MSc in Energy Systems dissertation projects, understanding university building energy consumption & Green hydrogen in South Africa

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C necessitates a significant reduction in energy demand and an increase in energy efficiency, particularly within the building sector; responsible for 26% of global energy-related emissions and 25% of UK emissions in 2022.

Among UK buildings, higher education institutions (HEIs) rank second in energy intensity, due to their diverse array of activities, spaces, and age. To reduce this elevated energy demand, new methodologies are required to analyse HEIs energy use and uncover potential performance gaps. Well understood digital twin simulations are valuable for this purpose, to identify the causes of these gaps and to allow interventions to be tested virtually before modifying buildings’ controls or equipment, or asking occupants to change behaviour.

In this presentation, Laurence will showcase how digital twin simulations can effectively
address performance gaps in newly constructed buildings during their operational phase. The research focused on the Andrew Wiles Building (Mathematical Institute) at the University of Oxford, using digital twin simulations to assess its energy performance and propose interventions that could lead to a 20% reduction in electricity consumption.

Laurence will discuss her work on the building’s digital performance assessment, emphasising the significance of accurate digital twin simulations while also addressing limitations and challenges, which can guide future research and recommendations for a smart, efficient, and sustainable net zero built environment.