DOE sets ‘energy efficient’ building designs

Published February 22, 2021, 7:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The Department of Energy (DOE) has cemented a policy that it will be enforcing for the designs of “energy efficient buildings” or what could also be classified as “green buildings.”

The department said it is laying down the guidelines on how building designs could be synthesized as energy-conserving structures, so they could viably become part of the country’s overall energy efficiency and conservation (EE&C) goals.

“We want our future infrastructure to be resilient and energy efficient,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said. And in the core of things, it is the design of new and future buildings that could partly bring in gains in energy use savings being aspired for in the country.

 The energy chief noted that in achieving the targets under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act of 2019 or Republic Act 11285, “we must start to develop a culture that integrates these principles (energy efficiency and conservation) even in the early design stages.”

Cusi said the guidelines on energy efficient buildings had been framed in collaboration with design and construction professionals, hence, this is seen as an effectively tool in pushing EE&C goals in the property development sector.

According to the DOE, the public consultation was actively participated by  the Department of Public Works and Highways-National Building Code Development Office, other stakeholders as well as experts from the real estate industry.

Via Department Circular DC 2020-12-0026, the issued guidelines target to “aid building designers, architects and engineers in choosing appropriate energy efficient technologies for building envelopes and electrical and mechanical systems.”

Primarily, the DOE Circular mandates “minimum standards on energy efficient building design,” as hinged on the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of RA 11285.

The energy department said the guidelines shall be updated every three years or even at an earlier timeframe, to take into account “the rate of advancement in energy efficient technologies and practices.”

 Further, the DOE stated that it will be pursuing wide-scale information, education and communication (IEC) campaign with local government units (LGUs), primarily with their building officials, to help sharpen their awareness on the integration of energy efficiency and conservation in building designs.

The LGUs, it was noted, are important allies in the EE&C Law’s implementation because they take major role of issuing building permits to property and constructing firms that are undertaking building projects.