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Monitoring the Zero Carbon House

The low carbon economy represents a major opportunity for supply chain diversification and job creation in Birmingham and the West Midlands. This opportunity has become greater and more urgent through the publication of the Government’s Green Deal plans. Under the Green Deal, bill payers will be able to get energy efficiency improvements without having to front up the cash. Instead, businesses will provide the capital, getting their money back via the energy bill. At the heart of the offer is “the golden rule” that estimated savings on bills will always equal or exceed the cost of the work.

Birmingham is already reacting to this opportunity, with Birmingham Energy Savers Phase 1 (2009) and Phase 2 (planned 2011). The proposed Birmingham Energy Savers Phase 3 (2012) will see the investment of £100m from 2012 to 2015 and the Government predicts that nationally “millions of homes and businesses could benefit from improvements under the Green Deal.

The Secretary of State of Energy and Climate Change foreword to the Green Deal proposals states “The Green Deal also represents a significant opportunity for businesses. Retailers, trades people, energy companies and investors will have access to a huge and growing market, with implications for jobs and skills across the supply chain – and across the country.” With the prediction that “the supply chain could support 100,000 jobs within five years”.

The focus of this project is to capture, integrate and model information surrounding the process of designing sustainable buildings.

Through its collaboration with Birmingham City Council, CLCR has been given a unique opportunity to work alongside a range of stakeholders to look at the design processes involved in retrofitting existing (and in some cases challenging) building archetypes in the West Midlands region.

This project will combine existing design software with state of the art knowledge engineering techniques to produce a decision support tool. This tool will enable stakeholders to make informed decisions about the true energy efficiency of proposed retrofit technologies.