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On 16th February, a training session run jointly by a number of organisations across the University of Cambridge helped students gain first-hand experience in using ‘thermal imaging cameras’ to identify energy efficiency issues in buildings. The cameras, also known as thermographic cameras, are devices that form an image using infrared radiation, showing temperatures as different colours on their display. The infrared images can be used to show where heat is being lost and therefore where energy is being wasted.

The training was run by Cambridge Carbon Footprint and was hosted by the University’s Plant Sciences department, who had requested thermal imaging of their building. The Cambridge University Environmental Consulting Society helped by organising students to carry out this work. During the session, students were shown how to interpret the camera displays to find problem areas where heat was escaping from windows, walls and doors, or where cold drafts were entering the building. This information can then be used by staff to identify ways to cost effectively insulate their building.

Emily Dunning, Coordinator of the Living Laboratory for Sustainability, who helped to promote and facilitate the event said “I’m always looking to find ways that students and staff can work together to use research to improve environmental performance and reduce energy use on the University Estate. This training session was a great example of just that, so I’m delighted to have been involved. I’m now looking forward to seeing what useful information Plant Sciences gain from this project, and I also hope the 3 students who have been trained up will be able to put their newfound skills to good use – a real win-win!”