Good news from Plymouth!

Congratulations to Shen who successfully passed his Viva last week (10 October)!

Shen’s examiners were Professor Steve Sharples from the Liverpool University and Dr Mahroo Eftekhari from the Loughborough University.


Visit from Ardeshir Madhavi and Darren Robinson

On 8 and 9 July the eViz Team was visited by international advisor to the eViz project Prof. Ardeshir Madhavi from the Vienna University of Technology, and Prof. Darren Robinson from the University of Nottingham.

After a productive day of presentations and discussions, with great input from Ardeshir and Darren, the team spend the second day at the EDEN project in Cornwall. There was an opportunity to talk to EDEN staff  and discuss shared interests and potential collaborations, which was followed by a walk around the EDEN project. Thanks to everyone involved for making it another successful eViz Team Meeting!



eViz Team Meeting at Plymouth University

On the 20th and 21st of June the eViz team met up to discuss research progress and plans. We are very grateful that two of our international advisors were able to attend this meeting: Prof.Stephen Sheppard from the University of British Colombia and Prof.Cees Midden from Eindhoven University of Technology.

On Day 1 workshops took place to discuss key questions related to the eViz project with the international advisors.

On Day 2, after invited talks by the international advisors, demonstrations were given of ongoing research. This was followed by an expert panel. Thanks to the Eden Project, the Energy Saving Trust, Plymouth City Council, Regen South West, C3 Resources, Carnego Systems, and Argand Sollutions for providing us with their input!

eViz Virtual Home

Exiting news from Birmingham! Robert Guest  has developed a Virtual Home Visualisation and some first images can now be displayed on this website.

One of the key goals of eViz is to investigate means to reduce energy demand in buildings by altering peoples behaviour. With this in mind the concept of a virtual home was developed allowing users to interact with energy systems and help to visualise unseen energy usage. The current virtual home is based on a two bed room modern flat although the intention is to expand this out to multiple home types.

- In the virtual home users can interact with multiple objects that would typically affect the energy usage within the home

- Thermal images have been used greatly to assess the effectiveness of building design and energy efficiency. While the cost of members of the general public using thermal images cameras is very prohibitive the virtual home has been developed to allow the users to see simulated thermal views.

The virtual home will now be tested in collaboration with the Psychology Team to investigate how individuals interact with the virtual home and how the virtual home can be used to increase energy literacy.


eViz at the Society of Building Science Educators (SBSE) Retreat 2013


Islam Abohela was awarded the Jeffrey Cook Memorial Scholarship 2013 to attend the Society of Building Science Educators (SBSE) Retreat 2013: Measuring Design: Models + Metrics which took place in Pomona, California between 21 and 23 June 2013.

The scholarship was awarded on a competitive basis following review of all applications received. Islam was invited to give a presentation at the Retreat about his past and current teaching and research activities. His presentation outlined three lines of research including the eViz project. The presentation included an outline of the eViz project and the preliminary results from the simulations of two test houses in Newcastle and Plymouth.

Among the concluding remarks of the Retreat were recommendations regarding using smart devices for visualizing energy consumption in buildings for informing occupants of potential energy saving which is one of the main objectives of the eViz project.  The attendees of the Retreat showed interest in the eViz project and requested communicating further results with them. The retreat was a great opportunity to explore potential future cooperation with other researchers especially in the USA and Canada since most of the attendees were from Northern America.

eViz at the eceee Summer Study

Last week Sabine Pahl attended the eceee summer study in France. The eceee (European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy) summer study brings together policy, research and commercial perspectives. Keynote talks ranged from a strategic overview of challenges in European Energy policy to a critical assessment of the UK’s green deal. Others gave specific examples of energy efficiency programmes (e.g., Bristol City Council) or discussed the role of energy efficiency in the context of climate change (Friends of the Earth).

According to Sabine: “Meeting researchers from all over Europe, the USA and Australasia provided great insight into the similarities and differences inherent in the energy challenge. I didn’t know beforehand that emissions from the building sector vary so widely across Europe (low in Sweden and Bulgaria, but high in the UK and Germany, from Claudia Canevari’s talk, European Commission, DG Energy), or that the number of energy efficiency measures taken by householders in the UK had dropped so drastically this year (from Jan Rosenow’s / Nick Eyre’s talk, ECI Institute Oxford).

I learned a lot about the EVALOC project led by Rajat Gupta ( and about a range of data sharing and networking activities, both on the technical and behaviour side. E.g., the global buildings performance network held a workshop on data collaboration (, and the Energy Saving Trust holds a data base called embed (contact The International Energy Agency is building a network of behaviour change researchers through their demand side management (DSM) task 24. Gesche Huebner from the UCL Energy Institute presented very interesting data on different heating profiles, challenging the notion that we can assume households behave similarly.

This is only a snapshot and brief selection of all the debates and contacts – others included the German consumer organisation (Verbraucherzentrale), EDF, the European Environmental Bureau, etc. … All very exciting times for energy researchers, and I look forward to the next Eceee summer study!”

Dr. Julie Goodhew

More congratulations are due! Dr. Julie Goodhew has successfully passed her viva for her PhD thesis entitled “Making Heat Visible: Improving Household Heat Efficiency Through Thermal Images”. External examiners were Dr. Birgitta Gatersleben from the University of Surrey and Dr.Tony Graig from The James Hutton Institute


Conference Papers from the Newcastle Team

Congratulations to Islam Abohela and Neveen Hamza from the Newcastle eViz team who have 3 papers accepted for publication in 3 different conferences this summer.

These publications are mainly about Islam’s PhD thesis, but are relevant to the eViz project as well. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques implemented in Islam’s research are implemented in studying air flow within the investigated buildings in the eViz project for the purpose of increasing the efficiency of natural ventilation in these buildings to reduce their energy consumption.

Below is a list of the papers: