UNILAG, experts set sights on private sector aid, energy-efficient homes 

BuildingWITH new technologies holding sway in building design and production, a university don, Prof. Godwin Idoro has urged the Federal government and the organised private sector to support the University of Lagos quest to expand its undergraduate programme in building to a masters and doctorate degree programmes in this year’s academic session.

Idoro who is the Head, Department of Building, spoke at a public lecture on Emerging HVAC Technologies for Energy Efficient Heathy Buildings in Hot and Humid Climates organised his department, delivered by an erudite scholar and renowned academician, Prof. Chandra Sekhar of the Department of Building, National University of Singapore, and chaired by the Managing Director, CMB Building Maintenance and Investment Company Limited, Mr. Kelechukwu Mbagwu.

Following the growing operational inefficiency in the power generation and worsening electricity outage, he advised that institutions of higher learning and professional bodies should emphasise energy-saving or energy efficient buildings  in their training and development programmes.

He said that the lecture is designed to create awareness on how to achieve energy efficiency and healthiness in the design, construction and use of buildings. “Energy efficient approach should be holistic covering design, construction and use of buildings and should emphasize natural rather than artificial lighting and ventilation,” he said.

According to him, there is urgent need for the government and the citizenry to promote and imbibe energy saving practices, reduce the discomfort and productivity losses arising from incessant power shortage.

He noted that the practice whereby consumers pay for the manufacturer or service provider’s inefficiency (costs of wastage, leakages, theft, illegal connection, etc) in the name of fixed charge will not promote energy-saving culture and cannot enhance service delivery.

Idoro stressed that the government must review the existing billing system with a view to making electricity bill an energy-consumption-related charge.     Prof. Sekhar reviewed some of the fundamental issues of cooling and dehumidification facing the HVAC designer, the inevitable and inherent design of an oversized system as well as its undesirable consequences in terms of an overcooled indoor environment.

He also provided an understanding of the psychrometric challenges involved in cooling and dehumidification at peak and part loads in hot and humid climates, especially possible solutions to creating a more thermally comfortable and healthy indoor environment that can also save energy.

Mbagwu, who welcomed the call for new technology in the building industry to promote increased homeownership and housing delivery, disclosed that his company has entered into partnership with the Unilag authorities in the field of research.

He disclosed also his company’s unit on research and development is in constant touch with latest technology. He said that Prof Sekhar submission on air conditioning system, if well implemented would ensure reduction in cost and comfortable environment.

“One thing is to say, we need more houses, and another is what kind of houses. Prof Sekhar’s Emerging HVAC Technologies for Hot and Humid Climates is the way forward, it is something that CMB will be very happy to pioneer, but it cannot be implemented now,” he said.

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