Building Bridges or Chasms? Separating Energy Efficiency Education for Better Integration

Sanyogita Manu, Prasad Vaidya, Rajan Rawal | 2017


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.