Toolkit on Building-Level Cooling and Ventilation Systems in South Asia

Toolkit on Building-Level Cooling and Ventilation Systems in South Asia


Extreme heat adversely affects human health and day-to-day activities. It inhibits the physiological processes by restricting bodily heat, leading to the rise of core body temperature and water loss to perspiration. It is crucial to equally prioritize energy efficiency, thermal comfort, and indoor air quality when addressing the global cooling challenge. Furthermore, the holistic approach should also account for the local climatic and socio-economic contexts to ensure ease of adoption. This approach should provide climate-zone-specific solutions for improving energy efficiency, thermal comfort, and indoor air quality through relevant interventions. These interventions include spatial design techniques (e.g., passive design elements and microclimatic modifications) and construction technologies (e.g., insulated cavity walls and cool roofs).

This project titled ‘Building-Level Cooling and Ventilation Systems in South Asia’ supported by World Bank aims to prepare a toolkit report addressing the indoor cooling and ventilation systems in South Asia – particularly in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. The project aims to leverage the existing scientific resources to devise energy-efficient and affordable solutions to enhancing indoor thermal comfort and IAQ while emphasizing the aspects of holistic occupant well-being, productivity, and resilience of the indoor environment.

The geographic scope of this project includes Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan while broadly addressing the climatic contexts of Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The scope of the final project output – the toolkit report – will be limited to the existing international and regional literature on energy efficiency, thermal comfort, indoor air quality, and the existing market-available products. The report will provide concise, evidence-based guidance on energy-efficient and cost-efficient cooling and ventilation systems that enhance the health and productivity of the occupants. The toolkit will prioritize simple and available building systems based on the review of the local design and operational practices, economics, infrastructure, and operational needs

This project on toolkit aims to establish a localized, scientific understanding of efficiency, comfort, and air quality through a technical review of peer-reviewed literature and regional guidelines. The toolkit report addresses six components :

  • Climate Analysis: Analysis of national and regional outdoor environmental parameters; identification of peak heat discomfort days and the associated heat stress indicators 
  • Building Archetypes and Occupant Behavior: Identification and review of the prevalent building archetypes and typologies and occupant behaviors based on variations in climate and culture. 
  • Envelope Optimization: Identification and review of strategies aimed at enhancing the thermal and ventilative properties of a building envelope using passive design and operation methods as well as construction methods and materials 
  • Cooling, Indoor Air Quality Systems:  Identification and review of active technologies for compressive cooling and air quality improvement; identification of alternative technologies 
  • Information Technology for Buildings: Identification of IT-based interventions for optimized integration into the regional building vernacular with a focus on energy efficiency and occupant well-being 
  • Business Case: Review of economics, feasibility, challenges, and barriers in implementing scientific interventions in buildings; identification of success stories from academia and the industry


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