How can we reduce the energy demand of buildings?

Watch a recording of our free live webinar from 29th March 2016.

A reduction in the energy demand of buildings can make a major contribution to achieving national and international carbon reduction goals. This video establishes the link between built environment energy and climate change, and discusses how the built environment and sustainability sectors are addressing this increasingly important issue and what the long term solutions might be, and consider whether we are making enough progress.

About the panellists

Jane Powell, Senior Lecturer in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia will explain how the built environment contributes to climate change and explain the technological and social challenges of designing, constructing and operating new low energy buildings, as well as improving the existing, inefficient, building stock.

Ray Galvin works with the Engineering and Architecture Departments at the University of Cambridge, UK, and the Business and Economics Faculty at RWTH-Aachen University, Germany. He will focus on the rebound effect in home heating and consider the following:

  • How the issues for residential buildings differ from those for non-residential buildings.
  • How it is much harder to reduce GHG emissions from existing buildings compared to new builds.
  • GHG emission reduction in buildings requires very smooth coordination between energy efficiency technology and occupant behaviour.
  • Should we expect the same percentage level of reductions in GHG emissions from the built environment as from other sectors such as transport.

Sumita Sinha is an architect, author and academic in the field of sustainable design. Her design practice, Eco=logic, has carried out a diverse portfolio of projects in the UK, France, Spain, Netherlands, Palestine, Venezuela, Serbia and India. Sumita lectures at universities in the UK and abroad. She has received awards for design, art and photography. Sumita's work in some of the most troubled parts of the world is influenced by the power of dialogue, engagement and divergent thinking.

Sumita will consider the following fundamental questions:

  • How can scarcity be eliminated without resorting to austerity as a model?
  • What transnational and intergovernmental actions can be taken, given the huge disparity of global wealth, resources and health between nations?
  • Should ecological and ethical concerns be leading our development, instead of the modern notions of progress?

She will explain how individual buildings on their own cannot offer a long term solution, cities and the urban systems have to be coordinated along those lines too.

Featured Books

  • Autotelic Architect

    Changing world, changing practice

    By Sumita Sinha

    Autotelic Architect explores how movements towards more self-initiated projects, greater collaboration and design activism have changed how architects and designers are practicing, as well as the kinds of projects they are working on. Similar to the autotelic self that transforms potential problems…

    Paperback – 2016-07-14

  • Building Futures

    Managing energy in the built environment

    By Jane Powell, Jennifer Monahan, Chris Foulds

    A reduction in the energy demand of buildings can make a major contribution to achieving national and international carbon reduction goals, in addition to addressing the interlinked issues of sustainable development, fuel poverty and fuel security. Despite improvements in thermal efficiency, the…

    Paperback – 2015-11-03

  • The Rebound Effect in Home Heating

    A guide for policymakers and practitioners

    By Ray Galvin

    This is a definitive guide to the rebound effect in home heating – the increase in energy service use after a technological intervention aimed at reducing consumption. It sets out what the effect is, how it plays out in the home heating sector, what this implies for energy saving initiatives in…

    Paperback – 2015-06-18
    Building Research and Information

  • Architecture for Rapid Change and Scarce Resources

    By Sumita Sinha

    Architects, development practitioners and designers are working in a global environment and issues such as environmental and cultural sustainability matter more than ever. Past interactions and interventions between developed and developing countries have often been unequal and inappropriate. We…

    Paperback – 2012-02-15

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