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UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering

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Measurement, monitoring & testing

Measuring, monitoring and testing at IEDE involves:

  • laboratory work;
  • extensive field environmental monitoring;
  • detailed building and social surveys; and
  • interventions in people’s homes and workplaces.

Post occupancy evaluation: more than energy

The post occupancy evaluation (POE) of buildings is a vital part of our research.

It is only from understanding how a building works in use that the design process can satisfy the needs of the occupants, owners and the larger environment to reduce carbon emissions.

We use the POE in the following situations:

  • environmental and energy benchmarking;
  • appraising a building design approach; and
  • investigation of a problem such as overheating, poor indoor air quality.

If the POE is investigating the extent to which a design solution has been successful, we must have a clear definition of the intention. The normal overarching design intentions in our projects relate to one or more of the following:

  • low carbon/energy use;
  • sustainability;
  • better productivity/performance; and
  • healthy occupants.

Physical performance

The key physical parameters of the internal environmental performance that we usually study are:

  • thermal comfort;
  • infiltration/ventilation;
  • indoor air quality;
  • lighting; and
  • noise (in collaboration with other UCL colleagues).

Supporting the development of semi-empirical building stock models

We have built a strong monitoring capacity to support the development of semi-empirical building stock models.

First, data must be gathered on all the main aspects that define representativeness, from building type to occupants’ socio-economic levels.

As we make plans for equipment and logistics, we need to take into account what is required to meet project specifics, as well as the standard measurements. Resource constraints should be understood and acknowledged early on, rather than arising as an unexpected consequence of omissions in the methodology.

Lab research

The lighting simulator is one of the most sophisticated in the UK, with:

  • a 5.2-m diameter, hemispherical sky dome;
  • 270 energy-efficient individually controlled light sources;
  • a computer-controlled artificial sun that exactly simulates natural lighting conditions; and
  • an environmental chamber that is in constant use for the study of building-related phenomena.