number (50) of graduate students towards completion of Ph.D. and M. Phil. degrees.

Professor Dasgupta also established the Caribbean Academy of Sciences, Jamaica – an independent non-profit charitable organization legally registered with the Government of Jamaica – for promoting science and technology in Jamaica in 2010. Through this organization he established the Open Access Repository facility on the Campus with financial help from UNESCO which has opened up the Network facility between scientists in the region.

Professor Dasgupta established the Pesticide Research Laboratory in 1995 at the Chemistry Department and secured an IDB grant to equip the laboratory. Since then 6 students completed Ph.D and 5 students completed M.Phil Degrees in the field of Food and Pesticide Chemistry. The laboratory also provides analytical services to the region especially in finding pesticide residues in food, environmental samples and various agricultural products. The laboratory is being accredited for ISO 17025.

Professor Anthony Clayton, C.D.

Professor Anthony Clayton is Professor of Caribbean Sustainable Development at the University of the West Indies, Visiting Professor at the Centre for Environmental Strategy in the School of Engineering at the University of Surrey, Visiting Professor at the Institute for Studies of Science, Technology and Innovation in the School of Social and Political Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Adjunct Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Development in the Faculty of Business and Management, University of Technology, and Fellow of the Caribbean Academy of Science.
His research interests include policy analysis and strategic planning.

One of his research projects led to a new model of development planning called ‘Foresighting for Development’. This model identifies possible future scenarios, and then makes those scenarios manageable through effective planning. This helps to map out a strategy for development that is coherent, resilient and adaptable. As part of this project, he was asked by the Government of South Africa to evaluate their national foresight exercise, then by the Commonwealth Secretariat to provide training workshops on the role of foresighting in policy for science and technology for Africa’s Ministers of Science and Technology under the auspices of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

Prof. Clayton is a noted policy expert and has written policy documents for a number of governments on issues that include planning and regulation, national security, crime and policing, urban development, economic development and climate change adaptation. He has also written policy papers for a number of intergovernmental agencies, including the Organization of American States, the European Commission, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the World Bank, the United Nations Environment Agency, the Commonwealth Science Council, the Inter-American Network of Academies of Science, and the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, and he has served as the lead policy advisor for two world summits. He is Chairman of Jamaica’s Broadcasting Commission.