Research Projects


(Grant no. GR/S94285/01)

As part of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Carbon Trust-funded Carbon Vision Buildings Programme, Tarbase investigated technical, economic and social factors around various technological solutions for retro-fitting domestic and non-domestic building types for deep-cut carbon-savings by the year 2030. A model for quantifying the potential carbon-savings for domestic refurbishments emanated from this work, and is available as part of a consultancy service. Download the Tarbase overview report for the non-domestic work.

Low Carbon Futures

(Grant no. EP/F038240/1)

As part of the EPSRC-funded Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC) programme this project looks at the effect of a warming climate on overheating in buildings, and how this can be quantified for building simulation and future-proofing building design. It uses the latest “UKCP'09” climate projections from the UK Climate Impacts Programme, which are probabilistic in format and thus potentially allow for a risk analysis to be carried out for individual buildings as part of a simulation process – for example, what is the probability that a given Edinburgh office might exceed an overheating criteria for a high-emission scenario in 2030? If this can be estimated, then appropriate adaptation responses can be advised, ranging from reducing the internal heat gains to adding external shading to the building. Download the Low Carbon Futures report.

Consumer Appealing Low Energy technologies for Building Retrofitting

(CALEBRE, Grant no. EP/G000387/1)

An EPSRC/Eon funded consortium project, led by Loughborough University, looking at novel retrofit solutions for reducing the energy consumption of solid wall dwellings. This includes the use of heat pump technology in a refurbished solid wall dwelling, and heat recovery methods that can be used to increase overall efficiency while maintaining a suitable internal environment. Fuel poor social housing as exemplar buildings for low-carbon refurbishments: Funded by UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) as part of the Carbon Crucible 2009 programme, this study looks at the energy behaviour of social housing tenants in relation to fuel poverty, and how low-carbon retrofits might be used to alleviate their fuel poverty status. This work is carried out in collaboration with University of Leeds and Ethnographic Social Research Options (ESRO) consultancy.

Measuring Climate Change Good Practice in Schools

Funded by UKERC/NESTA as part of the Carbon Crucible 2009 programme, and led by University of Leeds, this pilot project looks at the role of a low energy school within a community and the methods by which information regarding energy efficiency and climate change might be disseminated. This work included carrying out a questionnaire to investigate the level of understanding exhibited by pupils in the area of climate change and energy efficiency, and how this might be informed by the practices and curriculum of the school. This is placed in context of the school building itself, where real energy data is analysed and avenues for further energy efficiency assessed.

Energy Modelling In Traditional Scottish Houses (EMITSH)

A Historic Scotland funded study into suitable measures for retrofitting traditional dwellings in Scotland with an aim to significantly reduce carbon emissions (using the Tarbase Domestic Model) while being consistent with listed building regulations and other perceived limits associated with traditional houses. Read Technical Paper 4.


(Grant no. EP/F066589/1)

An EPSRC-funded project producing a classroom-based game to teach pupils about climate change and energy-efficiency (using outputs from the Tarbase project).

Carbon Reductions in New Non-domestic Buildings

Department of Communities and Local Government/UK Green Building Council

The research group contributed to this high-profile report commissioned by the UK Government, providing modelled solutions for achieving large carbon savings in the non-domestic building sector. Download the report “Carbon reductions in new non-domestic buildings".

Fuel poverty and low-carbon synergies in social housing

This socio-technical study involves qualitative interviews with social housing tenants, combined with basic energy modelling of the individual dwellings (using the Tarbase model) to estimate the carbon emissions of that house. The results suggest that categorising such a large number of dwellings and families into one large "fuel poor" group risks ignoring the range of responses to fuel poverty by different tenants. The conflicts and synergies between the low-carbon and fuel poverty agendas are also discussed. While energy-saving refurbishments, with their high capital costs, might be proposed as alternatives to fuel subsidies and payments, this will affect different families, in different dwellings, in different ways. This research was funded by the Carbon Crucible Programme, an activity managed and sponsored by UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) and National Endowment of Science, Technology and Arts (NESTA). The final report is available here.