Interested in analysing how digital data can help create more sustainable buildings? Keen to explore how we can use data as a material to decrease the carbon intensity of our buildings rather than add to it?

We are recruiting for a PhD studentship in “Data driven approach to modelling the resource footprints of live data streams in digital twins”. This research will utilise IoT infrastructure developed in our new campus at UCL East and is a collaboration between The Bartlett Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis, the UCL Energy Institute, co-funded by Arup.

Intelligent Buildings have been in operation for decades, however, it is only in recent years that data from these systems has started to surface beyond building management systems. The ubiquity of the Internet of Things is changing how we sense and interact with our environment, leading to the emergence of the Digital Twin – a virtual model of a real-life operational entity. Driven by information, these models allow us to monitor operations to head off issues before they arise, or optimise operations based on ever changing human-environment interaction. At the same time, digital data is not without its own carbon cost. This research will explore the hidden value of “data as a material” in two new campus buildings to improve efficiency and demand flexibility.

At a global level, urgent action is required to decrease the carbon intensity of our buildings and to support a transition to a net zero carbon operation. As the potential volume of data grows exponentially, it is essential that we look strategically at the whole life cost of this information to ensure the digital footprint cost is optimised compared to the benefit accrued.

This PhD aims to develop a new method to quantify the social, economic and environmental benefits of capturing, analysing and storing information generated in a digital twin based on analysis of demand management and post occupancy evaluation. Analysis will be conducted on the digital footprint of two new campus buildings at UCL East (opening 2022 and 2023) which have the capacity to generate about 30 million data points per day. The research will explore the buildings in the context of operational factors such as improving facilities and the role of a Living Lab environment supporting research and teaching.

The Arup Building Performance and Systems team consists of a multidisciplinary group of engineers and technologists who have in depth experience of the application of Internet of Things technologies. Arup were involved at an early design stage of the UCL East campus and their particular interest in this research is to explore the value proposition for the operational use of data for Building Performance management.

The successful candidate will be working closely with the UCL East team responsible for the operation of the campus and will support the operational management of research data collected at the UCL East campus and the wider living in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. They will be trained within the vibrant ERBE CDT community and the Connected Environments Lab in the Future Living Institute at UCL East.

For more information on the application process take a look at ERBE website or the posting on Find a PhD.

This PhD studentship in Data driven approach to modelling the resource footprints of live data streams in digital twins is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through the EPSRC-SFI Energy Resilience and the Built Environment (ERBE CDT) and co-funded by Arup.