Radiant Cooling, Sustainable Building

Radiant Cooling Solutions Are Pushing Sustainability in India

Radiant cooling solutions provide a superior thermal environment for living and working at an optimized cost. These low-energy cooling solutions are ideal for the use of renewable energy sources and help reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

In recent years India has seen an increased focus on sustainability. In order to achieve sustainability goals many designers and engineers have turned to radiant cooling.

In this article, we take a quick look at 3 of these projects.

IITM, Pune


The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology is a renowned research institute for weather and climate research. It does research on global climate change and relies on modern construction technology. In an area of 13,380 sq. ft. 18,000 m of PEX-a piping has been installed in the slab and the ground floor. By doing so, this building houses one of India’s only TAB-Systems.

The system is designed to achieve a comfortable indoor temperature by installing radiant cooling on the ground floor and the TAB system in the 1st and 2nd floors. Cold water, which is circulating in the pipes, cools the slab mass and reduces the radiant surface temperature of the floor and the ceiling.

PEX-a tubing

Cooled air is supplied to each occupied space in the office at a lower temperature than the ambient temperature and is directed onto the occupants to achieve optimal thermal comfort. Masonry ducting was used to channel air from below the ground up each floor. The return air from the cooled area flows into the central atrium and gets pushed out from the topmost part of the building, using natural convection through a difference in temperature.

The combination of the flywheel effect of the TABS, pre-cooling of air and a non-refrigerant based air conditioning system has made this building different

With this system, the operative temperature is maintained below 25 °C, except during the monsoon season when the operative temperature can drift up to 27 °C.


Project Highlights


Architect: M J Associates, Pune
HVAC Designer: R S Kulkarni,
Pune HVAC Contractor: Kelvolt, Mumbai
Radiant System Project Coordination and Execution: Unitech Enterprise Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai Construction Contractor: Ghalsasi Constructions, Pune
24,600 sq. ft . project size with 13,380 sq. ft . radiant mats 5,630 sq. ft . Underfloor Cooling, 7,750 sq. ft . TABS
Completion: 2012


St.Mark’s Sr. Sec. Public School, Meera Bagh, New Delhi


Situated in the heart of New Delhi, this school is the first in India to have a radiant cooling system.

The school auditorium, which has a seating capacity of 250 children and a high lighting load during its functional period, was equipped with a hydronic cooling system. The radiant system was designed with the appropriate pipe spacing to meet the cooling requirement and screed thickness for a quick response time.

With 2,880 meters of PE-Xa pipes in the 2,870 sq. ft . auditorium, the radiant system provides cooling for the most part of the year. During the midsummer, when the temperature reaches its absolute maximum, the additional conventional AC system jumps into action.

The school has not only thought about the well-being of the children but has also given a practical lesson to make them understand the physics of how the radiant cooling system works.


Project Highlights


Architect: S.Singh & Associates, Delhi
Total Space with UFC: 2870 sq.ft
Completion: 2011


Malhotra Villa, Gurgaon


Pleasant temperatures all year round and a perfect energy balance – these were the primary goals of the owners. Today, the villa is an ideal example of how the radiant solutions can be used to meet thermal comfort targets, even when the outdoor temperature ranges between 5 °C to 45 °C. It is also the first system with both radiant under floor heating and cooling in India.

The heat pump has a cooling capacity of 15.8 kW and a heating capacity of 17.6 kW and provides the necessary water temperature to the radiant system – for winter heating and summer cooling.

The unique DEM control system does not only automatically manage the thermal comfort in the various rooms in the villa as per the load variations, but it also optimizes the pumping energy used by the system.

Well designed, with thermally resistive walls and windows and making a maximum use of daylight, this villa is an excellent example of a modern energy efficient building.


Project Highlights


Total space: 2480 sq. ft .
Underfloor heating and cooling
Completion: 2010



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