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Current Research Projects

CIBSE supports research activities to advance knowledge in all areas of building services engineering. These range from supporting academic and industry led research as partners or stakeholders, providing a dissemination route for research outputs and funding projects such as doctorate and post doctorate studies, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and engineering doctorates. Current activities include the following:

Academic and Industry led collaborative projects:

  • Embodied carbon of building services. A collaboration with Introba, developing the methodology for TM65, published in January 2021. We continue to work with Introba to facilitate data collection, working with various MEP manufacturers to help build embodied carbon datasets and set a UK standard methodology for calculating embodied carbon of MEP products and systems when Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are not available.

    • The TM65 methodology is quickly becoming an international industry standard and is being adopted by practitioners, manufacturers and to support policy. We also published two local addendums to TM65 (TM65LA - Embodied carbon in building services: Using the TM65 methodology outside the UK and TM65 ANZ - Embodied carbon in building services: A calculation methodology for Australia and New Zealand). Two further local addendums are currently being developed, one for USA/Canada/Mexico and one for the UAE.

    • Several supplementary publications, explicating specific applications of the methodology, have also been published. These include TM65.1: Embodied carbon in building services: residential heating, 2 Embodied carbon in building services: lighting and TM65.3 Embodied carbon in building services: logistics centres. A fourth system-specific supplement to TM65 on HVAC in offices is currently in development.

  • Energy benchmarks (July 2015 – ongoing, University College London). CIBSE’s Energy Benchmarking Tool is an online platform which uses energy data, as it becomes available, to provide relevant and reliable benchmarks that represent the current trends of energy use in buildings. The energy benchmarking tool can be accessed here. This year, with collaboration from Energy Catapult and the NHS, research will begin on expanding the tool to include NHS buildings.

  • Retrofit Revisit (Co-led by CIBSE (Technical Team) and Studio PDP, with support from Innovate UK and Historic England). It involved a large number of leading practitioners and academics in the fields of retrofit and building performance. The project is complete, and publication is in the final stages, with findings to be available (freely) as a Research Insight. A number of presentations have already been held in the UK and abroad.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP):

  • Revision of the CIBSE weather files (April 2022 - October 2024). CIBSE in collaboration with the University of Exeter, has secured Innovate UK funding to revise the CIBSE weather files. Dr Hailun Xie has been appointed as the KTP Associate and work on the project started in April 2022. The project team has so far produced two batches of weather files and has engaged industry volunteers and experts at Loughborough University in testing them. A paper was presented at the 2024 Technical Symposium, and two papers have been published in international journals (BSER&T & Applied Energy).

Doctorates and post-doctorates:

  • Determination of Acoustic characteristics of alternative ventilation ducts (2019 – 2024, London South Bank University). The project aims to determine the acoustic characteristics of alternative ventilation ducts used in residential ventilation systems and embed new guidance within CIBSE resources such as Guide B4.

  • Investigation into the role of ventilation design and operation on the ingress of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) (and particulate matter (PM) in city centre offices (2021 – 2024, University College London, ARUP and Cundall). The project has carried out monitoring in UK offices to investigate the causes of ambient air pollution ingress and develop mitigation strategies to control NO2. This project's guidance will better inform how building operation and ventilation practices influence indoor concentration of NO2 and other pollutants.

  • A socio-technical evaluation of external shading to mitigate summertime overheating in UK homes (2025 – 2029, Loughborough University and the British Blind and Shutter Association). The project intends to carry out testing in two twin domestic houses and utilise modelling tools to better understand and evaluate the impact differing external shading systems have on UK homes and the occupants within them. The research will also investigate the impact shading has on ventilation rates and ultimately aims to help improve assessment of overheating risk in buildings.

Other research activities:

  • Part of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Doctoral training in Energy Resilience and the Built Environment (ERBE).

  • Contributing to the NERC Clean Air programme funded network ‘The health and equity impact of climate change mitigation measures on indoor and outdoor air pollution exposure (HELICCAM), led by the University of Edinburgh.
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