University Of The West Indies To Get First Net Zero Energy Building

According to a press report, construction of Caribbean’s first Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) is to commence shortly at The University of the West Indies (UWI).

The project is set to cost approximately J$61.48 million (US$500,000).

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Ground was recently broken for the project which will be sited along Gibraltar Way on the Mona campus.

It is intended to serve as a prototype for the construction of similar structures in the region.

The project is being implemented by UWI’s Institute for Sustainable Development, with technical assistance from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and funding from the Global Environment Facility.

A NZEB is a building in which the total amount of energy used on an annual basis is approximate to the amount of renewable energy created on that site.

The release noted that the construction of the prototype on campus will demonstrate emerging and best practices in the built environment including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and environmental design which encompasses resilience to changing climatic conditions including hurricanes, storms, floods, drought, and earthquake.

Additionally, the NZEB at UWI will incorporate designs and technologies complementary to the location, climate, and use of the building and will include conference facilities as well as a research center.

The 214 sq. m. (2,300 sq. ft.) building is expected to be completed by December 2016, and is expected to transform building policies and practices, influence the implementation of regulatory tools that will mainstream the lessons and transform opportunities for promoting energy efficiency.

The building contractor is M&M Jamaica Ltd. while the design team is headed by architect Christopher Lye of Tya Design and includes architect Bruce Lopez, Synergy Design Studio Architecture Ltd.; engineers Stuart Sykes, SGS Engineering; Stanley Sutherland, EMPRO Engineering Services Ltd.; and Louise Fletcher, Planning Fletcher Ltd.   Land surveying and quantity surveying services will be provided by Earle Spencer, Earle W. Spencer & Co. Ltd.; and Kelvin Kerr of Davidson & Hanna, respectively.

A number of stakeholders are cooperating with the ISD, GEF, and UNEP in the implementation of the UWI NZEB including:

Bureau of Standards Jamaica

Caribbean Academy of Sciences Jamaica

GEF Focal Point (Ministry of Environment & Climate Change)

Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology

Incorporated Masterbuilders Association of Jamaica

Inter-American Development Bank

Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association

Jamaica Institution of Engineers

Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd.

Jamaican Institute of Architects

Meteorological Service of Jamaica

The UWI NZEB project is expected to catalyze a model shift in building forms and technologies making zero net energy construction the preferred option in the Caribbean.

Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

Edited by Jesus Chan

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