Professor Rajat Gupta


Professor of Sustainable Architecture and Climate Change, Director of OISD and LCB Group

School of Architecture

Rajat Gupta


Rajat Gupta is Director of the multi-disciplinary Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) and Low Carbon Building Research Group. He holds senior professorial chair in sustainable architecture and climate change at level 4 (highest level). 

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

  • Building performance evaluation: ARCH 7025

Professor Gupta’s teaching interests lie in building performance evaluation (BPE) and low carbon building technologies. He has taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the School (formerly Department) of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University. Currently he leads a postgraduate module on building performance evaluation (formerly post-occupancy building evaluation) (since 2004) as part of the MSc Sustainable Architecture: Evaluation and Design. From 2008-2011, Prof Gupta developed and led the Low carbon building technologies (LCBT) module (2008-2011), as part of the MSc Sustainable Building: Performance and Design programme. These modules are informed by cutting-edge research on carbon counting, building performance evaluation and low carbon building.

The BPE module (one of its kind) uses an innovative experiential learning-by-doing approach, whereby students, in groups of three or four, assess the actual sustainability performance of real case study buildings and live projects designed by leading architectural practices such as Penoyre & Prasad Architects, PRP Architects and Ridge & Partners. Learning from the BPE studies are shared with the respective design and engineering practices through reports and student-led workshops (held in architects’ offices), resulting in effective collaborations between academia and industry.


Current supervisor of PhD students as Director of Studies in Oxford Brookes University:

  1. Luka Oreskvoic (Expected completion 2021), Evaluating the real environmental performance of an exemplar eco-housing development in Oxfordshire
  2. Jonida Murataj (Expected completion 2022), Investigating the most effective retrofitting strategies for improving comfort and energy use in residential buildings in Albania

PhD students supervised to successful completion:

  1. Marina Topouzi (2016) Occupants’ interaction with low-carbon retrofitted homes and its impact on energy use. Oriel College, University of Oxford, UK (As Second Supervisor)
  2. Joaquim Flores (2014) Introduction of energy efficiency measures in the refurbishment of traditional buildings in Porto, Portugal. Oxford Brookes University, UK (As Second Supervisor)
  3. Robert Irving (2013) Assessing the potential of heat pumps to reduce energy-related carbon emissions from UK housing. (As Director of Studies)
  4. Paula Naukkarinen (2012) Energy-efficient renovation of hotels: the case of Cyprus (As Director of Studies)
  5. Daniel Santana (2011) Socio-technical study of water use and conservation in Brazilian dwellings (As Director of Studies)
  6. Ahmadreza Foruzanmehr (2010) Integrating vernacular passive-cooling systems into modern buildings in warm dry climates of Iran (As Director of Studies)

External PhD examination:

  1. Andrew Marsh (2021) Thermal control in UK student accommodation. University College London, UK
  2. Mikkel Poulsen Rydborg (2020) Climate change adaptation of low-energy, low-rise housing in oceanic climate zones. Aalborg University, Denmark
  3. Salah Krimly (2020) Prospects for improvement in the design of residential building in Jeddah integrating passive ventilations technology and enhanced social interaction. University of Nottingham, UK
  4. Martin Fletcher (2020) Thermal comfort in sport facilities: an evaluation of conventional methods and perspectives. Leeds Beckett University, UK
  5. Sleiman Farah (2019) Impacts of climate change and use of energy storage in residential solar systems on the grid. University of South Australia, Australia
  6. Rajat Aggrawal (2018) Optimization of energy efficient building envelopeIIT Delhi, INDIA
  7. Michelle Lakeridou (2017) The potential for introducing minimum cooling set points in air conditioned offices: a UK case study. University College London, UK
  8. Md Mohataz Hossain (2017) Improving environmental condition of workspaces of multi-storied ready-made garment factories in Bangladesh. University of Nottingham, UK
  9. James Pittam (2016) Thermal analysis of residential housing.Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland
  10. Tia Kansara (2016) Impact of increasing temperatures on thermal comfort and energy demand of transition zones in Abu Dhabi. Re-submission and re-viva. University College London, UK
  11. Yanti Chen (2015) What is the relationship between design excellence and building performance, with particular reference to award-winning schools in the UK.University of Nottingham, UK
  12. Matt Fox (2015) Thermography approaches for building defect detection.University of Plymouth, UK
  13. Michele Agha-Hossein (2014) POE studies of an office environment.University of Reading, UK
  14. Tia Kansara (2014) The impact on thermal comfort, health and energy consumption by a 1ºC intervention on building transitional zones in Abu Dhabi.University College London, UK
  15. Rebecca Collins (2014) Local Projects for Sustainable Energy. Birmingham City University, UK
  16. N Zaid (2013) Measuring GHG emissions in Malaysian low-cost housingUNSW, AUSTRALIA
  17. Miroslava Kavgic (2013) A city-scale physically disaggregated bottom-up energy model: technical options for decarbonising Belgrade residential stockUniversity College London, UK
  18. Jonathan Taylor (2012) Predicting Microbial Risk in Flooded London Dwellings, Using Microbial, Hygrothermal, and GIS Modelling.University College London, UK
  19. Meenakshi Sahu (2011) Optimization of energy efficient building envelopeIIT Delhi, INDIA
  20. Cathryn M Hamilton (2011) The role of local government to support community carbon reduction: an analysis of capacity to act and climate change governance,University of South Australia, AUSTRALIA

Internal PhD examination:

  1. Shahaboddin Resalati (2015) An assessment methodology for enviro-economic justification of new low and zero carbon building technologiesOxford Brookes University, UK


Rajat’s research interests lie in evaluating building performance from a socio-technical perspective, smart energy systems, local area energy mapping, scaling up energy retrofits, indoor air quality and overheating in care settings and homes. As Principal Investigator (PI) he has won over £13 million in research grants from UK Research Councils (EPSRC, ESRC, NERC), EU, Innovate UK, United Nations and industry to investigate these subjects.

Rajat has been academic lead on major interdisciplinary research projects that include evaluating the impacts of low carbon communities using action research (£1.14 m ESRC/EPSRC energy and communities EVALOC project, RES-628-25-0012), suburban neighbourhood adaptation for a changing climate (SNACC, EP/G060959/1), scaling up energy retrofits (Innovate UK LEMUR project) and smart storage and local sharing of solar electricity in a cluster of dwellings in Oxford (Innovate UK ERIC project).

Rajat is currently PI of the £1.3 million EPSRC-DST Newton Fund sponsored RESIDE project on residential building energy demand reduction in India (EP/R008434/1, 2017-2022) that was ranked no. 1 amongst 22 proposals. He was UK lead of the successfully-completed RAEng Newton Fund project on customising building performance evaluation for India (Learn-BPE, £50k, 2017-2019) which led to the development and application of a customised BPE protocol (I-BPE) for 10 green buildings in India. Rajat was also leader of the United Nations funded project on mainstreaming sustainable social housing in India (MaS-SHIP, 2017-2019, £140k) that produced a sustainability assessment toolkit for housing developers and policy briefings for the Government.

Rajat is presently Co-Investigator (Co-I) on the £8 million EPSRC EnergRev project on scaling up smart local energy systems, PI of the £382k EPSRC EnergyREV Plus project on smart energy tools for enhancing user engagement in local energy projects (EP/S03188X/1) and lead academic in the Innovate UK £13.8 million smart local energy system demonstrator, Local Energy Oxfordshire (Project reference: 104781). He is also lead academic on two UK Government BEIS funded projects - £1.2 million Tcosy2 project on Holistic cost-efficient cladding system with integrated mechanical ventilation and £712k Breathe project on Bringing Renewable Energy Automation To Homes Everywhere. Rajat was leader of a Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) funded seminal study on ‘Care provision fit for a future climate’ that monitored overheating risk in four care homes outside London. He is currently Co-I on two NERC funded projects worth £1.09million on climate resilience of care settings (NE/T013729/1 and NE/S016767/1). He has also led a Building Performance Network sponsored study on State of the Nation Review of Housing Performance in the UK.

Rajat is Director of the international Passive and Low Energy Architecture (PLEA) network and member of the EPSRC and ESRC peer review colleges. He was scientific chair of the international Architectural Science Association (ASA) 2019 conference held in IIT Roorkee (India) and attended by 200 delegates. Rajat has lectured widely (UK, Europe, North America, Australia and Asia) and delivered 50 conference keynotes. He has produced over 150 peer-reviewed publications that include strategic research papers on the future direction of energy demand research and evaluation of an innovative national deep renovation programme, as well as reports for UNEP/UNFCCC on greening housing and climate change adaptation of the built environment.

Rajat is on the editorial boards of Energy and Buildings journal (Elsevier), International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development (Taylor & Francis) and Advances in Building Energy Research journal (Taylor & Francis). Rajat is currently external examiner for the MSc Energy and Sustainable Building Design programme at the School of Energy & Sustainable Development, De Montfort University. He has been a member of external validation panels for Masters Programmes in the Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture and University of Bath. He has examined 20 PhD students in the UK, India, Republic of Ireland, Denmark and Australia.

Research grants and funding

Funder Project Title Grant reference
Start-End (MM/YR)
Value to OBU
Total grant


Radical decarbonisation of social housing through whole house energy retrofits (REFINE)

Grant no. 104781

01/21 - 06/22




Next generation world class lab on building performance

Grant no. FA02151

12/20 - 03/21



Innovate UK

Decarbonising your home

Grant no. 81868

10/20 - 05/21




The health and equity impacts of climate change mitigation measures on indoor and outdoor air pollution exposure (HEICCAM)


09/20 - 08/23




Governing the Climate Adaptation of Care Settings


05/20 - 08/22



Innovate UK

Smart local energy demonstrator: Local Energy Oxfordshire

Grant no. 104781

04/19 - 03/23




EnergyREV Plus – Smart energy tools for enhancing user engagement with smart energy


04/19 - 09/23




Climate resilience of care settings (ClimaCare)


02/19 - 01/21




Bringing Renewable Energy Automation To Homes Everywhere (BREATHE)

Grant no. D117

01/19 - 03/22




Energy Revolution Research Consortium - Core – EnergyREV Core


12/18 - 09/23




Holistic cost-efficient cladding system with integrated Mechanical ventilation (T-COSY)


09/18 - 09/21




Residential building energy demand reduction in India (RESIDE)


11/17 - 12/22



RAEng Newton Fund

Learning building performance evaluation for improved design and engineering (Learn-BPE)

Grant no. IAPPI\74

04/17 – 10/19



Bicester Living lab

Eco-Bicester Living Lab PhD studentship






Low Carbon European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)


01/17 - 12/19




Mainstreaming sustainable social housing in India (MaS-SHIP)


10/16 - 01/19

£140k ($181k)

£140k ($181k)

Joseph Rowntree

Empirical assessment of summertime overheating in Derwenthorpe, York


08/16 - 01/17




WLP+: Whole Life Performance plus – staff productivity  and indoor environmental quality


02/16 - 01/19



EU H2020

Zero Plus project: positive energy settlements

Grant no: 678407

10/15 - 12/20

€327k (£270k)

€3.6m (£2.7m)

Innovate UK

I-LIFE: insurance-backed warranty for whole life housing energy performance

Project ref: 102472

10/15 - 03/18



Innovate UK

HAPI: management of housing performance information through hindsight, insight and foresight

Project ref: 132112

10/15 - 6/17



Innovate UK

LEMUR: local energy mapping for urban retrofits

Project ref: 132027

9/15 - 11/16



EU H2020

HERON: development of energy-efficient pathways taking into account socio-economic drivers

Grant no: 649690

05/15 - 11/17

€130k (£105k)

€959k (£711k)

Joseph Rowntree

Care provision fit for a future climate

Project id: DER003

2/15 – 4/16



Innovate UK

Project ERIC: Community controlled energy through virtual private energy networks

Project ref: 101997

1/15 – 09/17



Innovate UK

Invest in innovative refurbishment: Innovative refurbishment of internal wall insulation Phase 2

Project ref: 972157

8/13 - 6/15



Innovate UK

Invest in innovative refurbishment: Innovative glazing and ventilation package in a historic building Phase 2


2/13 - 1/16



Innovate UK

Future Cities Solutions: COBWEB: Common Building Energy Platform on the Web


2/13 – 4/13



Innovate UK

Building performance evaluation (BPE) study of Code level 4 homes in Bicester (post construction)


10/12 – 6/13



Innovate UK

In-use BPE of Code level 4 homes in London Borough of Hounslow


10/12 – 9/14



Innovate UK

In-use BPE study of College Lake Visitor Centre in Tring


10/12 – 9/14



Innovate UK

Design for Future Climate: Climate change adaptation strategy for Dragon School, Oxford


4/12 – 7/13




Local Energy Assessment Fund: DECoRuM Carbon Mapping in Bicester


2/12 – 4/12





Land of the MUSCos: Multi-Utility Service Companies to encourage adaptable and resilient infrastructure


12/11 – 11/14



Innovate UK

Evaluator on £8m Building Performance Evaluation programme – technical peer-review of projects


11/11 - 12/15



Innovate UK

In-use BPE study of Angmering Community Centre building in Littlehampton


11/11 – 10/13



Innovate UK

Design for Future Climate: Climate change adaptation strategy for Queen Elizabeth-II hospital


11/11 – 4/13





Higher Education Innovation Fund 5: Developing BPE monitoring protocols


9/11 – 7/13



Innovate UK

In-use BPE study of award-winning Crawley library building in Crawley


3/11 – 9/14




EVALOC: Evaluating the impacts of low carbon communities on localised energy behaviours


01/11 - 03/15



Innovate UK

BPE study of Code level 5 homes in Swindon during post construction & early occupation stage


1/11 – 6/11





HEIF4: Counting the real carbon project

4/10 – 7/11



Innovate UK

Retrofit for the Future Phase 2: Oxford Whole House Carbon Reduction


3/10 – 2/13



Innovate UK

Retrofit for the Future Phase 2: Retrofitting concrete no-fines property to reach 1/8th  of carbon emissions


3/10 – 2/13





SNACC: Adapting suburban neighbourhoods for a changing climate


10/09 – 12/12





Assessing the potential of heat pumps in reducing domestic CO2 in a changing climate


10/07 – 8/11




SHADA: Sustainable Habitat Design Advisor for planning and design of sustainable buildings


01/04 – 05/06

€53k (£40k)

€200k (£149k)

Awards and honours

Date Title of award, honour, recognition Details

Sep 2020

Best Paper Award, Building Simulation & Optimisation (BSO) Conference 2020

Research paper on Spatially-based urban energy modelling approach for enabling energy retrofits in Oxfordshire

Sep 2020

Best Paper Award at SEEDS 2020 Conference

Research paper on Performance of distributed energy resources in three low energy dwellings during the UK lock down

Sep 2019

Best Paper Award at SEEDS 2019 Conference

Research paper on Performance Evaluation Based Claims Process for Insuring Energy Performance of New Dwellings

Sep 2016

Shortlisted entry for RIBA President’s award for outstanding research 2016

Research on  low energy innovative refurbishment and building performance evaluation of a historic town council building shortlisted for the category-learning from projects

Aug 2016

Two Energy awards 2016

Research project Energy Resources for integrated communities (ERIC) shortlisted for both the Innovation Energy Project of the Year and the Residential Energy Project of the Year categories

Dec 2014

Best Paper Award at PLEA 2014 Conference

Research paper on A quiet revolution: Mapping energy use in low carbon communities

Sep 2014

International building science star

Voted as one of 13 international building science stars and joined the Building4Change’s Virtual Academy of Excellence.

Nov 2012

Shortlisted for Domestic Retrofit Project of the Year at Retro-Expo 2012

With Penoyre and Prasad Architects, shortlisted for this national award for the deep low carbon refurbishment and building performance evaluation of a 1990 terrace in London.

Nov 2011

3R award Housing ‘small category’, Architects Journal Retrofit award

With Penoyre and Prasad Architects, won this national award for the deep low-carbon refurbishment and building performance evaluation of a 1990 terrace in London

Sep 2011

Nationwide media coverage of Oxford retrofit project

National newspapers (Guardian, Sunday Mail); TV (BBC); Radio (BBC) on Oxford Whole House Carbon reduction project

Jan 2010

Faculty Associate, Oxford University

Appointed as an expert in the area of climate change and building, at the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment.

Dec 2007

Dean’s award for Outstanding Achievement (Research)

Won the Dean’s award for outstanding research: maintaining constantly high standards of research and publication in sustainable architecture, and developing the research cluster

Feb 2007

Felicitation for the RIBA President’s award

Felicitated by the President of the Indian Institute of Architects for receiving the 2006 RIBA President's Award for Research

Jan 2007

Visiting Fellowship, Arizona State University, USA

As Visiting Fellow to College of Design, conducted research and teaching related to carbon reduction from buildings

Dec 2006

RIBA President’s award for outstanding research (inaugural award)

Winner of the inaugural 2006 RIBA President's Award for Research: outstanding PhD thesis on DECoRuM carbon counting model. Open to international competition.

Dec 2005

Dean’s award for Outstanding Achievement

Won the 2005 Dean’s award for outstanding research and innovation in carbon counting.

Nov 2005

Young Scientist Fellowship, British Council, Switzerland

Selected to attend an international summit on Climate Change and Cities held in Berne, Switzerland

Research impact

Rajat's impact case tudy on carbon mapping (DECoRuM®model) has been returned for REF 2021 (Unit of Assessment: 13) and REF 2014. DECoRuM® is an award-winning Geographic Information System (GIS)-based domestic energy mapping software. It can rapidly and accurately identify appropriate dwellings for area-based energy retrofits at a neighbourhood or city scale.  The DECoRuM® model has provided a range of environmental, public policy and practice benefits to low-carbon community organisations, local authorities, architects and householders.

The JRF funded care provision fit for a future climate project has been widely cited in the National Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017 and led to development of Public Health England’s ‘Beat the Heat: care home overheating checklist’ that has been downloaded by over 2000 care sector organisations.

The EPSRC funded WLP+ project (2016-2019) has shown empirically a link between indoor environment and workplace productivity (8% drop in productivity over 1000ppm of CO2 levels). British Council for Offices (BCO) published the project report and shared the results with FM companies such as Emcor who have applied the project findings for management of their buildings, including the National Air Traffic Service building in Southampton.

The BEIS funded projects on thermal efficiency and demand side response have led to 50% energy reduction in 40 homes in Barnsley and block of flats in Great Yarmouth.

The Indo-UK Newton Fund sponsored Learn-BPE project has for the first time, created a customised version of building performance evaluation (I-BPE) for the Indian green building marketplace, and has been applied to 193,000 square metres of building area, while the decision support toolkit created as part of the UN funded MaS-SHIP project has been taken up by two major developers in India - Mahindra Lifespaces and Adlakha developers.

As part of the Learn-BPE project, 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 in 2018 and 2019. This helped to strongly link research and teaching. Such recognition has helped students to find employment in India and abroad (UAE).

Further information

Centres and institutes



Projects as Principal Investigator, or Lead Academic if project is led by another Institution

  • Clean Heat Streets Phase 2 (led by Samsung) (01/01/2023 - 31/01/2025), funded by: Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, funding amount received by Brookes: £226,304
  • Embedded Researcher Climate -DEFRA/MOJ (24/01/2022 - 24/01/2024), funded by: Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, funding amount received by Brookes: £149,014
  • Passive and Low Energy Architecture network (01/10/2021 - 30/09/2026), funded by: PLEA (Passive and Low Energy Architecture), funding amount received by Brookes: £2,861
  • The health and equity impacts of climate change mitigation measures on indoor and outdoor air pollution exposure (HEICCAM) (led by Univ of Edinburgh) (01/07/2020 - 31/08/2024), funded by: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), funding amount received by Brookes: £34,205
  • 150th Anniversary PhD studentship-Energy Performance Gap (03/04/2017 - 02/04/2020), funded by: Low Carbon Hub, funding amount received by Brookes: £15,000


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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

  • Member of Oxford-Cambridge ARC Universities Group on Zero Carbon initiative, 2021- 2023
  • Steering group member of the interdisciplinary theme on Healthy Ageing & Care Network, Oxford Brookes University, 2020-2022
  • Member of British Standards Institution (BSI) CB/401 committee - Retrofitting Energy Efficiency Measures, 2020 - present
  • Grant panel member of EPSRC End use energy demand technology call 1 (2019) and  call 2 (2020)
  • Judge for the RIBA President's Awards for Research 2019
  • Member of BRAC Domestic Energy Technical Working Group, 2019 - present
  • Director of international Passive and Low Energy Architecture (PLEA) network, 2019-2023
  • External assessor of BEIS-funded £3 million Demonstration of Energy Efficiency Potential (DEEP) research project, 2019-2022
  • Grant panel member for EPSRC/CREDS flexible funding on energy demand solutions, 2019
  • External examiner for the MSc Energy and Sustainable Building Design programme at the School of Energy & Sustainable Development, De Montfort University, 2018-2022
  • Member of UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships programme Peer Review College, 2018 - 2021
  • Member of Senior Academic Promotions Committee, Oxford Brookes University, 2018-2021
  • Founder member of the Building Performance Network (BPN), 2018 - present
  • Member of EPSRC and ESRC Peer Review Colleges, 2017 - present
  • Founder Director of Eco-Bicester Living Lab, 2016 - present
  • Member of BSI committee on Energy Management (SEM/1), 2014 - present
  • Evaluator on the Innovate UK (formerly TSB) £8 million Building Performance Evaluation programme, 2010-2014
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, 2006 - present