Dr Korsavi’s research project has been a really useful exercise – it has given us a raft of data and feedback to analyse and support our next move to scale retrofit projects. The longer goal remains to reduce consumption and improve user experience with a particular reference to how this can be done to existing stock without complete reconstruction.
Established in 1996, Plymouth Science Park (formerly Tamar Science Park) is a science and technology centre. It is home to around 80 businesses creating a community focused on ground-breaking research, business and laboratory innovation.
The team at Plymouth Science Park want to reduce their site’s energy use and become a sustainable science park. Prior to the research collaboration with the University, they had started to make early changes such as installing solar and LED light fittings, supported by Plymouth Energy Community. Their smart approach has been to utilise new technology to repurpose existing fittings and reduce waste. They continue to assess energy and consumption levels, review green tariffs with energy providers and find contractors with green credentials.
Dr Sepideh Korsavi, from the Low Carbon Devon project, worked with small and medium-sized enterprises in Devon, analysing their office and energy data to reduce energy consumption and improve indoor environmental quality. Dr Korsavi was the project's Industrial Research Fellow for energy-efficient buildings. She is interested in buildings' sustainable design, maintenance and performance. Her work has been centred around reducing carbon emissions whilst also improving the indoor environmental quality for the building’s occupants.
Dr Korsavi visited Plymouth Science Park's offices to record a range of data, including temperature, carbon dioxide and particle matter. She surveyed the occupants on their comfort levels and compared this with data taken from wristbands they wore with analytical sensors.
Dr Korsavi has been able to boost Plymouth Science Park's plan by giving them bespoke recommendations on ways to improve indoor environmental quality. She was also able to advise on adaptive behaviours employees can take to save energy and improve the environment such as optimal times to ventilate. She was able to demonstrate the importance of adaptions that link to improved staff well-being and productivity
The team at Plymouth Science Park have found Dr Korsavi’s recommendations to be a great help and has started to make changes to their offices. As an initial step, the enterprise has installed more sensors providing information on local environmental conditions and occupancy and more installation within existing premises to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint.
The team at Plymouth Science Park have also been inspired to embark on a substantial project to test-run significant changes to their office spaces. They have retrofitted one of their older offices as a proof-of-concept project to make it as energy efficient and comfortable for staff as possible. This includes a long list of modifications including automated window openings, extra insulation, alternative electric heating at desk level and installation of a range of environmental sensors. They’ve also made bespoke adjustments - such as installing ceiling light on/off switches at desk level - which assist occupants to reduce energy use. To minimise waste and the carbon footprint of the project, they've repurposed where possible, installing recycled furniture and keeping existing carpet as the underlay.
They will evaluate the space over a period of 12 months including monitoring energy consumption metering at circuit level in order to quantify the energy and carbon saved. The data will be used to inform their plans for a future retrofit of the rest of the offices on site, creating a great working environment as well as an energy-efficient space.
Stephen Holland, Estates & Premises Manager, Plymouth Science Park
Plymouth Science Park and the University of Plymouth continue to collaborate via ongoing projects and initiatives. The Science Park had been working with Tony Wilson and
Dr Simon Ussher on the LoraWan activity, and with Mrs Sarah Fear on the Impact Lab project. They initially heard about the support available from the Low Carbon Devon project through their involvement with the University's Plymouth Net Zero Carbon Action Group.
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The Low Carbon Devon project was a five-year European Regional Development Fund project held at the University of Plymouth supporting Devon businesses to transition to the low carbon economy closing in mid-2023.
The project served as a catalyst for low carbon economic growth in Devon via the Future Shift internship programme, a series of free events and by connecting enterprises with expertise within the University of Plymouth.
The project collaborated with over 130 innovative Devon enterprises who are developing sustainable practices and securing opportunities in the low carbon economy.
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