Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Interactive systems and coatings for a sustainable built environment

At a glance

Funding body: UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI)
Principal investigators: Dr Richard Ball and Dr Rajnish Kurchania, Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal, India.
Co investigators: Professor Chris Bowen,Dr Kevin Paine,
Professor Mukesh Khar and Dr Suresh Bhalla (ITT Delhi), Professor G D Sharma (J.E.C. Jaipur).

Dates: February 2012-January 2014


The growing population of both the UK and India is leading to an increased demand for housing, industrial sites, civil engineering infrastructure and energy. The growing pressure on our natural resources is also occurring at a time when there is a desire to tackle climate change and minimise pollution in inner city and industrial areas.

The scope of the partnership will provide solutions for polluted cities, promotion of low embodied energy building materials, energy conservation, energy efficiency and industrial/residential pollution monitoring.

Potential applications of the outputs will include new build technologies, retrofit designs of existing buildings/refurbishment, renewable energy sources, low cost building materials, predictive tools using environmental modelling or simulation tools incorporating pollution levels and suitable 'approach' mitigation measure.

The interdisciplinary expertise of the project partners has been specifically chosen to be complementary and will ensure that the output and focus will benefit both the UK and India. The project partners have a broad expertise base to provide interdisciplinary solutions. At the forefront of our mind is that the proposed project must seed and develop new research areas between the partner institutions in the medium and long term.


This project aims to advance novel materials based solutions to meet the objectives by a holistic approach. The objectives will be achieved by the development of materials coatings and engineering systems. A key feature of this work will be the use of an integrated approach combining advanced materials fabrication, analytical and modelling techniques that will bring together complementary disciplines in science and engineering from the partner institutions of University of Bath, UK (UoB), Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal (MANIT) , IIT Delhi and JNV University Jodhpur.

Project need and demand

Recent advances in science and technology provide new opportunities for buildings to interact with both internal and external environments through developing novel coatings and systems. The objectives below will develop active coatings, new materials and modelling tools to:

  • Reduce harmful pollutant gases in the outside atmosphere
  • Eliminate surface pathogens including bacteria, viruses and fungus
  • Generate new forms of alternative/renewable energy
  • Enhance sustainability by using low embodied energy and waste materials
  • Provide solutions for efficient, sustainable and affordable construction technologies
  • Contribute to strategies addressing climate change and the Kyoto agreement.
  • Improve the indoor environment through identification of harmful volatile organic pollutants, monitoring protocols and strategies for reduction.


The following articles document the joint academic research activities promoted by the UKIERI partnership.

  1. Pesce, G. L., Ball, R. J., Bowen, C. R., Kurchania, R. and Bhalla, S., 2012. Monitoring hydration in lime - metakaolin composites. In: Russell, M., ed. 32nd Cement & Concrete Science Conference, 17-18 September 2012, Queens University Belfast, Belfast. , pp. 116-121.
  2. Pesce, G. L., Kurchania, R., Bowen, C. R., Bhalla S. and Ball, R. J., 2012. Monitoring hydration in lime - metakaolin composites. In: Ferreira, V. M., Dias, A. B., Afonso, A. S. and de Brito, J., eds. Congress of Innovation on Sustainable Construction (CINCOS'12), 20-22 September 2012, University of Aveiro, Portugal. , pp. 319-328.
  3. Sharma, G. D., Kurchania, R., Ball, R. J., Roy, M. S. and Mikroyannidis, J. A., 2012. Effect of deoxycholic acid on the performance of liquid electrolyte dye-sensitized solar cells using a perylene monoimide derivative. International Journal of Photoenergy, 2012, 983081.1.
  4. Sharma, G. D., Mikroyannidis, J. A., Roy, M. S., Justin Thomas, K. R., Ball, R. J. and Kurchania, R., 2012. Dithienylthienothiadiazole-based organic dye containing two cyanoacrylic acid anchoring units for dye-sensitized solar cells, RSC Advances, DOI: 10.1039/c2ra21718j.