Jury for 2023-24 Challenge

Division Jury

The submissions by finalists of the 2023-24 challenge were be reviewed by these experts. They have many years of experience in the buildings sector. The jury panels had a combination of people with expertise in the areas of building design-construction, building science and sustainability, manufacturing and scaling up, and product design.

Community Resilience Shelter

Swati Puchalapalli
Director, Terra Viridis Consultants LLP

Swati Puchalapalli has 20+ years of experience in sustainable design, computational analysis, and environmental policy research. A strong proponent of passive design, she combines learnings from vernacular with simulation-based data driven approach to building design. She focuses on high performance and high comfort leading to net-zero design along with value engineering in the areas of energy, water, and waste. Her projects range from sustainability consultancy to policy research and training, spread across various continents. She is a founding member of GRIHA Council and a visiting faculty at CEPT University and Manipal University.

Manjunath BL 
Independent Structural Consultant, Manjunath and Co.

Manjunath has 25+ years of experience in structural engineering, design, construction, and management. He has worked on design and detailing using specialised techniques for educational institutions, material handling plants in thermal stations, industrial buildings, townships, commercial complexes, hotels, group housing, resorts, etc. He began practicing as an independent structural consultant in 1994. He enjoys deciphering the seed of the structural system while designing and exploring materials to their full potential and considering their maximum stretchable bandwidth before failure. He learns about structures from nature and his vision for the role of engineering in design and of design in engineering was shaped by humanistic values, rather than simply technical principles.

Peeyush Sekhsaria
Independent Natural Resources & Disaster Risk Management Consultant

Peeyush Sekhsaria is an Architect and Geographer by training. His work in the last 15 years has been in the areas of Disaster Risk and Natural Resources Management, including a 6-year stint with a multilateral agency. He has worked extensively on Multi-purpose Cyclone and Flood Shelters, post-disaster housing reconstruction, and nature-based solutions for disaster risk mitigation. He works as an independent consultant based out of Delhi

Construction Worker Housing

Monish Siripurapu
CEO and Founder, Ant Studio

Monish Siripurapu is an alumnus of SPA Delhi and IAAC, Spain and the founder and Principal Architect of Ant Studio. His studio has received international recognition for their work on Nature inspired Biophilic Passive Cooling Building Envelopes. Their nature based low-carbon air-cooling solution, called the ‘CoolAnt’, won the Asia Pacific Low Carbon Footprint Challenge and was funded by UNEP. Monish is a TEDx speaker and has also presented his work at the TMK knowledge forum part of G20 summit at Bali, Science Museum London, Google’s Anthropocene, UCL Bartlett, CEDIM Mexico, IAAC Barcelona, and Construction symposium Ekaterinburg in Russia. He was a keynote speaker at the World Environment Day New Delhi, 2018. Monish was a visiting faculty at SPA, Delhi and has also lectured and exhibited his works in various IIT’s and IIM’s in the country. His works have also been published in the History Channel, CNN, World Economic Forum, Architectural Digest, Inhabitat, and ArchDaily.

Saswati  Chetia
Director, GKSPL

Saswati is Associate Director at GKSPL, a research and advisory firm working on building energy efficiency, resource efficiency in building material production and deployment of decentralised renewable energy systems. An architect and environmental planner by training, she has 15 years of experience working as an architect, green building consultant and building energy efficiency expert. She has managed the Indo-Swiss Building Energy Efficiency Project (BEEP) since 2012 and was part of the core team that developed the Eco-Niwas Samhita 2018 for BEE.

Nilesh Sonawane
Business Development Leader, Owens Corning

Nilesh has been working with Owens Corning for the last 11 years handling the insulation business for the company. He has represented the organisation at various government and industry forums like IGBC, NCCD, CII-Cold Chain Task Force, India Insulation Forum, Thermal Insulation Committee of BIS, and ISHRAE/ASHRAE. His passion for leading techno-commercial assignments has resulted in many firsts in India including, the XPS foam-based insulation, and large-scale commercialisation of external wall insulation system. Nilesh has held various leadership positions, VP – Marketing with a composite material start-up and Product Manager-Insulation products with Styrenics major. Nilesh, is an alum of IIM–Ahmedabad, NMIMS-Mumbai, and MIT-Pune.

Educational Building

Karl Wadia
Senior Design Principal, Architect Hafeez Contractor

Karl Wadia joined Architect Hafeez Contractor’s design firm as an intern in 1999, and today leads a studio of nearly 100 designers, visualisers, and technicians. He is a graduate of Academy of Architecture, Mumbai with a Master’s from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. He has worked with Kohn Pedersen Fox, designing some of their most expansive Middle East Projects. At AHC, Karl’s studio is designing Manipal University Jaipur, India’s Largest net-zero energy building, and the world’s 3rd largest net-zero energy building. His studio is re-imagining IIM Calcutta’s 135-acre campus and The BITS School of Management; and have won the International Design Competition for the National Maritime Heritage Complex at Lothal, Gujarat.

Surya Kakani
Founder and Principal, Kakani Associates

Surya represents Kakani Associates, a practice he established with his partner Jaai as a collaboration between architecture and design in 1995 each informing the other and subsequently informing a way of life. His work situates itself in the larger modernist paradigm of efficiency and seeks to integrate a holistic understanding of structure, construction, and design, broadly related to sustainability along with the habitual essence of buildings. The ethos of his work has been to achieve efficiency in operation, minimise waste and match form and expression closely to the imperatives of the chosen construction systems and processes, keeping in mind the subtlest needs of the dwellers. Surya is the former Dean of the Faculty of Architecture at CEPT University.

Aarti Nain
Advisor for Urban Cooling and Heat Management, UN Environment Programme

Aarti is an energy efficiency policy specialist with expertise in healthy and net zero energy buildings, sustainable cooling, energy efficiency financing and ESCOs, utility DSM programs, and market development of low-carbon building technologies. Aarti advises think-tanks such as GBPN and CEEW in developing policies for India and South Asia. Aarti has advised central and state governments and the private sector in implementing market-oriented energy efficiency programs that increase the cost-effectiveness of sustainable technologies. Important policy development work in India includes an update of the Energy Conservation Building Code 2017, and studies authored by her have informed national-level strategies for climate change mitigation. Aarti is a recipient of the Chevening Gurukul Fellowship from the University of Oxford and has a Master of Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Multi-family Housing

Harsh Thapar
Founder, Envirolyser

Harsh Thapar, an Architect and Environmentalist, believes that sensitive design can go a very long way to make people’s lives better. He is passionate about the use of building science and technology to design healthier and environment-friendly buildings. After studying Sustainable Environmental Design at the Architectural Association School, London, he worked as an Associate at Foster and Partners, London. He achieved the title of a Charted Environmentalist in the UK recognising his expertise. After working as Vice President at HKS Architects New Delhi, he has recently founded an organisation called Envirolyser. Harsh has worked on high-performance building and master planning projects like the Masdar, Abu Dhabi ( envisioned as a net-zero carbon city and powered with renewables), New Apple Campus at San Jose ( LEED Platinum ), Bloomberg Head Quarters in London (BREEAM Excellent Building ) and Amaravati New Capital Complex in Andhra Pradesh in India.

Deepa Parekh  
Net-Zero Education Expert, Principal – Sustainability, Kapadia Associates 

Deepa is an architect and building science professional engaged with practice and teaching over 16 years. In her role as Principal – Sustainability at Kapadia Associates, Deepa leads the firm’s sustainability strategy, including integrating evidence-based design into workflow, advocating clients to set high performance targets, and implementing capacity building programs for the team. As a Net-Zero Education Expert, Deepa conducts training programs on building science concepts, simulation skills and sustainability strategies. She has conducted 70+ professional training programs attended by over 3500 learners. Deepa serves as a faculty member at CEPT University and is an ECBC Master Trainer.

2020-21 jury- Aalok Deshmukh

Aalok Deshmukh
Co-Founder & MD, SuperHumanRace Pvt. Ltd.

Aalok is the Co-Founder and MD at SuperHumanRace Pvt. Ltd., a start-up at the intersection of technology and sustainability. Aalok has over 20 years’ experience in energy and sustainability strategy, implementation, consulting, and research in the corporate, government and non-profit sectors. Aalok is recognised as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Fellow. Previously, Aalok was at Schneider Electric India as Director – Sustainability & Influence Strategy. He has also headed the USAID-funded bilateral ECO-III Project. Earlier, Aalok has worked as Senior Consultant, Built Environment at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), USA.

Office Building

Samit Bhowmick

Samit Bhowmick
Co-founder, Veratatva

Samit is a co-founder at Veratatva, a collaborative consulting firm that specialises in high-performance, sustainable building designs at little or no additional cost. He is a Mechanical Engineer with over 20 years of experience in the design and project management of MEP projects for a variety of applications like power plants, ships, commercial buildings, and pharmaceutical cleanrooms. Samit is passionate about performance-based design and believes that every designer should own the responsibility of minimising the environmental impact implied by his/her design.

Anuja Sawant
Principal – Architecture, SSA Architects

Anuja has over 20+ years of experience as an architect. She believes architecture transforms lives and specialises in high-rise residential, commercial, and healthcare design with a focus on sustainability. A few of her notable projects include Crescent Bay Parel and Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. Anuja’s leadership fosters innovation, evident in her award-winning ventures and roles as visiting faculty at various institutes. In addition to her professional commitments, Anuja serves as visiting faculty and advisory board member at various Architecture Institutes.

Dhiraj Wadhwa
Director, Commercial & Overseas Business, Carrier Corporation

At Carrier, Dhiraj has been managing and leading HVAC Businesses for the India region. He is currently responsible for the Commercial Business in the India region and the Overseas Business. He simultaneously engages with nodal agencies to advocate for Energy Efficient Built environments. A Mechanical Engineer with a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management, Dhiraj has over two decades of experience in the HVAC segment. His passion for energy efficiency encourages him to share the same knowledge with the HVAC fraternity for its application at suitable platforms.

Residential Cooling Retrofit

Kshitij Sawant
Solution Consultant – Sahaj Software Solutions

Kshitij is a Solution Consultant with a focus on Product Innovation at Sahaj. His expertise lies at the crossroads of consumer research, design, product development, and brand strategy, providing invaluable insights to fuel business growth. A passionate innovation strategist and a systems thinker, he crafts frameworks that facilitate the transformation of ideas into human-centric products that help propel innovation agendas for organisations. With a 19-year career spanning architecture and design, Kshitij holds a Master’s degree in Design Methods from the Institute of Design, Chicago, a Master in Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, and a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Sir J.J. School of Architecture, Mumbai.

Yash Shukla  
Principal Researcher & Centre Head, Centre for Advanced Research in Building Science and Energy CRDF, CEPT University

Yash is the Center Head and Principal Researcher at CARBSE and brings over 17 years of expertise in high-performance buildings. He has spearheaded groundbreaking research projects including low-energy cooling and ventilation systems in Indian residences, evaluation of innovative cooling technologies, and benchmarking of Indian buildings. He is affiliated with the Master of Technology in Building Energy Performance (MBEP) program at CEPT University, where he teaches courses and supervises capstone projects. His current research focuses on simulation model calibration, smart grids, low-energy cooling, performance characterisation of novel envelope and air conditioning systems, and next-generation control algorithm development. As the team lead for the Asian Development Bank’s technical assistance program, he is dedicated to creating disease-resilient, smart, and energy-efficient air conditioning systems in developing member countries.

Himansha Singh  
Co-founder, Craste

Dr Himansha Singh is a passionate researcher and entrepreneur with a diverse background spanning academia and business. She holds a PhD and a BBSRC research fellowship from Cambridge University and a prestigious Raman Fellowship from IISc, focusing on critical areas such as antibiotic resistance and Mycobacterium Efflux Pumps Analysis. Alongside her academic pursuits, she is an alumni of Judge Business School’s Enterprise Tech cohort, where she honed her entrepreneurial skills.  Currently serving as the COO and co-creator of Craste, she leverages her expertise to drive business strategies and foster strong customer relations, revolutionising sustainable building materials by mitigating climate change.

Grand Jury

Aiyappa Somayanda

Chief Business Officer, Brigade REAP

Aiyappa is an entrepreneur recognised for his innovative contributions to start-ups. With over 15 years of diverse experience, he co-founded Bamboo Tribe, a successful sustainable apparel brand, that led it to profitability within six months. As the Chief Business Officer at Brigade REAP, he mentors start-ups, drives marketing initiatives, and selects high-potential businesses for the accelerator program. Previously, at YourStory, he spearheaded strategic initiatives and revenue-generating projects. Aiyappa’s career includes leadership roles at LeEco, Xiaomi India, and consulting firms. He holds a PGPM from IIM Trichy and a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in sustainable business and digital transformation.

Devesh Chandra Srivastava
Sr. Vice President – PR and Marketing, Religare Enterprises Ltd

Devesh, a senior journalist, and a seasoned marketer, has 16-plus years of experience in journalism, strategic communications, and business advocacy. In his current role at Religare Enterprises, he is responsible for the overall direction and strategy of marketing at the core investment company and its two subsidiaries, Religare Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd and Religare Finvest Ltd. Prior to this, he was a strategic communications advisor to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. Previously, he also handled marketing mandates within the consulting space, including his role at JLL India and Grant Thornton Advisory. Being a writer with the mainstream media and a sustainability enthusiast, he has extensively written on real estate markets and urban development. With expertise in providing breakthrough public relations and content strategy, he has successfully run marketing campaigns and implemented and managed large-scale communication assignments for private sector companies, government departments, and multi-lateral organisations.

Harleen Oberoi
Head – Project Management, Tata Realty & Infrastructure Limited & Sr. VP, Tata Housing Development Company Ltd.

Harleen Oberoi has over 34 years of experience in project management and construction across projects in India and the overseas market. He was previously Senior Executive Director of Project Management at Colliers International India, Executive Director at Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions, and Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield India. He also set up the Project Management for the business of AECOM in India. He holds a post-Graduation degree in Construction Management from NICMAR, and a Civil Engineering Degree from NIT, Kurukshetra.

Manisha Natarajan
Journalist, Real Estate & Urban Development 

Manisha is a noted journalist and editorial voice on Real Estate & Urban Development with a background in Economics, Journalism & Business Administration. She has hosted prime-time shows ‘The Property Show’ and ‘Let’s Talk Money’ on NDTV 24×7, and ‘Urban Reality’ and ‘The Real Deal’ on CNBC-TV18.  Her connection with viewers comes from her well-researched shows which map urban transformation, sustainability, and inclusive housing, through the lens of policy & investments. She learned the ropes of television journalism, as a reporter for BBC World’s ‘Moneywise’ & ‘India Business Report’. Manisha has anchored over 2,000 hours of live business news, including key events such as the Union Budget, Economic Survey, Credit Policy, and Tax Roundtables with NDTV. She has also been a contributory columnist with the Indian Express, cnbctv18.com & ndtv.com. She has been invited to significant global events – the World Bank Spring Meet Sustainability Dialogue and New Cities Summit, Songdo, South Korea. 

Milind Kollegal

Member, Council of Architecture

Milind is an architect with over 41 years of experience in designing diverse projects spanning residential, institutional, and industrial sectors. He has led design teams on over 1,000 projects across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana, and beyond. With expertise in contract documents, quality control, and management, Milind specialises in residences, educational campuses, interior decoration for offices and hospitality, and public/private building renovations. His extensive background encompasses commercial, healthcare, and government projects, reflecting a comprehensive understanding of architectural intricacies. Throughout his career, Milind has consistently delivered innovative solutions and upheld the highest standards in the field.

Niladri Prasad Mishra
Senior Vice President Head – Global Infrastructure, Infosys

Neeladri Prasad Mishra spearheads transformative initiatives at Infosys. Over his 27-year tenure, he’s evolved from a chartered accountant to a visionary leader. Mishra’s pivotal role includes expanding Infosys into tier 2 and tier 3 cities across India, establishing SEZs and STPI parks, and fostering government relations. For four years, he’s orchestrated a paradigm shift in workplace dynamics, revamping building interiors to accommodate hybrid work models. His strategic prowess and dedication have been instrumental in shaping Infosys’ trajectory, exemplifying his commitment to innovation and organisational excellence.

Prakhar Aggarwal
Chief Services & Solutions (Nest-In Business), Tata Steel

Prakhar has a Bachelor’s in Computer Science Engineering from Sir M. Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology in Bangalore, and an MBA in Marketing, Finance and IT from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar. He is a business development and marketing professional with 14+ years of experience in branded product sales, business development, brand management, and innovation. Prior to joining Tata Steel, he worked for Nokia R&D as a Sr. R&D Engineer.
In his initial few years with Tata Steel, he has been responsible for curating Nest-In brand and developing it from an initiative to a construction solutions brand. After that, he handled branded product sales for Tata Steel in Haryana, Chandigarh, Punjab & HP, amounting to Rs. 750 Cr per annum. In his current role at Services & Solutions, as Chief Services & Solutions (Nest-In Business), he is responsible for scaling up Nest-In construction solution business to a Rs. 1000 Cr brand in the next 2 years. He has a keen interest in new construction technologies and how innovation in solutions and products can be utilised to give an improved customer experience.

Priyank Garg
Managing Partner, IAN Alpha fund

Priyank brings over 26 years of experience in Manufacturing, Technology, and Consulting. A serial entrepreneur and seasoned Angel Investor for 16+ years, he’s ranked among India’s Top 50 by Fortune (2022). With a B.Tech from IIT Delhi and Masters from Stanford University, he holds over nine patents. Passionate about sustainability, he led Advance Valves for 14 years, driving global patents, brand revitalisation, lean manufacturing, and digital transformation. He also spearheaded a Solar rooftop business. As Co-Founder of IOTomation, he achieved 25%+ energy savings. Earlier, at Yahoo!, he shaped search engine roadmaps. With roots at Ensim Corporation and Deloitte Consulting, he’s adept in tech and strategy. He is Chair of ACREX Hall of Fame, President of Delhi ISHRAE, past President of ASHRAE India, and TiE Charter Member, he supports Million Sparks Foundation and IIT Delhi.

Rohit Mohan
Chief Design and Sustainability Officer, Godrej Properties Ltd.

Rohit has over 25 years of experience in architecture and leadership. He spearheads design strategy and innovation, ensuring excellence in project execution worldwide. With prior roles at Emaar India and DLF, he now directs the GPL Design Studio, focusing on feasibility studies and creative solutions. He heads ESG and Sustainability at Godrej Properties Limited and has been responsible for integrating and making sustainability a key parameter of design across regions. Rohit emphasises sustainability along with functionality and aesthetics, aiming to enhance stakeholders’ quality of life. He promotes standardisation and clarity across projects, empowering teams to achieve shared goals. Leveraging technology and collaboration, he drives architectural innovation, fostering excellence in design.

Roshini Rebecca Easow
Chair, Research Committee, ISHRAE

Roshini is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from the College of Engineering, Guindy, Madras (Chennai). She has an M.Tech in Heat Transfer and Thermal Power Engineering from IIT Madras and a Ph.D. from IIT Bombay. She is Chair of the Research Committee at ISHRAE in the current Society year. She retired as Professor of Mechanical Engineering from Sardar Patel College of Engineering, Mumbai and post-retirement was the Vice Principal and Dean Academic, at St John College of Engineering, Palghar, Maharashtra. She was the only representative from India who featured in  “Women in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry: Personal Experiences and Achievements”, published by UNEP in 2019. She has authored the booklet “Best Practices in Installation and Use of Split and Window air conditioners”, prepared for the International Copper Association, India in 2018. She is also the Technical Editor of the “ISHRAE Guide Book for Healthcare Facilities” published in March 2022.

Shiny Varghese
Senior Editor, The Indian Express 

Shiny has been a senior editor for 12 years and has been following design and architecture in the country, lending her voice to urban issues, and tracking new approaches to design. Her stories evaluate the relevance of design and promote the need for thinking about it as a way of life. From interviews with architects to stories on new materials and experiments in practice, she attempts to present the connection architecture has with people and society. Previously, at Design Today magazine, Shiny curated columns by architects critiquing the profession and showcased projects presenting qualitative aesthetics that did not bow to elitist thinking. With 18 years in design journalism, she poses the crucial question: “Is it necessary?” Shiny has edited design publications, collaborated with organisations, and judged national design competitions. In the past, she has worked with the India Today Lifestyle group, the Deccan Chronicle and Down To Earth. Trained at the Asian College of Journalism, Bangalore, she completed her Masters in English at Stella Maris in Chennai, and her schooling from St Mary’s Convent, Mumbai, and Our Own English High School, Dubai.