Baselines (years 1-2):

The initial phase begins with two parallel threads: human participant baseline cognitive task assessments; and numerical simulation and experimental investigation of building-airflow interactions.

  • The first phase of the project sets the groundwork  in terms building measurements,  appropriate cognitive metrics and approaches to modelling airflows.

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Controlled scenarios (years 2-5):

The second stage will combine the coupling of indoor and outdoor airflows alongside human microclimate simulations. This will focus on:

  • interactions between building and occupant models.
  • feedback to occupants to assist awareness

Realistically model transient airflows in mechanically and naturally ventilated buildings and investigate the effects on human performance of static and transient ventilation.

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In the wild (year 3-5):

The final stage will combine real-world monitoring of office environments and staff and quantify the effect of internal air and external microclimate on performance by:

  • Developing  a model that relates human performance to building and airflow conditions and energy use;
  • Developing tools and interfaces to enable occupants to monitor and engage with their building to optimise performance without compromising energy use.

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Baselines (years 1-2): 

The initial phase begins with two parallel threads: human participant baseline cognitive task assessments; and numerical simulation and experimental investigation of building-airflow interactions. We aim to benchmark human performance in controlled spaces via tests such as cognitive executive function assessments and sensor data such as EEG, ECG, and heart rate variability. This will allow us to establish suitable performance tests for phases 2 and 3 of the experimental studies and understand how our data may relate to the small number of studies conducted in buildings as well as human performance in other fields.

Building airflow interactionws aim to use wind-tunnel, scale model and full scale experimental techniques coupled with numerical simulations to examine the impact of urban building arrays on local turbulence and resulting indoor airflow. We will use measurements and simulations around cuboid arrays to derive relationships between turbulent flows and surface pressure coefficients and the fluctuations due to changes in wind conditions. Simulation studies willdetermine appropriate modelling methods for transient flows inside buildings and coupled indoor-outdoor models. This will be based on commercial codes as well as the application of real-time “fast-CFD” based on Lattice Boltzmann methods programmed on GPU (web reference). These numerical simulations will also be used for initial exploration of transient flow effects on people in indoor spaces.


Media platform

Create an interactive web-space including Twitter that allows for collaboration between universities 

CFD simulations

Benchmark opensource CFD software OpenFOAM for use in coupled full-scale external and internal building simulations and present this at conference.

Baselines (years 1-2)

Scale models

Investigate the usage of water-bath models to quantify the effect of transient ventilation on human thermal comfort.

Transient ventilation

Can adequate air change rates be achieved through purging ventilation strategies using the same or lower amount of energy?

Silsoe v2.0: 9 cube array

Silsoe 9 cube array

Complex interactions exist between buildings in urban environments. Studying these effects on ventilation and airflow is tantamount to understanding how building ventilation is affected. The University of Reading are heading up an experimental investigation at Silsoe with a 9 cube building array.


ARCC assembly 2014 Birmingham

Adapting cities focused on robust and reliable infrastructure systems, opportunities for smart cities, coping with extreme events and the roles of buildings, neighbourhood and communities. Dr. King presented the Refresh project to CIBSE.

Wind Engineering Society 2014 Birmingham

Dr. Marco-Felipe King showcased current and prospective CFD simulation work of the Silsoe cube experiment.

Indoor Air 2014 Hong Kong

Prof. Cath Noakes chaired sessions hosting discussions on bioaerosols within buildings while Dr. Marco-Felipe King presented: “Are hospital single rooms better than multi-bed accommodation at reducing the risk of infection transmission?”

Controlled scenarios (years 2-3)

From our baselines we will combine our human and building focused approaches to investigate more complex and novel interactions between building and occupant in simplified environments. Simultaneous environmental and energy consumption measurement, transient airflow simulation and realistic cognitive task assessments will allow exploration of how static and transient factors affect performance and give us valuable information on the ability to use sensors and simulations as a proxy for human impact. During this stage we will start to explore new design and operational approaches such as testing of innovative ways to deploy new airflow regimes, changing work activity patterns and allowing occupants to visualise their environmental conditions.

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Healthy Buildings USA 2015

Healthy buildings will be held in Boulder Colorado, USA in 2015 for the first time. This will be in addition to the European branch in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
This is a unique forum for built environment researchers and professionals to engage with innovative projects, products, and services and to meet and collaborate with colleagues working on the pressing global challenge of making buildings healthy, energy efficient, and sustainable.

Healthy Buildings Europe 2015

ISIAQ’s Indoor Air sister conference Healthy Buildings will be held simultaneously in Eindhoven and Boulder Colorado for the first time in 2015. We are expecting to show a strong presence.

In the wild (years 3-5): 

Moving to the most challenging scenario, “in-the-wild” testing, we will seek to validate our hypotheses in real urban offices, as well as using campus offices. We will couple our internal air and performance measures with external microclimate data (through ACTUAL) ( for buildings with a variety of sensors on individual people, from EEG readings to personal web search logs correlated against building performance shifts. We will be exploring how best to model and deploy sensors inside and outside buildings – how many to have and where to place them is not obvious. In these dynamic and complex settings we will test questions around quantifying real-time ventilation of a building, its relationship to the turbulent flow field driving it and the effects this has on human work and energy consumption.