Exhibition and student competition focus on sustainable energy

02 Feb 2009 14:56:00.000

PA 27/09

The University of Nottingham is staging a ‘mini-expo’ of over 30 sustainable products signalling the start of a programme of improvements to upgrade a specially built 1930s style house and turn it into an energy efficient home of the future. 


The ‘mini-expo’, being staged at the School of the Built Environment on Wednesday 4 February 2009, will be open to the public from 2pm to 6pm, and is being organised by the distribution company SIG. On show will be the very latest sustainable products from heating to power generation, insulation to lighting, draught proofing to rainwater and grey water harvesting.


Today will also see the launch of the student’s international Passivhaus Competition at the School of Built Environment. Among the highlights of the days events will be a lecture by Dr Witta Ebel – Passivhaus Scientist from the Passivhaus Institut Darmstadt in Germany.

Click here for full story

Dr Mark Gillott, the organiser of both events, said: “The Passivhaus lecture and line-up of other speakers in the evening will provide our students, and those attending the expo, with invaluable information on potential solutions to help address the significant challenge of reducing energy consumption in the Built Environment.”    


Passivhaus Competition


Guillermo Guzman, the competition coordinator, said: “This is the second year running students at the School of Built Environment have been invited to take part in this prestigious competition. They will face fierce international competition to design the best low energy passivhaus designed office building.”


Now in its seventh year, the competition is run by Saint-Gobain Isover, leaders in the design, production and distribution of energy efficient insulation materials for the construction industry. Saint-Gobain Isover has extensive expertise and experience in the development of energy efficient construction having worked closely with the PassivHaus institute in Darmstadt to develop a wide range of building solutions which have been made available to the students.


Green Refurb ‘mini-expo’ and symposium

The Green Refurb exhibition and symposium, at the School of Built Environment, will showcase energy efficient measures for existing homes. As well as the Passivhaus Lecture the symposium will feature evening lectures from key note speakers including Penney Poyzer, presenter of BBC 2’s ‘No Waste Like Home’ and Alan Simpson MP.



The ‘mini-expo’ is part of a three year project investigating how a typical suburban home can be upgraded to reduce CO2 emissions and bring it into line with the carbon neutral status which the Government is seeking for all new homes after 2016.


Featuring over 30 products from leading manufacturers, the mini-expo is being staged in partnership with SIG Sustainable Products. On show will be a range of sustainable technology from insulation, draft proofing and lighting to rain and grey water harvesting, as well as heating and domestic power generation.


The University, in collaboration with E.ON, had to gain special planning permission to build a property to 1930s specifications. It stands on the newly established Green Close at the School of Built Environment which showcases developments in energy efficient housing.


The E.ON house is part of the Creative Energy Homes project being led by Dr Mark Gillott. Dr Gillott said: “We will have to retro-fit low carbon measures to existing homes to significantly reduce our carbon emissions because most of the UK housing stock of 25 million properties will still be occupied in 2050. This event will give our students and the public a valuable insight into what solutions are available to radically reduce carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency in existing homes.”


Paul Roche, Director, SIG Sustainable Products, said: “SIG is delighted to be working with The University of Nottingham and E.ON on this project. Both government and industry acknowledge that a radical step change in the way we currently design and build is required if the UK’s environmental targets are to be met. However, even with an increased rate of new build, estimates suggest that 90 per cent of buildings standing in 2050 have already been built making the need to tackle existing housing stock, which counts for 27 per cent of CO² emissions, even more of a priority.


“For the majority of homeowners, ‘going green’ is regarded as both complicated and expensive – an attitude further reinforced given the current economic climate. This event will therefore demonstrate that there are a wide range of practical and realistic solutions that are available to homeowners with tangible environmental and economic benefits to improve the building performance of their homes.”


The 1930s house is currently home to Changhong Zhan, a research fellow at The School of Built Environment, and his family. Throughout the winter researchers have subjected the family to ‘Big Brother’ style monitoring.


In true 1930s style the house currently has no insulation or central heating, there are conventional light bulbs, single glazed windows and open fires and the house is equipped with inefficient gas and electric water heating.


More than 100 sensors built into the walls have logged exactly how much power and water the family have consumed and the temperature and humidity inside the house.  The latest tracking devices have monitored the family’s every movement. And using thermal imaging researchers have been able to see just how inefficient and poorly insulated the property is.


The upgrade will begin this summer after post graduate students at the School of Built Environment have researched the wide variety of sustainable products on the market and decided which are the most cost effective.


The project is being funded by E.ON, one of the world’s leading power and gas companies. David Clarke, E.ON’s Head of Research and Development, said: “As a company and as a country we face the challenges of keeping energy affordable and also reducing the impact we all have on the environment.


“The average 1930s house had many flaws when it comes to energy efficiency and many of these are still affecting millions of British homes of that era which are still being lived in. With the ideas being developed here, ideas which could cost anywhere from £50 to more than £5,000, we are looking at ways our customers can cut their bills and reduce their carbon.”


The Green Refurb event is open to students and the public from 2pm to 9pm. To register your interest please email greenrefurb@nottingham.ac.uk.


2.00pm – 2.15pm     Opening of the Green Refurb Event


14.20pm – 14.30pm    Isover Student Competition Launch


14.30pm – 15.30pm    Dr Witta Ebel - Wolfgang Feist Lecture on Passivhaus Design

6.00pm - 6.15pm     Alan Simpson MP – If we are to survive – housing and a sustainable future.

6.15pm - 6.30pm     Penney Poyzer and Gil Schalom (msarchitects) - The Nottingham EcoHome,  their highly acclaimed low carbon Victorian semi-green refurbishment project.

6.30pm - 6.45pm     Julian Marsh – Greenrefurb, the architect’s perspective.

6.45pm  - 7.00pm     Gilli Hobbs, Director of Resource Efficiency at the Building Research Establishment - T-ZERO towards low carbon homes.

7.00pm - 7.00pm     Questions and answers.


— Ends —


Notes to editors

: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.


More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.


The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.


Additional information : Thermal images of energy loss are available on request. More information about the Creative Energy Homes Project can be found at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/sbe/creative_energy_homes/

Media information: The media are invited to visit the Green Refurb ‘mini-expo’ and attend the official opening between 11am and 2.15pm. They are also welcome to attend the launch of the Passivhaus student competition and Passivhaus lecture which take place between 14.20pm and 15.30pm. The event, on Wednesday 4 February 2009, will take place at The School of Built Environment, The University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD.


Story credits

Dr Mark Gillott on +44 (0)115 846 7677, mark.gillott@nottingham.ac.uk
Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

Nottingham success in 'green campus' world rankings

Published Date
Wednesday 5th January 2011

Climate and transport — what does the future hold?

Published Date
Tuesday 23rd June 2009

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
C Floor, Pope Building (Room C4)
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798
email: pressoffice@nottingham.ac.uk