Research News

US-Ireland Partnership to use data approach to residential energy use

  • 30 July, 2021


UCD Energy Institute has announced a new research programme funded by the US-Ireland Research & Development Partnership which aims to reduce residential building energy consumption and related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and environmental impacts, titled "Intelligent Data Harvesting for Multi-Scale Building Stock Classification and Energy Performance Prediction." Researchers at UCD, Ulster University and University of Colorado aim to deliver the impacts of the project across their three jurisdictions (US, Ireland, Northern Ireland).


Residential buildings account for 14% to 27% of GHG emissions in these regions and cause significant negative impact on the environment. Launching the research programme, Dr James O’Donnell, one of the lead investigators in UCD Energy Institute and faculty member of UCD School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, said: “The proposed research will create novel decision support tools to inform policy makers, planners and other stakeholders about the most beneficial residential retrofitting solutions at multiple scales (local to national).”


The research project is supported by the National Science Foundation (US), Science Foundation Ireland (RoI), and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland (NI) as part of the US-Ireland Research and Development Partnership.


Dr O’Donnell will be collaborating with Dr Wangda Zuo, University of Colorado, and Professor Neil Hewitt of Ulster University on this ground breaking research which brings together a team with expertise including green engineering, building energy modeling and machine learning, and information theory.


Dr O’Donnell said the research will also help citizens “Empowered by this information, better decisions can guide modern societies towards transformative green solutions for the built environment to enable energy-efficient, healthy and comfortable buildings for a nation's citizens.”


The research programme has received approximately €1 million in funding across the three jurisdictions and will be carried out over the next three years starting in September.