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ALIVE Project: Assessing Indoor Environmental Quality and Energy Efficiency In a range of Naturally-Ventilated Buildings: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Miriam Byrne
    Dr J McGrath
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

The ALIVE project, funded by the Sustainable Development Authority of Ireland, focuses on a longitudinal study that assesses the knowledge gap between energy performance and indoor environmental quality, based on the effectiveness of natural ventilation systems in maintaining a healthy environment. Specifically, the project aims to assess the capability of natural ventilation to reduce energy consumption and avoid overheating while simultaneously maintaining indoor environmental quality (IEQ) within Irish buildings. Remotely-operated sensors will continuously collect IEQ data in naturally-ventilated buildings and complementary information on thermal comfort, building characteristics, utility bills, occupancy/activity schedules will also be gathered. The combined database will be analysed in terms of WHO and CISBE guidelines to identify occupants’ air pollution exposure and thermal comfort. The proposed approach will deploy and validate Building Energy Performance Simulation models that integrate IEQ and energy components for domestic and non-domestic locations to evaluate the approach in real-world conditions. These integrated models will be used to determine the impact of natural ventilation on IEQ and overheating for each archetype and evaluate potential impacts to BER and NEAP ratings. The project will also assess the impact of specific recommendations on the national building stock. Integrated simulations will also examine additional meteorological conditions, current/future climate conditions, occupancy scenarios and emission profiles.

Applications are invited for a PhD student to join the ALIVE project team, and the focus of this student’s research will be on the design and execution of a longitudinal indoor environmental quality monitoring campaign, the analysis of the data collected, and the evaluation of ventilation strategies in the Irish building regulations. The candidate will work alongside a separately-recruited PhD student who will focus on the building energy performance simulation aspect of the overall ALIVE project.

The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated and have a demonstrable interest in and experience of laboratory or field based environmental measurement, ideally related to indoor or outdoor air pollution. The candidate must have the following qualifications/skills:

• First or upper Second Class Honours degree in a Physical Science or Engineering discipline
• Excellent verbal and written communication (English language) skills
• Valid European driving licence (necessary for fieldwork)
• Excellent inter-personal skills
• Willingness to learn computational modelling approaches to understanding indoor air pollution, ventilation and energy status of buildings

The studentship will provided an annual stipend of €18,500 and PhD tuition fees will be covered for a maximum of 4 years. The student will be based at in the School of Physics at NUI Galway and will spend time conducting field work at other sites in Ireland. The ALIVE project is a collaboration between NUI Galway and University College Dublin (UCD), and the successfully candidate will liaise closely with research staff and students at UCD.

Funding Notes

For information on moving to Ireland please see www.euraxess.ie

Further information about the School of Physics is available at:

The School of Physics has a strong committment to promoting equality and diversity, and holds an Institute of Physics Juno Pracitioner award (https://www.nuigalway.ie/physics/juno/)

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