Professor Janet Barlow presents Refresh

Our drivers

The ReFresh-EPSRC 5-year funded project aims to build evidence-based, robust, dynamic models of human-building interactions through a multi-disciplinary approach by dealing with the globally important question:

“Do poor quality indoor environments negatively impact occupant cognitive performance?”

Key research areas

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On a daily basis people are faced with an office that becomes either too hot or too cold, but crucially one over which they have no control.

How does the changing urban environment impact on the way airflow enters buildings?


Key points we consider

  • Urban plan

  • Ventilation flow

  • Building layout

  • Transient gusts

  • Pollutant ingress

  • Building envelope

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Buildings in the UK are responsible for 40% of the energy usage. In the post 2008 economic climate there is an increasing move to retro-fit, shoehorn and refurbish ageing building stock with low-cost and low-carbon ventilation systems. Buildings are therefore become increasingly air tight. But in doing so, are the indoor environments becoming poor and counter productive to working optimally?

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There is a growing body of evidence that points towards a relationship between a poor indoor environment and a reduction in cognitive performance.

How do static and transient indoor conditions affect human performance?



CFD benchmarking

Fluent vs OpenFOAM v2.3

Silsoe V 2.0

Investigating urban building arrays

Transient ventilation

Can we improve indoor air quality and reduce energy?

Human/computer co-interaction

Monitoring vitals while working in the office