LoLo student wins prize at “4th Masters Conference: People and Buildings”

LoLo student wins prize at “4th Masters Conference: People and Buildings”
15th October 2014 Karen Holmes

At the “4th Masters Conference: People and Buildings”, the presentation by LoLo student Francesco Babich was voted the best joint presentation by the audience. The conference was held at Central House, The CASS, London on 19th September 2014.
The aim of the conference was to provide a forum for students of architecture, engineering and related disciplines from different universities to meet, exchange information and discuss topics related to the amount of energy used by a building and how it is affected by its occupants’ behaviours. In particular, master’s students from UK and overseas universities presented papers based on their final dissertation projects. The conference was also an opportunity for students to meet potential employers, such as Hoare Lea, one of the sponsors of the event.
Francesco presented a paper entitled “Are ventilation cooling towers an important element of plus-energy houses in southern Europe?” Co-authors are Professor Malcolm Cook, the supervisor of Francesco’s MRes dissertation, and Professor Jan Cremers, who led the team that developed the case-study building Solar Decathlon House at the Hochschule fϋr Technik – Stuttgart.
The paper offers an insight into the role that ventilation cooling towers play in plus-energy houses in southern Europe. In particular, refinements to the design of the existing ventilation tower of the building are put forward and tested using dynamic thermal and computational fluid dynamics simulations in order to predict energy consumption, mean and peak CO2 levels, temperatures, water consumption by the evaporative cooling system, ventilation rates, cooling potential, fresh air distribution and indoor air quality. Having analysed values of wet bulb temperature and depression, eight locations were selected in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain to investigate the likely performance of the tower integrated in the building. Results show that the annual energy demand for space cooling can be halved without jeopardising the internal comfort.
Francesco joined Loughborough University in September 2013 and completed his MRes final dissertation, entitled “Design of an advanced cooling tower for a Solar Decathlon house in southern Europe”, in September 2014. He is now in the early stages of his PhD at Loughborough University.