GERES has just completed insulation work on more than 280 public buildings incorporating energy-efficient techniques.
In 2002, the international community decided to support the reconstruction of Afghanistan. For both funders and the Afghan authorities, the priority was public buildings, especially in the health and education sectors.
GERES, the Group for the Environment, Renewable Energy and Solidarity, has taken part in implementing the project in the field and, above all, worked to introduce energy-efficient techniques in buildings.
Improving buildings, a vital community need
Climatic conditions in Afghanistan are harsh, with winter temperatures sometimes dropping as low as -35°C. In this mountainous country, less than 10% of the urban population has access to electricity, essentially deriving its energy sources from biomass. Used as fuel, the latter is becoming increasingly scarce and not renewed, with a direct impact on global warming.
GERES has developed solutions to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, combining the techniques of passive solar architecture and thermal insulation (particularly through the use of double glazing and polystyrene panels). These improvements have led to better comfort and temperature increases of between 5 and 10°C.
Disseminating solutions on a wide scale
More than 176,000 m2 of energy-efficient buildings have already been completed. These improvements reduce fuel consumption by 50% with only 10% additional construction cost in comparison with a classic building.
To ensure the continuity of the work, GERES has trained 1100 entrepreneurs so that they can replicate the techniques in the field and is supporting six local businesses to produce energy-efficient equipment that used to be unavailable in Afghanistan.
In addition, a guide has just been published to illustrate the techniques, so that rebuilding Afghanistan can go hand-in-hand with energy management.