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Sunita Purushottam, Head- Sustainability at Mahindra Lifespaces discusses Sky Modelling and its benefits

In an exclusive conversation with Society Interiors & Design, Sunita Purushottam, Head- Sustainability at Mahindra Lifespaces discusses Sky Modelling and its benefits.

In an exclusive conversation with Society Interiors & Design, Sunita Purushottam, Head- Sustainability at Mahindra Lifespaces discusses Sky Modelling and its benefits.

Can you please share with our professional readers, What is sky modelling and Sky type finder tool, launched by Mahindra TERI Centre of Excellence (CoE)? 

There are 15 different types of sky conditions, which are broadly grouped into three subcategories, including overcast sky, clear sky, and partially cloudy sky, according to the International Commission on Illumination (commonly known as CIE). When choosing the day and season of the year, the sky type finding tool from the Mahindra-TERI Centre of Excellence will assist in determining the actual sky condition, which may then be utilised to do daylight simulations.

Sky Modelling and its benefits

How does this technology/research will help in providing an added advantage to the project?

This study will assist daylighting consultants, architects, designers, and green building consultants in more precisely and accurately calculating and estimating the daylight levels in their upcoming project spaces than BAU.

 Please explain its application – for which type of projects will this be useful?

This is applicable for all typologies, across projects such as residential, hospitality, healthcare, educational, institutional, commercial, transit terminals, etc.

 The advantages of using this research data in the Indian scenario? Please elaborate.

Usually, the default overcast of European data is utilised to pre-feed the sky conditions used in simulation models for daytime. The sky conditions in India, however, are very different. In the tropics, the sun’s azimuth and path are different. Additionally, there are significant differences in local micrometeorological conditions and cloud cover patterns.

For the first time in 40 years, this data was compiled over an extended period of time at Mahindra-TERI CoE. There haven’t been any sky scanners or sky modelling projects in India, with the exception of one attempt at IIT Roorkee when the sky conditions were monitored for a very limited duration. To close this gap, we installed India’s only sky scanner at the MT Centre of Excellence in Gurugram to collect real-time data on the sky’s conditions. While this was Phase 1 of the project, Phase 2 will involve purchasing a second sky scanner to read Chennai’s sky conditions.

How do a homeowner/user benefit from this? Elaborate with suitable examples.

A homeowner shall render savings in both capital investment and operational costs as they will be optimizing glazing in their homes, which will result in maximizing daylight, experiencing visual comfort and also reducing energy loads which will result in a tangible saving.

Sky Modelling and its benefits

 Also, how does it help in optimal use of resources like electricity?

Selection of Optimum WWR and installing glasses with optimum Visible Light Transmitted (VLT), will help reduce heat gain. This will reduce the heat loads which will help save lighting energy and conditioning energy consumption.

Your perspective on the Indian nature of acceptance to such innovation and the time frame you think it will take to catch-up.

These studies are not only distinctive but also crucial for a sustainable built environment. Since this information must be gathered for numerous sites around the nation, more and more stakeholders need to volunteer to take part in this study. We are confident that this study will produce significant results within the next ten years.

Any additional inputs on the research, please feel free to share information with our readers.

Making wise design decisions is crucial in order to maximise the use of daylight in our interior spaces. At the same time, heat gain through windows must be taken into consideration. In addition to boosting productivity at work, this will also make it possible to live a healthy lifestyle and combat climate change.

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