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Prototype low-energy studio in Dundee Botanic Gardens

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Neil Burford


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This cross-disciplinary project concerns the development of a small (50 m2) Passivhaus standard studio and ‘living laboratory’ at the University Botanic Gardens. The ‘Macro Micro Studio’ [1] emerged as a student-led design and build exercise initiated in 2011, utilising regional sustainable materials including a low thermal bridging timber kit relying on Scottish small cross-section timber and a novel foam concrete (air entrained) slab foundation. The primary motivation for this second phase of the project is to gain insight into the implementation of an autarkic energy system in a northern European climate. The building is equipped with a 5 kWp roof-mounted solar array (fig. 1) installed by Forster Energy Solutions [2] in June 2014. In the intervening two years the system has delivered 950-1000 kWh/kWp/year, a testament to its excellent south-facing site. To date, recorded temperature extremes (fig. 2) are seldom above 28 °C in summer and below 15 °C in winter. Computer modelling [3] indicates that energy autonomy is achievable through local solar and wind installations plus 12 kWh of energy storage (fig. 3), although this has yet to be tested in practice. Existing and planned studies include: Monitoring of living space and floor temperature, humidity, CO2, NOx and volatiles; Hydrogen-based seasonal storage in future Passivhaus designs; Prediction strategies in energy optimisation; Interaction of occupants with building and energy flows.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Burford NK, Reynolds S, Rodley D, Jones R, Ahmed K

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Scottish Renewables Solar Conference and Exhibition

Year of Conference: 2016

Acceptance date: 01/09/2016