On 30 July 2021, the 1st Science Workshop of WP2 “Sustainable Building” took place. The main aim of this event was to discuss WP2’s research plan, its milestones and related activities during the Build4People Research and Development phase (2021-2025) together with the local Cambodian research partners. 

Also, the BELDA (Building Energy Structure and Lifestyle Database of the Asia) research and outcomes were presented from Dr Chan Sarin, from Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC).

The meeting was moderated by Dirk Schwede and Christina Karagianni, members of the WP#2 team, and started with a short, informal meeting followed by a welcome round and the presentation of the agenda by Dirk Schwede.

The first input was given by the Build4People project leader Michael Waibel, University of Hamburg, who Introduced to the general approaches of the Build4People project during RD phase.

Following Michael’s presentation, Christina Karagianni introduced the plan to develop the building audit, measurement campaign and household survey during the Build4People RD phase. At first Christina provided an overview of the most important reports of the past few years on energy efficiency and cooling demand in Southeast Asia. Then she carefully explained about each step of the development of the 3 year building audit campaign.

It was pointed out that there is no single solution to turn emissions and energy demand trends around: renewables, efficiency & an investment in innovative technologies and materials are all required while at the same time health and comfort but also general well-being of the occupants should be ensured. Thus, many aspects should be investigated, like the development of energy-, resource- and cost -efficient buildings and the monitoring of indoor conditions and possible air pollutants. 

Those indoor conditions affect health, comfort and performance of occupants, but also their psychology. Moreover, since they affect comfort they also have an effect on energy use in buildings. Consequently, by evaluating them we can establish guidelines that can help both with policy making but also with the overall quality of life of the users, which is the focus of the Build4People project.

WP2’s campaign consists of physical measurements using data loggers and two questionnaires to evaluate the IEQ of the buildings. The first one is a paper-based questionnaire designed to be filled out by our team members at the same time as the measuring equipment is being installed. The first part of the questionnaire is meant for our team member. It contains information on how to conduct the building audits, how to install the measuring equipment and how to fill out the questionnaire. Here it is also asked for a floor plan of the apartment to be added. In the second part private information about the occupants and the exact location of the building are being asked. In part C all the details of the building are being filled out: construction materials, windows, doors, electrical equipment, lamps, heating and cooling systems. For the building characteristics location and type of material and for the electrical appliances energy consumption and location is being identified. Last part is to be filled by the occupants. It contains a presence schedule during week and weekends followed by two questions concerning the preferred cooling technique from a choice between mechanical (A/C, fan) and natural ventilation (open of windows or doors), and a question about existing building problems like mould, wall damages etc.

The second questionnaire is APP-based and designed to evaluate occupants thermal comfort. It was tried to keep the questionnaire as short as possible so that it will not tire the interviewees, most of the questions are multiple choice for the same reason. 

Dr Chan Sarin, ITC, continued with the introduction of the results of a survey on energy consumption and appliances of households in urban and sub-urban Cambodia in based on the BELDA (Building Energy structure and Lifestyle Database of Asia) project implemented together with a Japanese university.

The purpose of BELDA is to develop a common database of energy consumption in the building sector in the Asian countries, create scenarios with use of quantitative numerical modelling, provide a web-based platform which can evaluate effects of measures and policies following the stage of development, and develop international networks among scholars with enhanced use of the platform. In 2017 BELDA provided its data collected for Cambodia via field surveys on monthly energy consumption of the residential sector. Also, a survey has been conducted of housing and major home appliances in order to obtain data of electric consumption load curve. Major information that are collected by the surveys are amount of energy and quality of life.

“Amount of energy” is mainly about electric consumption based on (1) the types of energy such as electricity, gas and fuelwood, (2) Energy consumption of each home appliances, (3) Energy consumption by time of use. These data have been collected by both interview survey and measurement survey.

“Quality of life” is estimated with housing characteristics (gross floor area and duration of stay at home), environmental adaptation behavior (air circulation, transformation with seeking for comfort, bricolage activities). Ownership and utilization of home Appliances and Electronics (TV, PC, AC, Fan, refrigerator etc), thermal environment and comfort. 

In the discussion that followed the presentation a first basis for collaboration with the BELDA database has been set and a follow up meeting was agreed to go deeper into the methodology of the research and the final result analysis.

Results from an extensive survey and measurement campaign in Hanoi, Vietnam

After that, Dirk Schwede presented results from an extensive survey and measurement campaign in Hanoi, Vietnam, in the context of the CAMaRSEC (Climate-adapted Material Research for the Socio-economic Context in Vietnam) project, also funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Specifically, he introduced some results from a building measurement campaign similar to the one of Build4People WP2 and some examples of analysing such data.

The German-Vietnamese project CAMaRSEC is supporting the implementation and further development of energy-efficient, resource-efficient and sustainable construction practices. By now in this research, data from 49 apartments in residential high rises in Hanoi have been collected and analysed in a similar manner as we intend to do in Build4People. While a detailed field survey was carried out in 5 representative apartments in Hanoi with the assistance of research team from NUCE in winter 2020.

Results from a pre-test survey in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

During the Definition phase a test survey was conducted in Phnom Penh to check on the develop menthods and possible problems. The results collected were presented by Christina Karagianni.

Seven wireless data loggers were installed in apartments from June, 2020 and for 9 monts (until early February 2021). Relevant information such as installation location, operating mode, contact person and environmental conditions were documented in detail with text and pictures. The indoor climate data are then evaluated together with the audit results and the external climate data.

Indoors and outdoors condition were compared, if indoor conditions correlate strongly with ambient outdoor conditions, using weather service observations of outdoor conditions would be a sufficient, practical indicator of personal exposure but as expected this wasn’t the case with our measurements. From the acquired 7 data sets, none is uninterrupted and only two are continuous and suitable for an analysis longer than 6 months. Nonetheless all the suitable data were examined. The reasons of interruptions was mainly technical difficulties due to either bad internet connectivity or difficulty resolving the problems from our team remotely and also problems arising from everyday household life (data loggers were disconnected or moved from household members).

But it is important to be aware that this study was carried out on a particular sample which, while presenting some interesting lessons, does not provide a thorough characterisation of thermal comfort or indoor conditions.

Introduction to work plan and milestones of WP2 Sustainable Building during RD phase

In the final presentation the work plan, milestones and current activities of WP2 were presented. Each milestone is divided in sub-work packages, and each sub-work package in separate activities corresponding to specific timeframes within the project, the past and coming up activities were presented, along with the work in-progress. 

It was pointed out that the results from WP#2.1, WP#2.2 and the other sub-work packages will be analysed together to create data sets available for the rest WPs and used in the course of the project to develop a roadmap for sustainable construction in Cambodia and especially in Phnom Penh in collaboration with WP#6. The effects of climate change and the development of the urban microclimate will also be taken into account in collaboration with WP#5. The relevant building aspects and technology fields (e.g. comfort cooling technology, material use, integrated renewable energies) will be identified through WP#2 s measuring campaign but also through literature analysis and focus group discussions.

The workshop was concluded by a fruitful open discussion which set the basis for the future joint cooperation.