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Funded PhD Opportunity

Net and Autonomous Zero Emission Building (NZEB) Concepts & Strategies for Temperate Climates: UK/Northern Ireland

Subject: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning


Summary

Greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to 50% by 2030 and industrialized nations must achieve net zero emissions by 2050. That is an enormous challenge, but the stakes are high and the building and related industry sector must and will contribute to the effort. This PhD project will contribute new knowledge for the transition towards a net zero carbon built environment.

This project aims to develop net and autonomous zero emission building (NZEB) concepts & strategies for temperate climates in selected UK/NI locations, as part of a proposed knowledge sharing cooperation with The Research Centre for Zero Emission Neighbourhoods in Smart Cities (ZEN) hosted by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. The NZEB building concepts should be designed with minimal CO2eq emissions (both operational emissions and embodied emissions for materials), be energy efficient, use local environmental-friendly materials and solutions, utilise passive climatisation strategies, use local renewable energy sources, have a healthy indoor environment, be cost optimal and be adapted to the local context, needs and preferences. This will allow for an increased living standard and at the same time result in a transition to the decarbonisation of the built environment.

The PhD research will pursue the following objectives:

* Identification of existing concepts for NZEB in temperate climates (comprehensive literature review of methods, tools, technologies, strategies for energy efficiency, passive design, and renewables integration).

* Adaptation of the Norwegian NZEB model and method for temperate climates in selected urban and rural UK/NI locations. Development of representative designs and benchmarks for NZEBs in temperate climates;

*Combined passive and active solutions for optimal environmental quality. Daylighting *Cost optimal and low emission building envelope components

*Modelling, design and optimisation of the renewable energy technologies including solar (e.g. building integrated solar energies such as BIPV/T, semi-transparent PV windows, batteries). The student is expected to explore other site-specific building/PEB integrated renewable technologies.

*Data sources, data analytics and visualisation modelling and development in collaboration with ongoing research being conducted by Professor Houlihan Wiberg.

*Practical demonstration of “innovation hubs” showcasing exemplary models of smart, highly efficient, intelligent and citizen-oriented cities and, or real case study for NZEBs in a temperate climate in selected UK/NI locations. i)Zero Carbon Belfast Campus, Ulster University ii)Zero Carbon Data Centre & Innovation Park, Port Foyle, Derry iii)CityxChange – a Positive Energy Block (PEB) Zero Carbon Georgian Block, Derry/Belfast

The proposed research will have an impact on legislation that is currently being developed in the pursuit of an official UK/NI NZEB definition. The EU NZEB definition covers all new buildings from 2020 while the UK Zero Carbon Standard only refers to domestic buildings. In the absence of a UK NZEB definition, the proposed UK’s Zero Carbon Standard could be considered as a starting point for the UK’s definition for domestic NZEB, in combination with knowledge sharing from the Norwegian ZEB and ZEN definition, as well as, international definitions and examples of international case studies being developed within the research of IEA Annex 72 described below


Essential criteria

  • To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.
  • Clearly defined research proposal detailing background, research questions, aims and methodology

Funding

    The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:

    Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

    Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

    Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £7,500 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

    Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

    This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Department for the Economy (DFE)

    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £ 15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

    Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies


Other information


The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Friday 7 February 2020

Interview Date
Week beginning 9 March 2020


Applying

Apply Online  


Campus

Jordanstown campus

Jordanstown campus
The largest of Ulster's campuses


Contact supervisor

Professor Aoife Houlihan Wiberg


Other supervisors

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