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Completed projects

The urban climate: an integrated approach to building performance and urban design

Project type: Engineering Doctorate in association with UCL
Research Associate: Dane Virk
Academic Supervisors: Prof Mike Davies and Dr Anna Mavrogianni, UCL
Date: September 2011 - September 2015
The project aimed to evaluate how urban climates affect the built environment and in turn, how changes to land use and building design affect the urban environment. Research outputs contributed to new design guidance for CIBSE members. The project has provided considerable input to and support for the development of CIBSE weather data.
Key deliverables
Dane contributed to Guide A section 2, revising the section on Urban Heat Islands, and to the Zero Carbon Hub ‘Tackling overheating in homes’ review published in March 2015. He has published two papers in renowned international journals looking at the effect of green and cool roofs in the thermal and energy performance of office buildings. His third paper was published in the BSER&T Special Issue (March 2015) on overheating and indoor air quality. In this later paper he is demonstrating the use of the recently published CIBSE Design Summer Years for London in designing for the Urban Heat Island effect in London. Dane has also completed a guidance document for CIBSE Members (soon to be published as a new TM).


  • Virk, G, Mylona, A, Mavrogianni, A, Davies, M, (2015) ‘Using the new CIBSE Design Summer Years to assess overheating in London: effect of the urban heat island on design’, Building Services Engineering Research & Technology, March 2015, vol. 36, 2: pp. 115-128
  • Virk, G, Jansz, A, Mavrogianni, A, Mylona, A, Stocker, J.R, Davies, M, (2015) ‘Microclimatic effects of green and cool roofs in London and their impacts on energy use for a typical office building’, Energy and Buildings, 1 February 2015, vol. 88, pp. 214–228
  • Virk, G, Jansz, A, Mavrogianni, A, Mylona, A, Stocker, J.R, Davies, M, (2014) ‘The effectiveness of retrofitted green and cool roofs at reducing overheating in a naturally ventilated office in London: Direct and indirect effects in current and future climates’, Indoor Built Environment, 23(3) (UKIEG Special Issue), pp.504–520
  •  Virk, G, Mylona, A, Mavrogianni, A, Davies, M, (2015) ‘Urban Heat Island analysis of Birmingham and Manchester for the creation of new Design Summer Years’, CIBSE Technical Symposium, London, UK 16-17 April 2015
  • Virk, G, Mylona, A, Mavrogianni, A, Davies, M, (2013) ‘Developing and expanding current CIBSE design guidance on urban climates’, CIBSE Technical Symposium, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK, 11-12 April 2013

Review, testing and CFD modelling of fuel cell micro CHP technology for residential and commercial buildings

Project type: Knowledge Transfer Partnership with CIBSE and St Andrews University
Research Associate: Dr Alem Tesfai
Academic Supervisors: Prof John Irvine and Dr Paul Connor, St Andrews University
Date: August 2013 - July 2015

The project aimed to review micro CHP systems available in the market, including their technological and financial benefits in comparison to conventional grid power supply systems.
Key deliverables
A fuel cell based micro-CHP system was installed at CIBSE HQ contributing to the building’s electricity and hot water load. Its monitored performance has been reported in a series of blogs and conferences, including the CIBSE Technical Symposium. Technical guidance is currently in preparation, giving details of the technology, its commissioning process and on-site performance,

The project team is currently reviewing funding opportunities to further extend the life of the project to include the performance of more fuel cell based systems and allow comparisons with more conventional energy systems. Alem organised a meeting with interested members of the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) to explore areas of common interest and potential support for a collaborative project.


Dissertations for Good

Type of project: Dissertation pilot with NUS and University of West London
Academic Supervisor: Dr Ali Bahadori-Jahromi
Date: 2015
CIBSE supported ‘Dissertations for Good’ pilot run by the NUS (National Union of Students). This programme aims to match up students and companies who can help them with their dissertations, with the eventual aim of putting those dissertations to use for the public benefit. CIBSE informed the dissertations of seven engineering students, supervised by Dr Ali Bahadori-Jahromi from the department of Civil Engineering in the University of West London (UWL), on the subject of building adaptation to the impacts of climate change.


iSERVcmb: Inspection of HVAC Systems through continuous monitoring and benchmarking

Type of project: Intelligent Energy – Europe (IEE) funded project
Coordinated by: Prof Ian Knight, Cardiff University and Welsh School Architecture
Date: 2011 - 2014
CIBSE was a partner in a three-year EC funded project, iSERV, which was concluded in April 2014. The project looked at the use of continuous monitoring as an alternative to physical inspections of services plant and benchmarking. The iSERV project has provided a unique approach to understanding and reducing operational energy use in building services across Europe. It has accumulated a unique set of operational data for building services components during its three-year period and acquired data from 16 countries around Europe. CIBSE’s role was to contribute to the promotion of the project’s outputs to CIBSE members, and offer a direct dissemination route of the knowledge in the form of professional guidance and information campaigns.