Research and expertise

My research mainly focuses on advanced daylight simulation and measurement. My PhD thesis investigated the applicability of Climate-Based Daylight Modelling (CBDM), looking at the more widely adopted simulation methods to evaluate annual daylight performance using locale-specific weather data. My doctoral research covered: a survey of the uptake of CBDM among academics and practitioners; a benchmarking evaluation of CBDM metrics used in energy certification schemes and in design guidelines; and a comparison between simulated and measured daylight levels, using a database of High Dynamic Range (HDR) images collected in a live school building. 

At the moment I am assessing the solar radiation models that are used to derive irradiance and illuminance values in weather files for building performance simulation. I source data from existing large databases of weather variables (Met Office, Public Health England, NOAA ISD, etc) and I test the effect of varying solar radiation models on typical building performance analyses, such as overheating and daylighting.

I heavily rely on python for data analysis (e.g. Pandas for time series analysis, Matplotlib and Scipy for regression analysis, SALib for Sensitivity Analysis) and on command-line Radiance to run daylight simulations (2-, 3-, and 5-phase methods).

My research interests also include digital image processing, art conservation, data visualisation, indoor environmental quality and model calibration techniques. 

Current research activity

  • Weather Data for Daylight Modelling (CIBSE)

Recently completed research projects 

  • Applicability of Climate-Based Daylight Modelling (EPSRC and Arup)

Recent publications

  • E. Brembilla, D.A. Chi, C.J. Hopfe, J. Mardaljevic, Evaluation of climate-based daylighting techniques for complex fenestration and shading systems, Energy Build. 203 (2019) 109454. doi:10.1016/j.enbuild.2019.109454.
  • E. Brembilla, J. Mardaljevic, Climate-Based Daylight Modelling for compliance verification: Benchmarking multiple state-of-the-art methods, Build. Environ. 158 (2019) 151–164. doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.04.051.
  • E. Brembilla, J. Mardaljevic, A. Mylona, Daylight Simulation and Compliance : Reliability of Climate Data Solar Radiation Models, in: 16th IBPSA Build. Simul. Conf., Rome, IT, 2019.
  • E. Brembilla, J. Mardaljevic, A. Mylona, Improving Solar Data in CIBSE Climate Files -- Survey of Measuring Networks and Test on Daylight Simulation, in: CIBSE Tech. Symp., Sheffield, UK, 2019. https://www.cibse.org/knowledge/knowledge-items/detail?id=a0q0O00000GQnYa
  • E. Brembilla, C.J. Hopfe, J. Mardaljevic, Influence of input reflectance values on climate-based daylight metrics using sensitivity analysis, J. Build. Perform. Simul. 11 (2018) 333–349. doi:10.1080/19401493.2017.1364786.

Teaching

I contribute to learning and teaching activities across the Schools programmes including:

Undergraduate

  • Advanced Design Skills (2ndYear BArch)

Postgraduate

  • Supervision of research projects aligned to my research interests

Enterprise

Short courses 

  • Designed and delivered the practical part of a CPD course on Climate-Based Daylight Modelling

Profile

Career 

I graduated from Politecnico di Milano, Italy, in 2013 with a Master’s Degree in Building Engineering and Architecture. I then started my doctoral degree in the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering at Loughborough University, and was awarded a PhD in 2018 for my research on the ‘Applicability of Climate-Based Daylight Modelling’. My doctoral studies were funded by an EPSRC CASE Award in collaboration with Arup UK, a world-leading engineering consultancy company where I spent some time as an intern. I presented my PhD research at numerous conferences and workshops, like the International Radiance Workshop 2016 in Padua, Italy, or the IBPSA 2017 Building Simulation conference in San Francisco, USA. The main findings from the work resulted in three first-authored journal publication, as well as a number of awards at national and international level.

The Post-Doc project I am currently working on builds on my PhD research and investigates the role of solar radiation models in Climate-Based Daylight Modelling and in other building performance simulation realms, such as overheating analysis. The project is funded by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and will feed into the future releases of the official CIBSE weather files for building performance simulation.

Professional affiliations

  • Affiliate Member of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)
  • Member of the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Awards

  • Postgraduate Student of the Year, Built Environment Beacon Research Awards (2018)
  • BuildingsTravel Award, MDPI Buildings Journal, Switzerland (2017)
  • EPSRC Science Photography Competition – 3rd prize (2017)
  • Young Lighter of the Year Award – Finalist, Society of Light and Lighting (2016)
  • Engineering YES (Young Entrepreneurship Scheme) – Best Teamwork (2014)

External activities

  • Society of Light and Lighting (SLL) Speaker in the LightBytes Series (2019 – 2020)
  • CIBSE Technical Symposium Organising Committee member (2018 – now)
  • Newsletter editor for IBPSA-England (2018 – now)
  • Elected member of the CIBSE Council (2017 – now)
  • Secretary of the ASHRAE UK Midlands Chapter (2018 – 2019)
  • President of the ASHRAE UK Midlands Chapter Student Branch (2017)

Key collaborators

My research and enterprise activities are conducted with a range of academic and stakeholder partners, including:

  • Arup UK
  • Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)
  • International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA)
  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) ‘Windows and Daylight’ Group
  • Universidad de las Americas Puebla, San Andres Cholula, Mexico