Nottingham City Housing

Developing Sustainable Low-Energy Homes from Existing Buildings

  • Unit(s) of assessment: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
  • Research theme: Sustainable Futures
  • School: School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment


Creating sustainable, low-energy houses from existing premises is a self-sufficient approach to liberating buildings from external, non-renewable resources. An economically sustainable, financial model can be developed to repay the costs of the intervention. The technical solutions and knowledge can be rolled out over a broad number of homes, achieving cost reductions through economies of scales. A part of the REMOURBAN Horizon 2020 project, is the development of the nine West Walk Dwellings in Sneinton, Nottingham.

Addressing the Challenge

The Nottingham Trent University (NTU) team will conduct a preliminary simulation to optimise the design of the interventions. They will also install data hubs in some of the nine West Walk properties to handle data collection relating to temperature, moisture, CO2, and energy consumption.

The hubs are developed on a Linux-based minicomputer that will act as the interface between the component parts of the system. It will be fitted with Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections, allowing it to communicate with the NTU monitoring server.


Dr Anton Ianakiev is a Reader in Finite Element Modelling and teaches Introduction to Structures and Engineering Maths modules to undergraduate Civil Engineering students. Dr Ianakiev is jointly leading and developing two new courses; MSc Structural Engineering with Materials and MSc Structural Engineering with Management.

Dr Ianakiev's main research area is the application of Finite Element Modelling in analysis of structures and heat transfer and also the use of sustainable materials in structures and products.

Making a Difference

This development will result in interesting research and innovative technical solutions. This novel and economically sustainable business model will deliver properties that produce less greenhouse gas, which could be independent from the network energy grid.

The dwellings will be more comfortable, with limited draughts or overheating, and there will be a positive impact in terms of reducing fuel property. The cost to tenants will be more manageable and consistent, leaving them less vulnerable to energy bills increasing due to rising fuel prices.

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