The conference, chaired by Dr. Bianca Howard and scientific chairs and Dr. Argyris Oraiopoulos and Dr. Eleonora Brembilla, was well attended by more than 100 delegates from 18 countries across the world. A total of 53 contributions were presented during the conference, in a novel, online format that focused on bringing out the key insights from the latest research in the field, by setting the discussion around the papers as the primary objective, rather than the presentation.
The emerged themes of occupant behaviour, data driven modelling and building energy systems flexibility, revealed that researchers are actively trying to address the performance gap of building performance simulation, by using advanced hybrid modelling techniques. A number of works on the development and performance simulation of dynamic shading systems, pointed to the signs of a rapidly warming climate. This was also central in Prof. Rajan Rawal’s keynote speech during day 1. The extreme heat could lead to unprecedented financial losses in labour productivity, transforming cooling, from a luxury to a necessity in many parts of the world. “Are we doing enough?” he asked, the requirements of a non-homogeneous world need to be addressed rather urgently. In day two we were given a glimpse of the technical insights in Prof. Ursula Eicker’s diverse research portfolio. In her keynote speech, we were reminded that “buildings are not the only contributor to energy demand”. Integration with other streams including mobility, waste and microclimate is key and it requires open data libraries, ways of handling all information and clearly defined interfaces. Closing, Prof Eicker gave praise to physical models, hailing them as essential for our detailed understanding, in an era where “everybody loves AI and ML”.
Special congratulations to Rajat Gupta and Matt Gregg from the Low Carbon Building Research Group in the School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University, for winning the best paper award for their work on Spatially-based urban energy modelling approach for enabling energy retrofits in Oxfordshire and contributing to the continuous high standards of academic research in the BSO conferences.