Climate, Energy & Circularity

The theme Climate, Energy & Circularity aims for built environments based on ‘positive footprints’, implying that we ultimately strive for value creation, benefitting nature, humans and architectural design. We focus on the passive and active design of comfortable, healthy and climate-proof built environments. In terms of circularity, we work both on the development and on the environmental assessment of circular products and concepts. Apart from our diverse expertise, one of our key strengths is the link to other research groups, within and beyond the faculty. The collaboration allows to address complex contemporary societal challenges holistically. Specific to circularity, we are closely connected to the CBE Hub, where all departments of the faculty are represented. Within the hub, our circular innovations are easily coupled with perspectives from interrelated scales. Such an example is considering the (peri-)urban domain when highlighting material flow dynamics or the raw material level when zooming into a product’s DNA.

Regarding energy, we built on a large body of work concerning technological innovations that boost the renewable energy transition. Amongst others, we are known for our research on performance analysis, diagnosis and optimisation of energy systems in operation. By using statistics and advanced data analytics in combination with thermodynamics, building physics and system dynamics, we are aiming for a better understanding of the complex interactions between buildings, indoor climate and occupants, which can contribute to energy reduction and more efficient use of energy in buildings, alongside a healthy indoor environment. The climate thus pertains to the operational performances of building systems, for which we develop and test analysis and assessment methods, but also to the outdoor realm, through climate adaptive and nature-inclusive design solutions, as well as further development of embodied CO2 assessments and LCAs for the built environment.