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Heriot Watt University


Urban Energy Research Group

The Urban Energy Research Group (UERG), based at Heriot Watt University’s School of Built Environment, is a multi-disciplinary research team, with a particular emphasis on energy use in buildings, led by Prof. Phil Banfill. The group, comprising engineers, social scientists, economists and statisticians, has links with other research departments in the University, and is part of the Energy Academy at Heriot-Watt University, a more general energy-related research initiative (see for more details). The Energy Academy also holds regular energy-themed seminars, with previous presentations to be found at including guest keynote speakers.

UERG have been involved in a range of research projects, with funding from both research councils and industry including:

  • Technology Assessment for Radically improving the Built Asset Base (Tarbase)
  • Low Carbon Futures (as part of the Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (ARCC) Programme)
  • Adaptation and Resilience In Energy Systems (ARIES)
  • Consumer-Appealing Low Energy Technologies for Building Retrofitting (CALEBRE)
  • Fuel poverty in social housing
  • Measuring Climate Change Good Practice in Schools
  • Energy Modelling in Traditional Scottish Houses (EMITSH), Historic Scotland
  • Concrete2Cookers

The group places an emphasis on multi-disciplinary work within the field of energy use in buildings. Specific research areas currently being investigated by the group include:

  • Low carbon refurbishments for existing buildings in domestic and non-domestic sectors
  • Challenges for new-build low-carbon buildings
  • Adapting buildings for a future-climate
  • Building simulation and modelling
  • Socio-economic barriers to achieving low-carbon targets in the building sector
  • Fuel poverty in UK homes
  • Micro and small-scale energy generation
  • Identifying trends and behaviour from building energy performance data
  • Embodied energy and embodied carbon associated with building construction using LCA techniques

The work also informs the consultancy work carried out by the group, particularly that using the Tarbase Domestic Model which is a tool for estimating the effect of a range of carbon-saving refurbishments for dwellings in the UK.

More information of the projects listed can be found at, or alternatively contact us using the information below:

Professor Phil F G Banfill (Principal Investigator)
Urban Energy Research Group
School of Built Environment
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh EH14 4AS
Tel: +44 (0)131 451 4648

Dr David Jenkins (Research Fellow)
(address as above)
Tel: +44 (0)131 451 4637

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