Rajan Rawal
(Accepting In-Person & Virtual Presentation Requests)
CEPT University
K.L.Campus, Navarangpura, Ahmedabad
380 009
+91 79 6831 0000

Rajan Rawal is a Professor at CEPT University and Senior Advisor of “Centre for Advanced Studies in Building Science and Energy” (CARBSE) at CEPT Research and Development Foundation (CRDF). He teaches energy-efficient built habitat, energy modelling, energy policy at the postgraduate level. His work emphasis is on ‘Energy Performance of Human Habitat’ and ‘Architectural and Building Science Education’. His current focus of the work is on Passive Design Strategies, Net Zero Energy Buildings and Communities, Personal Thermal Comfort Systems and Practices of Adaptive Thermal Comfort Models.

Prof Rawal. is the first Indian architect to receive the status of ASHRAE Fellow and Fellow of International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA). He is also ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer. Prof Rawal led Indo-US Joint Clean Energy R & D Centre - Building Energy Efficiency Sector, and presently leading one of the projects under Indo-UK project on Energy Demand Reduction and Mission Innovation challenge on heating and cooling in buildings from India side. He serves on organizing the council of Global Cooling Prize an innovation competition to develop a climate-friendly residential cooling solution that can provide cooling for all without warming the planet. He is an active member of the International Energy Agency’s various EBC Annexes and Chair Education at the International Building Performance Association (IBPSA). Prof. Rawal has delivered a Keynote address at international conferences and has been recognised as a spirited speaker He has delivered more than 300 lecture presentations in 22 countries in the last few years.

Prof Rajan Rawal has made remarkable contributions in the field of Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC), occupant thermal comfort and building energy efficiency. His contribution to the development of thermal comfort standards in India based on ASHRAE 55, design and construction of NZEB, development of thermal – optical properties database of building construction, hugely impacted educational programs within university and at the national level, that is unparallel in India. He serves on various executive committees and technical committees at the national and international levels, such as the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Bureau of Energy Efficiency India (BEE), and Alliance for Energy-Efficient Economy (AEEE). He is part of the editorial board of three leading journals and has several research papers, book chapters, and projects to his credit.

Adaptive Thermal Comfort - Theory and Practices
Designing and operating buildings as per the adaptive thermal comfort theory can play a crucial role in reducing energy use whilst maintaining the comfort, productivity, and well-being of occupants. The adaptive theory recognises that the occupants’ unique thermal comfort needs depend on their past and present thermal context and vary with the outdoor environmental conditions. This lecture will begin with an introduction to the basis of the adaptive theory and discuss the rudiments of human thermophysiology. It will provide contextualized examples for the audience to associate with real-world experiences to understand the concept of thermal acclimatization. Ensuring an exhaustive overlook of the theoretical rudiments, this lecture will discuss the need to associate policy and practice with the theory of adaptive thermal comfort from the perspective of energy efficiency, thermal comfort, workplace productivity, and general well-being. This will be recaptured in the subsequent sections, which will trace the history of thermal comfort research with an increased emphasis on adaptive thermal comfort research. The lecture will delve deeper into the nuances of the adaptive theory and its real-world applications by emphasising the key design and operational features to be adopted. It will also detail upon the building codes and standards which are consistent with the adaptive theory and discuss the relevance of various global rating systems vis-à-vis the adaptive theory. The presentation will conclude with a discussion of up to four case studies which will establish the relevance and feasibility of the adaptive thermal comfort theory in practice. The lecture will draw references from peer-reviewed publications and the research carried out under the various IEA EBC Annexes; it will be replete with examples from the comprehensive ASHRAE Global Thermal Comfort Database II to acquaint the audience with a high-granularity, open-source database which can prove to be a great source for independent exploration.
Personal Thermal Comfort Systems - Concepts and Approaches
Reduction in the operational energy of buildings is regarded as one of the most effective measures towards limiting long-term climate change. Air conditioning is the single most energy-intensive process in building operation. Air-conditioned buildings are conventionally designed and operated to maintain homogeneous thermal conditions within a temperature range which the occupants regard as acceptable – this range can vary as per the occupants’ thermal preferences and local climatic factors. However, maintaining the entire built volume at a homogeneous temperature can result in high operational energy consumption and lead to dissatisfaction of occupants due to the lack of individual control. Personal Comfort Systems (PCS) localize the thermal experience of indoor spaces by allowing the occupants to create and control desired thermal conditions in their immediate vicinity while allowing the remaining ambient built volume to remain in a relatively under-conditioned state. The contraction of the conditioned zone from the entire built volume to the occupied space leads to a reduced conditioning load and incurs energy savings. This approach also allows the occupants to modulate the extent of local conditioning as per their preference by adjusting the local air velocity, air temperature, orientation, or the state of the operation of the PCS device – this elevates the occupants’ acceptability of their surroundings and induces psychological wellbeing. This lecture will provide a context to the topic of PCS and its various categories as per the mode of operation. It will discuss the design approaches studied by researchers across the world in the last 40 years and detail the research methods specific to each PCS category. The lecture will further touch upon the design conditions to be met for PCS operation vis-à-vis temperature, airflow, and radiant asymmetry while providing an overview of the market readiness of this concept. The lecture will draw references from peer-reviewed publications and the research carried out under IEA EBC Annexe 69.
Net-Zero Energy Buildings - Nuances of Design, Construction, and Operation
Building operation is an energy-intensive process; however, the latest advancements in high-efficiency building envelopes and services, and the popularisation of localized energy conversion methods have enabled the creation of highly optimized Net-Zero Energy Buildings (NZEBs) which effectively do not require any external energy for operation. Conventionally, an NZEB prioritizes the reduction of its operational energy by following a climate-responsive style of architecture and thereafter integrates energy-efficient mechanical, electrical, and plumbing components. Ultimately, it utilizes a localized source of renewable energy such as a solar panel array or wind turbines to cater to its active loads, while remaining a part of the electrical grid for a regulated energy exchange. This lecture will deal with the nuances of the design, construction, and operation of an NZEB in a tropical climate. The initial part of the lecture will explain the rudiments of an NZEB and lay down the topic-specific definitions. Later parts of the lecture will discuss the role of climate-responsive architecture, passive design features, building envelope optimization, HVAC optimization, renewable energy integration, and the variation of building operation with the change in weather conditions and occupancy. It will emphasise the role of the integrated design process and evidence-based design decisions as the key facet in the making of an NZEB while delving into the role of occupant engagement and awareness in the desired operation of the building. The presentation will expand upon the proliferation of advanced control algorithms and machine learning in the automation of an NZEB using a Building Management System (BMS). The presentation will end with up to five case studies to substantiate the design-based learnings in a tropical climatic context and highlight the varied methods of integrating Information Technology with the NZEB. The case studies will also help the audience to briefly explore the design process and operation strategies of each case following an evidence-based approach.