By Africa Moyo Property
THE Ministry Energy and Power Development is constructing a $300 000 rated modern building in the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds, which would not only be powered by solar, but will also feed any excess energy that would be generated, into the national grid.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, Mr Partson Mbiriri, told The Herald Property Guide yesterday that the intention is to ensure that other companies may copy and erect their own structures so as to cut the demand for grid electricity.
The funding of the building is facilitated by the National Oil Infrastructure Company of Zimbabwe (NOIC).
NOIC is a Government institution involved in the transportation of petroleum products as well as storage and handling in the firm’s depots.
Mr Mbiriri said: “It is a very simple structure that we are constructing but it’s not yet complete. It is intended to be a green building which is self-sufficient in terms of power.
“The intention is to put solar panels on the roof and equally, the glazing will be solar as well so that they pick solar radiation.
“We will put solar water geysers and the net result is that we will be conserving power and generating power for ourselves and any excess electricity will be fed into the grid.”
Mr Mbiriri could not be drawn into revealing how much electricity the solar panels will generate, saying such information could not only be available once the construction has been concluded.
The number of solar panels installed will also determine the amount of electricity that would be generated.
Mr Mbiriri said the building will also not have air-conditioning, but will have self-regulated temperature through the louvre system whereby it sucks fresh air from outside if the inside is hot.
Conversely, when the inside cold, the building will also suck warm air from outside.
Mr Mbiriri said it will cost “a little more than $300 000 and is sponsored by NOIC”.
“It is a building that does not use a lot of grid electricity, if at all.
“The colour theme is green and we hope other companies can copy from us,” said Mr Mbiriri.
Green buildings – commonly known as green construction or sustainable building – are increasingly becoming popular across the world as environmentalists battle to contain the effects climate change.
Environmentalists are frowning upon the generation of electricity through coal (thermal) and the use of diesel powered generators which blight the environment.
Green buildings are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient their life cycles spanning from planning to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and demolition.
The World Green Building Council has been conducting research on effects of green buildings on the health and productivity of their users.
The World Bank is working with the World Green Building Council on this move.
A 2009 report by the United States of America’s General Services Administration found 12 sustainably-designed buildings that cost less to operate and have excellent energy performance.
In addition, occupants were generally satisfied with the buildings than those in typical commercial buildings.
The buildings are eco-friendly.