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Strategic framework for Net Zero Energy Campus in India: A case of CEPT University Campus (2016)

Amiya Behera, Yash Shukla, Rajan Rawal
Absract: To achieve indoor environmental comfort conditions and to facilitate economic activities, building occupants use electric energy. In conventional scenario electric grid provides electricity to buildings. This study attempts to evaluate feasibility of CEPT University campus – an academic, research and development facility located in hot and dry climate zone in India, to become net zero energy campus. A pilot case has been taken as a preliminary study of the research work. Study starts with detailed monitoring of indoor environmental comfort parameters such as temperature, humidity, energy used for various functions such as HVAC, lighting and plug loads, of a newly established net zero energy building located at Anand, Gujrat. While studying this, concurrent energy generation from roof top solar PV was also studied. In second stage campus was divided into number of electrical zones and individual or group of buildings according to electrical loads and locations, were monitored for its energy use. This exercise provides energy consumption profile. CEPT University campus being an academic, research and development, it has varied operation schedule across the year. Campus also hosts indoor spaces with high diversity of use, such as design studios, seminar rooms, library, administration, workshops and ancillary activities. Hence it is important to conduct year round monitoring to capture yearly electricity usage profile, Solar roof top PV generation and indoor environmental conditions. Synthesis of collected data was analysed. Considering availability of areas for solar roof top PV installation, final observations were made to suggest feasibility of net zero energy campus of CEPT university. Study was taken further to develop framework of renewable energy generation installations, economic analysis and technical potential.

Presented at: 15th International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies (SET 2016)

Residential buildings in India: Energy use projections and savings potentials (2015)

Yash Shukla, Rajan Rawal, Sophie Shnapp
Abstract: As energy consumption from residential buildings is predicted to rise by more than eight times by 2050, it is of vital importance for India to develop energy-efficiency strategies focused on the residential sector to limit the current trend of unsustainable escalating energy demand. This study investigates impeded growth in energy consumption in the Indian residential sector and documents energy saving potentials that can be achieved with the focused policy and market efforts. The study specifically focuses on assessing the role of building envelopes in relation to comfort air conditioning systems and appliances in order to ensure energy efficient dwellings for urban and rural residential sectors.

The study conducted a survey of 800 households, in four-climate zones of India, to map current equipment penetration rate and electricity consumption patterns. Key information including residential unit area, monthly energy consumption, connected load, number of appliances & their power rating, as well as operational patterns, has been gathered in a survey. Building energy modeling (using EnergyPlus) was then deployed to quantify comfort benefits and energy savings potentials of better performing building envelopes.

The trends observed during survey and building energy modeling analysis, along with the information from past studies, have been used to derive residential electric energy projections till 2050. The projections in the study have been segregated by three end use segments (air conditioning, envelope, and equipment) for urban and rural residential sectors. Projection scenarios show that the electricity consumption will rise by more than eight times under the business-as-usual scenario. With the focused policy and market efforts, the electricity rise in residential sectors can be restricted to five times, four times, and three times that of current energy use under modest, aggressive, and very aggressive scenarios.

Presented at: ECEEE 2015 Summer Study on energy efficiency
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Approach to Building Energy Codes implementation in India (2015)

Rajan Rawal, Prasad Vaidya, Sanyogita Manu
Abstract: Various works carried out by Centre for Advanced Research in Building Science and Energy (CARBSE) at CEPT University, Ahmedabad, has been discussed in this paper. The objective of this project was also to develop a framework for Third Party Assessor (TPA) model to facilitate ECBC compliance and enforcement. The proposed Third Party Assessor framework can resolve the issues of capacity and expertise to enforce ECBC at the local government level. However, coordinating with different government agencies and other relevant stakeholders to incorporate the TPA framework would be a challenging and time-consuming initiative. A tiered approach to ECBC compliance has been proposed wherein, Tier 1 includes those requirements of ECBC that are easy for market adoption, have a high energy savings potential, and are enforceable through the current building permit process, while tiers 2 and 3 include additional measures of ECBC that are more difficult to implement or enforce, given the current practices, and have a lower potential for energy conservation.

Presented at: International Conference on Energy Efficiency in Buildings (ICEEB), December 17-18, New Delhi, 2015.
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Assessment of Air Velocity Preferences and Satisfaction for Naturally Ventilated Office Buildings in India (2015)

Sanyogita Manu, Rajan Rawal, Yash Shukla
Abstract: Free-running buildings (i.e. naturally ventilated buildings with no mechanical systems for heating or cooling) have the potential to be much more energy efficient than air-conditioned buildings. This paper is based on approximately 3200 instantaneous thermal comfort and 1500 long term background survey datasets from a large scale field study conducted in free-running Indian office buildings. Responses to air movement satisfaction and air movement preference questions, together with concurrent measurements of indoor environmental parameters of air and globe temperature, relative humidity and air velocity are used for this study. The paper gives an insight into the operation of ceiling fans and windows, and the range of air velocity experienced by office workers in free-running office buildings. It gives the relationship between measured indoor air velocity, concurrent air and globe temperature and relative humidity. Instantaneous responses are correlated with the on-site observations on window and ceiling fan operation, as well as indoor environmental measurements. The assessment of preferred air velocity from ceiling fans and operable windows as an adaptive measure in this paper contributes to the development of better designed free-running office buildings in India.

Presented at: 30th International PLEA Conference, December 2014, Ahmedabad
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Impact of movable external shading systems on daylight availability of office building in hot and dry climate of India (2015)

Chinmay Patel, Rajan Rawal, Agam Shah
Abstract: As our fast interdepended global world enters the depth of the 21st century, everyone’s immediate attention is to mitigate climate change by various means. One of the proven methods to address climate mitigation is to reduce energy consumption in buildings. The war with global energy crisis is getting intense every second we breathe. Over all buildings account for approximately 40% of global energy consumption (1), most of which is used in making buildings comfortable. Heating Ventilating and Air-conditioning systems (HVAC) and electric lighting does take significan portion of total operational energy consumption. Various materials have influenced architectural aesthetics in recenttimes. Glass is one of them. Uses of glass in fenestration without any shading strategy have adversly affected energy consumption of building. In the current architectural scenario in the country it can be observed that commercial buildings are largely becoming energy intensive in nature, which means that a lot of energy is used in cooling, lighting and running the equipment In this context(2). This study focuses on shading strategy and a solution which meets current requiremeht of architectural aesthestics, possibility of scaling them up and its cost effectiveness. By adding a dynamic shaidng skin over the building’s envelop static skin can lead to drastic reduction in energy loads and increasing thermal and visual comfort at the same time. Keeping materials, finishing and geometry into consideration the design possilities are immense and can indulge the deisgner in varied possibilities. Study provides insight into visual and energy performance of shading devices. The study relies on field measurements and numerical calculations to understand its effectiveness.

Keywords: Daylighting, dynamic shading device, louvers, office building, hot and dry, India,

Presented at: 31st International PLEA Conference. Bologna, Italy. 2015

Daylight Performance Evaluation of Laser cut panel in Office buildings – a case of Indian cities (2015)

Hema Mulchandani, Rajan Rawal, Agam Shah, Yash Shukla, Charlie Curcija, Sekhar Nori
Abstract: Daylight in office buildings can significantly contribute in lighting energy savings. In addition, daylight improves the occupant’s working environment, performance, health and well-being. Large floor plates for offices accommodates open plan layout, which help to meet contemporary functions of offices. In such cases dependence on electric light increase, leading to higher lighting energy consumption. Limited technologies are available to increase penetration of daylight into the large floor plates. Laser Cut Panels (LCP) is one of the promising technologies, helping reduce electric lighting consumption by illuminating larger floor plates with daylight. This study investigates performance of LCP in three locations in India. Study starts with to develop Bi-directional scattering distribution function (BSDF) to be used within simulation program that assesses the solar and optical performance of LCP. Study relies on combination simulation program such as EnergyPlus for daylight analysis, Ecotect for LCP geometry, Radiance genBSDF for generating BSDF data and visualizations.

A business as usual case of a typical office floor plate was considered as reference model. Three variations in LCP geometry and design, three variations in window to wall ratio, combination of LCP on four orientation of window was investigated. Results generated from simulation run are then analyzed in terms of electric light energy savings and spatial distribution of daylight for different variables.

Keywords: Daylight Performance, Laser cut panel, Bi-directional scattering distribution function
Presented at: 14th Conference of International Building Performance Simulation Association, Hyderabad, India, Dec. 7-9, 2015
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What do the traditional pol houses teach us for contemporary dwellings in India? (2017)

Rajan Rawal, Devarsh Kumar, Sanyogita Manu
Abstarct: Indian real estate is trying to find appropriate solutions to provide thermally comfortable dwellings using passive design strategies. Historically, a big part of architectural teaching has been focused on learning about climate responsive strategies from vernacular buildings. However, such knowledge sharing was based more on observational studies as opposed to long-term scientific field studies with quantitative outcomes. The authors believe rigorous scientific enquiry is required to understand the performance of vernacular dwellings in order to encourage the use of climate responsive strategies. This study looks at the vernacular dwellings, called pol houses, as well as the contemporary dwellings to assess their thermal comfort performance. Indoor environmental conditions in these houses were monitored hourly for a year. Outdoor conditions were also recorded using a weather station simultaneously. Selected dwellings were compared on the basis of area, occupancy and socio-economic background. Thermal performance of these houses was evaluated against two models – the India Model for Adaptive Comfort (IMAC) and the ASHRAE Standard-55 adaptive model.

Keywords: Vernacular dwellings, Contemporary dwellings, Climate responsive design, India Model for Adaptive Thermal Comfort, Ahmedabad
Presented at: PLEA 2017 Edinburgh, Design to Thrive
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Building Bridges or Chasms? Separating energy efficiency education for better integration (2017)

Sanyogita Manu, Prasad Vaidya, Rajan Rawal
Abstarct: India is witnessing a buzz of activity to promote energy efficiency in buildings at national and regional levels. These efforts range from policy measures, international programs, training courses and educational programs, research projects, advocacy programs by various organizations to individual efforts to design, construct and operate energy efficient buildings. Lack of technical knowledge and capacity building has often been cited as one of the most important barriers to achieve real results. Due to the rapid increase in construction, it is imperative that energy efficiency be integrated seamlessly with the current industry practices. With that aim, multiple efforts have been made to integrate sustainable building design education with the existing architectural curriculum – if it has to be integrated in practice, it needs to be integrated in academics. This, however, has not proven to be a successful strategy, primarily because architecture curricula are set and there is an inertia to change what has worked for decades. This paper presents a detailed case study of a post graduate program in Building Energy Performance at one of the premier architecture and design universities in India. In doing so, it establishes the need for a paradigm shift and offers an alternative pathway of a specialized education curriculum and pedagogical approach, by introducing a new credible building professional into the design team who takes responsibility of the energy performance.

Presented at: PLEA 2017 Edinburgh, Design to Thrive
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Supported by:

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Govt. of India, Gujarat Energy Development Agency, U.S. Agency for International Development iNDEXTb (Industrial Extension Bureau) Govt. of Gujarat, Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, New Delhi