Six winning proposals on “Cyber-Physical Systems to Support Green Buildings in Smart Cities” received awards on December 9, 2019 at the IC-IMPACTS Science and Technology Innovation Dialogue in New Delhi, India.

A UN report indicates that 54% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, which is expected to increase to 66% by 2050, with most of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa. The US Green Building Council calculated that in the United States alone, buildings account for 72% of electricity consumption, 39% of energy use, 28% of CO2 emissions, 40% of raw materials use, 30% of waste output, and 40% of potable water consumption. It is estimated that “green buildings” can reduce these numbers by 25 – 70%. As a result, the need to build “green buildings” in conjunction with Smart Cities will minimize the impact on human health and the environment as well as reduce life cycle costs.

The joint IC-IMPACTS and DST Call for Proposals under which the awards were made were launched in March 2019 to address the energy use, CO2 emissions, raw materials use, waste output, water consumption, and the corresponding impacts on human health that come with living in urban areas. Below are the winning researchers along with a summary of their proposals:

  • Large Area Microbolometer Uncooled Focal Plane Arrays for Thermal Imaging, Dr. Ghassan Jabbour (University of Ottawa) & Dr. Madhusudan Singh (IIT Delhi).
    As a result of rapidly growing populations in urban cities and gaps in safety code enforcement, utilities like electricity and gas pose serious risks in high-rise buildings. This research will develop low-cost thermographic imaging for reliable real-time temperature monitoring of potential risk areas (e.g. utilities) to detect potential disasters in advance.
  • Carbon neutrality through combined CO2 capture and novel H2 technology with production of non-conventional fuels for smart cities, Dr. Ibrahim Dincer (The University of Ontario Institute of Technology) & Dr. Subrata Borgohain Gogoi (Dibrugarh University Assam).
    In response to the acidification of oceans and rivers, as well as climate change, this project aims to develop a holistic strategy towards mitigating the environmental impact of global warming with alternative, synthetic, and environmentally-friendly fuels.
  • Metawall: Metamaterial based lightweight panel wall for enhanced building acoustic and seismic resistance, Dr.  Sreekanta Das (University of Windsor) & Dr. Arnab Banerjee (IIT-Delhi).
    Light-weight wall panels are a popular option for thermal insulation, acoustic privacy, and reduced seismic demand. However, acoustic performance of these panels is very poor, and seismic performance varies. This project will provide a pathway to design a novel panel wall using metamaterials, for both the acoustic and seismic purposes.
  • Metamaterial walls for improved acoustic performance in green building, Dr. Umberto Berardi (Ryerson University) & Dr. Arpan Gupta (IIT Mandi).
    This project will develop a natural metamaterial, made of naturally available or recyclable material, to improve the acoustic environment in green buildings.
  • Improving building energy demand predictions in Smart Cities through sensor observations and considerations of landscape characteristics, Dr.Fitsum Tariku (British Columbia Institute of Technology) & Dr. Prasad Avinash Pathak (FLAME University).
    Energy consumption of buildings is a major challenge to the sustainability goals of cities. This project aims to improve Building Energy Models (BEM) to more accurately estimate a building’s energy demand. This model will combine information from high-resolution satellite data and loT based sensors for a more accurate and accessible reading.
  • Harnessing the potential of renewable energy (Solar / Wind) for sustainable building energy management through Compressed Air Energy Storage, Dr. Fariborz Haghighat (Concordia University) & Dr.V Gayathri (Vellore Institute Of Technology).
    This project is focused on a  novel concept of utilizing waste wherein simultaneously meeting the thermal demands of the building, enhancing the overall roundtrip of efficiency of the storage system. This kind of system development paves the way for the concept of net-zero buildings, where the proposed system with proper sizing and controls meets both thermal and electrical demands of the building.


“IC-IMPACTS is very pleased to partner with India’s Department of Science and Technology to bring together researchers from across Canada and India to develop innovative solutions to habitation problems that challenge millions of urbanites. Through these projects, we will see new and innovative solutions that address the issues of fire, energy consumption, occupational health and structural safety in green buildings via the use of sensors and cyber-physical networks.”

– Dr. Nemy Banthia, CEO & Scientific Director, IC-IMPACTS


“DST and IC-IMPACTS have developed several research partnerships between India and Canada. The joint research projects awarded under “Cyber-Physical Systems to Support Green Buildings in Smart Cities” will definitely promote R&D in this emerging field of research. DST is looking forward to more successful collaborative initiatives that will improve the lives of millions of people in India and Canada through science, technology, and innovation.”

– Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST