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Reductions in energy demand by universities in the UK are increasingly called for due to both national carbon reduction policies and a specific target set out by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). The University of Cambridge has set its own targets to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption, but behavioural, organisational and policy barriers are continually impeding the achievement of these targets. This paper focuses on three studies performed in various buildings at the University. The first study investigates the organisational and behavioural aspects of reducing energy demand. The second study explores the energy performance gap in new buildings and the significance of occupants’ behaviour. The third study explores the potential and actual performance of renewable energy sources in the University Estate. These three different angles of exploration converge in similar findings that are interpreted as starting points to be addressed when improving the energy performance of buildings. It is argued that to reduce the environmental impact of the University, a number of recommendations should be considered in future energy reduction schemes. These are: the inclusion of sub-metering and unregulated loads; the need to set long term targets; improving communication flows between all stakeholders; improving staff training and information exchange; and developing closer understanding of occupants’ behaviour and related impacts on energy consumption.
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- Improving Building Energy Performance in Universities: The Case Study of the University of Cambridge
Si Min Lee