Two Postdoctoral Research Positions in Attic Ventilation & Building Energy

Hygrothermal assessment in cold roof buildings with reduced ventilation.

The Department of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin invites applications for two Postdoctoral Research positions. The positions are funded under the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland's Research Development and Demonstration Programme. The project will comprise hygrothermal assessment of cold roof buildings with reduced attic ventilation due to dormer windows, with a view to finding solutions for the insultation upgrade of such buildings in Ireland.

Thermally inefficient buildings are prevalent throughout Ireland creating a barrier to ending fuel poverty and reducing CO2 emissions. Dwellings that are poor at conserving energy can lose up to 30% of their heat through the roof. Retrofitting homes with energy saving technology can provide significant benefits to the consumer and economy. Major progress has been made in upgrading the building energy rating of domestic dwellings over the last 15 years in low-risk, high-yield projects. The dormer bungalow has been identified as problematic for energy retrofit due to the building designs impact on attic ventilation requirements. It has been previously excluded for energy retrofit schemes.

The aim of this project is to investigate the relationship between insulation thickness, humidity and temperature with reduced attic ventilation levels. This will be assessed pre and post retro fit of dormer attics under varying regional climate conditions and building archetypes in Ireland.

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) was founded in 1592 and is the oldest and highest ranked University in Ireland (101st in the world - QS 2021 ranking). The School of Engineering generates €7-8 million in annual research income and is ranked in the top 1% of Engineering Schools in the world on the basis of citations. It is the highest ranked Engineering School in Ireland and was ranked in the top 100 internationally in the category of Engineering and Technology by QS World University Rankings. The School has a long history of research in the fields of ventilation and building energy.

The two postdoctoral research fellows work will be divided among the following tasks:

  • Desk study of existing dormer building fabric infrastructure and varying regional climate conditions in Ireland.
  • Review of hygrothermal risk assessment in domestic building infrastructure and building energy analysis literature.
  • Hygrothermal risk assessment of existing typical dormer attic configurations on both the east and west coast of Ireland using numerical simulations (WUFI or similar)
  • Building energy analysis of dormer attics with reduced ventilation levels and retrofit cost analysis of typical dormer buildings using the DEAP methodology

In addition to the main research work, the successful applicants will also be expected to contribute to the production of project reports and scientific papers on the topic, as well as other minor administrative duties. Applicants with a PhD in areas of Engineering or Science relating to one or more of the core areas of the project will be considered:

  • Building energy retrofitting in domestic settings
  • Building energy / ventilation modelling (WUFI or similar software)
  • Dwelling Energy Assessment Procedure (DEAP)

The research positions, commencing in March 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter, are offered with a salary of €38,632 per annum for a period of 12 months.

Candidates are asked to send a cover letter, full CV and the names of two referees to the address below on or before the 31st Jan 2022.

Prof Aonghus McNabola
Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering,
Trinity College Dublin,
Telephone +353-1-8963837

posted: 8 December 2021     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.