Logo - CCME
Banner Main – Digital Issue

Balance Versus Indispensability

While regulation is hailed as an ally in the efforts to raise the bar on energy efficiency and health, government officials, the very architects of regulation, speak of the need for a balanced approach.

| | May 7, 2014 | 3:18 pm
Share this story
B Surendar

B Surendar

While regulation is hailed as an ally in the efforts to raise the bar on energy efficiency and health, government officials, the very architects of regulation, speak of the need for a balanced approach. Too much of regulation and too soon, they say, could have a ripple effect across the entire manufacturing and supply chain, with the eventual cost of technological upgrades to match the needs of regulation, likely to be passed on to the customer; simply put, they say it is about affordability.

For instance, a code that places a demand on all owners of existing buildings to re-insulate their structures or to retrofit the ducting systems, will likely be an insurmountable challenge for some. They simply will not be able to bear the cost of tearing down the existing ducting network and the likely disruption to tenants, who might choose to leave, thus depriving the owner of rental income.

At the same time, a case can perhaps be made for the indispensability of regulation in certain circumstances. There will be those that will call for its enforcement, no matter the economic costs involved. The necessity, in their view, can come from new health concerns, say.

At a recent roundtable on paints that we organised and conducted, manufacturers and consultants spoke of the use of anti-microbial paints in hospitals and debated at length on whether they ought to be also considered for residential and commercial buildings or not. Those in favour of a more democratic coating approach argued that all humans deserved the apparent benefits of anti-microbial paints.

Likewise, a case could be made for the mandatory use of UV lamps to disinfect all fresh-air-handling units or in the ducting to disinfect the system. Much in the same way, a case could be made for mandatory installation of carbon monoxide sensors in residential units, especially kitchens, in order to prevent poisoning; it is mandatory to use the sensors in some countries.

The dichotomy involving regulation is worth pondering. There is a need to find a sweet spot, with leeway as well as the tightening of the reins factored in, as per health or similar critical concerns, but it’s easier said than done. Finding the spot, though, would determine the success of a country in achieving its social, economic and health goals.


Share this story

Feedback for this story

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *