Low carbon climate-responsive Heating and Cooling of Cities (LoHCool)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Architecture

Abstract

LoHCool focuses on topic T1 'Delivering economic and energy-efficient heating and cooling to city areas of different population densities and climates'. It confronts directly the conundrum of offering greater winter and summer comfort in a Continental climate zone whilst mitigating what would be a carbon penalty of prodigious proportions. It concentrates on recovering value from the existing building stock, some 3.4 Billion m2 in which dwell and work some 550 Million citizens. It is highly cross-disciplinary involving engineers, building scientists, atmospheric scientists, architects and behavioural researchers in China and UK measuring real performance in new and particularly in existing buildings in Chinese cities to investigate the use of passive and active systems within integrated design and re-engineering. It focuses on the very challenging dynamic within China's Hot Summer/Cold Winter HSCW climate zone. It aims to enable the much desired improvements in living conditions and comfort levels within buildings through developing a keen understanding of the current heating and cooling technologies and practices in buildings by monitoring, surveying and measuring people's comfort and capturing this understanding through developing systems modelling including energy simulations. It will borrow on UK research for comparative purposes, for example work examining the current and future environmental conditions within the whole National Health Service (NHS) Hospital Estate in England and the practical economic opportunities, very considerable, for significant improvement whilst saving carbon at the rate required by ambitious NHS targets. It will propose detailed practical and economic low and very low carbon options for re-engineering the dominant building types which we will identify in a series of cities, as developed with local stakeholders, contractors and building professionals, exploring economic and energy-efficient low carbon district heating and cooling systems. Finally, it will test them in the current climate, 'current' extreme events, future climates and will estimate the carbon implications and cost of widespread implementation. Findings for the existing stock will be equally applicable to new-build, in many ways a simpler prospect.

Planned Impact

Project Sounding Panel members have wide-reaching constituencies in China/UK ie Policy-advisors/-makers: China Academy of Building Research, input into national energy/carbon programmes, connections to UK academics/leading companies; UK NHS Sustainable Development Unit Asia context for Carbon Reduction Target; MOHURD Centre for Energy Efficiency in Buildings informing national policy and regulation on building energy efficiency, future Energy Efficient Demonstration Project types (asPI's FutureHouse); China Green Building Council, Training Programmes, presentations/exhibition at annual pre-eminent Int. Conf. on Green and Energy-Efficient Building Expo Beijing; China Association of Building Energy Efficiency, MOHURD exploitation of LoHCool technologies/techniques, training, database; Chongqing Municipal Commission of Urban-Rural Development Bureau of Energy Efficiency in Buildings, implementation 'coal face' in Chongqing, reinforces timely interest in retrofit; Chongqing Green Building Council develops its collaborations with UoR/Chongqing Univ. adds Cam/Lboro; Ministry of Science and Technology funded National Centre for International Research in Low Carbon and Green Building, Co-I Li is current Director, PI Short founding Academic Leader, £33K investment buys more PI/Co-I visits, local film-making, Visiting PhD to L'boro. UK Researchers, academics, companies benefit from China Partners' critiques of practicability, economy, social acceptability of emerging proposals, extremely interesting comparative studies. Urban Design/Masterplanners, Cook Chairman/Thompson Dir. BuroHappold v.active in China, insights, new approaches, advantage; Zhejiang Shimao Real Estate Group similar new urban approaches; Shenzhen Institute of Building Research, techniques, connections; AECOM Masterplanning Directors Nanda/Rose + Chi Chung Wong very active in China; AECOM Engineering infrastructure insight ; Zhejiang Province Construction Technology Promotion Center, techniques, data, connections; SPIE UK, engineering insights/advantage; China Southwest Architectural Design and Research Institute new approaches, connections; Chongqing Construction Engineering Group Real Estate Development, all will acquire quite new approaches to the retention, environmental upgrading and low carbon adaptation of the existing urban building stock at unparalleled scale in workable costed detail, transfer straightforwardly to new build situations. Construction: SKANSKA, H. of Sustainability, insights practical environmentally responsible, safe construction worldwide; Centre of Science and Technology in Construction, MOHURD, highly influential, acquires findings, co-organising China workshops and conferences; Shanghai Research Institute of Building Sciences acquire data, case studies, insights, connections; Shenzhen Institute of Building Research, adds to database, keen to share outcomes; UKTI China-Britain Business Council networking, commercial insights; Chongqing Construction Engineering Group Development and Mgmt. Co. 'backbone of construction in Chongqing' enthusiastic to apply innovative LoHCool re-engineering solutions in live projects; similarly Hangzhou Municipal Construction Commission (HMC); Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of Zhejiang Province Zhejiang Province Construction Technology Promotion Center, sizeable housing, urban developer eager to receive solutions; the Chartered Institute of Building promoting innovative construction via all its platforms (supplementing project team's links to the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure). The broadcast quality film will reach many thousands of citizens worldwide, Cam YouTube, streaming media, new dynamic TV ie Propellor (DeDeRHECC film winner 2013 tv\e Global Sustainability Film Award at BAFTA. Wholesale replacement is not an option at the HSCW region scale in carbon terms alone but 550 million total citizens deserve the conditions they aspire to.

Publications

10 25 50
publication icon
Aristodemou E (2019) Enhancing CFD-LES air pollution prediction accuracy using data assimilation in Building and Environment

publication icon
Clements-Croome D (2017) The recovery of natural environments in architecture: air, comfort, climate in Intelligent Buildings International

 
Description The research is ongoing but already we have discovered from real data collection that typical apartment towers in the Yangtse River Hot Summer Cold Winter Region are not resilient, the interiors track external temperatures closely particularly in host summers but with an added increment making summers intolerable by Western comfort standards and at the peak by the Chinese guidance authored by our Co-Is Li and Yao. However we have designed forms of practical affordable implementation for a number of adaptation measures which significantly reduce peak temperatures in summer. Reducing the demand for mechanical cooling is the problem faced in this region with 550 Million inhabitants and we believe by the project end March 2019 we will have a portfolio of adaptation recipes for 23 storey plus towers, lower rise 4-5 storey walk up apartment buildings, 12-14 storey multi use buildings with internal streets, standard mid rise office buildings, research laboratories, medium rise classroom buildings, all costed with a commentary on build ability and method from our Chinese industry partners in Hangzhou and Chongqing. By the close of 2019 the FLUIDITY modelling of the adaptation proposals within the wind environment of the two cities had been refined to show good reductions in peak and mean daily temperatures through July and August, this performance and the airflows which drive it are captured in our award winning film of LOHCOOL findings: The film of the EPSRC/NSFC LoHCool project, 'A Low Carbon Future for China's Furnace Cities' has won the tve 2019 Global Sustainability Film of the Year Award, see it at: https://gsfa.tve.org/tve_2019_film_awards/ and broadcast quality at https://upload.sms.cam.ac.uk/collection/3080770 The film continues to win awards at documentary film festivals: finalist in Rome Prisma Independent Film Awards 2019 , Best Short Documentary at the Vegas Film Awards July 2020, Amsterdam Film Festival Semi-Finalist and by default Best Short Documentary October 2020.
Exploitation Route The award winning film continues to win prestigious documentary film awards worldwide and as a Distinguished Prof of the People's Republic of China there will be multiple opportunities to disseminate LOHCOOL findings.
Sectors Construction,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Energy,Environment,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Retail

 
Description The UK-China research project Low carbon climate-responsive Heating and Cooling of Cities (LoHCool) confronts the problem of enhancing indoor summer comfort in the challenging Hot Summer and Cold Winter (HSCW) zone of China whilst mitigating the potential carbon penalty arising from sealing and air conditioning the existing building stock, the industry standard solution. The region lies south of the latitude north of which central heating and cooling is permitted. LoHCool concentrates on recovering value in the existing 9 billion m2 of urban building stock in the zone by increasing its resilience to climate. Recent data reveals that despite energy conservation policies achieving winter energy savings in portable air conditioner use, little has been saved in summer. The research reported here describes the adaptation challenges presented by typical apartment towers and medium rise slab apartment buildings set in rectilinear arrays in Hangzhou. Environmental performance data was collected within the case study tower, a slab and a number of academic teaching and laboratory buildings through 2016-17. Understanding of building performance in this dense urban context is assisted by Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations of the air flows around and inside the buildings in conjunction with dynamic thermal modelling. This work was carried out by the computational modelling team at Imperial College's Earth Sciences Department using their model FLUIDITY funded oitside this award. The aim is to optimise opportunity for natural ventilation within the buildings. Detailed costs are presented for the adaptation proposals as modelled. The 10 minute film of the research with moving image animations of the adaptation schemes is at https://upload.sms.cam.ac.uk/collection/3080770 'A Low Carbon Future for China's Furnace Cities' winner of a number of international film awards.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Construction,Energy,Environment
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description A Low Carbon Future for China's Furnace Cities, Film of project, A The film of the LoHCool project findings: A Low Carbon Future for China's Furnace Cities, by Monika Koeck of Cinetecture won the t/ve Global Sustainability Film of the Year 2019: https://upload.sms.cam.ac.uk/collection/3080770, 
Organisation Cinetecture
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Film of LoHCool project, A Low Carbon Future for China's Furnace Cities, by Monika Koeck of Cinetecture tve Global Sustainability Film of the Year 2019: broadcast quality at :https://upload.sms.cam.ac.uk/collection/3080770, and at the Awards website: https://gsfa.tve.org/tve_2019_film_awards/
Collaborator Contribution Monika Koeck and colleagues filmed with us in China: Hangzhou at Zhejiang University, our project partners and Chongqing National Centre for international Research in Low-carbon and Green Buildings, based at Chongqing University of which Short is International Co-Director, and then animated our adaptation designs for a series of towers and slabs incorporating the powerful airflow modelling outcomes by our RA Dr. Laetitia Mottet employed jointly with Imperial College London and the dynamic thermal modelling by our RA Dr.Jiyun Song shared with Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics in Cambridge.
Impact Film of LoHCool project, A Low Carbon Future for China's Furnace Cities, by Monika Koeck of Cinetecture won the tve Global Sustainability Film of the Year 2019. The project is highly interdisciplinary with the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering, Department of Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics, Chongqing University, Zhejiang University, University of Reading, the University of Cambridge Institute of Atmospheric Physics and Loughborough University's Department of Civil and Building Engineering.
Start Year 2017
 
Description I am appointed Co-Chair of the newly formed CHINA-UK GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL 
Organisation Chongqing University
Department School of Electrical Engineering
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution First meeting of the newly formed CHINA-UK GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL will be at Reading University on 24th April 2017 with distinguished guests from China.
Collaborator Contribution We plan together an ambitious programme of events and exchanges between Chinese and UK academic and professional institutions.
Impact To come through 2017 and beyond
Start Year 2017
 
Description IUM 
Organisation Chinese Meteorological Administration
Country China 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Had visitors spend time with us Published papers together
Collaborator Contribution Hosted visited Provided data (not directly) Published papers together
Impact Publications
Start Year 2012
 
Description LoHCool is now heavily involved in the organisation of the annual SUDBE Conference at Chonging University 4-7Nov 2107 
Organisation Chongqing University
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution LoHCool partners Chongqing University with matching NSFC grant have involved our shared project fundamentally in the conference, introducing it comprehensively in November 2016 and devoted a major session to our joint work in the 2017 Conference, funding LoHCool Co-Is and RAs Mottet and Song to attend and present entirely at the organisers' cost. SuDBE Conference, Chongqing: The 8th International Conference - Sustainable Urban Development in the Built Environment. LITY, models of Hangzhou and Chongqing.oHCool invited its MAGIC project collaborators Prof. Chris Pain and his Imperial team with our joint RA Dr.Laetitia Mottet to present joint LoHCool MAGIC research outputs in FLUID UK & Chinese project team members met and discussed progress. Papers were presented at the conference by project team members, see below for titles.
Collaborator Contribution Conference themes, lists of invitees including LoHCool partners in Central and City Government in China and industry partners in China with UK partners also attending. Very valuable networking opportunities with, not least, the Director of the China Academy of Building Science in Beijing.
Impact SuDBE Conference, Chongqing: The 8th International Conference - Sustainable Urban Development in the Built Environment. UK & Chinese project team members met and discussed progress. Papers were presented at the conference by project team members, abstracts included: Alan Short: Chair of UK-China session with Prof Runming Yao. Alan Short: Keynote speech: The recovery of natural environments in architecture. Jiyun Song: Impact of building design on natural ventilation and energy conservation in the Hot Summer and Cold Winter Region of China. Laetitia Mottet: Effect of urban and building design on air flow and pollution dispersion in cold winter and hot summer zones in China. Christopher Pain (MAGIC): Effect of tall buildings in the dispersion of pollution in the urban environment. Baizhan Li: Chair of conference Meng Liu: Energy savings in Yangtze River region.
Start Year 2015
 
Title Source codes of MATLAB program for the dynamic thermophysical process modelling of a typical 3-occupant residential apartment in the HSCW zone 
Description The dataset provides the source codes of MATLAB program for building dynamic thermophysical process modelling of a typical 3-occupant residential apartment identified in the HSCW (Hot Summer and Cold Winter) zone of China. The plain layout of the 3-occupant residential apartment is provided in a separate introduction document. Three versions of programs are available to calculate the cases of free room temperatures without energy supply, ideal building heating and cooling loads with fixed room target temperatures, and building heating and cooling loads with room target temperature control bands, respectively. The model is developed based on the State-Space Method, with a view to investigating the impact of thermal mass of external walls on residential buildings in the part time part space heating and cooling in the HSCW zone. A small time interval can be set manually to get a high-resolution model in particular for the intermittent occupancy pattern. Different scenarios of heating/cooling modes, thermal mass and thermal insulation placements of external walls are considered and three representative cities Chongqing, Changsha and Shanghai in the HSCW zone are chosen as the input weather data. Options in the programs can be chosen and relevant default parameter settings can be changed to be fit for the building simulations of different scenarios. 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2018 
 
Description 4-7 November 2017 SuDBE Conference, Chongqing: The 8th International Conference - Sustainable Urban Development in the Built Environment. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 4-7 November 2017
SuDBE Conference, Chongqing: The 8th International Conference - Sustainable Urban Development in the Built Environment, many regional and national practitioners and contractors present.
UK & Chinese project team members met and discussed progress. Papers were presented at the conference by project team members, abstracts included:
Alan Short: Chair of UK-China session with Prof Runming Yao.
Alan Short: Keynote speech: The recovery of natural environments in architecture.
Jiyun Song: Impact of building design on natural ventilation and energy conservation in the Hot Summer and Cold Winter Region of China.
Laetitia Mottet: Effect of urban and building design on air flow and pollution dispersion in cold winter and hot summer zones in China.
Christopher Pain (MAGIC): Effect of tall buildings in the dispersion of pollution in the urban environment.
Baizhan Li: Chair of conference
Meng Liu: Energy savings in Yangtze River region.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.sudbeconference.com
 
Description Meeting with Chinese Vice-Premier and senior Beijing officials with UK Minister for Universities Jo Johnson at the Royal Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 6 December 2018 at the Royal Society: Forum meeting with Vice Premier of China and the UK Minister for Science, Royal Society, London: Co:Is Runming Yao & Peter Guthrie invited to present LoHCool project to the Vice Premier of China, Liu Yandong, and the UK Minister for Science, Jo Johnson, Senior Beijing Ministry Official, at a special event celebrating the launch of the UK-China joint Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation. The joint strategy aims to strengthen science and innovation collaboration between the UK and China.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017