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Research papers exploring overheating predictions and air tightness in homes win prestigious annual

21 Jul 20

Technical papers looking at summertime overheating predictions, and the relationship between airtightness and ventilation methods, have been recognised with awards by CIBSE as the most notable papers exciting the greatest global interest published in Building Services Research and Technology (BSER&T) Journal during 2019.
Both papers focused on domestic dwellings for their research – with one looking at the problems with modelling summertime room temperatures, and the other focused on the benefits of linking  air tightness and ventilation strategies for improving energy performance and air quality.

Ben M Roberts, David Allinson, Susie Diamon, Ben Abel, Claire Das Bhaumik, Narguess Khatami and Kevin J Lomas won the Carter Bronze medal for their paper entitled 'Predictions of summertime overheating: Comparison of dynamic thermal models and measurements in synthetically occupied test houses'.
Their paper compared individual modellers predicted behaviour with actual summertime temperatures in two identical semi-detached homes to see how accurate the predictions were. Their research showed how difficult it is to accurately predict overheating – with all four modellers over-predicting peak indoor temperatures. The greatest deviations in accuracy arose on warm days, precisely when accuracy is most needed.

The Napier Shaw Bronze medal was awarded to Jenny Crawley, Jez Wingfield and Cliff Elwell for their paper entitled 'The relationship between airtightness and ventilation in new UK dwellings'.
Their research used the UK’s largest airtightness test dataset to explore the relationship between air permeability and ventilation. This revealed that dwellings with mechanical ventilation and heat recovery  (MVHR) installed are only slightly more airtight than traditional naturally ventilated dwellings and that this is insufficient to maximise the benefit of the MVHR.

They proposed that coupling air tightness design with a ventilation strategy could reduce a home’s energy demand, support achieving the required energy performance and lead to better indoor air quality and a more healthy indoor environment.
The Carter and Napier Shaw Bronze Medals are awarded annually by CIBSE to celebrate notable research carried out to advance the knowledge and art of building services engineering. They are presented to the highest rated papers of the year on application and research respectively, that have been published in BSER&T, CIBSE’s peer reviewed Journal for building services related research.
Both papers are currently available for all to view at:

CIBSE members can read the BSER&T Journal and Lighting Research and Technology (LR&T) Journal as part of their membership at

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