The Group of Building Environmental Research (GRBES), operates under the frame of the Section of Applied Physics, Department of Physics of the University of Athens.
It carries out specific research and development programs in the fields of environmental quality of the built environment and environmental materials. In parallel, it offers education and training to under- and post-graduate students, and prepares educational material and books on the field of energy and environment. The Group was established after 1991. It employs 19 researchers and carries out specific research under contracts from National and International Institutions.
The Group works on the following research topics within the corresponding laboratories:
- Design and Development of Intelligent Environmental Materials
- Energy Performance of Buildings
- Solar Energy Systems and Techniques
- Energy Efficient Technologies
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- IT Technologies applied to Buildings
- Urban Environmental Quality
- Energy and Environmental Rating
The Laboratory of Energy audits and energy efficient design of buildings, specialises in energy and environmental assessments of the built environment and studies to improve the energy and environmental performance of buildings. It has all the necessary equipment to support experimental and theoretical studies integrated in a modern mobile energy bus (infrared cameras, luminance cameras, tracer gas, equipment to measure in situ U values, thermal and visual comfort, all climatic parameters etc.). The Group has carried out more than one thousand energy audits and studies aiming to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in Greece and elsewhere. In parallel, the lab has developed materials that present thermochromic properties for the outdoor environment and materials that have extremely high reflectivity and appropriate emmissivity using nanotechnology procedures and tools. Experimental facilities involve advanced spectrophotometers and other sophisticated equipment to carry out ageing tests and measure the emissivity of materials.
The Laboratory of Ventilation and Indoor Air Quality involves all the necessary equipment to carry out specific ventilation and indoor air quality measurements. It combines multiple and single tracer gas equipment with an air chromatographer, an advanced indoor pollutants measurement equipment, air flow visualisation equipment, and equipment to measure the air speed and flow in indoor and outdoor environments. The lab has extensive experience in natural ventilation experiments. In parallel, the Group is equipped with a blower door facility to perform research and development work related to air infiltration and transfer of pollutants between the ambient and indoor environment and a modern GCMS facility for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of indoor pollutants.
The Group has coordinated the following International Research and development programs:
- PASCOOL - Passive Cooling of Buildings.
- OFFICE - Passive Retrofitting of Office Buildings to Improve Their Energy Performance and Indoor Environment.
- AIOLOS - Preparation of Scientific Material on Natural Ventilation of Buildings.
- URBANCOOL - Study of Efficient Cooling Techniques for the Urban Environment.
- FENESTRATION - Study of Advanced Window Systems
- EUROCLASS - Preparation of the European Experimental and Theoretical Methodology for the Energy Rating of Buildings.
- RESET - Use of Renewable Energies for Urban Renewal.
- INTERSET - Use of Energy Efficient Technologies for Urban Renewal.
- Combined Use of Satellite and Ground Data for the study of the thermal environment of urban areas: methodologies and mitigation strategies. Scientific and Technological Cooperation between NKUA and Lawrence Berkeley Lab, US.
- COOLROOFS - European Project on the Use of Reflective Materials in Buildings.
The most recent publications by the Group include, among many others:
- Thermal Analysis & Design of Solar Buildings, James & James Science Publishers, 2002
- Solar Thermal Technologies for Buildings – The State of the Art, James & James Science Publishers, 2003
- Ventilation of Buildings, The State of the Art, James & James Science Publishers, 2007
- Energy Rating of Residential Buildings, James & James Science Publishers, 2004
- Cooling the City, Editions des Ecoles des Mines, Paris, 2004
- Natural Ventilation in the Urban Environment, James and James Science Publishers, London, 2005
- Advances in Solar Energy, American Society of Solar Energy, 2005
- Environmental Design of Urban Buildings, James & James Science Publishers, 2005
- Advances in Passive Cooling, James & James Science Publishers, 2006
- Air Quality: New Research, ΝΟVA Publishers, NY, 2008
- Buildings, Energy and the Environment, University Studio Press, Thessaloniki, 2008
The scientific work carried out by NKUA fits in perfectly with the objectives of INIVE. INIVE membership facilitates efficient collaboration and information exchange among its members, while at the same time bringing complementarity to existing knowledge and skills. NKUA is a very active partner and participates in most of the activities of INIVE.