Rajat Gupta, Professor of Sustainable Architecture and Climate Change at Oxford Brookes University, has been appointed as Ad Hoc member to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) The group provides independent scientific advice to DEFRA on air quality issues such as emission sources and characteristics of air pollutants in the UK.
Professor Gupta will bring his expertise and experience in air quality research to the group, particularly on the issue of indoor air quality and ventilation strategies in buildings. Indoor air pollution is one of the key topics that the group is currently investigating, developing evidence on sources and concentrations of indoor air pollution.
Indoor air pollution is dust, dirt or gases in the air inside a building such as a home or workplace, that harms people if it is breathed in. It is not yet regulated, although people spend the majority of their time indoors, either at work or at home.
Professor Gupta said: “Awareness of outdoor air pollution such as fumes from vehicles or smoke from bonfires has grown rapidly, but the indoor environment in buildings is still an overlooked area.
“We spend 90% of our time indoors, with long exposure to microparticles that could lead to long term health conditions, so this really is a vital area to address. I’m delighted to be joining this group and helping to shape the future policies which can safeguard indoor air quality for us all.”
Professor Gupta is Director of the multi-disciplinary Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development, and Low Carbon Building Research group. He was a contributing author to the recently-launched Climate Change Risk Assessment Report, with his work on summertime overheating in residential dwellings and care homes heavily cited.
His recent research has focused on decarbonising housing, smart energy systems, local area energy mapping and evaluating building performance.