Impact acceleration account - Zero Energy Buildings Reduced Algorithm (ZEBRA)

Project: Research council

Project Details


The Problem. The central problem is the reduction of carbon emissions in a rapid way - we are in the middle of a climate emergency. For some industries the reduction methods and technologies have yet to be evolved, for construction on the other hand most of the physical science is in place, what is lacking are proven pathways to delivery, hence it becomes a problem of generating real world impact. The built environment is the sector singularly responsible for the greatest carbon emissions within an industrialized country. It is well known that to deliver a zero energy/carbon building the project needs to start from a design that has the net zero agenda built into its form and materials. This means the architect needs to know how to do this, as the energy engineering team is appointed much later – when most of the building has been specified and whole life performance locked in.

The Solution. Until we wrote ZEBRA there were no tools designed to support architects in this move to net zero. ZEBRA models a building in terms of the energy used to run the building, but also the materials used to build it and any renewables integrated with it (for example roof-mounted PV cells). By using ZEBRA as a scoping tool at the concept sage, the designers can see if they are close to a zero carbon building (or need a radical rethink) and what elements need adjustment to achieve zero carbon status and which ones do not.
Effective start/end date1/11/2231/10/24


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


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