Researchers awarded Newton Fund grant for sustainable buildings project in India

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Newton Fund for research on energy efficiency in India

Oxford Brookes University is collaborating with CEPT University in India on research to ensure that the energy efficiency of buildings in India is realised in practice.

The project is entitled Learning Building Performance Evaluation for Improved Design and Engineering (Learn-BPE). It will entail research and education activities to develop new knowledge, tools and skills amongst researchers, postgraduate students and practitioners of engineering and architecture.

This will help to evaluate the actual performance of green buildings in India. The project will develop and validate post-occupancy building performance evaluation (BPE) methodology through field studies.

Professor Rajat Gupta, UK lead of Learn-BPE project and Director of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) at Oxford Brookes University, said: “The sustainable building design movement in India is missing an important link in ensuring that the design intent of such buildings is actually realised.

“Currently, there is no formal, evidence-based platform to ascertain the actual performance and occupant satisfaction in relation to the building design and indoor environment. In most countries, but especially in India the design, engineering, construction and operation of buildings are carried out by different entities in different stages of their lifecycle.

“This project will fill the gap created by current practices and the nature of contracts that do not allow a feedback loop between the operation and design stages.”

The Learn-BPE project is worth £96k and has received funding from the Newton Fund through the Royal Academy of Engineering. Newton Fund is part of the UK’s aim to help with science and innovation partnerships that promote the economic development and welfare of targeted developing countries.

The Low Carbon Building (LCB) Group of OISD and the Centre for Advanced Research in Building Science and Energy (CARBSE) at CEPT University will hold a formal launch of the project in Ahmedabad in November 2017, in which Paul Inman (Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Technology, Design and Environment) will offer opening remarks.

Prof Sanyogita Manu from CEPT University is the India lead on the project, along with Prof Prasad Vaidya from CEPT University who acts as project mentor. Matt Gregg from LCB group is Researcher on the project.

This news comes after the Low Carbon Building Group launched a two-year United Nations funded research project titled MaS-SHIP in October 2016, which seeks to promote sustainability in terms of environmental performance, affordability and social inclusion as an integrated part of social housing in India.

More information about the Low Carbon Building Group can be found on the School of Architecture webpages.

More information about the Learn-BPE project can be found at www.learn-bpe.org

Following the launch, Professor Rajat Gupta will be giving a lecture at CEPT University on 4 November entitled ‘Evaluating Housing Performance using Energy Mapping and Building Performance Evaluation: Insights from UK’.