Between the 3rd and 5th of March 2015, EcoBuild held their annual event at ExCel London. EcoBuild UK 2015 is the UK’s leading trade event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment.
EcoBuild showcases the future of design, construction and the built environment. This event demonstrates, with 1,300 exhibitors and practical installations inside the arena, the latest developments in sustainable construction. The event also offered more than 100 free seminars with over 600 highly regarded speakers in attendance.
The EcoBuild provided the perfect platform to showcase the developments of the RESSEEPE project to the industry and other potential stakeholders who may have limited knowledge about the project. With Coventry University (CU) already exhibiting at the event, an invitation was sent to Exergy (EXE) to accompany CU and help disseminate the RESSEEPE projects current progress which was duly accepted.
During the event, Coventry University had set up several demonstration and presentation times at the exhibition space to provide visitors, guests and other exhibitors an insight into the RESSEEPE project and the purpose of the FP7 project.
The presentation consisted of the introduction of the project by showing the official RESSEEPE project video followed by a more in depth look at the demo sites involved as well as the different innovative technologies being implemented. Several attendees at the event showed their interest in the project and requested additional information.
A short question and answer session followed the presentations with the Scientific Coordinator, Fernando Centeno of Exergy and Dissemination and Communication managers and Demo Site partners Abdullahi Ahmed and Danny McGough of Coventry University.
Several RESSEEPE partners, Va-Q-Tec, PCM Ltd and Centre CIM Fundacia Privada visited the Coventry demo site on the 22nd of October and met with representatives of Coventry University and Exergy Ltd. The main goals of the site visit were to assess the feasibility of vacuum insulation panels and PCM technologies, and to identify the internal spaces suitable for the installation of prototypes.
The demo site visit started with a short discussion about the current statuses of George Eliot and John Laing buildings. During this initial discussion, the Exergy team provided the 2D and 3D drawings of both of the buildings. Abdullahi Ahmed and Danny McGough (Coventry University) had the opportunity to illustrate the spaces potentially suitable for retrofitting works.
Following the initial meeting, Coventry University members provided a guided tour in the two demo site buildings. This tour has enabled technology providers to receive first hand information about the buildings.
The site visit was closed with a final discussion about the potential refurbishment scenarios. It was agreed that John Laing building could be considered for the installation of prototypes due to its particular internal space arrangement. Additionally, Va-Q-Tec and PCM Ltd also agreed that both vacuum insulation panel and passive cooling technologies could be suitable for both demo buildings.
Within the following months, technology providers are going to provide detailed proposals for demo site partners to identify the most suitable technologies in terms of energy efficiency and payback period. Ultimately, this will enable the RESSEEPE partners to test the new technologies under real-time conditions and to achieve the target Technology Readiness Levels.
The OHL RESSEEPE Team has visited the Coventry demo site last 7th of April and met with representatives from Coventry University, IES and Exergy Ltd. The main goals of the site visit were to identify and minimize the potential retrofitting barriers at the early stages of the development and enhance the project delivery process.
During the first day of the meetings, Mark Gaterall and Danny McGough (Coventry University) have provided valuable insight about the George Eliot Building and the university campus. Two different UK-based suppliers, Polysolar and IntelligentGlass also had the opportunity to provide a short technical overview of their products closely linked with the RESSEEPE project brief. During the second day of the meetings, the OHL team surveyed the George Eliot Building and collected technical information in order to be able to develop an accurate construction plan in the following months.
The next meeting (12M Steering Committee) and the first workshop of the RESSEEPE project, which will bring all the participants together, will be held in Barcelona, Spain in July. Details of the workshop will be announced next month.
Mind the gap
Many research studies show that there is a clear evidence of a performance gap between design and operation stages of new and refurbished buildings. This gap represents a number of risks to government, industry and end-users. A recent study carried out by Zero Carbon Hub (UK) identified the causes of the well-known performance gap. The priory research areas found by the Zero Carbon Hub research team are based on the following issues:
• Lack of communication of design intent through work stages
• Insufficient design information provided for building fabric and building services
• Product and system design issues
• Insufficient information regarding critical energy performance criteria of components to procurement team
• Product substitution at procurement without due regard for performance criteria
• Lack of designer input available to site if issues arise
• Full design information or installation guidance produced by not available on site
• Unclear construction responsibilities for energy performance
• Limited tests and agreed protocols available for in situ fabric performance measurement
This study clearly shows that lack of communication among stakeholders, lack of knowledge transfer and inefficient project management are the main reasons of the performance gap. RESSEEPE therefore aims to minimize the risk for the performance gap by implementing an integrated design and development approach. Through the collaborative development of dynamic energy models, building information models and business plans, RESSEEPE will minimize the risks for management and communication problems and ensure that the design targets are achievable throughout the building lifetime. Project results that will be made available to public and industry practitioners will enhance continuous knowledge transfer and stimulate delivery of energy efficient buildings.
Further information on this research study of Zero Carbon Hub can be found at: http://www.zerocarbonhub.org/recent-publications