Dr. Prem C. Jain, Chairman, Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) and the architect of India’s green building movement passed away in the early hours of September 20 at his residence in New Delhi. He was 82 years. Dr. Jain was born in Delhi on January 26, 1936. He passed higher secondary with distinction from Delhi Board in 1952 and was invited by Banaras Hindu University (BHU) for graduate studies in Engineering. He graduated in 1957 with Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with outstanding marks. BHU conferred the ‘IIT BHU Alumni Excellence Award’ upon him in 2008 for his fifty years of Service to the Environment. He was offered teaching assistantship and fee waiver by six Ivy League universities in the USA. He completed MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1960, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the same University in 1967 with ‘A’ grade. The outstanding achievement led to him being invited by the legendry Dr. Willis Carrier’s R&D Group, and work experience on NASA projects. The University of Minnesota conferred its highest award ‘Distinguished Leadership for Internationals’ upon him in 2011.
He returned to India in 1970 as a Visiting Professor at IIT Kanpur to set up the Laboratory for Environmental Engineering, and to teach and guide graduate students. He was passionate about teaching and was a visiting faculty at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi University since 1973. Dr. Jain founded Spectral Services Consultants Private Limited in 1980 with the mission of providing highly energy efficient, fire safe, fully integrated MEP services designs for all variety of buildings all over India. From a strength of 4 members in 1980, Spectral had grown to 600 members with 9 offices in India, before merging with AECOM in 2011. Dr. Jain joined ASHRAE, the premier
professional society for refrigeration and air conditioning engineers founded in 1895, in 1959. He founded ASHRAE India Chapter at Delhi in 1989 with the minimum required 50 members. Currently there are 5 more ASHRAE chapters in other parts of India, with a combined membership of more than 1000. He was the first engineer practicing in India to be bestowed a Fellowship by ASHRAE, in its centenary year 1995. ASHRAE’s highest honour – Distinguished Fellow – was conferred upon him in 2005; he was the first Indian and the tenth engineer worldwide to have received this rare honour in more than a hundred years.
Dr. Jain founded ISHRAE in 1980 on the lines of ASHRAE, with 50 members. Over this period, ISHRAE has grown into 42 chapters with 10,000 members. He was awarded Life Time Achievement Award both by ASHRAE India and ISHRAE, and was elected President Emeritus of ISHRAE. He was the thought leader and mentor of IGBC right from its inception in 2000, and was the driving force behind India becoming the second largest country in the world in terms of registered green building footprint. His visionary approach was responsible for the spread of green building philosophy and projects across the length and breadth of the country. He aspired for all forms of built environment to go green and in the process help the building of a greener and healthier India. Dr. Jain’s charm and aff ability encouraged scores of stakeholders to partner with him and IGBC in accelerating the green building movement in the country. Today, IGBC has over 20 chapters spread across India led by Green Champions – who derive inspiration and warmth from Dr. Jain. Working with young minds and inspiring them to become the green ambassadors of India is something Dr. Jain loved. His fl air for converting challenges into new growth opportunities was acknowledged by various stakeholders. His strategic interventions were truly out of the box.
Dr. Jain had the distinction of being the honorary advisor to the President of India for air conditioning of the ceremonial Durbar Hall at Rashtrapati Bhawan. He was also an advisor to the ex-Prime Minister of India Rajiv Gandhi from 1984 to 1990. Dr. Jain was listed in the ‘Marquis Who’s Who in the World’ from 1997, in ‘Marquis Who’s Who in Science & Engineering’ from 2000 onwards, and in ‘Baron’s Who’s Who: the Asia 500 Leaders for the New Century’ published in the USA in 2000. From 2007, he was listed
in ‘Marquis Who’s Who in Asia’. He was honoured with Rashtriya Gaurav Award at the All India Achiever’s Conference in 1997.
Dr. Jain was invited to re-write the section on air-conditioning, heating and ventilation for the National Building Code of India (NBC 2005). The Code has now been elevated to the international level of codes, standards and practices. The Journal and the global HVAC and building fraternity salute this great man who forced the global community to
look towards India for inspiration and leadership. He leaves behind a rich and inspiring legacy for all of us to emulate. His thoughts would be treasured and adopted to make India become the jagatguru of sustainability. May his soul rest in peace.
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