Built Environment

A Workshop held by CAPE in partnership with Arup as an initial step in CAPE’s development of a new thematic focus for CAPE activities, as set out in the CAPE White Paper on the Built Environment.

The workshop was jointly chaired by Dr Terry V Clapp (embedded researcher for Dow Corning at CAPE, and CIKC Director) and Dr Marta Fernandez (Research Relations Manager, Arup).


A – Overview        (Dr Terry V Clapp, Workshop co-Chairman)

Work-shop: Advanced Technologies for the Commercial and Domestic Built Environment

Potential Aesthetic and Environmentally Sensitive Propositions from Science and Technology Platforms


•    To describe a technological vision of where societal needs are likely to frame developments that require advanced technology in the built environment.
•    To identify opportunities with higher revenue prospects in the broader market of the building industry.


a)    Societal needs:

•    Sustainable development has become a key aspect of legislative and governmental guidance.
•    The energy economy, water usage and the aesthetics of the built environment have become design issues.
Resource management, whole product life-cycle and cost and materials efficiency are key.

b)    The disjoint between the built environment and modern legislative requirements/aspirations:

•    This disjoint is clear

–    The vast majority of people in the West live and work in a built environment that was not designed or built with sustainable objectives.
–    World resources cannot sustain the population growth and continuance of per capita consumption at current levels as per the leading GNP nations.

c)    Energy market instabilities:

•    The last 5years have seen ever increasing signatures of the growing instability and insecurity of global energy markets

–    Gas & Oil prices have reached and exceeded historical highs.
–    Major global energy houses have had oil development projects “nationalised” or badly affected by local instabilities.
–    National governments have made substantial policy statements (very often revoking prior policy) to redirect their own strategies.

Talking points:

•    With respect building integrated photo-voltaic technology (BIPV)

–    Solar energy will play an ever increasing role in shaping the design, appearance and construction of buildings
–    Trends are for zero energy/positive energy buildings and architecture
–    Higher efficiency will be sought, but more critical will be lower cost and superior aesthetics and these will drive BIPV

•    Data rich: business e-systems, educational and entertainment systems, home offices etceteras

–    Video and remote conferencing; large screen; “home cinema”, integrated “edutainment” and data systems

•    Lighting

–    lower cost, higher efficiency, responsive

•    “Ambience” and “Décor”

–    aesthetically pleasing, mood creation…


B – Workshop Outcomes and CAPE Progress in Energy Efficient Technology for the Built Environment

New CAPE Technology Focus Group in Energy & the Environment

Following on from the very successful CAPE /Arup Workshop held at CAPE on 26th November 2008, CAPE has formed a new Technical Focus Group (TFG) for Energy and the Environment In order to facilitate future CAPE activity in the area of energy efficient technologies for the Built Environment.  The new TFG will be chaired by Professor Michael Kelly, who until recently was Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department for Communities and Local Government.

In-Window Technology for Aesthetics and Energy Efficiency

It has been affirmed by several industry sources that an in-window dynamic system to allow daylight and solar-gain-control is very desirable.  Competitive technology options from businesses such as Sage with Electro-chromic dimming of the light are available but are not yet fulfilling market expectations.

The regulatory framework for energy efficient buildings is being constructed and at EU level the Energy Efficient Buildings technology platform is gaining credibility as the preferred instrument for European Commission and industry dialogues to shape the development support actions as well as the recommendations for standards.

From the market side there is a complex inter-play between desires for energy efficiency to co-exist with aesthetic solutions that enhance building facades whilst providing cost effective solutions to building user’s ancillary demands (for example a good, un-impeded view or low glare).  This situation is compounded by the complexity of the construction sector wherein building specifiers may not be synonymous with architects nor themselves be main contractor for construction, or even the end-user of the building… this indicates that the technical development must be brought forward to a wider audience so that cost-benefit may be shown.

Technical Progress

Technically work has been initiated to address these several aspects of the market desire.  Energy efficiency and aesthetics have been addressed and work is now focussed upon manufacturing needs to address cost/performance as well as future volume manufacturing challenges.

TSB funds may be sought to bring together a consortia, in value-chain terms, capable to bring forward these developments.