Aims and Intentions

We aim to carry out, or enable, research towards the predictive and closed-loop management of building ventilation to optimise thermal comfort, air quality and energy consumption

Why bother? People spend much of their time indoors, increasingly in large (often open-plan) buildings in which they have little control of their local environment. Air quality and occupancy thermal comfort have been shown to be key factors in cognitive performance and occupancy well-being – ventilation strategies that actively manage such factors, therefore, offer enormous benefits to occupants and institutions alike.

Will it make a real difference? Costs associated with personnel can account for 90% of a business' running costs and so any improvements in cognitive performance and staff well-being offer significant and far-reaching benefits. However, providing improved indoor environments by purely mechanical methods risks drastically increasing energy consumption alongside the associated emissions. Doing so exacerbates the viscous cycle in which increased emissions result in a more variable and more polluted urban environment, therefore requiring our indoor air to need more heating, cooling and cleaning - further increasing the polluting emissions associated energy consumption and exacerbating the cycle. This viscous cycle can be broken by enabling and providing intelligent ventilation strategies which provide improved indoor environments and lower energy consumption.

Although the energy costs of buildings aren't typically a drastic proportion of a business tenant's running costs, the energy consumed in buildings accounts for about 30% of global energy consumption - so we all feel the effects of the energy consumed in buildings through the effects of the associated polluting emissions. Traditional heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems account for a large part of the energy consumed in buildings. Intelligent ventilation strategies that minimise energy consumption can also improve the occupant's indoor environment and so offer real benefits to the building operator (through improved staff performance and reduced costs) and to broader society (through reductions in polluting emissions).

Is it really possible? It's not simple but that's why we have gathered together a great team of academic researchers and industry experts and we have a plan, read it here...