Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer...
Zero Carbon Buildings that Generate their own Energy
Tata Steel Europe, in collaboration with the Welsh Government and the Low Carbon Research Institute has set up the Sustainable Building Envelope Center, which will develop and promote green technologies for building projects. The center's team of technologists and researchers is developing special types of steel sheets that can turn a building from an energy consumer into an energy generator.
Tata Steel has set a tough benchmark to create zero carbon emission buildings that generate their own power at a cost that will be on par with conventional grid power. The new, revolutionary green building systems with self-generated power could come up within the next three to five years, according to the company's officials at the SBEC in North Wales.
The new green building technologies will make use of advanced steel sheets that will be coated with special paints. The company plans to use these sheets not only for the new buildings, but also for existing buildings as a bolt-on option. In principle, these steel sheets have the potential to improve top line by as much as six times, as per the company. The payback period of the end users will range between three and six years, depending on whether they are used on new buildings or the existing ones.
The company's CTO, Uday Chaturvedi, said, "Buildings are responsible for almost half of UK's carbon emissions, half of its water consumption, around a third of its landfill waste and a quarter of all raw materials used in the economy. This means that the UK's sustainable development targets cannot be met without a fundamental change to the way in which buildings are constructed. The steel industry can be part of the solution and these projects demonstrate our commitment to helping to develop a sustainable future."
The managing director of Tata Steel Colors, Peter Strikwerda, said that the key idea is to "micro-generate energy on a macro scale." The idea has the potential to leverage a new generation of technologies with multiple usages. For instance, the power generated from these buildings could be used to power electric cars. The SBEC project is expected to enhance environmental sustainability of not only the steel industry but also of the various industries it supports.
Photo Credit: mihow