To demonstrate the ability to carry out a study of potential renewable energy technologies appropriate to the major refurbishment of a non-domestic building.


The Howell Building on the Uxbridge campus of Brunel University is to undergo a major refurbishment. Built in the 1970’s, it needs extensive improvement to bring it up to date, particular to improve thermal comfort and to reduce operational carbon emissions. The refurbishment work is scheduled to commence in May 2016 and to take no more than 6 months to complete.


The building will not change its use – a teaching resource and cellular offices housing academics. In this respect, most of the internal layout will be retained. However, the external glazing will be completely replaced with high performance glazing to dramatically reduce heating demand in winter and reduce risk of overheating in summer. The thickness of insulation to the roof and solid walls will also be increased. Further, all of the building services are to be replaced. Currently, all heating is provided from an aging central boiler room on the campus that serves several other buildings on the site via a LPHW pipe network. However, there have been serious operational problems with this site-wide heating system and it is therefore proposed that the refurbished Howell Building contains its own, dedicated heating system. The existing LPHW radiator system will be removed and, it is anticipated, replaced with a new LPHW perimeter heating system. With the exception of the main lecture theatre at ground floor, it is not intended that any rooms will be air-conditioned.


The refurbishment project will need to comply with current Building Regulations as well as local planning policies. Brunel is keen to go beyond these minimum requirements where feasible so as to create a facility which is future-proofed. In keeping with Brunel University policy, the project must achieve a BREEAM rating of at least Excellent. Consideration will also be given to using any renewable and/or low-carbon energy technology installed as a teaching resource for the MSc in renewable Energy.


To this end, you are asked to produce a report in two stages:

Stage 1:  an initial report which assesses the heating, cooling and electrical demands of the building; identifies and discusses any regulations that apply with regards to energy consumption and operational carbon emissions; propose energy/carbon targets for the project. This will need to be approved by the client (tutor) who may require you to make changes to your report.


Stage 2:  Based on the content of the approved stage 1 report, produce a report that examines the potential for the incorporation of a number of appropriate low carbon/renewable technologies as part of the refurbishment. This should include an assessment of size/duty of plant, plant space requirements energy/carbon savings, indicative costs and pay-back period.

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