Energy and Buildings

More than 40% of the UK’s primary energy demand is related to buildings for heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting and powering electrical appliances. As most buildings are not designed for optimum energy use, there is significant potential to reduce the country’s carbon dioxide emissions. The challenge lies in encouraging the construction industry to carry out energy-conscious refurbishment as well as making energy users aware of their behaviour. This is vital if the government’s target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 80% of the 1990 value by 2050 is to be achieved since the annual building stock turnover is very low in the UK (~ 1% per annum). The potential for achieving step changes through refurbishment is high as a large number of existing buildings can be expected to face routine refurbishment within the next two decades.


RENKEI programme
17th December, 2014

Theme: ‘District Energy Supply within Cities’ Date: 22-29 March 2015 Venue: University of Southampton


14th November, 2014

Please follow the links below to complete your survey(s) by Monday the 17th of November if possible. Your ID number is on the e-mail and/or letter that was sent to you recently. Many thanks for your participation. If you have any questions, or if any of your contact details have changed or are incorrect, please […]


Title: Micro climate adapted localised weather data generation: Implications to the energy consumption of buildings and sustainable design of cities Researcher: Leonidas Bourikas Supervisors: Patrick A.B. James & AbuBakr S. Bahaj Abstract This thesis has investigated methodologies for the adaptation of airport based simulation weather files to replicate the local micro climate. The objective of this thesis is to propose a […]


Principle of a housing cluster CHP system to provide better thermal load matching. Excess electricity is exported to the local network beyond the cluster.

The group’s research is looking at existing housing developments from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and 2000s to determine the scope and potential impact of microgeneration technologies and energy efficiency measures on the residential scale. Microgeneration options assessed include: Photovoltaics Micro wind power Solar thermal systems for domestic hot water CHP (combined heat and power) at […]


photo of haphazard installation of split aircon units in a tower block

Climate change is one of the largest threats both for the global economy and the local community. It is predicted that, by 2100, average temperatures could rise as much as six degrees Celsius. The UK is anticipated to become hotter and drier in summer and milder and wetter in winter even under low carbon emissions […]


Internal temperature on north and south sides of office building

Several University of Southampton case study buildings of different age and state of repair have been monitored over longer time periods looking at environmental parameters such as temperature, relative humidity and carbon dioxide concentration. Measurements were made at five minute intervals over several weeks for each building. The scope of these studies was to identify […]


Typical residential PV system on a house in Havant, Hampshire.

Residential grid connected PV systems are relatively simple to design with easy to predict annual yields. However, the headline economics of residential PV in the UK are at present unattractive. A typical small residential PV system (1 to 3 kWp) as shown in the top figure would cost in the year 2000 around £4,500 per […]


Bar chart showing user contentment before and after atrium installation in office space

Further occupant surveys conducted by the group have shown that compromising one aspect of the indoor comfort conditions can lead to a perceived compromising of all other measures of indoor comfort. A survey conducted in June 2005 inside existing offices adjacent to the PV atrium (c in Figure 1) reveiled a significantly worse perception of indoor […]


1960s building in need of refurbishment
Research update: Building Refurbishment

In industrialised countries building refurbishment is generally considered to be vital in order to achieve major carbon emission reductions in the built environment. At high latitudes the largest single consumer of energy in buildings continues to be space heating required for creating comfortable indoor conditions. For example, a typical 3 bedroom UK house has, on […]


Carbon dioxide monitoring data

The carbon dioxide concentration levels normally observed in indoor environments range from 350 to 2,500 ppm and are typically between 500 and 1,500 ppm. Current literature suggests that a building’s carbon dioxide concentration can be seen as an indicator for both volatile organic component (VOC) concentration and general indoor air quality. However, the potential to […]