Sky Modelling & CIE Sky Type Finder Tool

The report defining sky luminance across various sky conditions in landlocked cities in India launched by Mahindra-TERI Centre of Excellence will help architects, interiors designers, and other stakeholders in identifying the measured sky conditions on any day and time of the year, an imperative study by modern architecture

Mahindra-TERI Centre of Excellence (CoE), a joint research initiative of Mahindra Lifespaces® and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), released a report and guidebook defining sky luminance across various sky conditions at an event held in New Delhi in the presence of eminent dignitaries from the Government and industry. The report emphasises the role of accurate daylighting data in creating energy-efficient structures.

Daylighting plays an important role in modern architecture in aiding visual comfort and energy efficiency evaluation. This requires an accurate estimation of the amount of daylight for any point within the indoor space. For the same, a Sky Scanner and Solar Monitoring Unit was set up at the MTCoE lab, Gurugram, to collect the luminance distribution data since 2020. This is the only instrument currently installed in India for collating sky conditions data.

The data will be utilised for daylight assessment, energy savings, visual comfort assessment, and will also be crucial for increasing the accuracy of daylighting software, which will, in turn, help architects and designers in selecting glass types and determining the ideal window-wall ratio.

An MoU was also signed between TERI and Saint Gobain Research India, expanding the sky modelling research as part of MTCoE by installing another sky scanner in Chennai, to record the south coastal data. This will be the first installation in southern India and the second in the country.

The event was addressed by renowned names in the industry including, Dr. Kartik Kumar, Deputy Director, Saint Gobain R&D; Jitesh Donga, Chief of Design, Mahindra Lifespace Developers; Ankit Bhalla, Manager, GRIHA Council; Gurneet Singh, Director, Environmental Design Solutions, Dr. Sunita Purushottam, Head of Sustainability, Mahindra Lifespace Developers; Dr. Chitrarekha Kabre, Professor, School of Planning & Architecture, New Delhi; Shabnam Bassi, Associate Director, TERI, and Sanjay Seth, Senior Director, Sustainable Habitat and CEO, GRIHA Council.

The Mahindra-TERI CoE leverages state-of-the-art research techniques, tools, and performance measurement solutions to boost the development of green buildings in India. The joint research initiative is working towards developing open-source and science-based solutions for India’s real estate sector.

Some observations presented at the event:

Jitesh Donga, Chief of Design, Mahindra Lifespace Developers: Design interventions can be used to increase the efficiency and thermal performance of green buildings. If these design decisions are driven by extensive data, we can customise and optimise the outcomes of integrating these elements into buildings. The data collected from the Sky Scanner can be used by designers and developers everywhere, and accelerate their journey towards efficient, green buildings.

Dr. Sunita Purushottam, Head- Sustainability at Mahindra Lifespace Developers: As a pioneer of green homes in India, we continuously strive to innovate and adopt the most relevant practices in order to transform India’s urban landscape in a sustainable way. At Mahindra Lifespaces, we are dedicated towards undertaking a collaborative and research-driven approach toward sustainability. As a part of the Mahindra-TERI CoE research initiative, we identified the need for sky modelling and have released a guidebook developed to create awareness about daylighting and energy efficiency across the built environment.

Sanjay Seth, Senior Director, TERI underscored, “Sky Modelling is one of the research activities being carried out at MTCoE with an aim to categorize the sky patterns subset from the CIE standard general sky that best represents the sky luminance distribution in Gurugram, India. We are certain that the outcomes of this study will help the architects and designers to select the right glass with optimum visual light transmission and consider the optimum window-wall ratio of the project for better visual comfort and energy savings in their upcoming projects.”

Shabnam Bassi, Associate Director: This study will definitely help green building certification system such as GRIHA for devising visual comfort benchmarks in their future technical developments. The data set will also help daylight simulation developer companies to upgrade their software to provide more accurate results.