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Research interests

Sukumar Natarajan is the Director of the EPSRC Centre for Decarbonisation of the Built Environment (dCarb)
. He is also Deputy Director of the Centre for Energy and the Design of Environments (EDEn)
 with research interests that include: building energy modeling, energy behavior, smart meter interface design, impacts of climate change on buildings, occupant thermal comfort.

Sukumar graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from Sushant School of Art and Architecture in India following which he read for his M.Phil. in Environmental Design at the Martin Centre in Cambridge. After a short period working for the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi, Sukumar returned to academia to work on the Tyndall Centre funded "40% House" project at the University of Manchester where he obtained his Ph.D. on "Modelling energy use and carbon emissions from the UK domestic sector". Since then he has been involved in a number of projects on energy use in buildings and thermal comfort including the COPSE project (EPSRC, EP/F038135/1) as principal investigator looking at the thermal comfort implications of a warming climate.

Current projects include ENLITEN (EPSRC, EP/K002724/1) which will develop a low-cost intelligent home energy advisor to provide actionable prompts to households that they can use to save money and energy. This is a multi-disciplinary project with Computer Science, Psychology, Electrical Engineering, and the ECI at Oxford.


Sukumar’s research focuses on how to design buildings that use as little energy as possible during their lifetime. A key question of interest is how big a role the occupant of a building plays in the creation and maintenance of a building’s low energy profile and how this could be optimised. This touches on issues of thermal comfort, occupant energy feedback, and innovative building physics. He also has a strong interest in modelling large scale building energy flows at community, regional and national scales. Much of his work is of an inter-disciplinary nature and he has been instrumental in bringing together techniques from computer science and psychology to these mainly engineering problems.

Willing to supervise PhD

Interested in supervising students studying:

  • Smart metering and occupant feedback
  • Occupant behaviour in buildings and how this affects energy use
  • Large scale (urban to national) bottom-up modelling of energy flows
  • Energy efficiency and use in buildings
  • Thermal comfort, overcooling and underheating 

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Sukumar Natarajan is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

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Projects 2008 2021

Research Output 2003 2019

Winter thermal comfort and health in the elderly

Hughes, C., Natarajan, S., Liu, C., Chung, W. & Herrera, M., 1 Nov 2019, In : Energy Policy. 134, p. 1-14 14 p., 110954.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
12 Citations (Scopus)
118 Downloads (Pure)

Overheating in vulnerable and non-vulnerable households

Vellei, M., Ramallo Gonzalez, A. P., Coley, D., Lee, J., Gabe-Thomas, E., Lovett, T. & Natarajan, S., 2017, In : Building Research and Information. 45, 1-2, p. 102-118 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Air quality
Thermal comfort
Climate change
9 Citations (Scopus)
82 Downloads (Pure)

Designing sensor sets for capturing energy events in buildings

Lovett, T., Lee, J., Gabe-Thomas, E., Natarajan, S., Brown, M., Padget, J. & Coley, D., 1 Dec 2016, In : Building and Environment. 110, p. 11-22

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Influence of overheating criteria in the appraisal of building fabric performance

Fosas de Pando, D., Natarajan, S., Coley, D., Ramallo Gonzalez, A. & Fosas de Pando, M., 7 Apr 2016, Making Comfort Relevant Proceedings 9th Windsor Conference. Brotas, L., Roaf, S., Nicol, F. & Humphreys, M. (eds.). NCEUB, p. 1078-1098 21 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access
Climate change

Investigating the overheating risk in refurbished social housing

Vellei, M., Ramallo Gonzalez, A., Kaleli, D., Lee, J. & Natarajan, S., Apr 2016, Proceedings of 9th Windsor Conference: Making Comfort Relevant.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access
Thermal comfort
Global warming


Dataset for "Mitigation versus adaptation: Does insulating buildings increase overheating risk?"

Fosas de Pando, D. (Creator), Coley, D. (Creator), Natarajan, S. (Creator), Herrera, M. (Creator), Fosas de Pando, M. (Creator), Ramallo Gonzalez, A. (Creator), University of Bath, 26 Jul 2018


Dataset for 'How smart do smart meters need to be?'

Mogles, N. (Creator), Walker, I. (Creator), Ramallo Gonzalez, A. (Creator), Lee, J. (Creator), Natarajan, S. (Creator), Padget, J. (Creator), Gabe-Thomas, E. (Creator), Hyniewska, S. (Creator), Lovett, T. (Creator), Ren, G. (Creator), O'Neill, E. (Creator), Hourizi, R. (Creator), Coley, D. (Creator), University of Bath, 1 Oct 2016


Dataset for "The importance of thermal modelling and prototyping in transitional shelter design"

Fosas de Pando, D. (Creator), Moran, F. (Creator), Natarajan, S. (Creator), Orr, J. (Creator), Coley, D. (Creator), University of Bath, 22 Nov 2019


ENLITEN - A dataset and its associated analysis code for the paper entitled "Designing sensor sets for capturing energy events in buildings"

Lee, J. (Creator), Thomas, E. (Creator), Lovett, T. (Creator), Padget, J. (Creator), Natarajan, S. (Creator), Coley, D. (Creator), University of Bath, 26 Jul 2016


Dataset for "Summer thermal comfort and overheating in the elderly"

Hughes, C. (Creator), Natarajan, S. (Creator), University of Bath, 24 Apr 2019



An Investigation of the Effect of a Building's Characteristics on the Thermal Environment of Naturally Ventilated Educational Offices

Author: Lakeridou, M., 1 Jul 2010

Supervisor: Nikolopoulou, M. (Supervisor) & Natarajan, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisMPhil


Benchmarking the energy use of historic dwellings in Bath and the role for retrofit and LZC technologies to reduce CO2 emissions

Author: Moran, F., 1 Aug 2013

Supervisor: Natarajan, S. (Supervisor), Nikolopoulou, M. (Supervisor) & D'Ayala, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Creation of Hot Summer Years and Evaluation of Overheating Risk at a High Spatial Resolution under a Changing Climate

Author: Liu, C., 3 Nov 2017

Supervisor: Coley, D. (Supervisor), Kershaw, T. (Supervisor) & Natarajan, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Does improving the building fabric increase the risk of overheating in mid-terrace dwellings in the UK?

Author: Fosas De Pando, D., 8 Dec 2015

Supervisor: Natarajan, S. (Supervisor) & Ramallo Gonzalez, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMSc


Domestic Demand Response to Increase the Value of Wind Power

Author: Hamidi, V., 1 Nov 2009

Supervisor: Li, F. (Supervisor), Robinson, F. (Supervisor) & Natarajan, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD