Code Level 4 Homes in Bicester - Phase 1


DECoRuM® Carbon Counting and Carbon Mapping in Oxford

DECoRuM® is a next generation GIS-based bottom-up model for counting, costing and reducing energy-related CO2 emissions from existing UK dwellings. DECoRuM® estimates current energy-related CO2 emissions from existing UK dwellings and aggregates them to a street, district, neighbourhood, and city level enabling the evaluation of the potential and financial costs for domestic CO2 emission reductions by through energy efficiency measures, low carbon systems and renewable energy technologies on an urban scale.


DECoRuM® uses a locally-relevant approach and well-established methodologies to ensure credibility for carbon emission reduction planning cities. The working of the model has been demonstrated by applying it to a case study in the city of Oxford, and the results validated by comparing with local and case-study specific databases. The application of DECoRuM® in a case study in Oxford shows that reductions in CO2 emissions above 60% are possible at a cost of £6-£77 a tonne of CO2 saved, depending upon the package of measures used, and the scenario of capital cost employed (low cost or high cost).

DECoRuM® has a number of unique features which bring distinct advantages, as listed below:

  • Results can be displayed at an individual dwelling, street, district or city level.
  • Pollution hotspots can be spatially located and targeted for improvement.
  • Assessment requires no access to the property.
  • Highly efficient and cost effective since it requires less data input.
  • Cost-benefits analysis enables cost comparison of different measures.
  • Helps to estimate the potential of solar energy systems for citywide application.
  • A useful visual aid when encouraging householders to install energy efficiency measures.


The process of a creating a DECoRuM® map follows the structured order shown below:

  • Baseline carbon map on a house-by-house level: Mapping, modelling and measuring to estimate the energy use and CO2 emissions per dwelling.
  • Evaluating potential energy and CO2 reductions: Predict and evaluate potential CO2 emission reductions using best practice energy efficiency measures, low carbon systems and renewable energy technologies for the selected neighbourhood.
  • Assess cost-effectiveness: Identify the most cost-effective measures for reducing CO2 emissions from the case study dwellings in line with Green Deal requirements.
  • Visualisation and communication: Visualise and communicate the anticipated energy and CO2 savings through DECoRuM® to residents.


The LCBG at OISD provides a professional research and consultancy service to help local authorities, energy advisers and the property industry to apply DECoRuM® model in their cities in order to report, monitor and improve the energy efficiency of both public and private housing.



Refereed journal articles

  • Gupta, R. (2009). Moving towards low-carbon buildings and cities: experiences from Oxford, UK. International Journal of Low-Carbon Technologies (4), pp.159 -168 DOI: 10.1093/ijlct/ctp028
  • Gupta, R and Gregg, M (2011) Adapting UK suburban neighbourhoods and dwellings for a changing climate, Advances in Building Energy Research Journal. 5: 1, 1-28
  • Gupta, R. (2009). Moving towards low-carbon buildings and cities: experiences from Oxford, UK. International Journal of Low-Carbon Technologies (4), pp.159 -168.
  • Gupta, R. (2006). Applying CO2 reduction strategies to existing UK dwellings using GIS-based modelling: a case study in Oxford. Sixty second summary. FiBRE. RICS journal.
  • Gupta, R. (2005). Investigating the potential for local carbon emission reductions: Developing a GIS-based Domestic Energy, Carbon counting and Reduction Model (DECoRuM). Proceedings of the 2005 Solar World Congress. 6-12 August 2005, Orlando, Florida, USA.

Working Papers

  • Gupta, R., and Gregg, M. (2010). Developing the existing modelling and visualisation capacities of DECoRuM: Work Package 5. Suburban Neighbourhood Adaptation for a Changing Climate (SNACC). EPSRC-funded project part of the Adaptation and Resilience to a Changing Climate (ARCC) research network.
  • Gupta, R. and Chandiwala, S. (2009). Carbon Mapping of Headington Campus of Oxford Brookes University. Oxford: Directorate of Estates & Facilities Management, Oxford Brookes University.
  • Gupta, R., Roaf, S. and Raftery, J (2004). Applying carbon reduction strategies to existing UK dwellings using GIS-based modelling. Submitted to Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Education Trust, London. Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development, Oxford Brookes University, UK.


Workshops & Conferences

  • Gupta, R. (2009). Carbon mapping existing buildings on an urban scale. Urban sustainability and Green Buildings for the 21st Century. UK-India conference. India International Centre. 15 May 2009, DELHI, India.
  • Gupta, R. and Chandiwala, S. (2009). Decarbonising national building stocks: measurement, strategies and barrier - case studies of UK, USA, and India. World Bank workshop on Cities and Climate Change. 5 March 2009, WASHINGTON, USA.


  • Royal Institute of British Architects - Issue 9 - September 2007
  • Sustain - May/June 2007 Volume 8, Issue 3
  • Environment Business - February 2007
  • Observe - Summer 2006 - Issue 1
  • Royal Insitution of Chartered Surveyors - July 2006
  • British Builder and Developer - April/May 2006
  • Built Environment - Spring 2006 - Vol. 7
  • Get Sust! - March 2006 - Issue 19
  • Ecobuild - February 2006
  • The Oxford Times - Friday, October 28, 2005
  • Oxford Mail - Wednesday, October 26, 2005
  • Research Forum


Prof Rajat Gupta

Low Carbon Building Group

School of Architecture
Oxford Brookes University
Headington Campus
Gipsy Lane
Oxford, OX3 0BP