Pioneering research to develop building performance evaluation in India

Friday, 31 January 2020

Rajat Learn BPE News [2]

Professor Rajat Gupta of the Oxford Brookes Low Carbon Building Research Group has led a pioneering UK-India research study to develop and nurture adoption of building performance evaluation (BPE) in the booming green building marketplace of India.

Learn-BPE is a two and a half year Newton Fund sponsored project worth £100k, delivered in collaboration with the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT University, Gujarat). The funding was made available through the Royal Academy of Engineering. Matt Gregg of the Low Carbon Building Research Group was senior researcher on the project.

The Indian Green Building Council states that India has the second largest registered green building footprint - with over 7 billion square feet - and over 5,424 projects registered for green building ratings. However there is little evidence about the actual energy and environmental performance of green buildings and occupant satisfaction with their design and indoor environment. 

Drawing from research on BPE in the UK and internationally, for the first time, a customised building performance evaluation (I-BPE) approach has been developed and tested for the Indian sub-continent.

The I-BPE framework is designed to operate in the context of Indian building industry – which has less documentation of design decisions, more freedom during construction, fewer tested and certified products, less formalised building operation, and limited access to the costly equipment required for performance evaluation.

The I-BPE framework was applied to ten green-rated building case studies covering 193,375 square metres (seven offices, one educational and three residential developments) located in different climatic zones of India. Linking research and teaching, six Oxford Brookes students from the Masters in Sustainable Architecture programme were sponsored to conduct BPE studies of eight green buildings, as part of their Masters dissertations.

Professor Gupta commented: “Learn-BPE has proven to be an exemplar of UK-India collaboration. The study has shown that in a rapidly developing country like India, there should be a heightened sense of urgency for a widespread adoption of BPE. This will likely need to happen through the formal educational system of architecture and engineering, as well as training of industry professionals through a continuing education approach. Ultimately we need to produce a new cadre of building performance evaluators who are competent across a relevant range of technical and social aspects of building performance. A national building performance evaluation network in India is being developed to address this need.”

The final report of the Learn-BPE project was launched to academics, industry delegates and policy-makers at the International Architectural Science Association Conference in the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India,  towards the end of 2019. The final report of the Learn-BPE project is available here and the I-BPE framework has been published here.

The Chartered Institute of Building Services and Engineers (CIBSE) has written and published an article in the CIBSE journal on the Learn-BPE project, which is available here.

Pictured:Professor Rajat Gupta, second from left