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Center for Sustainable Technologies

CSSB’s – An alternative for comfortable buildings

With summers getting hotter every year, it has become a necessity to find alternatives to construct buildings that make our lives more comfortable. Historical Indian architecture has consistently accomplished this, as seen in our ancient earthen monuments. Inspired by these principles, civil engineers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore have taken the next step in the construction of buildings based on materials that make our indoor lives better.

Lab Story:A peek into the future of Indian forests

Based at the Centre for Sustainable Technologies (CST) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Prof. Ravindranath's research group ( has pioneered environmental research in areas of national and global importance. Over the last two decades, they have been pursuing broad research themes related to the impacts of climate change on forests, bio-energy in rural areas and ecosystem services.

A novel biogas reactor that ferments crop waste – and grows mushrooms

Bio-gas reactors breakdown plant material in the absence of oxygen to produce methane that can be used as a clean fuel, while generating digested by-products rich in organic matter. Chanakya HN, Sreesha Malayil and Vijayalakshmi C from the Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Science first developed a novel reactor that can use plant waste, and not just cow dung like a traditional gobar gas plant. Further, they investigated if such digested plant material can be efficiently used in mushroom production.

Forests for the future: high vulnerability today is low adaptive capacity of the future

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore have devised a novel technique for mapping the inherent vulnerability of forests in the Western Ghats. The Western Ghats are a biodiversity hotspot, and “Climate change in this region can have major socio-economic implications for more than 300 million people in the central and southern Indian states”, says author Jagmohan Sharma. The methodology developed by the researchers for vulnerability assessment of forests is simple and can be easily used by forest managers to know potentially vulnerable areas which need extra attention from them.

Making your roof generate electricity

The Centre for Sustainable Technologies at the Indian Institute of Science has a strange roof that generates power. which produces more than 10 units (kWh) of electricity daily through the year. This can power four tubelights, four fans and a couple of computers daily. The secret of this lies in the solar-panel roof that besides harvesting sunlight also shelter the indoors.