Demo site characteristics

Type: Apartment blocks
Size: Four story apartment blocks
Total area: 4700 m2


Demo site description

The demonstration site #4 consists of one of three similar in construction, age and operation of four story apartment blocks with 23 apartments each located in Uxbridge, West London. The demonstrator building has a built area of 4700 m2, and it was built in 1979. The whole building belongs to the estate of Brunel University London for student accommodation and it is part of a large estate of residential buildings with plans for rolling renovations. BUL’s policy through its Carbon Management Plan is to combine its obligations and aims for climate change, CRC Energy Efficiency Schemes and cost reduction associated with energy and utilities. Although our academic and research activities have increased BUL has succeeded in reducing its carbon emissions since 2005/06 by 15.4% through. BUL Estate is committed to energy efficient retrofit of its residential stock and many renovations have already been implemented in many of its buildings including window replacement, thermal solar for hot water, improved insulation for its new buildings, valves for radiators, natural ventilation and night purging, ground source heat pumps in its new buildings, solar shading, PV with storage and DC lighting.

Current situation

As other residential build blocks from 1970’ies the demonstrator residential building consist of masonry building blocks with a concrete flat roof construction and with very little or no insulation in the building envelope resulting in a very high heating consumption. Windows were replaced in 2005 to double glazed units with openable parts. There are still cold bridges at ground and roof levels and exposed walls. The apartment blocks have a radiator system through gas fired boilers for heating and hot water production with no/limited insulation of the water distribution system. Natural exhaust with manual window opening for air supply leading to further inefficiencies in heating. Issued DEC for the buildings gives its energy consumption in 2015 at 223kWh/m2 for heating and 49 kWh/m2 for electricity. This can be compared to 80-90 kWh/m2 for heating and similar consumption for electricity for the newer residential stock built after 2000.


BUL is mindful of the internal and external drivers for enhancing our energy efficiency performance and of the financial and reputational benefits that further improvement could bring. BUL has therefore set a target to reduce its carbon emissions by 48% by 2020/21 against the 2005/06 baseline. BUL has implemented an Energy awareness and promotion campaign to encourage better use of energy and the need to reduce emissions to all staff and student and to promote its commitment to saving energy and carbon as well as maintaining and improving environmental conditions within its buildings and to raise awareness of environmental issues.

ReCO2ST Objectives

The specific RECO2ST objective is to further enrich the ongoing energy efficiency improvement plan of the estate by applying the developed RAT-module to identify and develop the most cost-effective combination of energy efficiency measures and solutions for renewable energy production for the selected apartment block. This includes to demonstrate the performance and cost-effectiveness of the RECO2ST Retrofit-Kit on a number of selected apartments. At present, there exist energy monitoring at the building and additional monitoring of environmental conditions with user feedback will be initiated through the RECO2ST project. An important objective of the RECO2ST project is to demonstrate that efficient building energy management modules can improve the cost effectiveness of the energy system, reduce energy use in apartments and increase energy efficiency awareness amongst users. To this end, the RAT module would be used to develop an action plan for the whole residential estate.