Cambridge project is among those benefiting from £3 million Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funding.
Improving energy efficiency is an important piece of the energy puzzle.
Professor Philip Nelson EPSRC’s Chief Executive
Against a world backdrop of increased concerns about energy security, price fluctuations and, of course, the need to address climate change, six new research projects that aim to gain a fuller understanding of how energy is managed in the country’s non-domestic buildings are launched today.
Funded with £3 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), on behalf of the Research Councils UK Energy Programme (RCUKEP), the research will address how to use technology, data and information, mathematics, law and sociology to create better energy strategies and behaviours in the public and private, non-domestic buildings stock.
Among the schemes being funded is a Cambridge project aimed at creating software which will help to reduce the uncertainty in modelling the energy management of a wide variety of buildings.
Non-domestic buildings such as offices, supermarkets, hospitals and factories account for approximately 18 per cent of UK carbon emissions and 13 per cent of final energy consumption.
By 2050, the total UK’s non-domestic floor area is expected to increase by 35 per cent, while 60 per cent of existing buildings will still be in use. This means that substantial retro-fitting is likely and planning what techniques to use to save energy, as well as how to implement change with the cooperation of building occupants, is going to be essential.
Professor Philip Nelson EPSRC’s Chief Executive said: “Improving energy efficiency is an important piece of the energy puzzle. Worldwide energy demand is rising, as are global temperatures and sea levels. We need to find smart solutions to how we use energy while improving the environment in which people have to work, rest or play. These projects will go a long way to help improve our understanding of what goes on in non-domestic buildings and add to the armoury at the disposal of those managing these facilities.”
The new projects will be run at Imperial College London, University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, University of Oxford, University of Southampton and the University of Strathclyde.
The Cambridge project is called B-bem: The Bayesian building energy management Portal. The research team is led by Ruchi Choudhary (Department of Engineering) and includes Sebastian Macmillan (IDBE), Koen Steemers and Yeonsook Heo (Department of Architecture), and Michael Pollitt (Cambridge Judge Business School).
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and physical sciences. EPSRC invests around £800m a year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture. EPSRC works alongside other Research Councils with responsibility for other areas of research. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.
The Research Councils UK (RCUK) Energy Programme led by EPSRC aims to position the UK to meet its energy and environmental targets and policy goals through world-class research and training. The Energy programme is investing more than £625 million in research and skills to pioneer a low carbon future. This builds on an investment of £839 million over the past eight years. The Energy Programme brings together the work of EPSRC and that of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).
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