EPSRC Intrawise Consortium

The Pollutants in the Urban Environment programme with a focus on indoor pollutants

The aim of the PUrE Intrawise consortium is to develop an integrated decision-support framework for more sustainable management of indoor pollution associated with the provision, conservation and use of energy in buildings. The framework will be applied to a number of case studies that will compare environmental, health and economic implications of the principal options for future home energy provision as an aid to policy development.

We spend some 90% of our time inside buildings so that indoor air quality can have an impact on our health. Indoor air quality is affected by:

  • Building design - air-tight buildings increase thermal efficiency but also reduce ventilation thus increasing indoor pollution.
  • Ventilation - can lead to ingress of outdoor air pollution and reduced energy efficiency.
  • Thermal insulation - improves energy efficiency but reduces ventilation leading to increased indoor moisture and creation of mould; mould has been linked to respiratory and other health problems.
  • Energy provision - burning fuels in domestic appliances (i.e. gas boilers and cookers) can potentially be hazardous to the health.
  • Energy switching - changing from fossil fuels to biomass, photo-voltaics, fuel cells etc., reduces the impact on the indoor environment; however, it causes environmental and health impacts elsewhere in the life cycle.
    PUrE Intrawise builds on the PUrE project. While PUrE focused on outdoor pollution, PUrE Intrawise is concerned with indoor pollution. Its main aim is to develop an integrated decision-support framework for more sustainable management of indoor pollution associated with the provision, conservation and use of energy in buildings.

The main deliverables from the PUrE Intrawise project will be:

  • A report on the current and future household energy options and related pollutants
  • A Decision-support framework to enable sustainability comparisons of household energy options
  • Case studies related to energy efficiency; modal switching; and micro-generation
  • Guidance for regulation and policy for more sustainable provision and use of energy in households

 

SUWIC Contribution

As part of the PUrE Intrawise Project a study of the particulates and other pollutants emitted from energy use in residential buildings has been undertaken.

Three UK case studies were performed, where indoor pollutants were monitored in different domestic environments.

Preliminary results are available on the consortium website.

 

Consortium Members

Academic partners:

  • University of Sheffield (SUWIC)
  • University of Manchester
  • University College London
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Industrial partners:

  • ARUP
  • BIO Intelligence Service.
  • CSTB
  • Department for Communities and Local Government
  • Department for Health
  • Health Protection Agency
  • IAQM
  • Environment Agency
  • Max Fordham
  • Sheffield City Council
  • Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Titon, Residential Ventilation Association
  • Veolia Environmental Services

To find out more please visit the consortium website.

Analytical techniques.

SUWIC has access to state of the art analytical techniques at the University of Sheffield. Some are owned and operated by SUWIC, others are available in the Faculty of Engineering and the Faculty of Science.