UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Dzhordzhio Naldzhiev

Novel Retrofit Technology Incorporating Robots for Lower Energy Healthy Buildings

Funded through EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology (SEAHA CDT)

Dzhordzhio is a Chartered Engineer (CEng MCIBSE) who has been working in the construction industry as an energy & sustainability consultant for a number of years. His PhD aims to provide a better scientific understanding of the balance between indoor environmental quality, ventilation strategies and energy use from the perspective of insulation products.

As more than 86% of the existing residential building stock in the UK has been built pre 1990, when dwellings in the UK were not required to have any insulation in the walls or floors, there is an urgent demand for retrofitting. To address this demand, novel technologies have been recently adopted by applying spray foam insulation (SPF) to the underside of suspended timber floors through the use of innovative robots. The potential for energy savings, reducing fuel poverty and reducing carbon emissions is high, although the changes to the indoor environmental conditions and air quality would need to be further examined.

The project utilises analytical chemistry methods in order to measure compounds (VVOCs, VOCs and SVOCs) emitted from SPF products under various conditions in two time periods: short term (during application and curing) and long term (up to several years after application).

The research project aims to identify and quantify the interrelationship between energy saving potential, VOCs associated with the application, curing and usage of SPF, ventilation strategies and indoor air quality. Through experimental work and long term monitoring procedures, the research will be able to provide an overview of the overall impact of spray foam insulation on the environmental and energy performance of retrofitted and new buildings