Net Zero Heat: rapid assessment of building fabric performance
UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £1.5 million, for solutions that reduce the cost and time required for assessing fabric performance of buildings against net zero performance targets.
Your project’s total grant funding request must be between £100,000 and £250,000. This can cover up to 70% of project costs depending on business size and project type.
Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, will invest up to £1.5 million in this competition, which aims to accelerate the shift to a net zero economy. The focus is on reducing the cost and time required for assessing the fabric performance of buildings and assuring net zero performance targets are achieved.
Your proposal must be applicable to existing buildings requiring renovation as a priority and be applicable to new buildings or buildings on construction.
Your solutions must be able to assess fabric performance before measures are installed, during construction and re-evaluate heat performance at completion of any building works.
Any fabric performance measurement technique must be:
- accurate, providing robust verifiable data to inform building fabric upgrade decision making
- repeatable throughout the renovation and construction phase
- widely applicable to different building types
- faster to undertake without sacrificing accuracy
- delivered at a reasonable cost to ensure widespread adoption
Your project must:
- have a grant funding request between £100,000 and £250,000
- start by 01 August 2023
- end by 31 March 2025
- last between 9 and 20 months
- carry out all of its project work in the UK
- intend to exploit the results from or in the UK
To lead a project or work alone your organisation must:
- be a UK registered business of any size, a research and technology organisation (RTO), charity, not for profit or public sector organisation
- be or involve at least one grant claiming micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
If the lead organisation is a large business or an RTO, charity, not for profit or public sector organisation it must collaborate with at least one grant claiming SME.
Your project can include partners that do not receive any of this competition’s funding, for example non-UK businesses, and subcontractors are allowed.
A business, charity, not for profit or public sector organisation can only lead on one application but can be included as a collaborator in a further 2 applications. If a business, charity, not for profit or public sector organisation is not leading any application, it can collaborate in up to 3 applications.
An RTO can lead one application and can collaborate on any number of applications. An academic organisation can collaborate on any number of applications.
The aim of this competition is to accelerate the shift to a net zero economy. The focus is on reducing the cost and time required for assessing the fabric performance of buildings and assuring net zero performance targets are achieved.
Understanding the fabric performance of a building before and after any building upgrade improvement measures are installed provides confidence in those measures.
Building upgrade measures mean improvements to building fabric, heating, power and ventilation systems along with other heat demand reduction solutions. Many of the most established techniques for assessing and testing building fabric performance are largely based on standardised conditions. These tests can require significant preparation, are costly and can take a long time to carry out.
Providing robust information on potential heat reduction is vital to increase assurance of building performance. It is this information that builds market confidence and leads to certainty of finance and ultimately faster uptake of measures.
Your project must be applicable to real world measuring requirements for assessing fabric performance in buildings. By real world we mean outside of pure research or academic exercises.
Your solutions must demonstrate the following:
- transparency of methodology and any uncertainty in accuracy
- providing robust verifiable data, including error margins, to inform building fabric upgrade decision making
- assurance in achieving performance targets of any net zero renovation or construction measures related to thermal performance that have been invested in
- replicability throughout the renovation and construction phase
- delivery cost to ensure widespread adoption
Applicable buildings can be:
- existing buildings undergoing renovation where assessments are carried out before, during and after measures are installed as a minimum
- new buildings where assessments are carried out at appropriate times on construction and on building completion as a minimum
Examples of new or improved testing techniques include, but are not limited to:
- solutions that provide an understanding of fabric performance under a range of conditions rather than imposed standardised conditions
- solutions for construction types where existing tests are less appropriate for example high-rise buildings and varied or complex construction types and typologies
- solutions that can robustly flex existing testing parameters such as seasonality of testing, testing only in vacant properties, requirement to test adjoining properties, duration of tests
- solutions that address fabric performance, including heat transfer and air leakage properties of the building envelope
- solutions that are designed to assist with the easy understanding of heat performance and lead to greater trust in the appropriateness of heat reduction improvement measures being installed
- development of approaches that provide greater assurances to providers of finance packages
- existing buildings undergoing renovation where assessments are carried out before and after measures are installed as a minimum
- new buildings where assessments are carried out at appropriate times on construction and on building completion as a minimum.
The key outcome of this competition is to make real world tests widespread and repeatable.
Your project must include:
- existing residential or non-residential buildings undergoing deep renovation.
- demonstrations of solutions on representative buildings or environments.
- assessments undertaken without the need for occupant interaction so contractual obligations on the renovation or building activity can be discharged.
- verifiable outcomes that adhere to commonly used metrics relating to heat performance in buildings
Your project can also include one or more of the following:
- new residential or non-residential buildings under construction.
- assessments of heat performance using metering data, physical testing or analytics involving artificial intelligence and machine learning.
- innovations to existing approaches that so that they can be conducted under a range of, rather than standardised, conditions.
- end user involvement to ascertain improvements to new or existing techniques.
- standards and certification body involvement to ensure verification and validation of solutions
We are not funding projects that:
- do not focus on the performance of the fabric, for example solutions that focus on heating optimisation or air quality
- address heat demand reduction through ventilation systems
- focus on heating systems and system assessment
- require long-term monitoring solutions and occupant behaviour data to inform outcomes
- investigate the performance of low and zero carbon technologies or systems that reduce heating demand
An online briefing event was held on 14th February: click here to watch the recording.
If you want help to find a project partner, contact Innovate UK KTN’s Net Zero team or Infrastructure team.