Finnish University, Arcada and the University of Salford, from the UK, have created the winning concept in a BRE competition to find a tool for rapid and accurate measurement of the thermal performance of solid walls in homes. A national competition was held as part of a major project funded by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) – the successful entry will go forward to develop a next stage product. The Rapid U-Value Meter reduces the time taken measure the thermal performance of an element, such as a solid wall, from a number of days to under 2 hours.

Launched in June, the DECC competition aimed to improve the thermal performance of the UK’s 7 million+ solid wall homes. Insulating these types of homes is one of the greatest challenges for energy efficiency policy, but it also potentially offers some of the most significant energy and carbon savings for occupants. Policies to deliver this work rely on modelled estimates of savings from solid wall insulation, but a tool that measures the heat transmittance through walls will mean savings that are based on robust, up to date and accurate data.

John Riley, Director, Housing & Energy at BRE, said. “We’ve been surprised by the level of interest from organisations outside of the built environment.  This competition demonstrates the value of looking beyond the built environment and exploring the potential of technology transfer from other sectors”.

Co-inventor of the Rapid U-value Meter, Dr Mikael Paronen at Arcada said, “For us it is a recognition that we have designed something that is valuable to the industry, as well as for the wider society. The competition allows the partnership to take the product to the next stage – and we are keen to bring something robust to the world market very soon.”

Professor Will Swan, Head of the Applied Buildings and Energy Research Group at Salford University said, “The effective measurement of our buildings is an essential part of closing the performance gap – the gap between actual and modelled performance. Salford are at the centre of trailing new methods, moving building performance from the research field to trying to make it business as usual. The Rapid U-Value Meter is a major step in the right direction.”

ARCADA COMMUNICATIONS

For further information please contact Dr Mikael Paronen at the Department of energy and materials technology at Arcada, mikael.paronen@arcada.fi, phone: +358 41 44 32 109

Press release, Research