University of Bath architecture experts will embark on a roadshow across three major Indian cities this week, sharing their knowledge on designing energy-efficient buildings that are resilient to climate change, and unveiling a new design manual made specifically for India.

The CREEDA roadshow – the title is short for Climate Resilient Energy Efficient Design in Architecture – stops in New Delhi on Monday 13 March, Mumbai on Friday 17 March and Chennai on Monday 20 March.

It aims to offer architects, engineers and designers a new way to learn how to design super-efficient, low carbon buildings using free tools and data created by Bath researchers. Attendees will be immersed in the process of designing buildings that are resilient to a changing climate and highly energy efficient.

Professor Sukumar Natarajan, who is leading the delegation, says: “CREEDA’s goal is to enable architects to engage with low energy and low carbon building design. In India, as in many parts of the world, architects ‘leave’ this aspect to engineering colleagues who come in late in the design process, when most of the decisions that will influence the building’s final performance have already been made.

“CREEDA lowers the cost and skill barriers for architects in India through an easy-to-read manual that uses free tools and data developed at the University of Bath.

“Our roadshow provides one day training in the use of the CREEDA manual followed by ongoing technical support until the end of 2024, during which period we also hope to learn and improve the manual based on feedback from our participating architects.”

Playful knowledge and free tools

The CREEDA acronym is inspired by a Sanskrit word krīḍā, meaning ‘the act of play’ – the roadshow aims to reflect this in a ‘learning by doing’ approach. Rather than teaching concepts or calculations the events will show participants how to reason out a strategy for a building design at the very early stage, even before drawings are made, by letting them play with tools through a process of self-education.

The manual contains a series of building case studies, based on real buildings at various stages of construction. It explains how to transform data for these case studies into truly low-energy climate reliant building designs, using free tools including the Bath-developed Zero Energy Building Reduced Algorithm (ZEBRA) and the Zero Peak Energy Building Design for India (ZED-i) weather database.

ZEBRA is a free and simple tool for modelling the energy and carbon performance of buildings.

ZED-i is a series of current and future weather data files outlining average and extreme weather for all of India, which allows designers and architects to tailor their design to ensure a building will be resilient and liveable throughout its lifetime.

Prof Natarajan adds: “Our target audience includes architectural practices and design consultancies that perhaps have a desire to deliver high performance buildings but might not have the knowledge, skills, tools or data to do so. At our roadshow, we hope to not only meet and show practices what our tools and data can do but also learn from each practice on how we can evolve our work further.

“Our tools and data are completely free, and our goal is for them to remain free to ensure that barriers to entry are low and that as many practices as possible pick up the skills needed to transform the built environment in India.”

The CREEDA roadshow was conceived by the University’s Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, and is funded by the British Council, the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), India’s Department of Science and Technology, and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CRDI).

It is organised in India by HCDC Designs, Partnerships for Sustainable India and the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee.

The roadshow events will take place at:

  • 13 March - India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
  • 17 March - Radisson, Mumbai
  • 20 March - Taj Connemara, Chennai

Attendance is by invitation and limited to a maximum of two per practice or organisation. Interested parties can apply via this link.