Everyone in the LoLo community would like to congratulate Richard Jack on successfully completing his PhD. Richard passed his viva with minor corrections on 30th July 2015. His thesis is entitled Building Diagnostics: Practical Measurement of the Fabric Thermal Performance of Houses. Richard tells us about his work and time in LoLo below:
What was it about?
The thesis was all about methods to measure the real thermal performance of houses. This is important because houses have been shown to routinely perform worse, and often significantly worse, than predicted. That’s a real problem when almost all policies designed to increase thermal performance are based upon prediction!
The problem with in-situ measurements of whole house performance is that they are not yet fully standardised (and hence universally trusted) and are impractically invasive for use on a wide scale. My work aimed to address these two issues. This led to the development of methods to account for solar gain in energy balance tests (such as co-heating) and to measure the heat loss performance of houses while they are occupied and in normal use.
The test house facilities at Loughborough allowed me to take a really empirical approach to the research, which is perfect for me because that’s exactly what I’m most interested in. I also had the opportunity to work with external groups, including the Energy Technologies Institute, PRP Architects, Mitsubishi Electric, the Building Research Establishment, the National House Building Council and Willmott Dixon, which helped to ensure that the work had a wider relevance.
What were the highlights of Lolo?
It was great to be involved with a group of people doing similar research, it made it a much more social and enjoyable experience than I think some PhD’s can be. The staff and students of LoLo also create a great network of inspiring people to discuss ideas with.
What are you doing now?
I’m currently working as a research assistant at Loughborough continuing the research from the PhD. I’ll be teaching on the Energy Demand Studies MRes course again this year, so I’ll still have some connections with LoLo.