Person adjusting a radiator

Loughborough academics support “cutting-edge” project intent on improving home energy performance

Academics at Loughborough University will be supporting a newly funded project intent on helping improve the energy performance of our homes.

The project, led by technology business Build Test Solution (BTS), will look to develop new methods for diagnosing the root causes of moisture and damp in our homes whilst developing new ways to benchmark how “energy healthy” they are. 

The University’s Building Energy Research Group (BERG) will act as the academic research partner in the project. Professor David Allinson says it’s a vital piece of research: “I’m excited to be part of this cutting-edge project in an important and rapidly emerging field. Building Performance measurements can help us to identify homes that are too expensive to heat, or that get too hot in the summer, or that have problems with mould and damp. 

“It’s a huge issue in this country with government figures estimating around 904,000 homes suffered with damp problems in 2021 whilst approximately 653,000 households in England lived with a Category 1 hazard of excess cold in 2019. This means people are living in cold conditions that put their health and safety at serious risk. This is particularly prevalent in households with over-60s.

“As a team, we will build on the current state-of-the-art tools to develop new data analysis methods that can quickly diagnose the root causes of these problems. This will provide landlords and homeowners with bespoke advice to ensure their homes provide a safe and healthy indoor environment all year round.”

BTS Technical Director, Richard Jack added: “On this project we will be looking at unlocking the value on offer through the combining of multiple measurements and what this can provide in terms of diagnostic capabilities with actionable feedback and insights.

“What we will be building over the coming months is a centralised building performance insights platform where heat loss measurements, airtightness test results, U-value measurements, ventilation flow rate results and post occupancy evaluation (POE) findings can all combine and orientate around a given building address point. 

“Through the combining of these measurements and insights, the research work will involve determining how to extract improved feedback on the root cause of building performance related issues and specifically what actions should be taken. 

“It is anticipated that this new diagnostic package will provide a one-stop solution to deliver against the growing range of regulatory and guidance requirements which are starting to be put into place, such as BS40101, PAS2035 and anticipated changes to Building Regulations."

The project, which received funding under the Innovate UK Rapid Assessment of Building Fabric Performance competition, is due to be concluded in January 2024.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 23/155

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 has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2023 QS World University Rankings – the seventh year running – and University of the Year for Sport by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is ranked 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2023, 10th in the Guardian University League Table 2024 and 10th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’, and in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 over 90% of its research was rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally-excellent’. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.