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15 December 2010 | PR 10/190

Loughborough University-led study to give UK homes energy makeover

A ground breaking project by a Loughborough University-led partnership of six universities is set to help people create greener and more energy efficient homes without the upheaval of moving to an eco-house.

Project CALEBRE (Consumer-Appealing Low Energy technologies for Building REtrofitting) is researching how we can save energy and cut carbon emissions in the homes we live in now, with a specific focus on solid-wall houses. These are properties mainly built before 1920 and make up about a third of the UK’s housing stock.

Professor Dennis Loveday, Director of the Loughborough University’s Sustainability Research School is leading the four year project, which is being jointly funded by E.ON and the Research Councils UK. He explains: “The aim of the project is to develop solutions that will be effective for existing homes and available to the majority of households. If real change is to happen then we must take into account the lifestyles and preferences of the household when coming to our conclusions and making recommendations.

“The information we gather will be used to improve the design of a range of energy efficiency technologies and make them more appealing to householders, as well as to test them in real life situations. We will also be exploring ways to finance domestic refurbishment technologies and roll them out on a mass scale, and the project plans to create a tool to identify the most suitable package of eco-measures for individual households.”

So far the project has gained important insights into the motivators and barriers that householders experience and these have been communicated to the UK Government Departments for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) to support in the development of policy, such as the forthcoming ‘Green Deal’ – a scheme designed to address how home energy efficiency refurbishment will be practically realised and paid for.

The next stage of the project will focus on the energy demand reduction technologies being proposed for UK homes. These include electric and gas-fired heat pumps, ventilation heat recovery systems and advanced insulation products like vacuum glazing.
Every household will require its own range of energy-saving measures which align with the limitations of the house and the lifestyle of its owners. The project will culminate in a computer tool that will be developed to identify the best emissions-busting menu for each individual household.

Professor Loveday adds: “This project brings together the expertise of a team of internationally-leading researchers, supported by world-class equipment and backed by unique demonstration and trialling facilities. The CALEBRE team is delighted to be working with the support of E.ON, and as a result is well placed to advance the field of building energy reduction and make a real impact on UK domestic carbon emissions.”

Professor Loveday is working on the project in conjunction with colleagues at the University as well as from the Universities of Heriot-Watt, Nottingham, Oxford, Ulster and Warwick.


For all media enquiries contact:

Debbie Hughes
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: D.L.Hughes@lboro.ac.uk  

Notes for editors:

1.  CALEBRE is set to conclude late in 2012.

For further details please visit the project website at www.calebre.org.uk

To discuss collaboration on the project please contact the Principal Investigator Professor Dennis Loveday at: D.L.Loveday@lboro.ac.uk

2.  Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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