TSBE Centre/M&B EngD student has paper accepted by CIBSE

EngD student Samantha Mudie who works with James Sharman at Mitchells & Butler, supervised at University of Reading by Dr Maria Vahdati,  is today celebrating confirmation of publication of “Energy Benchmarking in UK Commercial Kitchens” in the CIBSE international journal Building Services Engineering Research and Technology (BSERT).

The paper is scheduled to appear in the first edition of 2016 and the link will be made available.

See more on Sam’s research here:


Sam’s research

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Moroccan solar plant to bring energy to a million people

Moroccan solar plant plans

Solar Panel with green grass and beautiful blue sky

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UK Treasury should focus on carbon not energy use

UK Treasury should focus on carbon


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CIBSE Training

EngD Student Ana Rodrigues-Arguelles completed the Building Services Explained CPD course run by CIBSE.

The three day course is aimed at those involved in building maintenance and management. It covers services found in large building complexes, such as heating and cooling systems, looking at how to use them efficiently and how they fit within a building. It also explained the considerable impact electrical and renewable systems have on a building’s energy use. A section on Maintenance and Legislation was incorporated to highlight the importance of regular maintenance and keeping up to date with current building legislation.

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Cloud Computing’s Environmental Impact: “We’re just getting started…”

Cloud Computing’s Environmental Impact by Dr Dan Williams


Cloud Computing’s Environmental Impact: “We’re just getting started…”

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Exciting new research partnership between TSBE Centre, University of Reading, UNFCCC’s Regional Collaboration Centre for the Caribbean, and WINDREF Research Institute

Research Engineer Alice Gunn (TSBE Centre & SSE sponsored EngD student) writes about her research work in the Caribbean.


‘I have been extremely lucky these last two weeks to have had the opportunity to swap Whiteknights campus in Reading for that of St George’s University on the Caribbean island of Grenada. Hopefully this marks the beginning of an exciting new research partnership between the University of Reading, the UNFCCC’s Regional Collaboration Centre for the Caribbean, and WINDREF the research institute which hosts them at St George’s University.

St George’s University is primarily a medical institution, however it sees climate change as one of the greatest threats to human health in future years, and as such hosts the UNFCCC. Indeed climate change is already causing damage in the Caribbean SIDS (Small Island Developing States), with extreme weather becoming more common and sea levels beginning to rise. The effects of Hurricane Ivan, which swept across Grenada in 2004, can still be seen today across much of the country in the form of abandoned buildings but also in the impact it has had on its economy, most notably in the country’s nutmeg industry. All of this in a region that has actually contributed very little to the climate change problem.

So what is this first research collaboration and my research all about? My research interests lie in energy system modelling and how the different types of tools can be used to offer insights into the energy policy making process. In the lead up to the COP 21 conference in Paris next week, many countries, including those in the Caribbean, are thinking about their future energy system. I was asked by the UNFCCC to assist them with some of their analysis which they were doing on behalf of the Government of Haiti, looking at their emissions out to 2030 using the energy planning model, LEAP. This was to accompany Haiti’s INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contribution) submission for COP 21. Countries are invited to submit their INDCs ahead of the conference which outline what actions they intend on implementing and its effect on emissions reduction. These will inform the discussions in Paris and any resulting agreements.

I also have a vested interest in this and I am taking the opportunity to expand the case study for my own EngD studies. For my research I am using the island of Shetland as a test bed for the different model types which I am creating; coming to Grenada allows me to test how effective these models are on a totally different energy system. Grenada’s energy system remains predominately oil based, however it is beginning to see some growth in distributed PV ownership and solar thermal. There is significant interest in growing the renewable generation contribution due to the high energy prices the people of Grenada face, however challenges remain in designing the corrective incentives for all stakeholders. I hope that some of the modelling I do can play a role in aiding this transition. During my visit I have been busy speaking to many of the stakeholders on the island including the utility company Grenlec, the Minister of Energy and large commercial energy users such as hotel owners and the University’s own energy team to gather data and insights into the future of the system here.

This is an ongoing project which will undoubtedly result in some interesting developments, of which I hope to keep you updated. Stay posted.’

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Marek Kubik – TSBE Centre Graduate wins Young Energy Professional of the Year 2015

Marek award

The Energy Institute (EI) is the professional body for the energy industry, developing and sharing knowledge, skills and good practice towards a safe, secure and sustainable energy system. The EI supports over 22,000 individuals working in or studying energy and 250 companies worldwide and set up the Energy Institute (EI) Awards to recognise the value of energy to society and celebrate the contribution the energy industry and its people make to progress, innovation and excellence.

Over 140 entries were submitted for this year’s competition. The judging panel, made up of senior industry representatives, shortlisted the four best energy projects and individuals for each of the nine award categories.

The winners of the 16th EI Awards competition were announced at the prestigious EI Awards ceremony. This glamourous black-tie dinner took place on 12th November 2015 at the Sheraton Park Lane, London. Inspirational former-Paralympian and 11x gold medal winner Baroness Tanni Grey-Thomson DBE hosted the evening and presented the competition winners with their awards.

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Bats and modern roofing membranes go north of the wall

On the 7th of November Dr Stacey Waring attended The Bat Conservation Trust’s ‘Scottish Bat Workers Conference’ at Scottish Natural Heritage Conference Centre in Battleby, Perth. This was a long but exciting trip as whilst the Bat and Roofing Membranes research has been highlighted at many conferences in England, Wales and other European Countries; It has never before made it to a conference north of the wall (Hadrian’s to be precise).

The conference had been arranged by Anne Youngman from The Bat Conservation Trust and there were a plethora of batty talks from, using volunteers to gather large amounts of data to plying detective regarding historical recordings of locally rare bats. It was a beautiful location up near the Cairngorms National Park which was in its full autumnal colours, including a dark grey sky to add dramatic effect.

The bats and roofing membranes talk and workshop were both well received and whilst many people had heard about the research conducted,  many had not fully appreciated the scale of the problem.  Not only was this great opportunity to network with bat workers and people that are likely to come across these problems first-hand, but it led to talks with Scottish Natural heritage regarding their standing advice when processing European Protected Species Licences for developmental works on bat roosts. I too got to learn in more detail some of the practices used in roofing construction in Scotland which differs slightly from the practices seen south of the wall due to the standard usage of sarking boards. This will help me work with those involved in Scottish bat work to collect data on any problems experienced in Scotland where bats and modern roofing membranes meet and help develop suitable guidelines in the future.


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Building conservation goes batty about roofing membranes

On Wednesday 11th November 2015, Oxley Conservation ltd hosted a daylong conference considering the Challenges and Conflicts in Building Conservation. Attending the conference were specialists in the field of Heritage Buildings and their conservation. The event was aptly held in The Chantry House, a beautiful medieval timber framed building, which boasts to be Henley-On-Thames only Grade I Listed building.

Talks ranged from the ‘Design of Buildings in a Changing Climate’ from Professor Bill Gething to ‘the good, the bad and they ugly’ facts on using plants to protect stone walls from Dr Martin Coombes. During the second act in the afternoon myself and Toby Pitt managing Director at West Country Tiling talked about the history, use and suitability of underlays in regards to heritage buildings and bats.

This was a brilliant chance to explain to an audience involved in the design and refurbishment of heritage buildings, which are more likely to house bat roosts, about the concerns and problems faced when using modern roofing membranes in such buildings. Attendees came from architect firms, district councils, Historic England, building solution manufacturers and The Royal Household. There were many questions regarding practices that had been suggested by manufacturers, possible solutions and the future for roofing membranes in bat roosts. It was a great opportunity for networking between the conservation of wildlife and conservation of building structures and has led to potential future opportunities to work together with these experts to help solve the problems of bats and modern roofing membranes.



271 - CopyFor more information on the problems relating to bats and modern roofing membranes please visit www.batsandbrms.co.uk or contact Dr Stacey Waring

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CIBSE Accreditation reflects new research strengths

CIBSE accreditation reflects new research strengths
The School of the Built Environment is pleased to announce that the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) has accredited the following two programmes:

MSc in Design and Management of Sustainable Built Environments to be accredited as meeting the further learning requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) status.
Engineering Doctorate (EngD) in Technologies for Sustainable Built Environments also to be accredited as meeting the further learning requirements for CEng status.
The School of the Built Environment has in recent years significantly expanded its research activities in areas relating to building services engineering and energy systems. Particular areas of expertise include: environmental engineering, health & well-being, renewable energy and urban sustainability. The School has a strong orientation towards interdisciplinary ‘real world’ problems and a proud record of engagement with industry and the professions.

Professor Stuart Green, Head of the School of the Built Environment, said: “We have enjoyed a close relationship with CIBSE for many years, and we are delighted to receive accreditation of these two strategically important programmes. This recognition by CIBSE says much about our expertise in building services engineering, but it also reinforces our commitment to interdisciplinary research & education. The bottom line is that the realisation of a sustainable built environment requires qualified engineers with skill-sets that are much broader than those traditionally recognised”.


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