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Two climate emergency projects in Scotland see universities collaborate

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The Scottish government has ploughed £500,000k into climate emergency projects which will see the University of Edinburgh and the University of Glasgow collaborating with Schneider Electric. The projects will demonstrate businesses, academic and public sector collaboration in transitioning the country to a low-carbon economy. Existing and future buildings’ performance will be improved with Schneider Electric’s smart building technologies.

“We are facing a global climate emergency and one of the major challenges is not only how we build in the future but reducing carbon emissions from existing housing stock. As these projects demonstrate, innovation plays a key part and will help us reach our target to reach net-zero by 2045,” said Ivan McKee, The Scottish Trade Minister.

The University of Edinburgh’s project, titled ‘Building capacity for zero and low carbon innovation in construction and the built environment’ will aim to improve the way buildings of the future are designed, and built to reduce the impact on the climate. It also seeks to demonstrate that a 25% energy reduction in peak demand can be achieved by advanced analytics of building performance.

“The severity of the threat posed by climate change and the urgency with which responses are needed cannot be overstated. As one of the biggest global emitters of carbon, emissions from construction and the built environment must be significantly reduced if we are to reach net zero emissions in Scotland by 2045,” said Dave Gorman, Director for Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Edinburgh.

Project partners will work together to improve the way buildings are designed and constructed in the future to minimise their impact on the climate. They will also develop tools that reduce emissions by improving the energy performance of buildings once they are occupied. They predict there is the potential for energy savings of between 75% and 90%.

“Older housing is a key source of the carbon challenge, especially our pre-1919 tenements. This demonstration project allows us to both learn about this particular form of retrofit and to assess how to scale up and provide replicable solutions across the range of Glasgow tenements,” added McKee.

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