Energy-efficient single-family homes: Twofold energy savings

Apr 19, 2017

Photo: Architectural design of the cottage

Development of single-family housing is one of the high-priority areas for providing the citizens of Turkmenistan with affordable, comfortable housing. Large-scale programs are being implemented in the country, with the goal of modernization and development of the Turkmen village, including the National Program of the President of Turkmenistan for Transformation of Social Conditions of the Population of Rural Areas, Villages, District Cities, and District Centers for the Period up to 2020.”  In recent years, the pace of low-rise construction has been accelerating.  Thus, in Ashgabat alone, 208 cottages are being introduced under the 15th stage of the development of this, the nation’s capital city.

Given the scope of construction and the increasing interest of consumers in individual residential buildings, efforts should be made to ensure that energy consumption in these buildings is reduced during their design, construction and operation.

The UNDP/GEF project Improving Energy Efficiency in the Residential Building Sector of Turkmenistan, which is implemented jointly with Government of Turkmenistan, is working to introduce the integrated design and construction of buildings, including single-family houses, that combine comfort and energy efficiency.

At present in Turkmenistan, construction of individual homes is carried out based on standard designs carried out by Turkmen design organizations.

In 2016, the UNDP/GEF project supported the development of additions to 11 standard low-rise individual house designs of the state design organization Turkmendovlettaslama.  The fundamental goal of this work, which was implemented collaboratively by Turkmendovlettaslama and specialists of the UNDP/GEF project, was to reduce energy consumption of buildings that will be built from these designs, and to achieve an energy-efficiency rating no lower than C, according to the revised national building code of Turkmenistan, SNT 2.01.03-98 Building Thermal Engineering.

With this goal, the following technical solutions were used in the additions to the standard designs, all naturally fitting into the overall architectural appearance of the buildings.

·         Architecture:  Placement of enclosed entryways (vestibules); inclusion of internal roller blinds on windows.

·         Construction elements: Use of a light plaster system on a base of mineral wool insulation on external walls; thermal insulation of attic floors.

·         Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems:  Use of heat-reflective screens behind heating devices; installation of thermostatic controls on heating devices; reduction of the installed load capacity of gas boilers and air conditioners; use of solar water heaters for domestic hot water.

For each standard design, building Energy Passport documents were prepared reflecting the new additions.  On this basis, analysis of the energy performance of the added measures was carried out.

The energy-conservation measures realized in the design provided for attainment of a C rating, and for a few buildings the even higher B rating, in terms of energy consumption for heating. cooling, and ventilation according to the revised code SNT 2.01.03-98 Building Thermal Engineering. The additions to the standard designs make it possible to reduce energy consumption of the buildings by 43 percent for heating and by 60 percent for cooling.

The insulation of walls and attic floors provide for a reduction in energy consumption during the heating season by 46 percent for concrete buildings and by 35 percent for brick buildings, and during the cooling season by 20 percent for concrete buildings and by 14 percent for brick buildings.

Given the great potential of Turkmenistan for renewable energy, the engineering solutions include use of solar water heaters, which use the sun’s energy for preparation of hot water, which covers up to 60 percent of the energy demand of the building for hot water supply.

A preliminary analysis of the cost-estimation documentation shows a cost increase by 15 to 20 percent, averaged across all 11 standard designs, from the implementation of the energy-conservation measures.  A major share comes from water heating using solar heaters, whereas in most sections of the design, the estimated cost increase is no more than 10 percent. One should note that the use of local thermal insulation materials, which is planned for production by industrial enterprises in the near future, will significantly reduce costs.

The development of additions to the standard single-family cottage house designs to raise their energy efficiency will serve as a good basis for future long-term work and follow-up projects on energy conservation.  The first step is the construction of pilot buildings based on the additions, and promotion of domestically-produced thermal insulation materials in the marketplace.

Contact information

Irina Atamuradova

Programme Manager for Development of a Green Economy

E-mail: irina.atamuradova@undp.org

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