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LiU research in new student building

Sustainability issues will be in focus when the new Valla Student Building is constructed. One of the planning objectives deals with being able to apply LiU’s own research here. That’s an opportunity Klas Ekelöw, postdoc in the Division of Energy Systems at the Department of Management and Engineering, has been given.Bild: Klas Ekelöw, postdoc på avdelningen för energisystem på IEI.


“It’s great to be given a practical, very concrete case to work on – something that’s actually going to be carried out. Otherwise, we mostly look at general environments for offices and industry.”

The task deals with running computer simulations of how the air in the student building moves. The aim is to try to minimize the possibility of unpleasant cooking smells from student kitchens and restaurants getting further out into the building, into the library and other places. The Valla Student Building will be a very open construction, and there is a risk that unpleasant smells from cooking will make their way out into spaces where they’re not wanted.

Unusual for buildings
During planning, Mr Ekelöw will be working together with the consulting firm Sweco, which has in charge of energy and is designing the ventilation system for the student building. The task lies close to the research being conducted in the Division of Energy Systems, which has previously had similar tasks.
“It’s not so usual, though, that modelling like this is done on ordinary buildings,” Mr Ekelöw says. “It’s used mostly on critical things like airplanes and gas turbines, which is where the technology comes from.”

Into a CFD (computational flow dynamics) model, Mr Ekelöw enters facts about the house: where air comes in and out, how much air is needed, temperatures and heat from people and equipment. He then runs a computer simulation on how the air – and thereby the smells from cooking – move about.
“I’d also really like to use the building as an object of study to test and evaluate the model,” he says. “We’ve had discussions, but haven’t landed yet. What we’ll be doing now is a new modelling in a second run to see how we can further improve the opportunities for preventing cooking smells from spreading.”

Elisabet Wahrby 2015-10-27

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Last updated: 2015-11-03