First zero energy building in India

Location: New Delhi, Haryana, India

Population: 26,454,000 [metropolitan area]

Climate: Humid subtropical

Duration: 2011-2013

Sector: Buildings

Funding sources: Public sector

City networks: C40

Savings: Energy savings equal to 40% and water savings equal to 55%.

Solutions: Installation of sensors for energy and water savings, energy efficient lighting solutions and other measures for efficient cooling.

Multiple benefits: Energy bills equals to 0.

In 2014, New Delhi inaugurated the first zero energy building of India, named the Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, which hosts offices of Ministry of Environment and Forest [source] [source].

Objective – To raise awareness of the need for more zero energy buildings which account for water and energy efficiency across India.

Solutions – The project consisted in the construction of the Indira Paryavaran Bhawan in New Delhi, a large-scale public building with plot area of 9,565 m2 (and total plinth area of 30,914 m2) which uses efficient and alternative sources of energy [source]. The innovative energy efficient measures include: Integrated Building Management System (IBMS) to improve energy efficiency; sensors for energy and water savings; energy efficient lighting fixtures using T-5 lamps; chilled beam system for cooling; pre-cooling of fresh air using a heat recovery wheel; geothermal heat exchange technology for heat rejection from air-conditioning; and energy saving regenerative lifts. The design allows for using 75% of light from the daylight to conserve energy for lighting. The building uses green materials to increase the overall sustainability, as well as installed hermetically sealed double glass windows to increase the isolation and to limit any air dispersion.

Funding – The total final costs for this project was INR 201.49 Crores*. The funds were public.

Innovation – This is the first urban public building across India using zero energy solutions as well as the highest green rated building in India. Moreover, Indira Paryavaran Bhawan has the largest rooftop with solar system among any multi-storeyed buildings in India (930KWp).

Success factors – The long pre-feasibility study (2009-2011) gave the baseline for a successful implementation of Indira Paryavaran Bhawan. Thus, the design phase took advantage of the lessons learnt during the study, which eventually were applied in the realisation of the project. Moreover, the commitment of the Ministry of Environment and Forest played a crucial role in the actual realisation of the building, as it aimed at achieving the highest green rates for building in India.

Significant outcomes:

  • Energy savings up to 40% as result of the project;
  • Electricity bill equal to 0;
  • Water savings up to 55% as result of the project;
  • Awards granted GRIHA 5 Star, LEED Platinum, and the Adarsh/GRIHA of MNRE for exemplary demonstration of Integration of Renewable Energy Technologies [source] [source].

Synergies with local policies:

  • In September 2017, the New Delhi Municipal Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), an organization under Ministry of Power, Government of India, to develop solar rooftops in public buildings in New Delhi.

Political alignment: 

  • NDCs target specifically energy efficiency enhancement (NDC, 1.1.2) with the following points:
    • Total avoided capacity addition of 19,598 MW;
    • Fuel savings of around 23 million tonnes per year;
    • Target of 10% energy savings by 2018-2019.


*The conversion rate used is INR 1 Crores (equal to INR 10,000,000) = USD 140,500 (as 1 INR = USD 0.014)

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Sector: Buildings

Country / Region: Asia, India

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In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities

Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative

Published by: The Hindu