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This theme is made up of the multi-disciplinary Urban Energy Research Group (UERG), with a particular emphasis on energy use in buildings but with research that has relevance to energy demand and supply in a wider context. The group is led by Professor Phil Banfill.

The group, comprising engineers, social scientists, economists and statisticians, has links with other research departments in the University, and is part of the Energy Academy at Heriot-Watt University, a more general energy-related research initiative.

UERG have been involved in a range of research projects, with funding from both research councils and industry. The team are also involved in several consultancy projects, and are available for further work (see Consultancy).

Research activities

The group places an emphasis on multi-disciplinary work within the field of energy use in buildings. Specific research areas currently being investigated by the group include:

  • Low carbon refurbishments for existing buildings in domestic and non-domestic sectors
  • Challenges for new-build low-carbon buildings
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Building simulation and modelling
  • Thermal comfort
  • Adapting buildings for a future-climate Building simulation and modelling
  • Socio-economic barriers to achieving low-carbon targets in the building sector
  • Fuel poverty in UK homes
  • Micro and small-scale energy generation
  • Identifying trends and behaviour from building energy performance data
  • Embodied energy and embodied carbon associated with building construction

These topics are covered by a wide range of active and recent research projects, including the following:

  • Technology Assessment for Radically improving the Built Asset Base (Tarbase) [Grant no. GR/S94285/01]
  • Low Carbon Futures (as part of the Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC) Programme) [Grant no. EP/F038240/1]
  • Consumer-Appealing Low Energy Technologies for Building Retrofitting (CALEBRE) [Grant no. EP/G000387/1] Wind farm
  • Fuel poverty in social housing (UKERC/NESTA)
  • Measuring Climate Change Good Practice in Schools (UKERC/NESTA)
  • Energy Modelling in Traditional Scottish Houses (EMITSH), Historic Scotland
  • Concrete2Cookers [Grant no. EP/F066589/1]

Contributing staff

  • Professor Phil Banfill
  • Dr David Jenkins
  • Dr Gillian Menzies
  • Dr Mehreen Gul
  • Dr Sophie Simpson
  • Dr Sandhya Patidar