Three-year climate change study begins in Sheffield

Three-year climate change study begins in Sheffield

A three-year study exploring the impact of climate change on the type of homes being built today is being carried out in Sheffield.

The study is being run by Sheffield University in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam University and SHC.

PhD student Hayfa Barakat will work on the Future Climate and Change in Liveability of a City’s Housing Environment initiative.

This is part of the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership’s Economic and Science Research Council Collaborative Awards.

Her work, which begins in September, could identify ways in which the design, construction, flexibility and facilities in our homes could be changed to reduce the carbon footprint and encourage greener living.

Under the guidance of Dr Chengzhi Peng, Senior Lecturer at Sheffield University’s School of Architecture and Professor Edward Ferrari, from the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University, she will model the likely temperature and humidity changes and then assess the impact this could have on the internal living environment of homes to see whether a comfortable environment would be maintained.

The research could challenge some current approaches such as the airtightness and insulation of modern homes. Whilst this reduces energy usage and the carbon footprint today, in 50 years’ time these homes could be uncomfortably hot, causing people to use fans or fit air-conditioning – increasing carbon usage and bills.

John Clephan, Project Director with SHC, will also be part of the supervisory team, said:  “The homes we live in are a key factor in our quality of life. If a home stands for 150 years or more, it will be a big part of the lives of many generations.

“Working with Sheffield’s universities, this is a great opportunity to learn more about how adaptable our homes can be to environmental changes in the future.

“Providing support for research into one of the most important issues of our time could help leave a valuable legacy well beyond the homes we build. This project could influence the way we design, build and live in homes for generations to come.”