Refresh: Remodelling Building Design Sustainability from a Human Centred Approach

Project Funder: EPSRC

Project lead and collaborators: Collaboration between Leeds (Prof Cath Noakes), Reading (Prof Janet Barlow) and Southampton (Prof mc schraefel). All investigators are equal – CoPI’s

Research Theme: Environmental Flows

Summary of project

Over 40% of the UK population live their working lives carrying out knowledge work in offices – enclosed spaces in the built environment. Current building codes are primarily defined around the performance of the physical infrastructure rather than capturing the performance of a person in a building in a city. Indeed, the energy agenda has recently focused on making these work environments as air tight and thus as energy efficient as possible, with little consideration of human health or wellbeing.  Refresh is developing new measures and models that better capture the complexity of the interactions between urban design and building ventilation, and the influence of the local indoor airflows on human performance in that environment. Our project brings together a novel mix of ICT and engineering sciences including full scale outdoor and indoor airflow measurement, CFD modelling, assessment of cognitive performance and HCI approaches to present data back to building occupants. Through this we are developing methodologies for simulating and characterising urban airflows and quantifying indoor environments for human performance as the outdoor microclimate is altered due to a changing neighbourhood.

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