Energy-efficient ‘smart houses’ on the anvil
FUTURE national housing and government buildings will be constructed with the “smart house” concept, which incorporates energy-efficient features, an Energy Department official said.
Head of Energy Efficiency and Conservation (EEC) and Renewable Energy Abdul Salam Hj Abdul Wahab said they are in discussions with the Ministry of Development and other agencies, including the Housing Department, to introduce the smart house concept to save energy consumption.
“If future construction will not be able to follow the full concept, then they will at least have 40 to 60 per cent of the concept of this house to be implemented for government housing schemes,” he told The Brunei Times at the Energy Week 2014.
“It is obvious that if we can use the concept of the smart house in any government project, especially the national housing schemes, we will definitely be able to save energy consumption in Brunei,” Abdul Salam added.
He said everything in the smart house display at the Energy Week 2014 is energy-efficient.
It is wise to introduce and utilise the availability of energy-efficient appliances, products and technologies in a more realistic approach,” he said.
“The idea is not only to introduce energy-efficient appliances, products and technologies in the market, but more importantly to educate and encourage people to switch to using more affordable energy-efficient products,” Abdul Salam added.
A smart house is an efficient design with technologies promotes portable water usage; and uses sustainable building materials and enhances indoor environment quality, including outdoor landscaping and parking lots for both hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as the use of renewable energy via solar power on rooftops.
The EEC head explained that when one uses energy-efficient appliances and products, such as an air-conditioner, energy saving can go up to 65 per cent compared to using a conventional one.
“For lighting, you can reduce energy consumption of about 80 per cent if you use the energy-efficient ones. So this is the kind of technology we want to introduce in Brunei,”’ he said.
He said even though it is still very expensive to incorporate a smart house concept in one’s home, the high costs will be worth it in the long-term.
He added that they are also working with other government departments to find a way to reduce the cost. “Probably in the near future, we will be introducing some kind of financial incentive.”
Visitors at the smart house over the course of Energy Week made comments after learning about the concept of the energy-efficient shelter.
Writing in the guestbook, one visitor said: “I love it. I hope Brunei will use these types of houses in the future.”
Another visitor stated that he looked forward to living in this kind of environment in years to come.
One visitor dubbed the smart house as a “21st century house”. “Finally, this is something I would like to invest in the future.”
The Brunei Times