Professional course Energy Management and Performance Evaluation
Page last updated 1 May 2020
This module requires students to measure building performance across a range of modelling techniques paying particular attention to measuring and improving energy performance.
Upon completion students will have acquired the skills to manage technical evaluations of buildings and facilities. Specifically they will be able to undertake energy audits, complete energy analysis and write feasibility studies.
Students beginning this level 3 subject are assumed to have previous learning on the technical aspects of buildings, in particular the structural properties and systems that influence energy consumption. Students will also need to be numerically competent and have a good level of information literacy to allow them conduct level 3 research.
Careers / Further study
The career of Energy Manager or Facility Manager is open to students who add the economic and managerial skills taught in this module to existing technical knowledge.
This module may be counted as NFQ Level 6 accredited learning towards related engineering degrees and counts as academic credit towards the following UWE degree programmes:
Considering energy in buildings is a wide ranging and interesting journey and brings students to subject areas such as user behaviour, the arrangement of space, smart technologies, environmental ethics, social justice, construction economics, material science, structural standards and building regulations.
In this level 3 module, we assume the reader has previous learning on the technical aspects of energy in buildings. A Building Physics and Services primer will be provided to quickly bring the student up to the speed required. This level of competence is not the detailed level required by a services engineer, but more of an energy manager, who would need to be able to identify technologies and any opportunities to save energy. This is well established in CIBSE Guide F, which considered all other CIBSE guides and brings together just the information an energy manager would need to know.
Central to considering energy is the idea of building performance. The most energy efficient building in the world is a failure if it is uncomfortable, or if it hinders the productivity of office workers, or if it increases the recovery time of hospital patients. Hence when we consider energy efficiency we must pay very close attention to these. For this reason, often energy efficient buildings are better buildings because their designers paid such close attention to the experience of the user.
In this module we will examine case studies of existing buildings, a process referred to as Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE). This is not just limited to energy performance, but many aspects of how buildings perform environmentally in terms of temperature, light, acoustics, air quality and moisture control. This involves developing techniques associated with gathering information and analysing data. It also requires working in a professional manner with practicing facility management staff.
It is not uncommon to refurbish existing buildings to improve energy efficiency and having the skill to develop a convincing feasibility report, including economic analysis, details of energy tariffs, grants from related incentive schemes and the evaluation of risk from future developments. Students shall develop these skills by considering just one energy improvement, either a means of reducing demand or an improved form of generation.
Making the topic interesting and relevant to your course.
Students who are mistaken into thinking that the topic of energy in buildings is a stand-alone issue only of concern to specialists professional energy managers may struggle to engage with the topic. In reality energy is an issue that transcends all professions in the built environment and being 'energy literate' will be of great benefit to you in your career, making understandable many aspects of current building design and the changes you will see in the coming decades. Energy is also a perspective from which to examine many aspects of building and students are invited to let their interest take the lead in their studies.
For the assessment students will be taught the process of developing a feasibility study, but it is up to the student to decide the topic and they should select a subject they wish to know more about.
Addressing study weakness and developing skills for the future.
It is the objective of the module to challenge students to develop and use complex skills on some of the most relevant issues of not just the built environment, but of society in general. Any student with a willingness to engage and no-fear of hard work should be able to gauge themselves against the following competencies.
- Level 3 students should be skilled at finding and grading relevant information from contrasting perspectives. A short literature review will be part of your assessment.
- Level 3 students should be skilled at writing a concise review of a topic, representing a range of perspectives and targeted to specific audiences. Students will required to demonstrate their writing skills in their assessment.
- Level 3 students should be skilled at critical thinking. Assessing the risks associated with an investment is a key aspect of the assessment.
- Level 3 students should work efficiently in a team situation. 25% of the module is assessed as teamwork.
- Level 3 students should demonstrate a high level of economic, social and environmental awareness relating to sustainable development and the role of their profession.
Making the most of resources on blackboard and in the library.
Blackboard consists of a range of learning materials, publications and video clips designed to help support students in their learning. Blackboard is also the portal through which students will be directed on their way to a range of information relating to their case study and resources to support their learning skills.
Students destined to achieve top marks will be very aware of the resources available to them through the library website and we shall use databases such as Construction Information Services and Nexis. Students who also make the most improvement over the course of this module will make use of the extensive study skills resources that the library services have to offer.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
- Represent the views of a stakeholder in a government consultation into energy-use regulations. (B)
- Synthesise the role of an Energy Manager in preparing a feasibility report for an energy related project in an existing building, accounting for energy generation/efficiency projections, technology assessment, regulation compliance, qualification for incentive schemes, lifecycle costs and user acceptability. (B)
- Undertake a formal post-occupancy evaluation covering the areas of functionality, comfort, energy, sustainability and user satisfaction using recognised procedures, related computer software and field data collected using a range of measurement and audit techniques. (B)
- Present their post-occupancy evaluation and feasibility study to a critical audience, defending their methodology processes and theoretical foundations, while clearly evaluating the risks and opportunities. (A)
Learning and Teaching
Expected level of initial understanding- Students will be expected to already have a technical understanding of the physics and services associated with the environmental engineering of buildings. Week 1 of the module will include an outline of the expected understanding, allowing students to prepare a revision plan to bring them up to speed for the rest of the module.
Case Studies - At the beginning of the module, students will be divided into groups of 3-5 and each group will be assigned a case study building, which will be the focus of their study and assessment.
Seminars Weekly two-hour seminars will be used as the main method to present, discuss and critically evaluate the topics associated with the module syllabus. At every opportunity the students will be asked to reflect on how the theory relates to their case studies, preparing a study plan for their activities between classes.
Computer based tutorials Weekly one-hour tutorials with software experts, developing skills in energy simulations, energy data analysis techniques and economic cost estimating, that will be needed to complete the assessment.
Fieldwork students will be expected to lead fieldtrip to their case study buildings as required. The case study contact who will be acting as the energy manager for the building shall be treated as the 'client' and students will be expected to communicate and act in a professional manner at all times. Students will be assessed on the professional of their emails, meeting agendas, meeting minutes and requests for information.
As part of fieldwork activities students will be expected to experiment with site testing and monitoring, using a range of instrumentation. Students shall arrange to book these from the environmental lab (3Q16) where they will receive training in their operations. Email Danny to book an appointment for your group.
For most students to get an average mark the following hours are recommended: approximately 10 hours of study for each of the taught sessions relating to this module, a total of 120 hours. This excludes time undertaking assessment, which is an estimated additional 30 hours. On a weekly basis this means Preparation (1h), contact time (3h), Directed study (3h), Self-directed (3h).
Students will be required to complete the following assessment as part of the module and on successful completion will achieve 15 undergraduate credits in Energy Management and Performance Evaluation.
The assesment is made up of the following:
- Group Presentation (25%)
- Feasibility Report - 3000 words (50%)
- Presentation of Feasibility Report (25%)
Students who complete the module should have acquired the competencies to become an accredited Low Carbon Energy Assessor (DEC) through CIBSE.
The University has excellent facilities, accessible to all students, as required; however, it is expected that much of the work will be carried within the work environment.
Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.
Prices and dates
Supplementary fee information
This course runs once a year. The next module run is programmed for January 2021 and likely to follow the same delivery pattern: four-hour sessions the same day each week, scheduled over 11 weeks (daytime).
As an indication, the cost of this course was £1156 UK/EU and £1625 for International participants in the last academic year, so there might be a small increase for January 2021.
Exact course dates, updated fees and online booking forms will be published here in September 2020. Please complete our online enquiry form below to be notified once dates are available.
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Fees include assessment but no parking or refereshments.
How to apply
How to apply
As this module carries university accreditation, please note that once you have submitted your booking form, you will be required to provide the following supporting information to the administration team for the module tutor to be able to review and formally accept your application as required by the university:
- An up-to-date copy of your Curriculum Vitae (including contact details of a work or academic reference)
- A brief personal statement to support your application
- A copy of your highest qualification certificate and transcript of modules studied
- A copy of photographic proof of ID (i.e. driver's licence/passport). For non UK students, this must be a copy of your passport
Overseas participants will be required to provide evidence of visa status once accepted onto the course, before they can be fully registered and attend.
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For further information
- Email: For all queries regarding administration aspects of registration, i.e. dates, fees, etc. please contact us using the online enquiry form link or telephone number below. For any questions in relation to the course, i.e. content, suitability, assessments, etc. please contact the Programme Leader.
- Telephone: +44 (0)117 32 86927