Barbados must adopt “greener” building practices if it is to bring its national energy bill under control, a senior official of the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) has said.
While warning that the country was too dependent on fossil fuels to meet its energy needs, BNSI Technical Officer Jonathan Platt argued that the time had come to integrate renewable energy into domestic building practices.
Though unable to say whether the proposed measures would result in increased construction costs, he was insistent that focus going forward should be on energy conservation.
“The thrust with regards to energy efficiency is here to stay and it is not going to go away. The need is there because the fluctuation of the cost of fuel is a problem but we also want to be focused with regards to our input with regards to fossil fuels as we do our part to save the planet,” said Platt.
Addressing a national consultation on the contents of the Regional Energy Efficiency Building Code, at the Baobab Towers, Warrens, St Michael, Platt said the proposed changes would need to be accompanied with an appropriate regulatory framework.
“You have to remember that any building code would not go back in time to say to someone that they must bring their 20 year-old houses up to current code. It doesn’t work like that. So unfortunately you would have the existence of situations such as the issue of fire codes where you have buildings with one way in and one way out,” said Platt.
“It does mean that if you are conscious that there is an issue, you can look at the codes currently and see what you can do personally, there are several measures that one could put in place to deal with existing commercial buildings that are not up to code. It would be the same thing if we were able put the energy efficient measures into place,” he added.