eTherm Model

Simplified modelling techniques are key to the project, allowing simulation times to be reduced


The Government is committed to a reduction in carbon emissions of 80% by 2050. In order to meet these targets, overall built environment emissions will need to become carbon negative. The government has set a target for all new buildings to be carbon neutral by 2019. Even if these ambitious targets are met, significant work will still be required on existing building stock to achieve carbon negativity overall.

This will not be an easy challenge to meet. Our warming climate will increase the likelihood of our buildings overheating. In addition to this, heatwaves of increased duration and intensity are likely to lead to higher rates of illness and mortality, particularly among vulnerable groups. With the government targets in mind, reliance on air conditioning to keep the internal environment comfortable for its occupants will not be possible due to the associated CO2 emissions.

Making buildings comfortable for their occupants whilst also ensuring that they are low carbon is a complex task. Current approaches to designing low energy buildings typically rely on a small number of building simulations which are carried out at the latter stages of the design process. Research has also shown that such building typically use much more energy in practice than predicted. The challenge is therefore to design software the meets the following criteria:

  • Software must be suitable for use earlier in the design process
  • The outputs should be representative of real world problems
  • There needs to be an ability to easily and quickly incorporate sensitivity analyses of alternative building components

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