Posts tagged: SoBE

THINKlab partnership project receives €425K funding

THINKLabTHE University of Salford will lead the way in helping to create more energy efficient cities, after receiving a €425,000 grant from the EU.

Buildings waste huge amounts of energy but annually just 1-2% of the building stock of cities is upgraded for efficiency – a process known as retrofitting.

It is estimated that the majority of European building stock will need to retrofit at a rate of 2.9% a year to achieve the target, versus the current 1.2% rate, in order that EU achieve its emission reduction targets by 2050.

However, current retrofitting processes are expensive, and face many uncertainties and complexities. Experts in the School of the Built Environment are partners in a €8.7 million project, and will lead the development of a knowledge-based tool which will select the integrated solutions with highest impact.

The other nineteen industry and academic partners involved in the project are from the UK, Spain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and Estonia. The wider project will explore innovative components, processes and decision making methodologies to guide all value-chain actors in the building renovation process; including a specific knowledge based tool for Real Estate Industry.

Professor Fernando, Director of the School of the Built Environment’s THINKlab and an expert in digital visualisations and simulation, said: “This project offers us further funding to continue our work on designing energy efficient buildings and neighborhoods that we have been doing over the last three years as a part of the Design4Energy project.

“We plan to apply our knowledge in advanced visualisation and collaboration in creating an interactive platform for the stakeholders involved in the retrofit market to create innovative solutions that can not only enhance the energy efficiency of the building but also the value of the property.”

This new technology platform will be built on the THINKlab’s ongoing work on advance data visualisation and building simulation.

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Victoria Barker

0161 295 4779


UPRISE, ELS and SHUSU Exploring Local & Regional Approaches to Ecology & Flooding

Irwell Flooding

Photo of a flooded Irwell by Dr Luke Blazejewski

Researchers from UPRISE are collaborating with colleagues from the School of Environment and Life Sciences, Research and Innovation and SHUSU (Sustainable Housing & Urban Studies Unit) on a HEIF-funded project to explore local and regional approaches to ecology and flooding.  This project will involve engaging with organisations, agencies and communities in the Salford and wider Manchester region to understand how ecological principles can be applied to the issues surrounding floods, and the wider functioning of a city.  This diverse partnership draws from a pool of expertise, and demonstrates precisely the interdisciplinary approach required to look at 21st century urban issues – keeping in spirit with the ICZ strategy of the University of Salford.

Led by the Dean of School, Prof. Hisham Elkadi, the project will run until the end of July.  By strengthening partnerships with UPRISE across the university and beyond, this important area of study will provide a basis for a larger and longer term body of work which will evolve our thinking on cities and how they function, Dean of School, Prof. Hisham Elkadi says “Climate change results in more severe and more frequent adversial weather conditions.  Flood-control infrastructures in our contemporary cities are not reliable mitigation defenses in the face of climate change uncertainties. The aim of the project is to build-in ecological resilience measures to mitigate against flooding”

A series of workshops and interviews are being organised by UPRISE as part of the project.  UPRISE Research Fellow, Dr. Nick Davies, described the co-creation approach of the project: ‘The workshops will provide a platform for organisations involved in various sectors concerned with flood resilience to interact, and be involved in designing and sharpening the key research focus of this project.’


Professor Jason Underwood People Count – the culture of digital construction

The School of Built Environment’s Professor Jason Underwood wasJason Underwoods an invited keynote alongside Chris Boardman, MBE and former British and Olympic cyclist, at an event organised by the global technology organisation Trimble Solutions/Tekla on 1st December.

The event was focused  on the people aspect of collaboration and digital construction entitled “People Count – the culture of digital construction“. Jason gave a keynote on the psychology of collaboration in the construction industry in relation to changing the perceived norms, which followed on from Chris’ presentation that considered the psychology of winning. Further information on the event can be found  at www.tekla.com/uk/about/events/people-count-culture-digital-construction.

 


Could factory-built homes solve UK’s housing crisis?

Factory-built homes could help solve the UK’s housing crisis, construction expert Professor Mohammed Arif has told the BBC.Professor Mohammed Arif

Factory-built homes, also known as modular houses, have the capability to deliver homes fast, cheaper and have a final product which is more energy efficient, Arif, Professor of Sustainability and Process Management, said.

The Professor in the School of the Built Environment told the BBC’s North West Tonight programme as part of a feature on a Liverpool housing association’s move into flat-pack construction. Flat-pack houses can be built in half the time of a conventional house.

He said: “Given what we are facing in terms of the rising costs of housing which has kicked an entire segment of the population out of the domain of home ownership, modular houses have the capability to deliver homes fast, cheaper and have a final product which is more energy efficient.”

Factory-built homes currently make up 1% of the supply, with the Government’s stated aim to build 100,000 by 2020.

See the BBC North West Tonight video here: