Designing tomorrow’s greener buildings

21 Jan 2010

The Technology Strategy Board and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council are to invest nearly £5 million to fund the development by British companies of new design and decision tools to help in the construction of greener buildings.

Fourteen research and development projects will share funding of £4.8m following today's announcement of the results of a funding competition that opened in June 2009. The projects will focus on developing and enhancing building design and decision tools to help achieve the government's tough target of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050.

The research and development work will include, for example:

  • a project that uses sophisticated modelling and simulation, together with live product data from construction product suppliers and 3D gaming technologies, to help SME design teams develop cost effective, low carbon building designs;
  • the development of innovative building performance simulation software to guide design decision making right from the initial concept stage through all stages of a building's life;
  • the development of a software tool for the rapid testing of strategic design decisions (glazing, construction type, insulation, ventilation etc) while evaluating their impact on energy, emissions and costs over a building's complete lifecycle;
  • the creation of a highly visual on-line software tool to evaluate and improve the passive design of buildings to minimise energy use for both heating and cooling.

Explaining the background to the decision to invest in the projects, Richard Miller, who leads the Technology Strategy Board's work on low impact buildings, said:

"Buildings account for 45% of the UK's total carbon emissions and to make greener buildings we must ensure that everyone involved in the design and construction of the buildings can explore the impact on building performance and carbon emissions of the decisions they are making.

"At present, designers cannot easily predict the impact of design choices, particularly in the early, conceptual, stage of a project when so many key decisions are made. The products that will be developed in these projects will dramatically improve access to good, integrated design tools. This will have a significant impact on the performance of the final building."

David Delpy, Chief Executive of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, added:

"Many tools have been developed - by specialists, software developers and suppliers of materials and components - to support specific aspects of building design and the selection of materials and components. However there is still a need for integrated tools that facilitate the progress of a design from briefing, through concept, feasibility and detailed design, to construction, post-occupancy evaluation and building management.

"The development of such design and decision tools is stimulated by the collaborative approach, which is enabled by the funding made available through this competition."

The Technology Strategy Board will launch a further design-related research and development funding competition later this year, called Design for Future Climate. This will focus on how to adapt buildings to minimise the negative impacts of climate change, such as overheating, storm damage and water scarcity. Successful applicants will receive funding to carry out additional design work on current building projects, to design strategies for robustness and adaptation to climate change over the commercial lifetime of the building. (Ends)

  1. Any media enquiries should be addressed to the Technology Strategy Board's media relations consultant or manager (see below) or to
  2. Companies and other organisations seeking further information about these and other funding competitions should visit the Competitions page of the Technology Strategy Board website -, email or phone the helpline on 0300 321 4357.
  3. For further information about the Technology Strategy Board please visit:


Issued by
Nick Sheppard, Media Relations Consultant
Technology Strategy Board
Mobile: 07724 241214
Email :

Additional contact
Claire Cunningham, Media Relations Manager
Technology Strategy Board
Direct line: +44 1793 442901
Mobile: 0755 4115745

For full press release including notes to editors please follow this link - Designing tomorrow's greener buildings



Last updated on Friday 30 July 2010 at 14:12

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