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Management of indoor air quality in Near Zero Energy Building (NZEB)

Project Description

We propose to characterize complex phenomena of heat and mass transfer of water and pollutant in earth based walls of NZEB.


1/To design appropriate experiments to characterise the heat and mass transfer of water and pollutant in earth based materials
2/To measure the intrinsic parameters driving the transfers within the earth based walls
3/To quantify the effect bio based aggregate in the earth based materials
4/To use the poromechanics framework developed by Olivier Coussy in 2004 as a basis to develop appropriate model of heat and mass transfer possibly coupled with chemistry to take into account the pollutant action.
5/Monitor on site buildings to assess the energy savings in NZEB not using air conditioner systems.
6/Assess the existing gap between the assessment performed by the industry and the actual behaviour of earth based materials


Earth wall is considered as a continuum medium, without any plaster nor insulation so that we can use the poromechanics theory.


We propose to characterize complex phenomena of heat and mass transfer of water and pollutant through experimental measurements and multiphysical modelling. The experimental study is essential to characterize the materials to be tested (clay based materials). This approach will facilitate the design of materials with the specific purpose of passive regulation in addition to its conventional use (insulation, coating, etc.). The passive regulation is in line with the zero energy target of the building.

Experimental characterization and modelling gives us the ability to understand transfer phenomena but also to go further in the design of innovative products. This project will lead to an innovation in the design of materials with a strong regulating capacity of indoor environments, as much for hygrometry as for pollutants.


The candidate will use the University of Lyon/CNRS facilities to monitor one or two buildings in France. Some the experiments will also be performed in the Lab. of the University of Lyon/CNRS (CNRS is the top Research Institute in world according to Nature ranking). The cost will be borne by the University of Lyon/CNRS


Applicants must apply using the online form on the University Alliance website at Full details of the programme, eligibility details and a list of available research projects can be seen at

The final deadline for application is 12 April 2019.

Funding Notes

DTA3/COFUND participants will be employed for 36 months with a minimum salary of (approximately) £20,989 per annum. Tuition fees will waived for DTA3/COFUND participants who will also be able to access an annual DTA elective bursary to enable attendance at DTA training events and interact with colleagues across the Doctoral Training Alliance(s).
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801604.

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