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Understanding how energy is supplied and used in buildings is a key prerequisite to energy conservation process in the built environment. The study was aimed at evaluating energy consumption and conservation opportunities for national research institute for chemical technology (NARICT) buildings with a view to enhancing energy efficiency in the instittution. NARICT blocks of buildings constitute the population of the study with ten (10) sample blocks of buildings. The procedure adopted for achieving the set objectives were presented in three stages, energy audit using checklist, measurement of current and enviromental condition (Relative Humidity and Dry Bulb Temperture) and determing behavioral perspective through monitoring and targetting. Economical cost benefit and descriptive statistics were used in analyzing the data obtained. Results from the study shows that, Space cooling systems have the average highest energy consumption value of 5319KW (39%) followed by lighting fixtures with 1567.4KW (36%) and plug load appliances with 563KW (24%). Measured illumination level of 317 to 500lux from day lighting in the blocks of buildings were sufficient and were in accordances with ESI recommended level of 320 lux for office building and 400 to 750 lux for laboratories. Energy saving opportunities to a total of 9692 Kwh and a total cost saving opportunity of N443,028 per month were reliased. It is therefore concluded that, high usage of space cooling system, aged appliances and improper replacement of component were major factors responsible for higer energy consumption. Initiating an internal energy policy, retrofitting and establishment of an energy management system in the institute will guarantee good energy savings opportunities with enormous reduction in green house gas emission.

1.1Background to the Study

Energy in the form of electricity or fossil oil is commonly used in institutional buildings to operate equipment for the safety, efficiency, convenience and comfort of its occupants and users. Such equipment includes emergency systems, space cooling system, artificial lighting, vertical transportation, ventilation, office infrastructure and other appliances. Energy use in building has increase recently due to its growing demand (Cui, 2006).

Anink, Boonstra and Mak (1996) and Zhenhong (2007) observed that more than thirty percent of primary energy, mostly generated from fossil fuel is consumed by non industrial buildings, including houses, offices, schools, hospitals and so on. In recent years, the situation of electrical shortage in Nigeria and emission of greenhouse gas around the globe has become more serious which calls for immediate action to initiate another source to reduce its consumption (Hinge, 2004). Although, ―this trend can partly be offset by considerable improvements of energy conservation through materials use during construction, insulation, day-lighting design and usage, and better energy management system‖(Hinge, 2004).

According to the Chartered Instituted of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE, 2004) efficient energy in building is that which provides the required internal environmental and service with minimum use of energy in a cost effective and environmentally friendly manner. Also United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO, 2006), observed that energy conservation can be enhanced through improved building design, behavioral change, improved management, or initiation of new technology among others.

Unachukwu (2003) and Oyedepo (2014) posited that energy conservation also serves as the strategy for maximizing energy via systems and procedures so as to reduce energy requirements per unit of output while holding constant or reducing total cost of providing the output from these systems. Energy reduction strategies for building operation must therefore address both energy system controls executed by mechanical and electrical equipment and energy system demands, imposed by building occupants (Kinney and Piette, 2002). The role of energy conservation as a catalyst for sustainable development is realism in the industrialized countries of the world. However, in Nigeria the narrative at the moment is different as huge benefits derivable from adoption of conservation potentials by various institutional sectors remain largely untapped due largely to lack of awareness of the economic and social benefits of energy optimization (Unachukwu,2003).

Oyedepo (2012) refers sustainable energy system as a cost-efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly system that utilizes local resources effectively. The processes of utilizing energy in higher institutions of learning are prone to wastages and the consequence of such wastage include: environmental degradation, faster depletion of energy resources, and increased cost of energy products and services. The concept of sustainable development therefore dictates that effort must be put in place to enhance energy optimization through effective conservation measures. Thus, this study sets to assess the opportunities of saving in energy consumption in NARICT blocks of buildings.

1.2                                                    Statement of Research Problem

Energy is consumed inefficiently and most of this problem predominantly arises from building technical operation and management (Rana, 2012). The extensive inefficient use of energy has a negative impact on our environment and society at large as it amounts to increase in outdoor and indoor air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and health related problems. This trend has contributed to increase in global energy demand, along with global warming, and is expected to rise by more than one-third over the next twenty years (International Energy Agency IEA, 2012).

A study of public buildings by Haberl, Lui, Houcek and Athar (2006) found that 50% of energy waste in building have control related problems. It was noted that various policy instruments was introduce since 1970s to support energy efficiency, despite this, the built environment is still laging behind their potential as a result of insufficient knowledge on energy performance and the occurrence of ‗mal performance (under performance) of systems (Oyedipo, 2012).

Furthermore, there are great challenges for professionals to initiate a healthy and comfortable built environment with less energy consumption and reduced negative impact on the environment through supply and demand management techniques, performance and energy matrix practices (Bernadett, 2013.)

There is need for a study that will initiate comprehensive techniques that will address energy consumption problems and proffer several conservation opportunities. Therefore, this research intends to assess energy consumption related problems in NARICT blocks of buildings with a view to addressing energy wastage and leakages.

1.3                                                              Justification of the Study

According to International Energy Agency (IEA 2012) residential, commercial, and public buildings account for 30 to 40 percent of the world‘s energy consumption. These sectors contribution to current world carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is about 25 to 35 percent. Rapidly growing, specifically in developing countries, the built environment offers the largest, most cost-effective opportunities for energy efficiency, with considerable co-benefits. However, to turn these opportunities into reality, efficient energy management and conservation measures must be properly put into practice through energy audit and effective management schemes (Uduma, 2010).

Kaur (2012) describe that the difference between demand and supply of energy is increasing continuously despite huge outlay of government effort towards it. Furthermore burning of fossil fuel that result to emission of gases are detrimental to the environment and this can be bridged with the help of conserving energy which can be considered as a new source of energy and environment friendly.

Hinge (2004) posited that energy management improvement in building is one of the most cost-effective ways to meet energy challenges. Also Hong, Chou and Bong (2000) observed that substantial energy savings can be achieved through conventional building designed/envelope and careful planning for energy efficiency. As noted by Rana (2012) solving control related problems and proper energy management initiatives will contribute significantly to primary energy savings.

Ensuring sustainability in all aspects of economic, social and environmental development while promoting ecological carrying capacity of the earth require more efficient resource utilization. To address these challenges, there are various approaches and roadmaps, to be adopted (Global Energy Assessment GEA, 2012). Energy efficiency or conservation and management practices are two key approaches to overcome energy challenges.

1.4                                                        Aim and Objectives


The aim of this study is to evaluate energy consumption and conservation opportunities for National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT) buildings, with a view to enhancing energy use efficiency in the institution.

1.4.2    Objectives

The aim of the study was achieved through the following objectives, to,

  1. evaluate the consumption of energy in the blocks of buildings in NARICT
  2. assess conservation opportunities of the Institute‘s buildings.
  • identify initiatives for energy efficient utilization for the institute‘s buildings.

1.4                                                         Scope and Limitations

1.5.1 Scope

There were two common approaches adopted for building energy studies case study and survey. A case study is a research strategy involving in-depth investigation of a particular phenomenon, whereas a survey is systematic approach of collecting data based on a sample. Choosing one over the other is usually a decision resulted from the study objectives. For this study, the survey strategy was adopted because the objective is to have a comprehensive understanding of how energy is consumed and its available opportunities. The study covers all the ten (10) blocks of building within the study area namely Administrative Block, Entrepreneurship Center, Work, Petrol Chemical Laboratories 1,2&3 etc.

Based on the data collected and established benchmarks from literature, the main content of this thesis concentrate on analysis of data analysis to quantify the total building savings opportunities. Two approaches have been demonstrated. One is system monitoring and targeting approach while the other is retrofitting approach. However, the savings opportunities for space cooling system are developed by means of space cooling sub-systems monitoring. Building envelops, mechanical equipment, attitude of the end users and environmental conditions were analyzed by means of these two approach. Consumption of heavy machineries, equipment with higher voltage and staff quarters were left out. Blocks of building are likely to have other energy uses as well, such as diesel used for generator was not considered in the study.

1.5.2 Limitations

This study faces certain limitations which include:

  1. Constraints of measurements, resources and access to office building have led to a small sample size selected and limited number of buildings.
  2. Information obtained from technical buildings officers may not be absolutely accurate. In addition, information such as area, equipment operation schedule is calculated manually and it is inevitably subjected to a degree of error.


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