New residential building codes and tech promote energy conservation
Following the President’s call to save on Turkmenistan’s abundant energy resources, the construction of energy-efficient buildings became a priority. This wakeup call for the energy-rich nation, where gas is almost free, has seen it search for innovative ways to manage energy in key sectors like its booming construction industry.
UNDP’s solution is to work on improving energy efficiency in residential construction. Its GEF-funded project will pay particular attention to making building codes promote energy-efficiency and to using efficient new methods for residential building design.
The first step working with UNDP’s partner, the Ministry of Construction and Architecture of Turkmenistan, to update legal and regulatory mechanisms so they would implement energy conservation measures in residential building design and construction. Preliminary calculations estimated that revised energy conservation building codes would yield 32-38 percent in heat savings and 5-20 percent for electricity usage.
The ultimate aim is to introduce a “Building Energy Passport,” an official document that confirms an energy audit was carried out during design, construction, and operation. Energy audits will then gain momentum, and become a main mechanism to encourage builders and homeowners to use energy-efficient technologies.
Secondly, UNDP continues to work with its key partners, Turkmengas, the Ministry of Communal Services, and the State Institute of Architecture and Construction, to produce Turkmen energy audit specialists. More than 100 energy audit specialists have been already trained and energy audits of 22 demonstration residential buildings in nine cities have been carried out so that recommendations can be made for the entire country.
Third, UNDP runs demonstration projects to test innovative approaches, technologies and equipment for energy-efficient design and construction in six demonstration residential buildings in Ashgabat. Early results indicate up to 25 percent reduction in energy consumption. Construction is funded by the state, while UNDP brings in new technology. Early results indicate that the energy-saving measures in the revised residential building could save nearly 10.0 million cubic meters of natural gas per year.
UNDP aims to promote the scale up of this innovation in partnership with Turkmenistan throughout its next programme.