Announcement of “Healthy and Energy Efficient Buildings” Initiative

On World Environment Day, MAITREE in partnership with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), launched the “Healthy and Energy Efficient Buildings” initiative that will pioneer ways to make workplaces healthier and greener. As part of this pilot initiative, EESL has taken the leadership by being the first to implement this framework in its own offices.

Mr. Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director, EESL stated, “This initiative is addressing the challenges of retrofitting existing buildings and air conditioning systems so that they are both healthy and energy efficient. We hope that this pilot will pave the way for other buildings to take appropriate steps to be healthy and energy efficient. As always, our work is for the public and for the benefit of everyone, and our partnership with USAID will help scale it up.”

Poor air quality has been a concern in India for quite some time and has become more important in light of the COVID pandemic. As people return to their offices and public spaces, maintaining good indoor air quality is essential for occupant comfort, well-being, productivity and the overall public health.

Most buildings in India are not equipped to establish and maintain healthy indoor air quality and need to be upgraded. Such retrofit measures, like increasing outside air and additional filtration in the air conditioning system, typically come at the cost of occupant comfort and increased energy use. Nor are there standardized approaches to retrofitting.

The EESL office pilot will address this problem by developing specifications for future use in other buildings throughout the country, as well as aid in evaluating the effectiveness and cost benefits of various technologies and their short and long-term impacts on air quality, comfort, and energy use.

Ms. Ramona El Hamzaoui, USAID Acting Mission Director to India, said, “USAID is proud of its partnership with EESL. It is inspiring to see that EESL has taken the lead by being the first to implement the idea in its own office in New Delhi. This pioneering effort, built in large part on our partnership, will address air quality and energy use concerns in buildings — directly improving comfort, health, productivity, and ultimately the quality of life of citizens in India and South Asia.”

Mr. Kumar and Ms. El Hamzaoui released a joint video message on Twitter explaining how the pilot will work and showcasing how EESL employees feel safer returning to the workplace.

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