People & Buildings

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Masters Conference 2021/22


session 4

Various Themes on People and Buildings

Incorporation of Microalgae Technology in the Built Environment

Varun Pasikanti

Buildings account for over 30% of energy use and emissions, necessitating sustainable design solutions. One potential solution is integrating microalgae bioreactors into buildings for renewable energy generation and enhanced environmental performance. However, there are technical and economic challenges to overcome. This study examined the best ways to incorporate microalgae systems to optimize productivity, energy benefits, and emission reductions. A techno-economic analysis was conducted on three scenarios: a commercial building, a detached house, and a community plant, comparing the UK with Europe and India.

The findings revealed that high costs outweighed revenues over 25 years, making adoption difficult. The majority of emissions came from manufacturing, materials, and grid energy. Although renewable energy from microalgae mitigated some impacts, significant challenges persist. Factors affecting feasibility include climate’s effect on algae growth, wastewater stream access, and the type of bioproducts produced. This research offers a foundation for future studies and policy recommendations.


Integrated renewable energy

Investigating Thermal Performance and Climate Resilience of the Winter Garden in an Educational Building

Atheya Rajeev, Vashundhara Radhakrishnan, Lucelia Rodrigues, Lorna Kiamba and Renata Tubelo

The GSK Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry is one of the UK’s first laboratories to achieve carbon neutrality and net-zero carbon emissions. In this paper, the researchers investigate the risk of overheating and climate resilience of the winter garden in the GSK building. The study was conducted using qualitative and quantitative methods via on-site measurements, occupant surveys, and dynamic building simulations using IESVE.

The initial findings indicated that overheating was a significant issue during the summer season in both the current climate and future climate scenarios. Design recommendations to mitigate overheating included optimising the extensive glazing and improving ventilation and shading devices. The study concludes that optimising extensive glazing is essential to address overheating in similar building types.


Passive and hybrid strategies for heating and cooling buildings

The Potential of Hybrid Cooling Strategies in Office Buildings to Enhance Energy Efficiency

Lujain Hafiz and Lorna Kiamba

A hybrid cooling system combines both passive and active cooling systems provides energy savings and improves thermal comfort in hot climates. Natural ventilation is combined with mechanical ventilation by switching to mechanical ventilation when natural ventilation is insufficient to maintain indoor thermal comfort. As air conditioning requires a significant amount of energy, this system is limited in hot climates.

This paper examines the application of hybrid ventilation modes in office buildings in Saudi Arabia, with the aim of reducing energy consumption without compromising thermal comfort. A dynamic simulation tool, IES-VE, was used to examine the potential energy savings of the hybrid system through a case study approach. The results of this study indicate that hybrid ventilation mode can save up to 13.7% on an annual basis. The hybrid mode achieved higher savings during the underheating period than during the overheating period at 30.4% and 4.4%, respectively.


Passive and hybrid strategies for heating and cooling buildings

An investigation on energy-efficient housing of past and their compliance to current standards

Benjamin Cherian and Surbhi Bahri

The building sector consumes 38.7% of total energy within the EU, and is therefore a major contributor to greenhouse gases emissions that cause climate change. Buildings should not just prioritize energy efficiency;
they should also be able to adapt to increasing temperatures caused by global warming.

The case of BedZED, a widely acclaimed energy efficient housing scheme of yesteryear was studied. BedZED was tested and studied in today’s climate and in future climate scenarios. Retrofit strategies were tested using dynamic simulation to investigate upgrading the homes to modern energy efficiency standards.

The results indicated overheating issues and the potential need for energy intensive mechanical cooling. Interventions were proposed and tested with a reduction of 40% of internal temperatures over the base-case was achieved. The findings reveal the need to design homes today that are resilient to future climate conditions.


Passive and hybrid strategies for heating and cooling buildings

Using existing buildings as material banks in the UK

Hetian Zhang

Although the practice of Building As Material Banks (BAMB) is gaining momentum, it remains in its nascent stages compared to recycling or retrofitting. Existing knowledge either pertains to broader circular economy topics or lacks focus on the UK-built environment. Given the dynamic nature of the subject, with new guidelines emerging rapidly, it is crucial to comprehend the lack of actions in BAMB even with its economic and social benefits.

This paper presents insights obtained through interviews with nine UK circular economy experts from diverse stakeholder roles, including architects, clients, stockists etc. Utilising both quantitative and qualitative analysis methods, the research sheds light on both the hierarchy of urgency for barriers and suggestions as well as the current practice for reuse.

Despite cost barriers being identified as a primary obstacle, most participants exhibited a positive outlook towards the current progress, indicating a growing interest in reuse. The study emphasises the need for effective legislation and inter-stakeholder collaboration in promoting BAMB adoption. Furthermore, the interviewer’s sentiments underscore the significance of swift action in overcoming psychological barriers such as risk and unfamiliarity with BAMB practices.


Other themes

Design Intervention of retrofit Fixed Solar Shading Device for care homes in Sheffield, UK

Amit Imtiaz

Climate Based Daylight Modelling simulation has been used in this study to simulate existing care homes in Sheffield, UK. The bedrooms were simulated in terms of the Useful Daylight Index and Daylight factor to understand the current daylight situation. Along with the illuminance values, glare indices have been measured. The CIE Glare index of the bedroom was above the critical level (CGI>19).

Among the five different shading devices employed, one of the shading devices placed 500mm apart from the window with four horizontal panels proved to effectively control glare in the bedroom on the southern façade. After installing the shading device, the CIE Glare Index was reduced to 17.54 with a UDI(a) of 78.53%. This study made it possible (a) to examine the current Useful Daylight Index and Daylight factor of the care homes in Sheffield and (b) to implement and experiment with fixed solar shading devices in the care home of Sheffield, UK.


Other themes

Developing The Ruins of The Past: Cultural Heritage Preservation and Urban Regeneration of a Historical Site in the United Kingdom (UK).

Rasha A. Almadi

The overarching aim of this study is to investigate urban regeneration methods to revive historical ruins in the United Kingdom through a case study approach, preserving cultural heritage whilst balancing economic and social development. Winchester was chosen as the case study location due to its historical and cultural significance. The research approach involved theoretical and empirical methods, considering, social, economic, historical, cultural, and environmental aspects in addition to the built environment.

Site visits, observational studies and a local stakeholder listening exercise were all conducted as part of the research design process. The study identified areas for potential regeneration within the case study, emphasising the need to improve the connection between Winchester High Street and Cathedral. The proposed interventions aimed to positively impact the area through creating more dynamic social spaces, enhancing visitor movement and duration of stay while preserving cultural heritage.


Other themes