The RETREAT (Resource Efficient TERI Retreat for Environmental Awareness and Training) block of TERI (The Energy & Resources Institute) projects sustainable solutions in energy, environment and related areas. Realizing path breaking building concepts in provision of training facilities and hostel, the design focuses on utilization of energy-conscious features so as to practice near-total energy autonomy and minimal resource depletion while providing a comfortable lifestyle.

The layout and orientation of the blocks maximize daylight year round and winter sun for natural heating. Summer gains are reduced by deciduous trees and devices like jalis. Insulated walls and roof (the latter finished with broken tiles) further reduce heating demand.
The RETREAT (Resource Efficient TERI Retreat for Environmental Awareness and Training) block of TERI (The Energy & Resources Institute) projects sustainable solutions in energy, environment and related areas. Realizing path breaking building concepts in provision of training facilities and hostel, the design focuses on utilization of energy-conscious features so as to practice near-total energy autonomy and minimal resource depletion while providing a comfortable lifestyle.

The layout and orientation of the blocks maximize daylight year round and winter sun for natural heating. Summer gains are reduced by deciduous trees and devices like jalis. Insulated walls and roof (the latter finished with broken tiles) further reduce heating demand. Including drastic reductions in electrical requirements, especially for HVAC, a normally-expected electrical load of 280 kW was reduced to 96 kW. An atrium with specially imported transparent solar photovoltaic (SPV) panels and skylights with regular SPV panels (total 10.7kW SPV) provide the electricity in combination with a 50kW wood waste based gasifier. An intelligent building management system guides a power control unit to manage the large battery bank.

The residential block utilizes the 'earth-air tunnel system'; an underground network of tunnels terminating in openings in each space. It takes advantage of the relative constancy of earth temperature to provide the rooms with airflow to keep them between 22°-30° C throughout the year. Solar chimneys assist ventilation while chillers supplement the earth cooling. The administrative block depends on an ammonia-based CFC-free system for better humidity control.

The flat plate solar collector hot water system is mounted at an incline matching the façade and provided with a catwalk for easier maintenance. Waste-water is managed by a reed bed that thrives on sewage while cleaning it. The load bearing structure reduces steel use and lowers the embodied energy.

The project breaks myths about the 'straight' forms of solar architecture, aspiring to achieve a sense of the 'campus of the future'