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A platform for whole-life carbon and energy analysis of Passivhaus homes in the UK

   School of Engineering

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  Dr Ali Badiei  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

2022 sees the establishment of an internally funded Doctoral Training Centre at the University of Central Lancashire, which will support fully funded PhD studentships on an annual basis and with the first cohort joining us in September 2022.

The focus of the studentships is industry collaboration, with external organisations providing added value to the research projects supporting the professional development of each doctoral candidate. In addition, each studentship aligns with an area of existing research strength and strategic focus at UCLan and the achievement of regional and national R&D investment agendas for growth.

The Doctoral Training Centre will provide:

  • A bespoke cohort programme of training & development focused on research skills and professional development that aligns with impact agendas
  • An events programme to include external speakers, networking opportunities and careers support
  • Opportunities to undertake industrial placements
  • A dedicated support team – academic and administrative
  • Tuition fees paid, annual stipend and a fund to support research activities

Applications are invited for a PhD (via MPhil) studentship in the Centre for Sustainable Transitions, within the School of Engineering. The studentship is tenable for up to 3 years full time [subject to satisfactory progress]. 

It is expected the successful applicant will commence 12 September 2022.

Project Description:

Homes contribute 22% of UK carbon emissions, 45% of which are primarily for space heating energy. Delivery of highly insulated homes, new build and retrofit, is needed to help meet the UK’s 2050 net-zero carbon target. Multi-year data from 97 UK Passivhaus[1] dwellings spread across 13 sites has shown that mean observed space heating demand is 10.8 kWh/m2/annum; whereas the estimated space heating demand of the average UK home is currently about 145 kWh/m2/annum and a new build home predicted to be 50 kWh/m2/annum.

As the operational energy and hence carbon of buildings falls, the absolute and relative contribution of embodied carbon will rise. Hence, to ensure true sustainability of Passivhaus buildings, the proposed project aims to quantify whole-life energy consumption and carbon content of UK homes built to Passivhaus standards compared to non-Passivhaus standards. This will be achieved by undertaking a detailed energy and carbon modelling of 5 UK Passivhaus homes. The outcome of the modelling work then will be used to fill the existing research gap in sustainability of Passivhaus homes by drawing comparisons between the whole-life carbon content of existing housing stock and the Passivhous homes.

This project will go beyond the realms of existing research in an effort to establish a modelling platform to quantify the whole-life energy and embodied carbon content associated with constructing and operating homes built to Passivhaus standard, with primary goal of providing a policy tool and insight into effectiveness of this concept in reducing the carbon emissions in housing sector, in long term.

Further information

Informal project related enquiries about the post can be made to Dr Ali Badiei at email address [Email Address Removed] 

For full details go to: https://www.uclan.ac.uk/research/research-degrees/studentships

Please apply using the following link, quoting the studentship reference number DTC008


For any other queries, please email [Email Address Removed].

Closing Date: 24th June 2022

Proposed Interview Date: TBC by DTC



[1] Passivhaus standard is rapidly gaining popularity as a reliable mean of obtaining low-energy, low-carbon buildings, with several UK local authorities adopting it as the default low-energy standard for dwellings.
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