The Twelve Percent Effect – Improvements in Evidence-Based Design Towards Net-Zero Building Performance
Sreejith Jayaram, Suyashi Srivastava, Amanda Thounaojam, Janani Venkatesh, Yashima Jain, Gaurav Vakil | 2022
The building sector in India contributes to about one-fifth of the country’s total CO2 emissions. At COP26, India has committed to achieving net-zero by 2070 (RMI India, 2021). Net-Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) can accelerate the pace at which India can achieve its net-zero goals. Since, approximately 70% of India’s buildings for 2040 are yet to be built, these can be designed, built and operated as NZEBs. There is significant scarcity of workforce and lack of training in college curricula about NZEBs. Solar Decathlon India (SDI) competition addresses this by enabling student teams to learn and design real NZEBs. The participating teams were provided learning resources and Building Performance Simulation (BPS) tools. This paper reports on an analysis of the final submissions over two years to evaluate their ability produce evidence-based designs for their projects. A similar analysis after the first year’s submissions revealed areas of weakness in the students’ ability to provide evidence-based designs, and additional resources and training were provided to teams and faculty in the second year to improve BPS skills. We observed that 12% more teams who provided evidence for their designs in the second year. Evidence for daylighting strategies saw the largest increase of 37%, and natural ventilation strategies were next at 18% increase. This research identified areas where students were able to provide BPS based evidence and the interventions improved their ability to do that.