Deputy Head of School, Professor Nikolopoulou and Professor Kolokotroni, Brunel University, presented the Urban Albedo project at a seminar on ‘Urban Design’ at the CIBSE Build2Perform Live 2019 at Olympia in London on Wednesday 27th November 2019. The session ran through how the Urban Albedo collaborative research project is looking at the impacts of the urban fabric to the urban temperatures and how new material can improve urban climate.
As part of on-going research into the relationship between Built Form, Microclimates & Critical Infrastructure, Dr Julie Futcher organised a City of London urban climate walking tour, to report the latest findings, alongside discussing the role of built form as a critical infrastructure in the climate emergency. During this, Dr Agnese Salvati, Research Fellow at Brunel University and a member of the Urban Albedo Consortium, discussed how urban surface geometry and materials impact on heat island intensity, thermal comfort and building energy performance.
Professor Marialena Nikolopoulou recently attended the fifth Asia-Pacific Energy Sustainable Development Forum, for the fifth anniversary celebration event of APSEC, held in Tianjin on 18-20 September. The forum was organised by APEC Sustainable Energy Centre under the guidance of Tianjin University and National Energy Administration China.
Professor Nikolopoulou presented the recent work on the Urban Albedo project, with a talk titled, ‘Developing an urban albedo calculator: an empirical model to predict changes in relation to urban fabric and solar altitude in London’. Urban albedo, the capacity of urban surfaces to reflect solar radiation, is one of the most important contributors to changes in outdoor temperature, intensifying the urban heat island phenomenon, where temperatures in urban centres are higher than the surrounding rural environs.
In addition to attending the conference in Tianjin, Professor Nikolopoulou also represented the University of Kent at the EIC Fair in Tianjin, and visited schools and agents in Beijing as part of her trip to China.
Senior Lecturer and CASE (Centre for Architecture and the Sustainable Environment) director, Dr Giridharan Renganathan, was invited to speak to the staff at the Faculty of Architecture, Karpagam University, Coimbatore, India.
His presentation titled, ‘Experimental approach to urban albedo calculation: methodological challenges’, outlined the ongoing EPSRC funded Urban Albedo research project at the Kent School of Architecture and Planning, and discussed challenges related to surveying and scaling, experimental model building, sourcing and installation of equipment, development of digital model, validation of digital model.
The presentation focused on measures taken within budgetary constraints to overcome the challenges and its implications. Dr Renganathan also discussed the challenges in integrating passive strategies in the context of climate change with undergraduate and postgraduate students.
In addition to the presentation at Karpagam University, Dr Giridharan Renganathan was also invited to deliver a lecture to postgraduate students and staff and the Department of Architecture, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, India. The lecture titled, ‘Building resilience to overheating: a case study of Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge’, discussed the proposed advanced adaptive refurbishment options and their relative performance predicted against the existing internal conditions, energy demands and carbon dioxide emissions. The lecture highlighted that this may have more resilience in the current climate than expected, and that it will remain resilient into the 2030s. However, beyond 2050 some form of mechanical cooling may be needed. Dr Renganathan also highlighted that the problem could be more complex in hot and humid conditions such as in India, and the importance of developing context specific performance database for soft-landing measures.
CASE (Centre for Architecture and the Sustainable Environment) organised a very successful workshop at London’s Living Room, City Hall on Monday 15th October 2018, marking the beginning of Green GB week. The workshop, ‘Urban Albedo: Digital tools for urban resilience and growth’, was co-orgnised with Greater London Authority and the London Climate Change Partnership (LCCP), along with Brunel University and Loughborough University, who are both project partners.
The workshop, chaired by the former President of the Urban Design Group, Colin Pullan, brought together leading urban and building scientists, as well as practitioners from different backgrounds, to inform the impact of urban morphology and materials on urban albedo and its importance for health and well-being.
The speakers from the Industry Panel included:
- The Concrete Centre
- Fosters + Partners
- CIBSE Resilient Cities
For further information about the Urban Albedo research project, please see here.
The Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment at the Kent School of Architecture is seeking to appoint a post-doc research associate in the area of sustainable built environment and urban climate for the new three-year EPSRC-funded project ‘Urban albedo computation in high latitude locations: an experimental approach‘, an exciting collaboration between the University of Kent, Brunel and Loughborough University.
For further information regarding this exciting opportunity: http://bit.ly/2pwoRvW