Research at Leeds Beckett
Professor Chris Gorse
About Professor Chris Gorse
The building performance and sustainability research unit that Professor Gorse leads has amassed one of the most comprehensive sets of actual building thermal performance data in the UK. The work has informed government policy and regulation, is used extensively by industry and is now embedded in the work of the International Energy Agency's programme to inform whole building testing and performance measures.
The research team has extensive knowledge and expertise in whole building performance tests in the field and laboratories, hygrorothermal and thermal modelling, building simulation, elemental building component testing, energy and behaviour monitoring. Work extends across domestic and industrial developments, refurbishment and retrofit projects and looks at the impact and effectiveness of interventions and changes. The efficiencies of building fabric, services and renewable energy technologies are a major focus of the group's work.
The more extensive work of the Sustainability Institute includes energy, waste, business and social governance, information and communication technology, corporate social responsibility, planning, ecology, process management and project management all engaged in reducing negative impact on the natural environment.
MPhil/ PhD / DEng in Building Performance, Sustainability, Construction Technology, Management, Refurbishment, Surveying, Themal Modelling, Energy Management, Waste Management and Recycling.
Professor Gorse leads a sub task group for the International Energy Agency, Annex 58, on whole scale building testing, working with over 30 international partners.
Work undertaken by the group that Professor Gorse leads has had direct impact on building regulations and government policy. Seminal pieces of work undertaken by the group that lead to the recognition of the performance gap and attention towards low energy housing include the Stamford Brook - funded by (CLG and partners) and Elmtree Mews (funded by Joseph Roundtree Foundation) and Temple Avenue (funded by Joseph Roundtree Foundation) http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/as/cebe/
More recently Professor Gorse lead a major contract project funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change to undertake research on the Core Cities Green Deal Go Early project. The work involved the intensive and extensive monitoring and evaluation of buildings that are benefiting 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 their 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 spanned over two years, with early performance tests taking place in the winter of 2013.
The work involved 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 Green Deal 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 work packages 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
The group's field research into the energy performance of domestic construction has changed the way dwellings are designed and built. Significant alterations to part L of the Building Regulation in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2013 have been a direct result of the findings from the group's field work. Recognising that the party wall had a heat loss of 0.5 W/m2K and subsequently revising the Building Regulations to accommodates this, delivers a conservative estimate of 1.4 million tonnes of carbon saving from the UK alone. Other heat loss mechanisms have also been identified by the group and are resulting in change across the industry.
The research that Professor Gorse overseas as Head of the Centre for the Built Environment is extensive with projects undertaken for the TSB, BRE, DECC, English Heritage, Saint Gobain, Knauf Insulation, R3 Products, Joseph Rountree Foundation, Yorkshire Energy Partnership, R3 Products and many other organisations.