Urban Sustainability and Green Buildings for the 21st century
The Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) at Oxford Brookes University (OBU) recently organised the third consecutive UK-India conference, this time based around the theme of 'Urban sustainability and Green Buildings for the 21st Century' with RICS India and the Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE).
As the first major conference of RICS India, the event was held at the prestigious India International Centre in Delhi, chaired by Dr Rajat Gupta (Reader, Department of Architecture, OBU and OISD: Architecture), Mr Brian Waldy (Chairman, The RICS foundation, UK) and Mr Sachin Sandhir (Country Head, RICS India). Other speakers from OBU included Mr Peter Dent (Principal Lecturer, OISD: International Land Markets and former Head, Department of Real Estate and Construction) who was one of the keynote speakers, and Smita Chandiwala (Research Fellow, Department of Architecture) who was an expert speaker at the workshop on 'environment rating systems for green buildings'. This event aptly built on the past two UK-India conferences on Greening Cities and Events for a lasting legacy (2007) and Sustainable energy technologies and low carbon buildings (2008), organised by Dr Gupta in collaboration with British Council Delhi.
This event attracted about 225 delegates from the world of architecture, planning, construction, real estate and policy-making, who attended a series of plenary sessions and expert workshops on the subject of cities and sustainability; carbon mapping; green building design and performance; sustainable materials and construction; environment rating systems for green buildings; strategies for green buildings-what works; post-occupancy building evaluation; and green buildings in the market-investment and values. The conference speakers included experts from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Government of India; Oxford Brookes University; Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Rorkee; IIT Delhi; The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI); School of Planning and Architecture (SPA); and CASLE. An active Q&A session was held in the closing plenary with experts from UK and India to discuss and debate the linkages between policy, research and practice to help us move rapidly towards a low energy, low carbon and sustainable future.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Deepak Gupta, Secretary of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Government of India, said:
"There is a lack of awareness between consumers, architects and developers about the importance & benefits of green buildings. In this context, conferences such as this one are very important to address these issues amongst the stakeholders. Another important aspect is rating systems used for measuring the greenness of buildings, and it is imperative that rating systems followed in India are synergized with international standards. It's our endeavour that all new government buildings should have a 4-star rating."
Dr Rajat Gupta, Conference Chair from Oxford Brookes University, said:
"We are standing at an important threshold of improving the sustainability of our buildings, towns and cities to address the challenges of increasing climate change, security of energy supply, population growth, resource depletion, growing recession and economic decline. This timely conference has brought together leading international researchers, professionals, policy-makers and other stakeholders to exchange ideas and knowledge in the field of urban sustainability and green buildings. It is hoped that this event acts as an incubator for future collaborations and partnerships between the UK and India."
Mr Peter Dent, a keynote speaker from Oxford Brookes University, added:
"India has a rapidly growing economy. This, in itself raises significant issues about sustainability from economic, environmental and social perspectives. This conference was a forum to help professionals focus on a range of built environment issues. The eclectic approach adopted at the conference produced a lively debate and a frank exchange of views from technical details and policy implementation to behavioural change and sustainability literacy."
The conference also highlighted the need for developing and applying city-wide carbon counting and urban sustainability tools, and aligning Indian environment rating systems such as GRIHA and LEED-India in line with international rating systems. It also called on the building community to avoid 'green washing' by focusing on measuring the 'actual' energy performance of building through post-occupancy evaluation, so that we can move towards evidence-based green building design and performance.
The conference presentations will be available from 15 June 2009 on: oisd/conferences/ukindia09.html
Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development, Oxford Brookes University
The Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) is based within the Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment at Oxford Brookes University in Oxford, UK. It was established in July 2004 and has six main research groups and holds an international reputation for excellence in a number of fields from Architecture to Planning, Real Estate and Construction Management. With over 100 academic and research staff and close links with many of the School’s 1500 students, OISD is regarded as the largest academic research institute in the UK dedicated to research on sustainable development in the built and natural environments. A recent HEFCE report into sustainable development in higher education in England suggests that the OISD is one of the key players in sustainable development research. OISD promotes the active application of research into practice, and some of OISD’s clients include the European Commission, Research Councils (EPSRC, ESRC), the Home Office, the Department of Trade and Industry and the World Bank. OISD is also a member of the UK Green Building Council.
The Architecture research cluster of OISD (OISDA) has a broad range of expertise in areas including carbon counting, energy efficiency and carbon reduction, post-occupancy building evaluation (POE), and sustainable building design and construction. The Unit has had a profound impact on the UK and international fronts with its work on carbon-counting and thermal comfort. OISDA also has vast experience of conducting POE studies of a range of buildings - residential, offices, healthcare, schools and local authority-owned building stock. The researchers of the unit have also prepared guidance on benchmarks for sustainable buildings for the Further Education Sector. OISDA also runs a popular Masters programme on Sustainable Building: Performance and Design.
The Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE)
CASLE was formed in 1969 as a federation of independent professional societies representing Surveying and Land Economy in Commonwealth countries. Its formation was inspired by the Commonwealth Foundation and CASLE collaborates with the Foundation in seeking to ensure that every country develops the quantity and quality of skills it requires in surveying and land economy and in the management of natural resources and the environment.
As well as being accredited by the Commonwealth, CASLE is an accredited NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and is closely involved in many aspects of the implementation of the Habitat agenda. CASLE helps to develop techniques and practices attuned to national needs and the provision of national programmes of continuing professional development designed keep the profession up-to-date. To this end it organises conferences, lecture tours and publications, including manuals on selected topics which are judged to be of prime importance to the profession. CASLE focuses on the role of the profession in planning and implementing national programmes of social and economic development, specifically in the management of natural resources and the environment. In partnership with UN-Habitat it is particularly involved in the global campaigns on Urban Governance and Secure Tenure.
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - Advancing standards in land, property and construction
RICS is the world's leading qualification when it comes to professional standards in land, property and construction. In a world where more and more people, governments, banks and commercial organisations demand greater certainty of professional standards and ethics, attaining RICS status is the recognised mark of property professionalism. Over 150 000 property professionals working in the major established and emerging economies of the world have already recognised the importance of securing RICS status by becoming members.
RICS is an independent professional body originally established in the UK by Royal Charter. Since 1868, RICS has been committed to setting and upholding the highest standards of excellence and integrity – providing impartial, authoritative advice on key issues affecting businesses and society. RICS has a worldwide network. RICS provide market surveys, economic analysis and practice guidance relevant to international markets to meet the needs of the chartered surveying profession.
News item dated:
Friday, 15 May 2009
Conference and Workshop jointly hosted by CASLE/OBU/RICS