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FEATURE FACILITIES MANAGEMENT Future building trends identified


University of Liverpool lecturer in sustainable architecture, Dr Stephen Finnegan, and GDHV forecast the next decade of building trends as industry addresses sustainability challenges


storage to make it more reliable and help reduce reliance on the grid • Technology will play a more significant role, especially in terms of integrating smart controls into buildings, and using tools like artificial Intelligence (AI) in optimising usage of heating, cooling and ventilation • Specifically, AI can help in estimating how much energy a household requires at different times of the day and balancing this with the best time to buy electricity from the grid and when to rely on stored electricity • The environmental impact of construction materials will become as important as energy usage in finished buildings. There will be increased adoption of Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) with more materials sourced locally and manufactured using sustainable methods.


“Planning for net zero 2050 is paramount as it will require a shift away from traditional methods used to heat and ventilate our homes,” says Dr Finnegan. “Modular builds, for example, are an excellent way to meet nZEB targets but with an airtight construction comes the need to ventilate and provide heat when needed. Heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, which also meet the new targets, can be installed off-site within the modular build and connected later on-site. This makes modular construction an ideal method for both quick and economical construction.” Dr Finnegan has more than 25 years of


G


len Dimplex Heating & Ventilation (GDHV) has partnered with an


expert in sustainable architecture to explore potential key trends likely to influence building design from now until 2029. Working closely with Dr Stephen Finnegan, GDHV has published its findings in the Building Design 2029: Predicting trends for the future whitepaper. The overarching finding of the


research is that over the next decade, energy efficiency and sustainability will be a major focus and challenge for the building and design industry, across the entire lifecycle, from manufacture of building materials, through to construction and use of heating and ventilation. This is especially relevant given the


rise of standards such as nearly zero energy buildings (nZEB) and net zero


22 SPRING 2019 | ENERGY MANAGEMENT


carbon buildings (NZC), required in the UK by 31 December 2020 and 2050, respectively. As a result, the trends focus on the


ways in which the industry can address the challenge and move towards a more sustainable future. They include: • An increase in modular housing. Modular homes take less time and labour to complete than traditional builds and also allow for a ‘fabric first’ approach to construction. This method looks to the fabric of the building to reduce energy losses before any other technologies are factored in. It allows residential homes to be ‘super-insulated’ to dramatically reduce heat gains and losses, therefore using less energy and emitting less carbon • A broadening focus on renewable energy, not just in terms of its usage, but using innovative means such as battery


experience in sustainability in construction and operations. In addition to lecturing at the University of Liverpool, he is involved with a number of UK professional bodies, including the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC). Shaun Hurworth, head of channel


marketing, GDHV, says: “With the sharp increase in new builds to address the nation’s housing shortage, sustainability and efficiency are key, not just in the construction process, but throughout the lifecycle, as the research shows, including heating and cooling. At GDHV, we advise a holistic approach when it comes to meeting these heat requirements. One ideal solution is to use heat pumps which meet both primary energy and carbon emissions targets while helping the UK achieve compliance with the EPBD.”


GDHV gdhv.co.uk 


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