Bilsay Pastakkaya, Uludağ University
Researcher Links Travel Grants Recipient
Research Topic: new approaches to eco house design and renewable energy applications in sustainable buildings
My research visit, which aimed to advance our knowledge of sustainable development, shows that eco-houses will reduce energy consumption, waste, carbon footprint, negative impact on human health and the environment all through better home design and the renewable energy applications
Sustainable development is a key element that should be considered in everybody’s daily life. In my research visit to the UK, I explored this subject in more depth, looking at new approaches to design strategies and renewable energy that could be applied to the construction of sustainable buildings and Eco-Houses. I specifically focussed on two topics; new Eco-House designs to progress eco-lifestyles and innovative greenhouse designs for sustainable buildings.
I decided to pursue my research at the University of Nottingham, which specialise in sustainable buildings work, and has one of the most environmentally friendly campuses in the world (https://peopleandplanet.org/university-league). Their commitment to environmental excellence, award-winning environmental and design practices and research programmes further persuaded me that this was the ideal UK university with which to collaborate. As a strong advocate for sustainable development, I was delighted with the unique opportunity to carry out research at a campus with six eco-house applications - 'Creative Energy Homes'. The energy homes provide a living test-site for leading firms and universities to explore the integration of energy efficient technologies into the building blocks of houses. It was an incredible chance for me to examine the different design strategies and renewable energy applications in these structures.
The models at the University of Nottingham inspired me to create my own design of an eco-house: the Lotus-Plus, an eco-dormitory building for students which can also be easily converted to a residence for victims of natural disaster or migrants. In addition to this, I am designing a new campus for my home university Uludag University which would convert our current campus into an eco-campus. I have arranged a meeting between Uludag University and the University of Nottingham so that the two parties can share their experiences, learn from each other and develop an even stronger relationship as we move forward with our eco-campus project.
During my time at the University of Nottingham, I also worked with post-doctorate colleagues on innovative energy saving and climate control systems for green houses, a project, which focused on how to employ renewable energy applications in sustainable buildings
Many economic, social and ecological problems unquestionably relate to vast and wasteful amounts of energy usage. The cost of clean and renewable energy applications is still too high and so these initiatives cannot commercially compete with conventional energy systems. My research on alternative designs of clean energy systems has the potential to lead to a decrease in prices for clean energy. When an environmentally friendly technology is cost effective, feasible and accessible, people are much more likely to make the change. In Turkey, energy requirements for residential applications account for a serious share of energy consumption. Cost effective renewable energy sources could hold the key to addressing these issues. My research visit, which aimed to advance our knowledge of sustainable development, shows that eco-houses will reduce energy consumption, waste, our carbon footprints, and negative impact on human health and the environment all through better home design and the renewable energy applications.
Along with the benefits of eco-houses and sustainable buildings research, this visit has added to my own professional development as well as to my specific area of research. I prepared and presented an article entitled Cooling Applications with Renewable Energy Powered Resorption Systems together with colleagues from the University of Nottingham for the 14th International Conference on Sustainability Energy Technologies in Nottingham. I was also involved in several poster presentations. When I returned to Turkey I hosted a conference titled Eco Design for Sustainable Life where I shared my experience and knowledge from this research visit with colleagues, students and the local population in Bursa.
I must mention that it was a privilege for me to work with Professor Saffa Riffat who is a prominent scientist and academic in the area of renewable energy applications and eco-technologies. We had the chance to discuss my research topic, perform new analysis, work on publications and evaluate the results of my research findings. I was able to meet and network with other colleagues which have led to an even stronger desire for our two institutions to collaborate. My home university and Nottingham University are planning future projects involving eco-houses and innovative greenhouses. Our trust, connection and research knowledge has significantly improved due to this research visit.
The visit has improved my vision and provided me with great experiences that will significantly impact on my future research endeavours and academic career. It was both beneficial for Uludağ University and the University of Nottingham to bring this research to life and we will continue to collaborate and build an ever stronger relationship in the coming weeks, months and years.