Atamate Blog

David Miles - Recent Posts

Monitoring the indoor environment: wearables vs fixed sensors

Topic: Building behaviour, health, Management, TM40, Wellbeing, Indoor environment

Recommendations for promoting workplace health and wellbeing often include monitoring the indoor environment using wearable sensors. Our view is that a fixed sensor network is a better option as it records more parameters, does not depend on who is wearing what sensor and is less intrusive.

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Monitoring the indoor environment: wearables vs fixed sensors

Viruses indoors 5: The winter vomiting bug

Topic: health, Office, TM40, Wellbeing, Indoor environment

The winter vomiting bug is caused by the norovirus which spreads rapidly through aerosols and surfaces, survives for days or weeks between human hosts and is resistant to ammonia and alcohol-based cleaning products. We suggest that ultraviolet could be used to control its spread, especially public toilets and...

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Viruses indoors 5: The winter vomiting bug

Atamate teaches smart buildings to be smarter

Topic: smart home, Machine learning

Yongchao Huang's recent paper describes Atamate's latest progress in machine learning for the smart home. A set of calculations allows a smart building to quantify the influences of various ambient conditions on the temperature of a room and use them to control a radiator.

 

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Atamate teaches smart buildings to be smarter

Atamate shows where SAP gets smart controls wrong

Topic: ventilation, Building behaviour, smart home, UK building regulations, eco controls, Energy, Cooling

Kat Kelly recently showed that rented flats using variable ventilation and direct electrical heating under Atamate smart control delivered better energy efficiency than predicted for heat pump-based systems. We argue that the data shows that automation has been under-valued in planned reforms to the UK building...

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Atamate shows where SAP gets smart controls wrong

Viruses indoors 4: The flu season

Topic: COVID-19

The 200 common cold viruses are more prevalent in the British winter. That's mainly because indoor relative humidity drops below the comfort threshold of 40%, making it easier for them to infect. Being infected with one makes us more vulnerable to others, enhancing the misery of the winter 'flu season'.

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Viruses indoors 4: The flu season

Viruses indoors 2: Licht und Luft

Topic: health, TM40, Wellbeing, COVID-19, Indoor environment

Modernist architecture in the early 20th century adopted the Licht und Luft principle, maximising light and ventilation to combat tuberculosis. Amid another airborne disease pandemic, the same principles apply: the ultraviolet component of sunlight kills viruses and good ventilation is an established approach to...

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Viruses indoors 2: Licht und Luft

Viruses indoors 3: Introducing the common cold

Topic: health, TM40, Wellbeing, Indoor environment

The modern urban environment is ideal for the transmission of respiratory viruses, which is why the common cold spreads so fast. COVID-19 spreads using the same mechanisms but is far more serious because it can cause pneumonia and long-term illnesses. Developing ways to limit the spread of viruses in the built...

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Viruses indoors 3: Introducing the common cold

Viruses indoors 1: the urban incubator

Topic: health, TM40, Wellbeing, COVID-19, Indoor environment

The urban environment facilitates respiratory virus transmission. COVID-19 is now the major threat but the common cold has long had a serious impact on wellbeing, personal income and the economy. The factors by which urban living aids virus transmission are known but little attempt has been made to address them.

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Viruses indoors 1: the urban incubator

Future Homes 4: Future-proofing against overheating

Topic: Building behaviour, health

The UK government's Future Homes consultation aims to improve energy efficiency in British homes but gives little attention to the problem of overheating driven by the warming climate. We call for the proposed regulatory reforms to include design to avoid overheating alongside design for energy-efficient heating.

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Future Homes 4: Future-proofing against overheating

Can district heating make housing more efficient?

Topic: heating, Future Homes, District heating, heat network, Efficiency, Energy

District heating schemes use a single powerplant to provide heating and hot water to many buildings. They have been promoted as important in decarbonising the British economy but their dependence on gas limits their carbon efficiency and heat is lost as it is distributed which causes internal gains.

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Can district heating make housing more efficient?