iNtelligent Urban Model for Built environment Energy Research (iNumber)

Lead Research Organisation: University College London
Department Name: Bartlett Sch of Env, Energy & Resources

Abstract

Sustainable urbanisation requires the provision of secure energy for health and comfort. Key to planning sustainable energy services is an understanding of how energy demand changes over time and space and tools to help plan for its reduction.

iNUMBER is a research programme to develop:

1. A building stock and municipal service energy model to help plan a secure energy supply for urban populations to be thermally comfortable and healthy (via the provision of clean water and sanitation). The model will estimate total and disaggregated (in use, time and space) energy demand. Plus, assess the impacts of different mechanisms (e.g. shading, occupant behaviour and insulation) to reduce energy demand and the capacity to provide locally generated clean energy.

2. Linked new and existing data sets. Developing models is relatively simple, the challenge is acquiring the data to input and test the validity of models. iNUMBER tackles this challenge head on by developing state of the art data collection and analytic methods to overcome this challenge in a range of scenarios with different data availability.

3.Tools to help support the urban energy management process iNUMBER supports Indian municipalities and local partners to develop a data-driven intelligent urban model for built environment energy research and municipal planning. It supports India's deep decarbonisation pathway by mapping current and future energy demand reduction opportunities in the built environment. It will diagnose urban energy problems, test solutions, verify progress, and improve policy decisions utilising state of the art monitoring, data science and analytics.

iNUMBER primarily focuses around meeting the India/UK Newton research topic "Integration of information, communication and renewable energy technologies at building, community, and city level interventions." and will also meet elements of the other two areas of the call "peak demand reduction" by contributing new high resolution data and "city and community technologies" by providing guidance to urban planners

iNUMBER will:

-Undertake innovative research into: urban data collection (e.g. laser ranging combined with IR and visible images from unmanned vehicles), big data analytics, and innovative modelling.

-Promote the economic development of and welfare of developing countries, as required by Newton funding, by helping India to transition to a smart sustainable energy system which is critical to economic development.

-Engage users of different types. Our initial project partners include urban local bodies, energy software developers, energy meter hardware suppliers, residential construction companies, architectural firms, and user experience experts. Beyond these immediate partners, we will coordinate and collaborate with other research groups in the field, engage with policymakers, and benefit the public.

-Leverage Newton and DST funding by ~£1m, with support from host universities and project partners who will provide data, test sites, equipment, and provide sector expertise.

-Demonstrate usable solutions: online energy information systems; benchmarking backed up by large data sets; low-tech "smart-er" retrofits for electricity meters and sub-meters; reduction strategies for energy and the energy-water nexus tailored to cities of different shapes and sizes.

-Build a collaborative India/UK interdisciplinary research project: This proposal builds on the strengths of India in Information Technology and the strengths of the UK in energy epidemiology to build a best with the best collaboration. The team includes leading academics from engineering, data science, information technology, energy analysis, architecture, building science, urban science, urban planning, energy management from leading institutions in India and the UK. All work packages will be delivered via teams from both UK and India and many work packages involve interdisciplinary collaboration.

Planned Impact

iNUMBER will provide economic and social benefits to municipalities & urban planners; the building industry (including services and construction); utility companies, energy software companies, modellers and energy analysts; researchers and students; policymakers; and the public. The impact will be facilitated by active participation of key stakeholders in the case study cities, high level policy meetings, workshops, CPD, iNUMBER open access tools, and the iNUMBER web site, see pathways to impact section for further details.

Note, the impacts (outside of academia) will be greatest in India as is consistent with a Newton funded call, hence the use of case studies in India etc.

The research will benefit municipalities and urban planners by:

- Providing data and analysis for improved resource management of energy and water in which three new types of empirical data gathering will be used to garner the information necessary to enrich the 'data poor' cities

- Providing new tools and a firm evidence base to make better-informed decisions about the effects of future urban forms on energy and water use including: helping cities with similar patterns of energy use to learn from each other and optimising the relationship between municipal energy strategies and urban land use patterns in both the planned and organic growth India is experiencing

- Highlighting the scale of resource and cost efficiencies that can be achieved now and in the future

- Helping co-create a clearer understanding of resource efficiency issues in a sector that has been under-researched by building and energy scholars

iNUMBER will benefit the building industry by:

- Providing monitored data for Indian residential buildings and municipal energy services

- Highlighting the barriers and opportunities for improving resource efficiency in residential buildings and municipal energy services

- Reporting results of trials of innovative low cost monitoring equipment

- Providing multi-faceted view of a building in a city context

- Articulating new city-scale business opportunities for manufacturers of smart energy meters, HVAC control devices, energy efficient products (insulation, windows), and photovoltaics

iNUMBER will benefit utility companies, modellers and analysts by:

- Trialling novel ICT for upgrading electricity and water meters to be compatible with remote, short-interval data collection

- Using new data to inform models for energy demand projections
iNUMBER will benefit policy-makers by:

- Providing new data, which will inform the setting and monitoring of national targets, particularly for India's deep decarbonisation pathway

- Describing real-world practices in residential buildings and municipalities, and how those practices relate to policy initiatives intended to improve resource efficiency

- Provide inputs for and feedback to major urban reforms, planning norms, building code enforcement, and building code revisions

iNUMBER will benefit society in general, and the poor specifically, through economic, social, and environmental benefits associated with energy demand reduction:

- Reducing the cost of energy services to municipalities enables them to provide more support and social services to poorer members of society

- With energy efficient systems, Indian municipalities will be able to provide longer hours of water supply at the same cost, improving access to water by the poor

- Reducing urban energy demand in existing and new communities enables more capacity for electrification of rural and slums in urban centres

- Reducing energy demand in buildings and municipal energy services increases energy security, asset values, as well as public health and well-being

- Enhancing industrial productivity, energy delivery services, and resource management while reducing local air pollution, energy prices, and public costs

- Minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and alleviating poverty
 
Description The development of building stock energy models to date has taken place in western, developed countries and this has led to a cadre of models that are built around archetype or iconic buildings and full spacial geometry is not a particular concern. The models have largely been devised for temperate and cold climates when heating is typically the most important energy demand. iNUMBER moves the challenge of developing a building stock model to a developing country in which cooling is the key energy demand. This means that the influnce of solar radiation and hence an effective representation of spacial and solar geometry are crucial. Furthermore the external microclimate in urban areas can impact on strategies such as night cooling and therefor the spaces between buildings need to be modelled. These are new challenges for building stock models and iNUMBER is beginning to develop techniques and approaches to address them. Another important difference in many Indian cities is the presence of large areas of informal developments. These should be considered in an urban model and they pose additional challenges to which iNUMBER is developing appropriate responses.

Scanning a pilot area of Ahmedabad using a UAV has generated photogrametry that is being analysed to enable the 3D forms of buildings to be created and distinguished from other objects in the field of view such as trees. This process is proving challenging due to the proximity of objects such as trees and a number of methods are being tested with varying degrees of success. The findings to date suggest that consideration should be given to the use of LiDAR as well as photography in future UAV scans.
Exploitation Route Others study urban microclimates could contribute to the development work.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Energy,Environment

 
Description GCRF - (Re)thinking the off-grid city 2019
Amount £1,390,061 (GBP)
Funding ID ES/T007605/1 
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2020 
End 03/2023
 
Description Building Energy Demand Reduction in Global South 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Katy Janda presented a paper co-written by Pamela Fennell, Julia Tomei, and Rita Lambert at an international conference on "Building Energy Demand Reduction in Global South" which was organized by CSIR-CBRI, Roorkee, India with consortium partners IIT Roorkee and IIT Delhi. The conference, held 13-14 December in Delhi, was a part of INDO-UK joint research program on Building Energy Efficiency sponsored by DST-EPSRC. The paper on inclusive urban building energy models has been invited for submission for a special issue of the open access journal Buildings.

http://zedibuilder.co.in/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://zedibuilder.co.in/
 
Description Comfort at the extremes 
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 Kathryn Janda served on the organizing committee, technical review committee, and as a workshop leader ("Well-being, Health, and Air Quality") at the "Comfort at the Extremes: Energy, Economy, and Climate" conference (Dubai, UAE, April 10-12).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://comfortattheextremes.com
 
Description Conference Presentation: "Code Officials in India: Extending the Agency & Capacity of Building Regulators." September 7 2018 (Zurich, Switzerland). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Conference Presentation: "Code Officials in India: Extending the Agency & Capacity of Building Regulators." At Behave, the 5th European Conference on Behaviour and Energy Efficiency. September 7 2018 (Zurich, Switzerland).

Plans were made for future work and an edited book.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://doi.org/10.21256/zhaw-1370
 
Description Conference Presentation: 'Code Officials Are People Too: Building Regulators as Middle Actors in India' at BECC conference (Washington, DC). 8 October 2018. 
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 I gave a presentation: "Code Officials Are People Too: Building Regulators as Middle Actors in India" at the Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change conference in Washington, DC, October 7-10. https://beccconference.org
Outcomes include being asked to write a "perspective" on this topic in the journal Nature Energy by the commissioning editor, and being asked to write a book proposal for Springer.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://beccconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Janda2_presentation2018.pdf
 
Description Invited Panelist and Conference Presentation: "Code Officials in India: Extending the Agency & Capacity of Building Regulators" at Systematizing and Upscaling Urban solutions for Climate Change Mitigation (SUUCCM) workshop organized by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change. 13-14 September, 2018 (Berlin, Germany). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited Panelist and Conference Presentation: "Code Officials in India: Extending the Agency & Capacity of Building Regulators" at Systematizing and Upscaling Urban solutions for Climate Change Mitigation (SUUCCM) workshop organized by the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change. 13-14 September, 2018 (Berlin, Germany). https://www.mcc-berlin.net/en/events/recent/suuccm/about-suuccm.html

Plans were made to do further work with IPCC authors and develop book chapters.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.mcc-berlin.net/en/events/recent/suuccm/about-suuccm.html
 
Description Invited Panelist: "Telling Tales: Using Stories to Remake Energy Policy" at Global Energy Nexus in Urban Settlements (GENUS) seminar, one of twelve interdisciplinary Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH) Research Networks at the University of Cambridge. February 19, 2019 (Cambridge, UK) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Invited Panelist: "Telling Tales: Using Stories to Remake Energy Policy" at Global Energy Nexus in Urban Settlements (GENUS) seminar, one of twelve interdisciplinary Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH) Research Networks at the University of Cambridge. February 19, 2019 (Cambridge, UK).

Found a new partner from the IIT Bombay for our iNUMBER project on inclusive urban building energy models.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/programmes/global-energy-nexus-in-urban-settlements
 
Description Organized and Chaired Panel on "Change from the Middle-Out" at Behave, the 5th European Conference on Behaviour and Energy Efficiency. September 5-7 2018, (Zurich, Switzerland). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Organized and Chaired Panel on "Change from the Middle-Out" at Behave, the 5th European Conference on Behaviour and Energy Efficiency. September 5-7 2018, (Zurich, Switzerland). The panel featured new research on middle actors, including: boutique energy providers in Israel, code officials in India, formal social groups in Swiss cities, professionals working with housing providers in Sweden, local authorities in Scotland, and housing developers in the USA. https://www.zhaw.ch/en/about-us/news/events/behave/

Outcomes include a book proposal and further work with these and other authors.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.zhaw.ch/en/about-us/news/events/behave/
 
Description Participated in India/UK launch; presented iNUMBER project to the Government of India's Department of Science and Technology (19-20 February 2018) 
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 Participated in India/UK launch; presented iNUMBER project to the Government of India's Department of Science and Technology (19-20 February 2018)

Joined other India/UK principal investigators and researchers to launch four India/UK projects in a public forum (~75 people), presented iNUMBER to other IN/UK projects (~20 people), then discussed challenges and opportunities with DST.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Participated in iNUMBER workshop in Ahmedabad, India 14-20 February 2018 
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 Participated in iNUMBER workshop in Ahmedabad, India 14-20 February 2018. This included visits to both traditional homes and luxury homes; luxury homebuilders; third party urban researchers; and colleagues at CEPT University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation to IEA EBC Annex 70 working group 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation to IEA EBC Annex 70 working group on Building Stock Energy Models. Model review and classification framework presented and debated. Presentation highlights included in interim report from workshop. Several follow-up requests for more details from academic institutions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Urban Energy and Housing in Africa and Asia: Inter-Disciplinary Dialogues Workshop, 30 May 2019, University of Cambridge 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Kathryn Janda gave a talk on "Modeling urban development: what is (in)visible to data-driven energy demand research" at a Workshop on
Urban energy and housing in Africa and Asia: inter-disciplinary dialogues
30 May, 9am-6pm,
SG2, Alison Richards Building, Cambridge
http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/28482
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/28482