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Academic project: Building Physics Analysis of the University of Cambridge Primary School

Status: Completed | Date: May 2016

Person: Ramaraj Sundraraj | Subject: Engineering Tripos, final year | Supervisor: Professor Peter Guthrie

Project summary: The project involved an analysis of U-values (the effectiveness of materials as insulators), ventilation schemes and underfloor heating in an unoccupied classroom in the University of Cambridge Primary School.

Key findings: It was found that there is more insulation of the windows than expected. Mixing ventilation (which harnesses the underfloor heating to function better) showed promising results in cooling the classroom and providing a warm uniform temperature. Displacement ventilation and opening the window (both of which use no energy input) were equally efficient in night-cooling the classroom. The underfloor heating systems had a significant discrepancy in temperature uniformity on the left side of the classroom.

Read the full summary here.

Recommendations: Increase the use of mixing and displacement ventilation to cool the classroom. Combat overheating on the left side of the classroom by opening windows to ensure occupant comfort. Conduct in-situ U-value measurements periodically in the buildings in general. 

How has it been used? The report has been sent to the architects who are currently developing a proposal for energy monitoring and usage at the school.