Low Carbon Futures (Overheating Risk Tool)

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Engineering & Manufacturing
Engineering & Manufacturing

University: Heriot Watt University

Sector(s): Engineering & Manufacturing, Electronics, Sensors & Photonics, Energy & Renewables, Other

About Opportunity:

The Low Carbon Futures project (a 3 year investigation of the uses of 2009 UK climate Projections) provided, amongst other outputs, a tool for assessing the future performance of buildings in the UK. The LCF tool generates multi-climate future building performance estimations from just a single simulation output (as might be produced by conventional building software e.g. IES-VE or TAS). The result, for given climate scenarios, is a spectrum of possibilities suggesting how that specific building might perform in the future, thus helping the user choose adaptive technologies that might reduce the risk of overheating or cooling failures. Buildings overheat (and consequently have high cooling loads) for a range of reasons but many offices and schools suffer from high internal heat gains due to IT equipment and lighting. The LCF approach aims to bring these factors together in one assessment.

Key Benefits:

  • The LCF tool emulates the effect of climate change on building simulation: this allows building design teams to appraise alternatives using adjust designs based on the latest climate projections
  • Specific adaption measures have been applied to case study buildings to demonstrate the use of the LCF tool
  • Overheating and excessive cooling energy used can be modelled efficiently and risk assessments provided based on multiple climate scenarios
  • Implications for the cost of energy and environmental efficiency of existing and future buildings


  • Construction: building design
  • Environmental condition monitoring (domestic & non-domestic environments)
  • Energy waste and usage (heating & cooling mechanisms)
  • Life cycle costs

IP Status:

The LCF tool is at the stage where it can be applied to the simulation results of any building and can work with a number of existing conventional building software on the market. This ‘plug in’ requires a partner within the sector to undertake development testing in the field to bring this product to market and we are seeking interested parties to collaborate with us in this development stage.


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