New building rules aid energy saving


The government plans to require all new buildings, including small houses, to meet new energy-saving standards by fiscal 2020.

The move to reduce energy consumption is part of an interim report compiled Tuesday by a panel of experts discussing housing and living in a low-carbon society.

At present, the government only requires buildings with total floor space of 300 sq. meters or more to report energy-saving measures, such as heat insulation, while the land ministry estimates that only 50 to 60 percent of new homes meet energy-saving standards.

According to the interim report, new regulations would first be applied to larger buildings and then be gradually rolled out to smaller ones.

Specifically, it would take effect for buildings with total floor space in excess of 2,000 sq. meters from fiscal 2015, and then be extended to structures of between 300 and 2,000 sq. meters from fiscal 2017. Houses with less than 300 sq. meters floor space would not have to comply until fiscal 2020.

The government plans to consider separate energy-saving measures for wooden houses of less than 300 sq. meters because of concerns that the new rule might discourage their construction.

Rooftop solar panels


Daiwa House Industry Co. said Wednesday it will install a solar power system on the roof of its logistics center in Kitakyushu.

The 2,000-kw system, featuring some 8,200 solar panels made by Kyocera Corp., is expected to produce enough electricity to power 420 households.

Installation is set to begin by the end of this month.

All of the electricity generated will be sold to Kyushu Electric Power Co., starting in October.

Daiwa House expects to achieve electricity sales of some ¥80 million annually over the 20 years of the system’s operation.

The Osaka-based homebuilder has already announced a plan to install an 816-kw solar power system on the roof of its plant in Akaiwa, Okayama Prefecture.