10 September 2018
SEEDS International Conference 2018
The fourth annual SEEDS (Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society) International Conference was held in Dublin on 6 and 7 September, 2018. This popular conference, which is organised by the Leeds Sustainability Institute, was hosted by Professor Lloyd Scott of the Dublin Institute of Technology. There were delegates from 19 different countries, including some as distant as Australia, USA and South Africa. The Conference was held in the newly refurbished Grangegorman Campus in Dublin, where delegates heard presentations from Keynote Speakers, were presented with and discussed academic papers and took part in forums. The excellent campus facilities and the sunshine adding to a unique experience in this vibrant capital city. The gala dinner on the evening of 6 September also encompassed the RISE (Research Innovation Sustainability Enterprise) Awards. The organisers were delighted to welcome several winners from the commercial sector who had entered winning posters for the RISE Awards that were both thought-provoking and groundbreaking, showing how the industry is progressing with new ideas, processes and materials. The Gala Dinner for the SEEDS Conference and the RISE Awards was held beside the river in the heart of Dublin at the Morrison Hotel. A representative from CIOB helped the Chairs present the Awards.
26 April 2018Paris Institute of Technology visit, 16-20 April 2018It was a pleasure to welcome again a group from Paris during this week. As always, a varied programme of visits, presentations and social events was organised by the LSI team, ably co-ordinated by Ellen Glover with her usual efficiency, with help from Felix Thomas. For me, as the oldest member of the LSI group, this was my latest experience of the benefits of international contact, in a series going back for me, to the 1970’s. Niels Bohr, the great 20th century Danish physicist, famously said that he could only make progress with his research through dialogue with colleagues, regardless of whether they were native or foreign. A remark during a brief conversation can trigger a new line of thinking, and this echoes my own experience during four decades of teaching and research. I began as a researcher and then a teacher of materials science to students of engineering and construction, but beginning over 25 years ago, my interest has moved increasingly to the topic of sustainability.
I was not able to attend all the events, but for me, apart from some interesting presentations, the highlight was the visit on Wednesday to the CITU site at Little Kelham, in Sheffield. Here, an industrial brown field site and some of the old buildings are being converted to provide accommodation for around 100 families and individuals. Whether new build or converted, all the apartments are built to the highest standards of insulation and air-tightness, and the whole site is powered with solar energy. As much material as possible is being recycled, with minimum use of steel and concrete, and the whole layout is being built to engender a spirit of community among the occupants. Because of its inner-city location, long-distance commuting will not be necessary, and the apartments are affordably-priced for young professionals and young families. One old mill building is being converted to provide accommodation for business start-ups and craft centres, and development overall ticks all the right boxes for long-term sustainability. We all found this visit to be a very interesting and uplifting experience, the French students asked many good questions and viewing the site in fine sunshine was an extra bonus. As usual, the final highlight was an enjoyable meal together with our visitors on Thursday evening, before seeing them on their way on Friday morning.
Professor John Sturges, April 2018
15 December 2017
Fire Safety CPD Seminar
On 12 December Professor Chris Gorse, Director of Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett, made a presentation to a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) approved CPD Seminar hosted by ROCKWOOL & Rockpanel at Manchester Town Hall. Chris' presentation "Lessons from Grenfall: Standards, Regulations, Quality and Experience" discussed how the Grenfell Tower fire has called into question the construction industry's procedures, enforcement and the quality of refurbishment. Martin Wrigley, Project Specification Manager for ROCKWOOL, made a presentation entitled "Fire Safety of Buildings Above 18m - Designing out Risks", which discussed cladding systems, non-combustible insulation and how to comply with fire safety regulations. Jenni Muston, Rockpanel's Area Sales Manager for the North of England, discussed interpretation of the UK Government statutory guidance, "Approved Document B", which covers fire safety matters within and around buildings.
4 December 2017
Setting an Example with Display Energy Certificates and Advisory Reports?
The December 2017 edition of the CIBSE Journal features an article by Leeds Beckett University researchers, who explain why there is endemic UK government non-compliance with Display Energy Certificates and Advisory Reports. The first independent synthesis of UK central government compliance with Display Energy Certificates (DECs) and Advisory Reports (ARs) has found that no UK central government buildings achieved a DEC A rating, with 23% being E rated, 11% F rated, and 24% G rated. This underlines challenges that may be faced should minimum energy performance standards be introduced at a future date.
18 July 2017
CIBSE Journal: https://www.cibsejournal.com/magazine/
Leeds Beckett University article: http://portfolio.cpl.co.uk/CIBSE/201712/34/
Professor Peter Skipworth Flying the flag for EMS and Leeds Beckett
Professor Skipworth continues to make an impact on smart methods of waste water management, with keynote presentations being delivered at three conferences this year. Building on the strength of our academic and industry partnership, recognised by the 2016 YCF Awards, Professor Skipworth will be sharing his knowledge at three conferences, making a presentation on sensors for networks and infrastructure at the Sensing in Water ‘Meaningful measurement from the micro to the macro scale 2017, the CIWEN – Surface Water Management Conference 2017 and the Urban Drainage Group Autumn Conference 2017.
EMS and Leeds Beckett Recognised for Best Academic Partnership
EMS and Leeds Beckett University were recognised for Best Partnership between Academia and Industry at the 2016 YCF People Awards. This collaborative project was developed to address the challenge of broken hand-operated water pumps in sub-Saharan Africa. The project is already making an impact gathering data on the use and operation of the pumps. Unless addressed, unfortunately when community water pumps stop working, they can remain out of service for a long time due to their remote location, leaving the communities without clean water. In response, different types of ‘smart’ monitors are being developed using mobile communication networks. A fully functional prototype product (MANTIS: Monitoring and ANalytics to Improve Service) has been developed by EMS in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University. Due to its unique use of simple technology combined with advanced data compression algorithms, MANTIS is orders of magnitude less costly and less power hungry than competitor products for a similar useful return of information. MANTIS is very easily deployable by local operatives and we are currently conducting pilot installations in Sierra Leone.
Professor Chris Gorse commented “the partnership between Leeds Beckett University and EMS is very effective and has resulted in some extremely important innovations, the MANTIS project is particularly important, through the work led by Professor Peter Skipworth and Dr Andrew Swan and some simple effective Smart monitoring there is a greater chance that the communities relying on these pumps will be able to access to clean water.
12 April 2017
Paris Institute of Technology study visit
A group of Executive Masters students from L’École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, the Paris Institute of Technology, were engaged in a five day study visit from 3rd to 7th April at Leeds Beckett University. The companies the students represent include those in France’s public and private sectors, energy saving companies, manufacturers, construction firms, architects and new start-ups. The purpose of the visit was to learn about some of the research and work of the CeBE team working within the Leeds Sustainability Institute and also explore some of the local area. The Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul Smith and the Director of the Leeds Sustainability Institute, Professor Chris Gorse, welcomed the group, which then embarked on a packed schedule of presentations, visits and activities.
Presentations on research into building behaviour, thermal bridging, and closing the performance gap were given by the CeBE researchers. Research equipment was also demonstrated and its uses explained. Anthony Smith presented his research on solving civil engineering problems using biomicrobial solutions and Dr Fiona Fylan gave a presentation on ‘Changing Behaviour’. Talks and walking tours on the City of Leeds and Saltaire were provided by Dr Lindsay Smales. The group also visited the Headingley campus where the LSI drone was demonstrated in flight and its various potential uses explained by Adrian Appleyard.
The group also visited the innovative Citu, Little Kelham site in Sheffield, where they were given a talk and a guided tour of this developing residential and retail area. Professor Jean Carassus, from the Ecole des Ponts, said: “There are many aspects which make Little Kelham a really interesting development to study. It seems that the development is addressing a lot of problems surrounding urban regeneration and it is good to see how it is being integrated into a city such as Sheffield. The whole approach, from the design and the construction all the way to things like the marketing and digital side of Little Kelham is very innovative.” The packed programme also contained a visit to the Salford Energy House, where the group were given a presentation outlining its use followed by a tour of this research facility.
The relationship between the LSI and the Paris Institute of Technology continues to be extremely amicable and encourages the exchange of ideas and good practice in sustainable technologies. The Leeds Sustainability Institute values and nurtures its international partners and contacts.
2 December 2016
CIBSE Yorkshire Regional Awards 2016
Professor Chris Gorse was invited to provide a keynote address at the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers CIBSE Yorkshire Regional Awards. Held at the Royal Armories in Leeds, the event was attended by 400 professionals all with a keen interest on taking the industry forward. Presenting alongside the former Chief Construction Adviser Peter Hansford and Alison Watson, Director of Class of Your Own, Professor Gorse engaged the audience with questions about personal responsibility and how industry leaders, building engineers and individuals could make changes to help sustain the things we have come to love. Through his address Chris acknowledged the changes that had already taken place in the UK. Subtle changes to the climate, which means we now have less snow and wetter winters and that our children and grandchildren are likely not to even experience snow. In 2080 there will be 80-90 % less snow, which means virtually no snow in England. The changes are also affecting our trees, with many species under threat as a result of warm weather, bringing new strains of pests and diseases.
2 December 2016
Building and Engineer Awards 2016
Once again Leeds Beckett University and Professor Chris Gorse were invited to take part in the Judging for the Builder & Engineer awards. Chris Gorse stood alongside Sir Geoff Hurst MBE awarding Patrick Parsons, the prize for Consultancy of the Year. The Building and Engineer Awards 2016 recognises those companies and individuals that are leading the industry with innovation. The awards are linked to the Builder and Engineer magazine which is read by 300,000 construction professionals. Other Judges included Darrel Matthes ICE, Ian Rumsam IRC and Chris Selby CTSSUK.
Why control, using automation apps and tech, is a growing trend in thermal comfort
Professor Chris Gorse was invited by Saint Gobain Multi Comfort to comment on why the control of internal environments and thermal comfort is becoming increasingly important for families. Health and wellbeing of the occupants is a the heart of the family. Home owners are becoming much more aware of the how important the internal environment and conditions of the home are to healthy living. New apps, improved building fabrics and responsive services are creating a whole new way of living, which hopefully will lead to much healthier and environmentally responsive buildings.
BEIS: Cavity Party Wall Insulation: Measuring U-values
Working with Cambridge Energy and Bridgewater Surveyors, Chris Gorse, David Johnston, David Farmer and Dominic Miles Shenton, have been successful in securing a contract for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to investigate the measurement of U-values in party walls. The study will investigate and survey 100 properties, some with intensive measurements and others with the minimal monitoring required to obtain representative heat flux measurements through the wall. The project value is worth just under £400,000 with Leeds Beckett University securing up to £120,000 for its forensic research and measurements. The outputs of this study will provide effective U-values for at least five different house types:
• Homes with a full-height party wall cavity to the roof level, built from brick
1 December 2016
• As above with a blockwork party wall
• Homes with a party wall cavity to joist level in the loft (‘capped party wall’), built from brick
• As above with a blockwork party wall
• Homes with insulated party walls (primarily retrofit, but if the Department agrees also a small sample of new-build homes).
Stamford Brook Inuse Final Report
The final report has been published detailing the results of a 12 month energy monitoring research program at Stamford Brook, Altrincham. The report builds on fabric data from the initial project (Lowe, Bell and Roberts 2003) and subsequent research listed in the Stamford Brook references at the end of this document. Using energy consumption data from 84 dwellings along with information about their construction, thermal performance and household occupancy, the research investigated the relationships between energy consumption and the dwelling fabric, systems and occupants.
27 September 2016
Stamford Brook Inuse Final Report
Stamford Brook Project
International SEEDS Conference 2016
On 14 and 15 September, LSI once again hosted the International SEEDS Conference. Professor Chris Gorse, the Director of the Leeds Sustainability Institute and Professor Mohammad Dastbaz, Pro Vice Chancellor welcomed delegates and keynote speakers. Two days of Conference Papers being presented, networking opportunities and internationally acclaimed keynote speakers, made for an exciting, successful and positive Conference. Sustainability is the core theme for the Sustainable, Ecological, Engineering and Design for Society Conference and this provides an opportunity to submit papers from a wide range of disciplines relating to sustainability.
Posters that had been submitted for the SEEDS Conference and the accompanying RISE Awards (Research, Innovation, Sustainability and Enterprise) were displayed in the Rose Bowl throughout the two days of the Conference. A gala dinner where the RISE Awards were presented was held on the Thursday evening and was hosted by Gaynor Barnes. A Conference dinner was also held in the Acre Room at Headingley on Wednesday evening.
This year the Conference welcomed delegates from the USA, Finland, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Wales, Ireland and the UK. Many of the delegates were returning for the second year of the Conference and we also welcomed new delegates and new paper submissions. The abstracts for the SEEDS Conference can be found here.
Keynote Speakers and Presentations included:
3 August 2016
Dr Alice Owen - Diffusion of Low Carbon Innovation in Building Retrofit: challenges and opportunities
Professor Jaqui Glass - Industry and virtue: an update on responsible and ethical sourcing practices in the UK
Professor Gary Shuckford - The Dementia challenge, the role of Big data and IoT
Dr Karl Andersson - Solutions for Greener and Smarter cities and Regions Enabling Sustainable Growth: the North Swedish Perspective
Professor Vyacheslav Kharchenko - Green IT Engineering: Challenges and Solutions for Human and Industry Domains
Steven Heath (KNAUF Insulation) – ‘Mind the Gap’ – a study into the Real Performance of domestic properties ‘in Use’.
Dr Francesco Pomponi - From many to few: how stochastic modelling can help reduce required data for uncertainty analysis in life cycle assessment
Dr John Littlewood - What can Building Performance Evaluation Testing learn from the atmosphere of Saturday Night Fever
Professor Peter Skipworth - At the interface of man and the environment: What do we really know?
Dr Lloyd Scott - Future Orientated Built Environment professionals: What Sustainability Competencies Should Be Fostered in Higher Education graduates?
Chrissi McCarthy - The impact of fairness in the construction sector
Professor John Smallwood - Preventing the Collapse of Reinforced Concrete (RC) Structures and Support Work During Construction: Assurance Versus ‘Accident Investigation’
Final report of All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment released
During the Inquiry of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment, Leeds Beckett University provided evidence at the House of Commons on the quality and workmanship of new build housing in England. The final report, published on 13 July 2016 titled 'More homes, fewer complaints', has informed house builders to put consumers at the heart of their business model. Professor Chris Gorse presented the University’s research to the Parliamentary Group, which has been used to underpin some of the final recommendations. The evidence presented showed that the performance of some houses was substantially different from that expected. The results suggest that in many properties commissioning, inspection, quality processes and conformance sign off procedures were not being carried out properly. A better prediction and performance based assessment was suggested.
The final report places emphasis on Government to use its influence to promote quality at every opportunity. Chairman of the group, Oliver Colvile MP said, “The Government is intent on seeing the construction of one million new homes within the course of this Parliament. However, our view is that increasing the quantity of new homes must not be achieved at the expense of their quality. It is clear to us that there is a quality gap between customer demands and industry delivery. Closing this gap will only come about, we believe, if housebuilders make a concerted effort to create a more consumer-focused culture. From the evidence we heard, consumers want to see an improved quality of build, homes that are fit for purpose and an easy to understand warranty.”
29 July 2016
TRUE (transformational routemapping for urban environments)
Dr Fiona Fylan, from the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett University, is part of a team which has secured funding from Research Councils UK to develop a tool that can be used to help tackle complex problems faced by cities. The team, led by Paul Chatterton, Professor of Urban Futures at the University of Leeds, will work with Leeds City Council and partners on some of the most challenging projects faced by the city. These include raising the profile and economy of Leeds by transforming its city centre, developing strong, resilient and sustainable communities, and tacking domestic violence and abuse. The team will co-produce a tool – TRUE (transformational routemapping for urban environments) – that will map the complexity of the project against the capacity of the delivery team, while drawing on partners and resources to better understand and address the problems and opportunities at the heart of the project. This approach, involving systems and complexity theory, open data, and community ethnography, will help teams to successfully deliver outcomes that have the potential to transform urban futures.
17 May 2016
Heat Loss Calculator android app released
Working with members of the Leeds Sustainability Institute, Ian Dickinson, a University Research Fellow, has created an educational app for android devices. It will help students and professionals explore the potential energy efficiency of different building element fabrics with an easy to use Heat Loss Calculator. The Heat Loss Calculator is an educational resource which introduces the concept of calculating heat loss from the varied materials used in house building. The aim of the app is to quickly calculate building heat loss and how much various insulation improvements could potentially reduce it by reducing U-values. The app also has potential for use in teaching.
Professor Christopher Gorse commented, "Ian pursued the idea to embed current research experience into a simple and easy to use app. Working with Dominic Miles-Shenton and Will Gamble, this very usable app has been created. We will be taking this research forward, embedding it into the curriculum and also linking with Secondary Schools to use this and other learning tools that we have created to offer an applied STEM experience. We have a history of demonstrating how science and mathematics can be applied to real world technology and engineering situations. Our previous work with Virtual Site continues to be used by many institutions. The app is expected to be well-received and we will be working with two Academies in Yorkshire to explore its potential use in Secondary Schools."
16 May 2016
Google Play Store listing
Virtual Site and other STEM and built environment tools
Energy in Building and Communities Programme: Brussels 2016
Building energy performance assessment based on in-situ measurements
The LSI have recently been invited to take a lead role in a new Annex for the International Energy Agency. The Building Performance group at Leeds Beckett will be exploring in-use energy data from smart meter readings to help understand and improve the energy behaviour of buildings and occupants. Professor Chris Gorse and the team at Leeds will be contributing their building simulation, forensics and analysis expertise, developing new approaches to understand and predict building behaviour.
Embodied Carbon and Energy Symposium
Professor Chris Gorse was invited, as one of the fifty academic and industrial experts to contribute to CuBES’ (Cambridge University Built Environments Sustainability) Embodied Carbon and Energy Symposium 2016. The symposium was led by Dr Alice Moncaster, with presentations from industry and academia followed by focus groups. Themes included Risk and Uncertainty; What can we do in practice?; Low-carbon materials and other mitigation strategy; Issues in embodied carbon calculation; Embodied carbon during the use phase; Demolition vs. Refurbishment.
House of Commons, Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment
7 April 2016
Following the request for the submission of evidence by Leeds Beckett University on the quality of housing and building performance in the built environment Professor Chris Gorse was invited by Mr Oliver Colvile MP, Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group to attend the presentation of the final report for Excellence in the Built Environment at the House of Commons. Professor Gorse commented that they were pleased research undertaken by Leeds Beckett University had achieved such significance and was now being used to address the quality of housing for the nation.
Women in Construction Awards 2016
The Women in Construction Awards 2016 took place on Wednesday 23rd March 2016 at The Palace Hotel, Oxford Road, Manchester. The Awards showcase the brightest and best female talent in the house building and construction industries and recognise the growing impact women have in the construction industry. Leeds Beckett University sponsored the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was won by Jane Nelson, Executive Director of Mears Group, for her long-standing commitment and outstanding contribution to the construction and housing sectors. Jane was presented with the Award by Professor Christopher Gorse, Director of the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett University.
17 March 2016
Energy Matters: Insider Round Table
Senior people from Yorkshire businesses covering all parts of the energy industry came together for an 'Energy Matters: Insider Round Table' to examine market trends and explore the future of energy supply. Professor Chris Gorse of Leeds Sustainability Institute took part in the debate, which was featured in Yorkshire Business Insider magazine. The article, 'Why do we have to rely on gas from Ukraine?' can be viewed at the link below.
4 March 2016
2 February 2016
Facing up to the Gap: CIOB Construction Manager magazine article
Professor Chris Gorse is interviewed by Elaine Knutt for the CIOB Construction Manager Journal on the new Building Performance Evaluation Review. Professor Gorse suggests that “In some cases the difference between the required and actual performance is so great it may be of sufficient interest that enforcement notices are served to ensure regulatory compliance."
Professor Chris Gorse helps shape inquiry into the quality of new build housing
Chris Gorse, Director of the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett, provided evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment’s Inquiry into the Quality of New Build Housing. The inquiry is examining the potential for improving every aspect of the product handed over to new home-owners. This is a subject of special significance in the wake of the Government’s recently-published National Productivity Plan, which includes the ambition to build more than one million homes in England by 2020.
Construction Industry Council All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment
2 February 2016
Written evidence submitted by the Leeds Sustainability Institute, Leeds Beckett University, to The All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellent in the Built Environment’s Inquiry into the Quality of New Build Housing in England
Transcript of presentation evidence by Professor Chris Gorse at the House of Commons
Evidence collected by the Construction Industry Council. With contributions from:
Institute of Clerks of Works and Construction Inspectorate - Rachel Morris, Chief Executive and Ian Carey, Past President
Local Authorities Building Control - Paul Everall, Chief Executive, Philip Hammond, Managing Director and Barry Turner, Director of Technical Policy
MD Insurance Services Ltd - Rob Clay-Parker and James Bush, Managing Directors
Zero Carbon Hub - Rob Pannell, Managing Director, Ross Holleron, Project Director
Royal Institute of British Architects - Andrew Forth
British Research Establishment - Chris Cousins, BRE Associate
Wingrove Law - Geoff Peter
Houseplanning Help Ben Adam-Smith
Barry Grossmith, Cornelius Jeronimus and Phil Waller
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors - David McCullogh, Group Director Building Control and Sustainability at Carillion
Home Builders Federation - Peter Andrew, Deputy Chairman
National House Building Council- Lewis Sidnick, Head of Corporate and External Affairs Ian Davis, Operations Director
Chartered Institute of Building - Stephen Wielebski, CIOB Fellow
Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors - Paul Wilkins, Chair and Diane Marshall, Treasurer
Leeds Sustainability Institute, Centre for the Built Environment - Prof Chris Gorse
Dr Stephen and Mrs Elisabeth Watkins - New Home Quality Legislation
Draft Outline of New Home Quality Legislation
Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists - Kevin Crawford, Vice President Technical
Mineral Wool Insulation Manufacturers Association - Sarah Kostense-Winterton, Executive Director and Steven Heath, Policy Committee Chairman
BLP Insurance - Vim Vernau, Chief Executive and Jeff Maxted, Director of Technical Consultancy
Shared Research Ideas in the LSI
Two visiting academics from Colorado State University gave presentations to the team of researchers working for the LSI on 29 January. Professor Peter Young and Associate Professor Patricia Aloise-Young are on sabbatical and working with the LSI team until May 2016.
Professor Peter Young’s research interests include the development of analysis and design techniques for large scale uncertain systems, and robust learning controllers. His interests include control of HVAC systems, power system distribution grids, sustainable energy and the control of biological systems, such as algal growth for biofuel production. Dr Patricia Aloise-Young is an Associate Professor of Applied Social and Health Psychology. Her areas of specialisation and research include energy conservation, adolescent cigarette smoking, social influence and normative interventions.
LSI researchers reciprocated by describing their research in energy conservation, renewable technologies and behaviour and energy monitoring. Over the next few months it is hoped some interesting collaborations and new insights into each other’s research and differing perspectives will be enjoyed.
1 February 2016
Latch Annual Report
The Leeds Sustainability Institute first worked with Latch on the DECC Go Early Cores Cities project. Latch working in partnership with the Leeds Environmental Design Associates developed innovative designs to refurbish, what some may consider difficult to treat properties, and transform them into warm, energy efficient and affordable to heat homes. Latch’s annual report demonstrates success through the recognition of social value and what can be achieved by working deep in communities and engaging people at all levels.
The renovation on the run down void properties is undertaken by unemployed volunteers, gaining valuable skills, experience and producing very high quality work. Some of the volunteers have had challenging times that create barriers to employment, but the work offered by Latch and the experience of creating high quality homes is making a real difference to many people. The project supports the homeless, creates positive change, jobs and is improving neighbourhoods. The LSI’s Energy Efficient testing and monitoring on Latch properties showed a significant change in performance. The 2015 Latch Annual Report is very encouraging.
7 January 2016
Christmas quiz for charity
The Leeds Sustainability Institute held a Christmas quiz in December and raised an amazing £170 for St. George's Crypt, a charity in the City of Leeds, working with the homeless, the vulnerable and those suffering from addiction.
25 November 2015
Sunday Times article
Professor David Johnston was quoted in an article published in the Sunday Times on the 22nd November 2015 entitled “A load of hot air”. The article makes reference to the findings incorporated within a recent paper that was published by Professor David Johnston and colleagues Dominic Miles-Shenton and David Farmer in the Building Services Engineering Research and Technology (BSER&T) journal (“Quantifying the domestic building fabric ‘performance gap’”).
12 November 2015
Report on Solid Wall Insulation
A report on Solid Wall Insulation (SWI), Unlocking Demand and Driving up Standards, produced by the Green Construction Board and Peter Hansford, shows Dominic-Miles Shenton, Leeds Beckett University Senior Research Fellow, conducting tests on one of the University’s early research projects at Stamford Brook. The report, which is a response, in part, to the Construction 2025 strategy, suggests that the improvements in solid walls, by applying SWI has benefits including, improving comfort, health and wellbeing; supporting fuel security, addressing fuel poverty; improving fabric and reducing maintenance costs; regenerating neighbourhoods and contributing to GDP and tax revenues. The work also notes that the SWI demand is supressed for a number of policy and technical reasons, and is also not helped due to some problems caused by inadequate installation and poor workmanship. Reiterating some of the concerns held by the research group at Leeds Beckett, the report notes that “the building physics for some types of property is not widely nor perhaps fully understood.” The research being undertaken by Leeds Beckett University team is helping to develop better understand of the characteristic behaviour of buildings.
The Green Construction Board report creates a useful discussion. SOLID WALL INSULATION Unlocking Demand and Driving Up Standards: A report to the Green Construction Board and Government by the Chief Construction Adviser Peter Hansford FREng November 2015
11 November 2015
Brazil Reforestation Talk – Supported by LSI
The Leeds Sustainability Institute were pleased to promote the lunch-time talk given by Dr Manuel Lima Junior on 6 November. Dr Lima Junior is an academic from the Federal University of Amazonas State in Manaus, whose area of research is Forestry Engineering. This talk covered an amazing project that aims to create an Amazon tree seed bank that can be utilised for current and future reforestation efforts within the Amazon region. By law, private landowners in the Amazon region now have to ensure that 80% of their holding is covered by forest canopy. Currently, the level of forest canopy covering most private land falls well short of that figure, and so an extensive reforestation project is underway to meet the requirement of Brazilian law. Dr Lima Junior’s work centres on educating landowners, seed collectors and managers so that the replacement tree stocks come from a seed bank that:
a) ensures genetically diverse seed reserves that can better resist the risks of disease by the acquisition of a good quality seed lot for restoration and ecological purposes, and;
b) contains tree species that will provide viable economic products landowners can harvest and sell, generating new incomes from their newly reforested land.
The second aim of the presentation was to promote a Brazil-based training course his university now offers to overseas staff and students where they are trained in how to identify, collect and manage seeds from the top 50 economically important tree species found within the Amazon region. Such a training course could form part of a very interesting student volunteering and/or exchange research programme, especially for students with a botanical background or interest.
Dr Lima Junior is currently in the UK working with Kew Gardens on the BESANS project (Newton Fund), but had taken some time out to offer this presentation to any staff members or students who possess any level of interest in sustainable ecology, interest in Amazonian rainforest forestry and arboriculture, or even just a passion for reforestation and restoration of the Amazon region. The photo shows Dr Lima Junior with Anthony Smith from Leeds Beckett, who met Dr Lima Junior in Brazil on a research visit and took part in a preview of the seed collecting course which involved climbing high into the tree canopy using ropes, carabineers and other specialist climbing equipment.
Powerpoint slides of Dr Manuel's presentation
Hill and Leeds Beckett University Research and Development through Knowledge Transfer Partnership
The Daily Mail reports on a research and development project linked to Leeds Beckett University and Hill Cambridge Knowledge Transfer Partnership. The report talks of the Eco home in Cambridge and the experience the occupants have, living in the property during the first year as part of a Eco R&D project. Professor Chris Gorse noted that “The work demonstrates how the house builders of the future may prototype, build and test their homes. Hill approached the University back in 2013 discussing their desire to not only build but to test and develop low energy buildings. They were keen to know exactly how the buildings performed when tested and how the users operate and respond to the low energy properties. Monitoring the energy used, environmental conditions of the property and obtaining feedback directly from occupants ensures that building operation and occupant behaviour is understood. Comfort and ease of operation is at the heart of all successful low energy building projects, but few go to the extent that Hill have to understand what it takes to deliver the Eco homes of the future.
Thermal performance and airtightness testing of static caravans
10 November 2015
Professor David Johnston, Dominic Miles-Shenton and David Farmer, all members Leeds Sustainability Institute, have just successfully obtained some research funding from Bourne Leisure Limited to undertake a number of in situ measurements of the thermal performance and airtightness of a small number of their new 2016 model fleet hire static caravans. These measurements will be used by Bourne Leisure Limited to determine the optimum levels of insulation (and U-values) that should be specified for the main external elements of their fleet hire caravans (external walls, floor and roof) in terms of cost versus performance. The measurements are scheduled to take place in early 2016.
New Professors join Leeds Sustainability Institute
The Leeds Sustainability Institute has welcomed two new Visiting Professors to its team. Professor Gary Shuckford, Director of Edenbridge Healthcare Limited, and Professor Pete Skipworth, Managing Director of Sheffield-based environmental monitoring company EMS Ltd, took up their new posts in October. Professor Chris Gorse (pictured), Director of the Leeds Sustainability Institute, commented: “I am delighted that we have two new Professors working with the Institute. Both will bring new skills, expertise and knowledge to the University that will enhance our academic endeavours and take us forward as an industry facing research institute that brings benefit to society. Professor Pete Skipworth has considerable experience in environmental monitoring, energy assessment and specific expertise in water. Through innovation and advances in technology, he has a proven ability to develop commercial energy saving and environmental solutions that have led to the development and growth of a number of highly successful companies. Professor Gary Shuckford has over 25 years’ experience in both healthcare and IT. We will be working with Professor Shuckford, drawing on his expertise and experience in informatics, data, health and interest in buildings.”
Professor Pete Skipworth is an entrepreneur in the water and environment sectors. Alongside his role at EMS Ltd, he is Chairman of Ecus Ltd, a nationwide multidisciplinary environmental consultancy. Through EMS, Pete works with household names in the food and drink, pharmaceutical, automotive, heavy industrial, energy, and water sectors. Prior to his current roles, Pete was founder MD at SEAMS Ltd, working for water companies, in the energy sector, and for national infrastructure bodies. Pete has worked closely with universities throughout his career, developing new technologies which have gone on to become key offerings to industry. His current areas of interest include SMART Wastewater networks, remote monitoring, and novel sensors for the environment. Pete’s career began in academia, achieving a PhD, lecturing and publishing more than 40 papers in the area of water and infrastructure management. He was also recipient of the Institute of Civil Engineer’s Telford Prize for artificial intelligence-based modelling of water quality. Pete commented: “Leading companies in the fast moving environmental sector means I’m acutely aware of the reliance that companies have on our universities, not only for graduates but for their input in moving goods and services forward. Having worked with Leeds Beckett University over the last few years I understand the value this can bring. I’m looking forward to helping with the challenge of moving ideas and technology into business for the benefit of all.” The Leeds Sustainability Institute, through the work of Dr Andrew Swan at Leeds Beckett, will be joining forces with Professor Skipworth pursuing research and commercial interests in Smart water and wastewater networks, remote motoring and novel sensors for the environment.
As Director of Edenbridge, a healthcare IT development company, Professor Gary Shuckford specialises in the design, development and deployment of clinical and business management solutions to health and social care, and acts as a consultant to a Leeds-based architecture practice, exploring and discovering new ways of interacting with the built environment. Gary has spent the majority of his career in a wide range of roles, including Group Operation Director within EMIS Group plc, a leading provider of healthcare software and systems in the UK. He has also been a council member of Tech UK, representing over 300 companies involved in health and social care, and has been a regular presenter at national conferences. Gary brings with him a wealth of expertise, including the use of data and informatics to inform evidence-based planning around healthcare requirements and estates planning. He is able to advise and develop virtual and actual worlds: for example when designing the patient flow from the home through every level of the healthcare pathway. Gary said: “I have worked within the UK’s NHS market for over 20 years and have seen the value of the innovative and progressive research of Leeds Beckett University, especially around infrastructure and buildings from Leeds Sustainability Institute. I look forward to developing the research synergies that we know exist. I am excited to be joining the University and supporting the opportunity to combine information and research regarding health and social care with buildings and their effectiveness to help create a healthier and more sustainable healthcare environment, especially at a time of transformational change for the NHS.”
Research and consultancy work at the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett University aims to tackle the challenges of creating more sustainable places, communities and economies to enable society and its infrastructure to become sustainable. This includes areas such as low carbon building, materials, green computing, and renewable energy.
2 November 2015
Leeds Sustainability Institute - Visitors from China and Brazil
Visitors from China and Brazil were welcomed into the Leeds Sustainability Institute office on Monday 26 October. The visiting Professor from China was Professor Cunjie Zhou from Hua Zhong University of Science and Technology who has a long term collaboration with Professor Deng in control systems design. This is the first visit of Professor Zhou and his two PhD students, they are looking for new collaboration opportunities. They visited the labs, where the Leeds Sustainability Institute are carrying out research and were impressed by the drone, which will enable the researchers to collect thermal imaging data. The drone will allow the researchers to carry out thermal surveys of buildings from the air, allowing the capture of thermal images that would not be possible from the ground. Professor Zhou and his students also visited the labs in Headingley campus. They discussed research with Professor Colin Pattinson, Dr Cliffe Schreuders and Mr Emlyn Butterfield. They were especially interested in the project concerning the digital cybercrime investigations.
The Brazilian team was composed of Tatiane Freitas de Almeida and Professor Maria Clara Forsberg. Tatiane was here to discuss the possibility for student exchanges, including Student Volunteering (discussed with Su Robinson) and the possibility for Masters students from UEA to complete elements of their Masters here at Leeds Beckett (discussed with Caroline Clark).
Maria was here to discuss how Masters Students from Universidade do Estados do Amazonas may be able to study here with us at Leeds Beckett and explore the possibilities of any post-Grad research collaborations (also with Caroline Clarke and in a separate meeting with Professor Alan Simson).
10 October 2015
Brazilian Visitors explore the Incredible Edible Project
In September 2015 the Leeds Sustainability Institute hosted academics from Manaus. As well as exploring Leeds city centre with Dr Lindsay Smales, they visited Todmorden to see the innovative work of the Incredible Edible initiative. Following a guided tour of the growing beds located throughout the town, wherein local volunteers grow fruit, herbs and vegetables for people to pick for free, they were shown around the Incredible Aquagarden building and learnt how staff work with High School students to explore best practice in aqua and hydroponics. Further discussions were held with colleagues from the School of AAD regarding the possibility of setting up a new post graduate degree in Landscape Planning in Manaus. The LSI continues to work closely with the innovative Incredible Edible Network, there are now more than 100 Incredible Edible communities within the UK and more than 300 worldwide, on a research project to review the economic, environmental and social impacts of this influential project.
19 September 2015
The first International Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design (SEEDS) Conference took place on 17 and 18 September 2015 at Leeds Beckett. This international conference explored how buildings and spaces are designed to reduce negative impacts on the environment, with keynote speakers, workshops and presentations focusing on how to address the balance between the built and the natural environment. The themes of the conference were Sustainability, Ecology, Engineering, Design and Society. The RISE awards were a fitting grand finale to the SEEDS conference. More details
3 August 2015
The international links that are being forged through the AguaSocial Project continue to grow and be strengthened with visits from university academics from Brazil and with Leeds Beckett staff going out to engage with Brazilian universities. Our new contacts in China will now also add a further international element to the Leeds Sustainability Institute contacts and activities.
Construction excellence in spotlight at industry awards
A low carbon property development, a Georgian mansion and a safety conscious roofing initiative were amongst the winners at awards held at the National Railway Museum in York to celebrate innovation in the construction and built environment sector in Yorkshire and Humber.
The 2015 Constructing Excellence Yorkshire & Humber (CEYH) Awards, organised by the Centre for Knowledge Exchange at Leeds Beckett University and sponsored by AtlasCloud, brought together over 350 industry professionals, representing a wide cross-section of the construction sector, in a glittering celebration to recognise and reward the very best examples of construction excellence, collaboration and best practice the regional built environment industry has been involved in over the last 12 months.
Hosted by BBC Look North’s Amy Garcia, the ceremony saw 14 different awards handed out, each representing the core themes of the Constructing Excellence strategy, including leadership and people development, SME of the year and, new for 2015, BIM project of the year.
Keynote presentations were delivered by Professor Chris Gorse, Director of the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett, headline sponsor AtlasCloud and Jacqui Snape from inspiring local charity, Disability Action Yorkshire.
Professor Gorse said: “The quality of submissions was very high. I felt quite proud, seeing some of our graduates and organisations that we work with receiving awards. The event was a demonstration of how organisations collaborate and excel to produce real excellence. I’m now looking forward to next year’s event and seeing how the industry continues to drive change forward.” Pete Watson, CEO of AtlasCloud, added: “The awards were a wonderful occasion to celebrate the great projects and innovation spearheaded in Yorkshire. Atlascloud were delighted to play our part as sponsor and to celebrate alongside our clients, partners and prospects. We look forward to further collaboration with Construction Excellence, as we both strive for more innovative solutions for clients and members.”
The night’s biggest winners were Carillion Morgan Sindall who walked away with three awards for their A1 Leeming to Barton improvement project securing the Innovation, Best of the Best and BIM Project of the Year categories. Morgan Sindall Grontmij Joint Venture rounded off a successful night for the Morgan Sindall Group by scooping the much coveted project of the year award for a highly inventive time and cost efficiencies implemented at Castleford Waste Treatment works. Other winners included Interserve who won the Value category for Huddersfield Royal Infirmary project, Opus Consultants who won the leadership and people development category and M B Roche & Sons who walked away with the SME of the Year.
20 July 2015
Yorkshire Evening Post web page
Building Performance Evaluation – what, why and how? By Alex Rice
The Leeds Beckett and Hill Resident ion Knowledge Transfer Partnerships makes an impact with Alex Rice’s publication in the Hill News. Alex is a Building Research Analyst at Leeds Beckett University.
6 July 2015
Hill News, Issue 27, Summer 2015
Water Industry Forum (WIF) Impact Awards for UK Water Research 2015
Dr Martin Pritchard was awarded 1st prize at the Water Industry Forum (WIF) Impact Awards for UK Water Research 2015 – Process Technologies. This is in respect to his research and development work on ‘reducing waterborne diseases from shallow wells in the developing world’. The award was based upon his REF 2014 case study submission. The shortlisting process involved a team of 15 water experts reviewing all water case studies submitted throughout the UK, with Martin receiving his award at the Research Councils UK (RCUK) showcase event Water in Future Cities at The Crystal, Royal Victoria Dock, London on 30 June.
Dr Pritchard’s case study details the drinking water quality of 17,000 rural Malawians; the work undertaken with water officials to implement immediate precautions to prevent further loss of life; how this data fed into major publications that directed global policies (e.g. World Bank – “The Malawi Water Resources Investment Strategy Document”); the education system setup to help water officials develop their knowledge; and the on-going research work he is undertaking to develop and provide a sustainable shallow well water purification system. Scaled-up, the impact of this work has the potential to improve the water quality for around 1.5 million Malawians.
6 July 2015
Energy project set to inform design and build of new WDH homes
A project to find out the energy consumption of homes built by WDH is set to begin. Organised by WDH in partnership with the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett University, ‘Warmer Wakefield Homes’ will see up to 100 properties involved in an exploratory study to find out what measures could be undertaken to improve the build quality of its homes to lower tenants’ energy bills.
5 May 2015
Leeds Sustainability Institute (LSI) welcomes the Paris Institute of Technology
A group of Executive Masters students from the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chausees, the Paris Institute of Technology, were engaged in a four day study visit from 27th to 30th April at Leeds Beckett University. The purpose of the visit was to learn about the research and work of the CeBE team working within the Leeds Sustainability Institute and also explore some of the local area.
The Dean of the Arts, Environment & Technology faculty, where the Institute sits, Professor Mohammad Dastbaz gave a welcoming address to the students who then embarked on a packed schedule of presentations, visits and activities. The students were treated to presentations on LSI research into building behaviour, thermal bridging, and closing the performance gap. In addition, Mark Warner, Sustainability Manager at Leeds Beckett University, gave an insight into the environmental improvements in the university estates and Anthony Smith presented his research on solving civil engineering problems using biomicrobial solutions.
The group were also treated to some activities outside of the classroom,visiting the Little Kelham development in Sheffield and the Energy House at Salford University. Dr Lindsay Smales also took the group on a walking tour of Leeds & the heritage town of Saltaire.
The LSI has a long standing relationship with the Paris Institute of Technology which continues to be highly productive & collaborative, fostering a robust exchange of ideas, knowledge & best practice on sustainable research, practices and technology.
17 February 2015
The first International SEEDS Conference will take place on 17 and 18 September 2015. The programme will include keynote speakers, workshops and presentations on the themes of Sustainability, Ecology, Engineering, Design and Society. Abstracts and papers are invited on:
Building and environment design
Energy efficient modelling, simulation and BIM
Integrating urban and natural environment
Building performance, analysis and evaluation
Thermal comfort, air quality and overheating
Green spaces, enclosures and buildings
Green technologies and IT
Energy flexible buildings
Energy behaviour and lifestyle
Dampness, water damage and flooding
Building surveys, thermography, building pathology
Planning and sculpturing positive change
Reducing consumption and waste
Sustainability, ethics and responsibility
Occupant behavioural change
Community building and masterplanning
Health benefits of alternative and natural materials
Urban heat island and mitigation
Zero energy and energy plus buildings
Local producers and urban environments, edible
Trees and green city landscape
Designing edible urban landscape
Biomimicry and Biophilic Design
Visit the Conference website for full details:
5 February 2015
The Greenest Buildings in the World? – the Living Building Challenge
Mark Warner, Sustainability Manager at Leeds Beckett University, has written an article for the new
Low Carbon Leeds Blog about The Living Building Challenge; a tough American standard. There are three levels of certification, listed here from easiest to toughest:
The Net Zero Energy Certification
Living Building Certification
Mark works within the Estates Team advising on sustainable construction, energy efficiency/carbon reduction, sustainable transport and sustainable purchasing of goods, services and materials.
20 January 2015
Going Green in 2015: Construction Manager
Professor Chris Gorse comments on Katie Puckett's Sustainable Buildings review for Construction Manager. Professor Gorse places emphasis on knowing how buildings behave and respond to the environment, ensuring that building envelopes provide an effective thermal, air and weather barrier. The interfaces of building elements need to be more effectively detailed and products capable of making effective seals specified. The construction processes that lead to an effective product need to be quality assured through non-invasive tools that do not add a layer of bureaucracy. We now have tools on the market that have intelligent interfaces, along with apps that can archive drawings and record observations of construction processes, which when geotagged give more reliable information than written reports. We have systems and products that can deliver a final product that performs and tools that will ensure processes are followed and recorded. The homes of the future will be more sustainable, more comfortable, energy efficient and form part of a more flexible energy grid.
Link to CIOB Construction Manager Journal
Link to products mentioned
19 January 2015
Retro-Fitness Test: Building Products
The work undertaken at the Energy House Salford is of significant interest. It is one of the few whole building retrofit systems that has been tested in a full scale laboratory, with each building element measured and whole building tests performed using multiple methods of thermal measurement. Using the Coheating Test and Heat Flux measurements performed by Leeds Beckett and the Saint Gobain dynamic QUB test; each test not only provided measurements on the effectiveness of the building system but provided a cross check to validate the reliability of the methods used and measurements taken. The results show that the tests provide valid and reliable results for whole building measurements and the retrofit system achieved a high standard of thermal performance.
Teams from Saint Gobain Recherche Leeds Beckett University and Salford University led the research, with David Farmer, Dominic Miles Shenton, Mathew Peat, David Johnston and Chris Gorse, forming the Leeds Beckett Team.
14 November 2014
Building Products website
Saint-Gobain in-depth study into whole house retrofit
Rapid Building Thermal Diagnosis: Presentation of the QUB Method
Leeds Sustainability Institute Grand Masters Session
On 11 November, LSI hosted its first Grand Masters Session, recognising and reflecting on the work of Professor John Sturges, Mike Bates and John Bradley. The evening, chaired by Professor Chris Gorse, was well attended and the chronological account of how perspectives of environmental responsibility had changed drew much interest and debate. While common views were shared on the need for responsible and evidence-based approaches to research related to climate change, there was some debate on the balance between nuclear, renewable energy and fossil fuels and the drivers to adopt them. The threat to the ecosystem was high on the agenda and a call for further research and open discussion was raised.
Builder and Engineer Awards
27 October 2014
Joining a team of leading industrialists including Brian Berry (Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders), Siobhan McMahon (Director of Emerald Architects and Chair of NAWIC), Christopher Selby (Chief Executive of the Confederation of Construction Specialist), Professor Chris Gorse took part in the judging of the prestigious Building and Engineer awards. The awards were held on 13 November. Winners, judges' comments and extracts from the evening can be found on the Building and Engineer website.
Whole Building dynamic testing in California
Professor Chris Gorse and Martin Fletcher took the lead on the workshop to build the Road Map and Decision Tree, for Whole Building dynamic testing, at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories California. The meeting of the International Energy Agency was held the University of California specifically looking at the reliable characterisation of building performance. The Sub Task expert group of Annex 58 have developed the decision tree over three years through a series of workshops that have investigated the role of laboratory and field tests. The work is due to be published next year and will be the first of its kind. The work is being developed in collaboration with Dr Aitor Erkoreka Escuela Tecnica Superior de Ingenieria de Bibao – University of the Basque Country, Spain.
10 September 2014
Trudi Entwistle, a senior lecturer in Landscape Architecture at our University, in collaboration with Dr Jon Lovett and the School of Geography at Leeds University, challenged her students to design an interpretive Energy Garden as part of their course. The students, who were studying for BA (Hons) degrees in Landscape Architecture and Garden Design, were asked to design something that could potentially be used by botanical gardens to explain to the public about biomass energy using energy plants in an attractive and informative setting. An article about their results and the thinking behind their innovative designs was published in the January 2014 edition of BGjournal, the worldwide journal of botanic garden conservation.
11 June 2014
Paris Institute Study Visit
On 12 May Professor Carassus from the Ecole des Ponts et Chausees, which is part of the Paris Institute of Technology, visited us with 18 Executive Masters students for a week long study visit. In a packed programme, the party visited buildings that had been tested and scientifically analysed by our researchers in conjunction with industry partners. A visit to Salford University was also arranged and our guests were shown the Salford Energy House and given an insight into the testing that is carried out there. They also visited buildings and areas of architectural interest, including Saltaire Mills and the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield.
Presentations were given by Professor Malcolm Bell, Professor Ian Strange, Dr David Glew, Dr Jim Parker, Mark Warner, Dr Lindsay Smales, Dominic Miles-Shenton and Melanie Smith. Presentations were also provided by our industrial partners Jonathan Lindh (LEDA Architecture) and Andrew Walker (Sure Insulation). Topics included: Eco-refurbishment; Sustainable Construction; Passivhaus Design; Dynamic Simulation Modelling; National Planning Policy; Measuring Building Performance; Toolwire Learnscape; Building Legislation in the UK; Retrofitting and Insulation. Demonstrations of the equipment used by our researchers and the testing methods employed were also given in Queen Square.
Dr Lindsay Smales led a tour of Saltaire and a walking tour of Leeds city centre, which was preceded by a presentation on the city's development. Both activities were very well received by our visitors. The Leeds Sustainability Institute and the Ecole des Ponts et Chausees hope to maintain links and collaborate in the future following this successful visit. Professor Chris Gorse is establishing a formal partnership to ensure that international relations can continue.
26 March 2014
Women in Construction Awards 2014
Professor Chris Gorse and our Dean, Mohammad Dastbaz attended the Women in Construction Awards at The Point, Emirates Old Trafford. Chris Gorse presented the award for ‘Engineer of the Year’ to Roma Agrawal from the WSP Group. One of Roma's most notable achievements was her work on The Shard, the tallest building in Western Europe. The evening was a celebration of the achievements of women in the construction industry.
Roma Agrawal talks about winning the prize with Professor Chris Gorse
Leeds Met advert from the Awards brochure
12 March 2014
Civic Trust Awards: Yorkshire and Humber Winners – Derwenthorpe Phase One project
Leeds Sustainability Institute recognised for its work on the Derwenthrope Phase One project. The Building Performance research group have been involved with the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust and provided testing, monitoring and feedback on their prototype buildings and working with Richard Partington Architects. The building performance data on the JRHT prototypes was fully analysed through the Temple Avenue projects and the feedback used to inform phase one of the Derwenthorpe development (Full reports available http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/as/cebe/projects/tap/). The Leeds Sustainability Institute, building performance group, are now undertaking monitoring on Phase One continuing to inform the development. The project has been recognised for the advances taken in energy efficient homes with the Derwenthorpe project receiving the Civic Award for Yorkshire and Humber.
Professor Chris Gorse commented, “This project has benefitted from a considerable body of building research work that commenced under the direction of Professor Malcolm Bell. Almost two decades of research and many research teams from Leeds have been involved in various projects that are informing energy efficient buildings in this area. Elm Tree Mews and Temple Avenue, both JRH & JRHT projects, have had a huge influence on the work undertaken. Recent TSB projects, led by Dr David Johnston, have also impacted directly on our understanding and the knowledge that contributes to the way these and other Energy Efficient houses are built and perform. Our forensic work, undertaken Dominic Miles-Shenton and David Farmer is also feeding into many of the research projects that we are currently undertaking across Yorkshire. The research and learning that has developed from projects linked to JRHT and Joseph Rountree Foundation are considerable and have significantly raised the profile of the excellent work that the Building Performance teams do at Leeds Sustainability Institute.”
At the Civic Trust Awards the Derwenthorpe Project was described as: “Embodying the ethos and legacy of the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust, Derwenthorpe is a mixed tenure, exemplar community of energy efficient homes, designed to meet the demands of both current and future inhabitants. It delivers a sustainable residential development within a generous landscaped environment providing much needed housing on the periphery of York. The design draws on the rich architectural legacy of Joseph Rowntree’s model village at nearby New Earswick, planned by Parker and Unwin over a century ago. Steeply pitched roofs, painted brickwork and striking dormer windows are combined to create a distinctive sense of place. At the heart of the scheme is a well-designed public square with benches and local area for play.” http://www.civictrustawards.org.uk/winners/derwenthorpe-phase-one
6 March 2014
Guardian University Awards 2014
Our University was Runner Up in the Business Partnership category of the Guardian University Awards 2014 for the project 'Improving the thermal performance of homes'.
If you live in an old, cold brick-built house, how can you insulate it affordably, as well as avoiding common condensation and damp problems? This was the challenge faced by our University in partnership with LEDA (Leeds Environmental Design Associates, a co-operative specialising in sustainable buildings) and the SURE Solid Wall Insulation CIC (a social enterprise that provides insulation for hard to treat properties). The research carried out by this three-way partnership concentrated on design and implementation, and has developed previously unknown solutions for controlling moisture in renovations.
The two businesses involved worked with academics at the University's Centre for the Built Environment, which has experience in modelling condensation risks and providing advice and testing on thermal upgrades in a range of housing types. The outcome of the project was the development of a cost-effective system for internal wall insulation that overcomes conventional moisture problems.
Occupants in the test houses are now assured of warmer homes and lower energy bills without risking being toasty but damp. The project was soon picked up by other community groups in Leeds, and the new insulation system is now being used by the housing group Leeds Action to Create Homes, and the Caonopy Housing project who work with homeless people and volunteers to refurbish disused properties and reskill communities.
The project has therefore benefitted local people who have had their homes improved by LEDA with products developed by SURE, and has the potential to create wider benefits for all future solid wall home refurbishments - and the people living in them.
24 February 2014
Bdaily Business News article
Leeds Beckett press release
Yorkshire Universities article
Technology Strategy Board Building Performance Evaluation Projects
The Centre for the Built Environment (CeBE) has been successful in securing over £500,000 of external funding from the Technology Strategy Board as part of their Building Performance Evaluation Programme. This funding has been provided to undertake six post construction and early occupation studies (25% of all of the domestic projects awarded under the Technology Strategy Board Building Performance Evaluation Programme) and two in-use performance and post occupancy evaluation studies. Details of these projects can be found below.
Gentoo Passivhaus Racecourse Development, Sunderland
Type of study – Post construction and early occupation.
Principal Investigator – Dr David Johnston.
Project value – £54,550 Leeds Met (Total project value £68,567)
Gentoo Passivhaus Racecourse Development
Type of study – In-use performance and post occupancy evaluation.
Principal Investigator – Dr David Johnston.
Project value – £69,902 Leeds Met (Total project value £69,902)
Dormary Court, York
Type of study – Post construction and early occupation.
Principal Investigator – Dr David Johnston
Project value – £54,749 Leeds Met (Total project value £62,446)
Dormary Court, York
Type of study – In-use performance and post occupancy evaluation.
Principal Investigator – Dr David Johnston
Project value – £69074 Leeds Met (Total project value £79,879)
Lancaster Cohousing Development, Lancaster
Type of study – Post construction and early occupation
Principal Investigator – Dr David Johnston.
Project value – £36,949 Leeds Met (Total project value £59,979 with University of Sheffield)
Community in a Cube (CIAC), Riverside One, Middlesborough
Type of study – Post construction and early occupation
Principal Investigator – Dr David Johnston.
Project value – £72017 Leeds Met (Total project value £87,257)
Type of study – Post construction and early occupation
Principal Investigator – Dr David Johnston.
Project value – £47,044 Leeds Met (Total project value £48,796)
Lea Field Court, York
Type of study – Post construction and early occupation
Principal Investigator – Dr David Johnston.
Project value – £52,642 Leeds Met (Total project value £54,393)
28 January 2014
The projects reported here are part of the Technology Strategy Board’s Building Performance Evaluation programme and acknowledgement is made of the financial support provided by that programme. Specific results and their interpretation remain the responsibility of the project team.
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. The Technology Strategy Board is sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). https://www.innovateuk.org/
Jim Parker, Research Fellow with the Leeds Sustainability Institute receives an Award of Merit from the Chartered Institute of Building for his Energy Management and Building Simulation work on Airports, Domestic Building and Educational Estates. The work was submitted to the CIOB’s International Innovation and Research Awards, Digital Innovation category and judged to be worthy of achieving the prestigious CIOB Merit Award. http://iandrawards.ciob.org/
Richard Partington Architects have been shortlisted as Regional Finalist for the Civic Trust Awards for their work on the Derwenthorpe phase 1 project. The Leeds Sustainability Institute Building Performance team have worked closely with the Architects practice on the prototypes and have been involved in testing and monitoring the performance of the Low Energy Buildings on the site. Professor Chris Gorse commented “It is great to see projects that we are connected with doing so well. The Leeds Metropolitan team including Professor Malcolm Bell, Dominic Miles Shenton, Dr David Johnston, David Farmer, Martin Fletcher and Matthew Peat have been engaged in the early stages of the Derwenthorpe project and are still involved in much research connected to the Joseph Rountree Housing Trust development. The unique project which embraces research and innovation at the highest level, is proving to be one of the most recognised low energy developments in the country.” www.jrht.org.uk/node/369
Adrian Riley who once worked in the School of the Built Environment and Engineering, with the late Professor Robert Ellis on our innovative learning resources, scooped one of the Leeds Architecture Awards for the Song Tunnel Artwork which now connects Woodhouse Lane Car park with many of Leeds Metropolitan University City Campus buildings.
As well as Leeds Metropolitan University picking up prizes at the Leeds Architecture Awards for its iconic buildings, our alumni were very much in the picture. Past student, Chris Thompson a Construction Law graduate, now Managing Director of CITU was awarding and receiving awards for Sustainability at the Leeds Architecture Awards. The company, CITU, now boasts it has won more than 30 awards for use of technology and creating sustainable buildings. http://citu.co.uk
“This is an excellent start to 2014” Professor Chris Gorse, Leeds Sustainability Institute.
28 January 2014
Construction Manager article
Professor Chris Gorse comments on the importance of the link between academia and industry in the October 2013 edition of Construction Manager.
21 October 2013
Sustainable Building 2013 – Hong Kong Regional Conference
Chris Gorse made a keynote address to the 600 delegates at the Hong Kong Sustainable Building Conference. With the prospect of dramatically increasing fuel costs, Professor Gorse's address was timely. The additional carbon and financial cost of buildings that underperform was highlighted as were those that had achieved high standards of thermal efficiency. The savings realised by the introduction of regulations, which had addressed some issues of underperformance, were noted, as were some of the reoccurring issues that still needed to be tackled. The conference was well attended with government and industry leaders eager to map out the road to a sustainable built environment, capable of dealing with increasing population and diverse economies.
Professor Gorse was in good company, sitting alongside the Secretary for the Environment Mr Wong Kam Sing, Prof John NG, Director of Hong Kong Green Building Council, Prof Daniel Chan, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Dr Guiyi Li Director of Zero Carbon Building, Mr Nils Larsson, Director of International Initiative for Sustainable Built Environment, Mr Emilio Miguel Mitre, Green Building Council, Prof David Grahame Shane, Prof of Architecture Columbia University, Dr Michael Voigt, Head of Eco Commercial Building. The organising committee Sr Sam Cheng, Ir Lee Shing See, Ir Conrad Wong, Mrs Lam Cheng, Mr Tsang Chun Wah, Mr Chan Mo Po and Mr Wong Kam Sing had assembled a considerable body of knowledge that will inform the next generation of sustainable building projects. Conference paper
23 June 2013
Lancaster Cohousing project
Key results from the Technology Strategy Board Building Performance Evaluation project undertaken by the Lancaster Cohousing project in collaboration with The University of Sheffield and Closed Loops Projects. The six month research programme, completed in March 2013 consisted of a number of closely interrelated studies comparing design intentions against actual performance during the initial occupation stage of the development. Read the full article here
We kindly acknowledge Green Building Press for permission to reproduce this article.
25 March 2013
DECC: Leeds Core Cities Monitoring and Evaluating Contract - Green Deal Trial
Leeds Sustainability Institute have been awarded a major contract by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to undertake research on the Core Cities Green Deal Go Early project. The work involves the intensive and extensive monitoring and evaluation of buildings that are benefitting from Green Deal and Eco funding in the Leeds area.
Working in partnership with Leeds City Council, housing associations and designers involved in the retrofit and refurbishment projects, the intensive monitoring will examine the performance of buildings prior to Green Deal upgrade and the benefits gained following the improvements. The performance of the building fabric and services will be monitored through a full season, as well as exploring how people behave and respond to the improved buildings. The project spans over two years, with early performance tests starting this winter 2013.
The work will undertake intensive monitoring and testing of different types of properties in order to better understand the buildings’ performance and behaviour as a result of the thermal upgrades. The degree to which the buildings improve and the benefits gained will be examined in detail. Changes to the characteristics of the building, in terms of thermal and hygrothermal behaviour will be investigated. As well as using the detailed methods to intensively test unoccupied buildings, forensic building surveying methods will be used to gather information on the performance of a larger sample of buildings. The methods will be used to determine the consistency of the thermal upgrade and to record and further study aspects that are inconsistent and require more detailed enquiry. The work makes an important contribution to retrofit and refurbishment work linked to the greendeal and eco funds.
The Total Value of the project is £439,000 comprising: monitoring and testing led by Professor Chris Gorse with co-investigators Dr Anne Stafford taking a lead on the testing and in-use monitoring with the energy behaviour component of the project led by Dr Fiona Fylan.
Other workpackes within the DECC Green Deal Trial include:
- Field tests undertaken by Dominic Miles Shenton, David Farmer and David Johnston
- Hygrothermal and thermal modelling undertaken by Matthew Peat
- Forensic Building Surveying Melanie Smith
- In-use energy monitoring Martin Fletcher
This is an extensive project looking at the benefits and behviours linked to thermal upgrades in existing buildings.
3 February 2011
Elm Tree Mews Field Trial report published
This technical report summarises the results and monitoring data from the Elm Tree Mews Field Trial carried out by the Centre for the Built Environment on behalf of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT). This report details the technical data from fabric performance tests carried out on the completed dwellings, site observations and photographic records of the construction process and an analysis of available site documentation and drawings. Full details
3 February 2011
Performance of heat pumps
Anne Stafford, one of CeBE’s leading researchers on heat pumps, and Peter BOAIT of De Montfort University will be presenting a paper at the CIRED conference in Frankfurt on the performance of heat pumps as part of a retrofit project in Harrogate. Domestic heat pumps are a key part of the UK Government’s decarbonisation strategy and are expected to form a substantial part of national electrical demand by 2050. The paper reports on the practical performance and electrical load characteristics of a group of ten heat pumps over an annual cycle. The variation of electrical load with ambient temperature and domestic hot water usage is explored and useful opportunities for demand side management are identified. Further information on the conference can be found at: http://www.cired2011.org/pages/012/Home.en.php
2 December 2010
Professor Chris Gorse makes a note on current research into Low Carbon Houses
Looking at Professor Malcolm Bell’s recent comments in the CIBSE Journal, the Construction Industry needs to prepare itself for change. Developers claiming to produce low carbon buildings that are not low carbon are taking increasing risks. CeBE has undertaken a considerable amount of research, monitoring and evaluating the performance of both new and existing buildings. While there is much to still to learn about the assessment methods currently being used to predict building performance and a building’s actual performance, our understanding of building physics has vastly improved. In most cases we’ve found that there is a considerable gap between the designed performance of a house and that which is actually built. While most buildings under perform their designed expectation, there are a few developers, supported by research centres, that are producing houses that are more thermally efficient, result in less CO2 production and cost less to run. However, unless the industry starts to collect data on the actual performance of the houses we may be producing very ‘grand designs’ that don’t actually work. Currently, without testing, it is difficult to know whether the low carbon buildings being purchased are indeed low carbon. The environmentally aware developers are on a steep learning curve; others, using designs that do not manifest into buildings that perform to the standards that they have specified, are taking a risk, as methods of determining a building’s actual performance are available. PDF of article (copyright CIBSE Journal).
22 November 2010
CeBE research discussed in House of Commons
CeBE’s research at Elm Tree Mews has been discussed in a House of Commons debate (along with the EST HP trial) and in the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG) newsletter.
3 November 2010
Major changes in house-building industry needed if zero carbon targets are to be met
Meeting the Government's zero carbon housing targets by 2016 will be extremely difficult unless major changes are made within the house-building industry, according to a new report. Low Carbon Housing: Lessons from Elm Tree Mews, looked at the features and performance of a low carbon housing scheme in York, developed by the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust.