Saturday, November 15, 2008

PhD Studentship in The Impact of Sustainable Technology On Office Building Energy Use, Using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), University of Central Lancashire, UK

School of Built and Natural Environment, Reference No RS/08/14
Applications are invited for a full-time studentship available in the School of Built and Natural Environment in the Faculty of Science and Technology. The studentship is tenable for up to 3 years for the MPhil/PhD (subject to satisfactory progress). The studentship will cover the cost of tuition fees at UK/EU rates plus a stipend of £12,940 per annum. International applicants may apply but will be required to pay the difference between UK/EU and international fees. The successful applicant will start on 1st January 2009.

LCA is a tool for assessing sustainability by investigating the environmental impact of a product or service in quantitative way throughout its life cycle. The concept life cycle to be used in this research incorporates an expansion both temporal (from cradle to grave) and spatial compared to the product or services (ISO 14000 series). Initially, the LCA has been used extensively for short life cycle products such as packaging to assess the environmental impact of these products. However, recently its usefulness has been extended and successfully applied to long life products such as those in building materials (Erlandson, 1995; Jonsson, 1995). Existing research on LCA has been applied to assess the impact of eco building materials to the environment (Junnila & Horvard, 2003; Poulsen & Borg, 2000), however less research focus on the use of sustainable technology in buildings and its contribution for reducing energy demand and potential for cost saving in the long term. This is somewhat surprising given that the importance of sustainable technology in reducing environmental burden is undoubtedly well known.

The statistics indicates that in the EU, buildings contribute to over 40% of the total energy use (CIB, 1999). Furthermore the construction sector has been estimated to be responsible for roughly 40% of the overall environmental burden (U.S. DOE 2002, Sjöström 2000, UNEP 1999). This studentship proposal will focus on office buildings as there is some clear evidence that energy reduction attached to office buildings are already appearing. For example, in the UK, some 25% of the new office buildings acquire an environmental assessment and energy certificate (Hasegawa 2002). Similarly, many international companies have stated that the major parts of the environmental impact they generate are connected to the use of office buildings (Swiss Re 2002, Kesko 2002, and Royal & SunAlliance 2001).

Many studies have revealed that proper use of sustainable technology in office buildings such as passive design, heat loss reduction with different thermal admittance (U-Value) materials, day lighting harvesting technology and controls, energy efficient lamps in office; have a strong contribution to make in reducing energy demand, (Kim S.Y., Mistrick. R., 2001). The potential impact of BS products in the office in reducing the environmental burden and to cost saving is often substantial (Rosenblum et al. 2000; BSRIA, 1996). This studentship will use LCA to investigate the impact of Sustainable Technology on office building energy use using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

Applicants should have, or expect to receive, a second class (upper division) honours degree or above (or equivalent qualification) in a related discipline.

Informal queries about the project may be directed to Dr Rusdy Hartungi (+44 1772 893741, or email rhartungi[ at ]

Requests for an application pack (quoting the reference number RS/08/14) should be directed to the Graduate Research Office. Tel +44 (0)1772 895082 or e-mail researchdegrees[ at ]

Interviews will be held on 24th November 2008.

Closing Date: Friday 17th November 2008.