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An optimisable energy-water nexus approach for operational net zero homes

   Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering

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  Dr K Adeyeye  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding from the University of Bath URSA competition. Please see the URSA webpage for more information.


UK homes account for 12% of the UK’s annual carbon emissions and about half of this is associated with water use. At present, net zero strategies focus primarily on fabric and energy solutions. But low-carbon energy does not mean low-carbon water (IEA 2020). Also, fabric improvements are beneficial only if combined with nexus solutions, such as renewable energy sources to neutralise space heating and hot water energy use and grey/rainwater systems used to reduce mains water use.

Previous studies on the resource performance of buildings are typically conducted in silos (e.g., Wu et al. 2020 for energy; Landa-Cansigno et al. 2020; Adeyeye et al. 2019 for water); reinforcing the fragmented approach to performance methodologies for dwellings. Emerging studies are however showing that an integrated approach, which includes socio-behavioural solutions is more effective. The challenge is the lack of nexus tools for value, cost-benefit assessments especially during the early-stage design, to reduce the tendency for nexus solutions to be ‘value engineered’ from housing schemes.

This doctoral study will work towards filling this gap by proposing an energy-water nexus approach for operational net zero homes. Within this framework, potential students may propose innovative strategies which includes assessment indices, BIM templates, process-based methods or decision tools aimed at the early-design and renovation planning stages. The emphasis should include the benchmarking, synthesis, application, and evaluation of innovative nexus technologies performance to facilitate solution optimisation and trade-offs, go/no-go decisions, and regulatory compliance. Importantly, candidates should propose outcomes that will deliver simple, optimisable methodological and practical design solutions that would enable the widespread scaling up of net-zero strategies to enable new or existing homes to meaningfully contribute to achieving the 2050 targets.

Candidate Requirements

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First Class or good Upper Second Class Honours degree (or the equivalent) in Architecture, Architecture Engineering, Building Services Engineering or similar. Competencies in modelling and simulation software and tools will be highly beneficial. A master’s level qualification would also be advantageous.

Non-UK applicants must meet our English language entry requirement.

Enquiries and Applications

Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be directed to Dr Adeyeye - [Email Address Removed]

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Architecture

When completing the form, please identify your application as being for the URSA studentship competition in Section 3 Finance (question 2) and quote the project title and lead supervisor’s name in the ‘Your research interests’ section. 

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found on our website.

Funding Eligibility

To be eligible for funding, you must qualify as a Home student. The eligibility criteria for Home fee status are detailed and too complex to be summarised here in full; however, as a general guide, the following applicants will normally qualify subject to meeting residency requirements: UK nationals (living in the UK or EEA/Switzerland), Irish nationals (living in the UK or EEA/Switzerland), those with Indefinite Leave to Remain and EU nationals with pre-settled or settled status in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme). This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Additional information may be found on our fee status guidance webpage, on the GOV.UK website and on the UKCISA website.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

We value a diverse research environment and aim to be an inclusive university, where difference is celebrated and respected. We welcome and encourage applications from under-represented groups.

If you have circumstances that you feel we should be aware of that have affected your educational attainment, then please feel free to tell us about it in your application form. The best way to do this is a short paragraph at the end of your personal statement.


Architecture; Built Environment; Information Systems; Surveying

Funding Notes

Candidates may be considered for an URSA studentship, tenable for 3.5 years. Funding covers tuition fees at the Home rate, a £1000 per annum training support fee, and a stipend at the UKRI rate (£15,609 p/a in 2021/22).
An URSA studentship only covers tuition fees at the Home tuition fee rate, and so students eligible for Overseas tuition fee status are not eligible to apply. Exceptional Overseas students (e.g. with a UK Masters Distinction or international equivalent) who are interested in the project should contact the intended supervisor in the first instance, to discuss the possibility of applying for additional funding.


• Adeyeye, K., et al. (2019). Beyond the flow rate: the importance of thermal range, flow intensity, distribution for water-efficient showers. Env. Sc.& Poll. Res. 27.5: 4640-4660.
• IEA. (2020), Introduction to the water-energy nexus, IEA, Paris, Available at:
• Landa-Cansigno, Oriana, et al. (2020) "Performance assessment of water reuse strategies using integrated framework…" Env. Sc. & Poll. Res.27.5: 4582-4597.
• Wu, J., et al. (2020). A method to evaluate building energy consumption based on energy use index of different functional sectors. Sust. Cities and Society, 53, 101893.
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