Using simulation tools to optimise the performance of modern insulations in UK Dwellings

   School of Computing, Engineering & the Built Environment

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  Dr M Sajjadian, Assoc Prof Suha Jaradat  No more applications being accepted  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Considering the UK Government Construction Strategy for 2025 targets of 50% greenhouse gas emission reduction in the built environment which implies lower U-Values for external building envelopes, the traditional insulations may no longer be optimum solutions for new dwellings or refurbishment of existing homes. As such, thinner layers of modern insulation types such as Vacuum Insulated Panels (VIP), aerogels and nano insulations could be used because of their lower thermal conductivity of up to 5-8 times compared to traditional ones. This research aims to explore the feasibility and practicality of replacing existing traditional insulation products with modern ones to improve comfort, health and well-being in UK homes. The research explores the feasibility in major areas including the following:


1- Cost and payback period

2- Thermal performance and adaptability to UK dwellings

3- Thermal comfort and user satisfaction

The research outputs aim to reveal current barriers in cost, marketing, buildability and thermal performance of modern insulations and propose technical solutions to improve building thermal performance. The output of the research could encourage academics and industry partners to move towards achieving higher thermal quality with minimised thermal bridging risk both for new buildings and refurbishments projects. The outputs aim to eliminate workmanship errors on construction sites through faster and safer installation of new insulations.

The study will also intend to support relevant industries including producers, contractors and architects moving towards low/zero carbon design and will provide a platform for further studies in relevant fields for academic researchers. In addition, the research intends to provide practical frameworks in design detailing for modern insulations and installation techniques for architectural technologists.

Academic qualifications

A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in Engineering, Architectural Technology, Architecture or closely related fields with a good fundamental knowledge of building physics.

English language requirement IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online. Essential attributes: · Experience of fundamental Architectural Design Detailing · Competent in thermal modelling · Knowledge of buidling physics · Good written and oral communication skills · Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project · Good time management Desirable attributes: Industry experience in architectural technology related areas in addition to competency in using Building Information Modelling tools

Architecture, Building & Planning (3)

Funding Notes

Self funded


Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, 2019. Available online: Department for Communities and Local Government 2010. “Building Regulations 2000: Approved Document L1A Conservation of fuel and power in new dwellings October 2010 edition”. London, UK: Department for Communities and Local Government 2010. Kalnæs, S.E. and Jelle, B.P., 2014. Vacuum insulation panel products: A state-of-the-art review and future research pathways. Applied Energy, 116, pp.355-375. Ibrahim, A., Ali, H., Abuhendi, F., and Jaradat, S. 2020. Thermal seasonal variation and occupants’ spatial behaviour in domestic spaces. Building Research and Information, 48(4), 364-378.