Meeting Details
Buildings: The UK Energy Problem
Tuesday 3rd Nov 2009

Between today and 2050, our energy supplies and our use of energy will change dramatically. Today's building stock is largely also tomorrows building stock: 21 million buildings in the UK will still be here in 2050.

Cambridge has a rare combination of academic excellence, entrepreneurship and technical development and has an important role to play in defining and undertaking this change.

Our speakers include:

  • Mark Scaife, Strategy Manager at the UK Energy Technologies Institute
  • Ian Cooper, Cambridge Architectural Research
  • Brian Cox, IMechE
Mark Scaife is the Strategy Manager for the Buildings Programme at ETI. The ETI is working on a strategic overview of the buildings sector and is currently developing a programme of activities for the next three years. This work will be in conjunction with key public sector bodies which include DECC, CCC, EPSRC, TSB and the Carbon Trust.
Download his presentation (1,888kB PDF download).

Ian Cooper will describe CAR's work for the Scottish Government, developing an integrated energy, climate change and cost model for Scottish housing. The Government asked CAR Ltd. to explore how they can meet their ambitious CO2 reduction targets by implementing 18 distinct upgrades to dwellings.
Download his presentation (2,833kB PDF download).

Brian Cox will describe the Institution of Mechanical Engineers "UK 2050 Energy Plan" (part of the Future Climate project) which proposes that total energy for building heating should reduce by 50% by 2050.The UK has an old building stock that is far away from Passivhaus standards. One approach is to adopt the "Active house" concept: using micro, or local district energy generation.
Download his presentation (2,768kB PDF download).

Hermione Crease, who was going to talk on Sentec's work on smart metering and how this can contribute to solving the UK building energy problem. Sentec is a technology consultancy in Cambridge which specialises in meters and metering:, was unfortunately unable to attend due to sickness.

Homes and non-domestic buildings are responsible for almost half of the UK's CO2 emissions.

Reducing the emissions from new and existing buildings is one of the key challenges for industry and Government in meeting urgent climate change targets. The building stock consumes approximately 30% of the UK energy and this in turn accounts for 45% of the CO2 emissions generated. The main use for energy in the domestic sector is for space heating and hot water. This accounts for 82% (DTI 2004) of the domestic energy consumption, with the remainder being used for lighting, appliances and cooking.

CO2 reduction in the built environment will include initiatives such as:

  • "Zero Carbon homes": 100% new houses by 2016, all buildings by 2019
  • Energy Efficiency Commitment Programme, EEC 2 (2005-2008), with EEC 3 to follow on with a target to twice the EEC 2 programme.
  • Carbon Emission Reduction Target
  • Climate Change Levy (2001): non-domestic users
  • Low Carbon building Programme (2006)
  • Introduction of progressively tighter building regulations, including the necessity to improve the existing stock

Given the potential for saving energy presented by the built environment, it is clear that the opportunities will need to include:

  • Reduction in the need for energy - prevention of losses through the building fabric by adding insulation.
  • Using energy more efficiently in the building - by better control of the building environment, including ventilation and using low energy products
  • Supplying energy from renewable sources - once the energy consumption is minimised, some renewable energy technologies could be more effectively employed.

The meeting will follow our usual format. It is being held in central Cambridge, close to West Road. Full details available on registration.

Programme: Buildings: the UK Energy Problem Law faculty: image from Cambridge2000 online architectural library

16:15 Doors open
16:30 Refreshments, coffee and tea
17:00 Introduction to the evening
17:05 Mark Scaife, ETI: The UK Problem
17:40 Ian Cooper, Building upgrades and models
17:55 Brain Cox, IMechE report
18:05 Hermione Crease, Sentec: Smart Meters
18:40 Buffet meal in the atrium, with wine
19:20 Open moderated discussion, and continuing buffet
21:00 event close

Attendance was free, but prior registration was required.

Mark Scaife completed his PhD on diagnostic systems at the University of Bath in 1984. He joined Perkins Engines Company Ltd that year where he started in its Engine Research & Development department focussing on future engine controls technology. Caterpillar acquired Perkins in 1999 and Mark’s team was integrated into its Electronics and Controls Division and its remit was broadened to provide controls technical support to all of Caterpillar’s machine development facilities across Europe.

In 2004, Mark moved to the U.S. to work at Caterpillar’s Heavy Duty Engine Division supporting current products before moving across to their global Technical Centre to lead a simulation and controls research team. Four years later, Mark transferred to Caterpillar’s global new product introduction process team, a job which brought him back to the UK to support the standardisation of development processes across Caterpillar’s global facilities.

In May 2009 Mark joined the Energy Technologies Institute on secondment, where he is part of the strategy team with responsibility for Buildings & Heat strategies and for developing a common method for estimating cost of energy across different technologies.

Ian Cooper has worked on energy use in buildings and energy policy for more than 30 years, and he was part of the team that developed DEMScot - a domestic energy model for Scotland. He is an associate at Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd., a partner of Eclipse Research Consultants and a visiting professor at the University of Salford.

Brian Cox worked for ICI, Cambridge Instruments/Leica and Sortex, and then managed a number of manufacturing companies in China. He set up Shelford Business Consultants to advise mainly manufacturing companies on profit improvement through improved efficiency and energy management. Brian works with The Green Consultancy of Radstock, Bath on Energy Management and was recently lead author for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers "UK 2050 Energy Plan" which is part of the Future Climate project.

Hermione Crease has had an abiding interest in the built environment and sustainability. After a degree in Land Economy at Cambridge University, she worked in property development for a number of years, before joining Sentec, a company providing new technologies to the energy and smart metering industry. At Sentec she has been part of the team commercialising smart metering technologies in gas, water and electricity and providing new ideas for the smart grid and microgeneration markets.

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