How Overestimate of Overestimate plagues Indian Building Industry and Who is Paying the Price?

How Overestimate of Overestimate plagues Indian Building Industry and Who is Paying the Price?

Imagine trying to figure out how much electricity a building need. Often, people play it safe by guessing it needs more than it actually does. Sounds logical, right? After all, no one wants to risk not having enough power.

When it comes to electrical load, there is a common tendency to estimate the requirements, this overestimation only leads to unnecessary expenses and also results in inefficiency of resources. Many developers’ architects fall into the trap of overestimating the load that a building will make. This results in larger, more expensive electrical systems being installed than actually necessary. The root cause of this problem lies in the fear of underestimating the load, which could potentially lead to power shortages and disruption of activities within the building. Yet, this fear often pushes us towards compensation, resulting in unnecessary expenses and wastage of resources.

Overestimating electrical loads significantly impacts the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of a building’s infrastructure. Think about it: when you design 6 to 7 watts per square foot instead of the actual requirement of 2.5 to 3 watts, you’re essentially preparing for a demand that the building may never truly require. This overestimation becomes glaringly evident when you consider the substantial implications. Such a miscalculation leads to a cascade of problems, ranging from unnecessarily doubling the sizes of cables and panels to inflating transformer, DG, contract demand, chiller, pump, and AHU sizes.  Larger cable sizes mean increased material costs, more extensive installation efforts, and potentially wasted resources. Similarly, upsizing panels, transformers, and other essential components not only escalates the initial investment but also leads to operational inefficiencies down the line.

In electric load estimation, there is a prevalent reliance on Rule of thumb practices. These practices, although familiar, often fall short in terms of efficiency. Rule of thumb approaches tend to overestimate electric load, leading to unnecessary costs and energy consumption. Imagine a scenario where a residential building is designed with an overestimated electric load. The result? An overly complex and expensive electrical infrastructure that is underutilized. It’s a classic case of overestimation gone away.

Now, you might wonder who bears the burden of these overestimations. Whether it’s the building occupants, tenants, or even the larger community, the financial burden of these inflated designs eventually falls on someone’s shoulders. Moreover, beyond the monetary aspect, there’s a ripple effect on energy consumption, sustainability, and overall environmental impact. When systems are oversized due to overestimations, they operate less efficiently, consuming more energy than necessary and contributing to increased carbon footprints.

So, what’s the solution to this prevalent problem? By adopting a scientific approach to determining electrical loads based on real needs rather than inflated estimations, developers and architects can create more sustainable, cost-effective, and efficient building infrastructures. Incorporating advanced modeling techniques, leveraging historical data, and engaging in collaborative design processes can help strike the right balance between performance and practicality. Ultimately, by addressing the root cause of overestimating electrical loads, we can pave the way for smarter, more sustainable, and economically viable building solutions that benefit everyone involved.

At McD BERL, we specialize in sustainable development and the application of high-performance building design that can save huge amounts of capital and operational expenditures while providing excellent living conditions and comfort.

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