University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > FIBE2 Seminar Group > Better early-stage design decisions and advanced building control for climate change mitigation

Better early-stage design decisions and advanced building control for climate change mitigation

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Buildings account for over one-third of global emissions and energy use. Meeting climate pledges will require conciliating high operational energy efficiency and low embodied impacts in new construction. In this talk I will present some of my past and current work addressing this issue.

First, I will talk about an early-stage design tool for multi-storey buildings. It automates the design of structural frames to Eurocode and calculates each generated design option’s embodied carbon and cost. This permits to compare a wide range of design options in early project stages and to evaluate the impact of design decisions. Two test cases illustrate the potential carbon and cost savings unlocked by well-informed early-stage design decisions.

Then I will move on to more recent work which expands the work on structural frames to include envelopes, building use, and operational efficiency. A global sensitivity analysis is employed to explore the relative importance of a wide range of design and operation parameters in terms of embodied cost and carbon, as well as heating and cooling loads.

Finally, I will talk about some research in progress. We are using housing stock databases to automatically create dynamic building energy models for large parts of the housing stock. We will use these models to explore the effect of retrofit options or other energy saving interventions. Further we are investigating the energy and emission savings potential of employing reinforcement learning to optimise building control.

This talk is part of the FIBE2 Seminar Group series.

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