Past Events

(26 Oct 2015) FCE Chair Professor Inaugural Lecture on “Building Environment and Energy Efficiency - Relevance to Public Health, Sustainability and City Liveability”


Modern population spend over 90% of their time indoors and more than 1/3rd global energy consumption can be attributed to maintaining comfort and air quality in buildings. The current urbanization is drastically changing the life pattern of city residents. How does building environment and energy efficiency research benefit the society in these respects? In the presentation, it will be stated that no single technology will bring about drastic changes and apply to different climates and building types. In this seminar, I will present our research on the understanding of the indoor environment, and the development and assessment of technologies that can maintain indoor comfort and environmental health in more energy-efficient ways. Technologies covered will include advanced air distribution methods, development of advanced thermal energy storage technologies, air-to-air heat recovery, advanced glazing and window systems, which are more related to the energy performance. The study of low-emission building materials and understanding the droplets dynamics for the control of airborne infection in built environments will be presented to address the public health concern. It will be shown that some technologies are competitive against each other while some others are complementary to each other and their integrative application should achieve the maximum benefits.

Finally, urban environment design, a multidisciplinary professional issue, will be presented, which is the theme of an on-going CRF (collaborative research project). The objective of the research is to create local outdoor thermal comfort to encourage outdoor activities of urban residents, and it will be shown that the application of computer simulation to enable quantitative urban planning will be a paradigm-shift needed for our future cities. To this end, traditional professional boundaries between urban planners, architects, and building services engineers need to be broken, and new working processes need to be established, and IT technology enabled tools, such as BIM (building information modeling) and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) will be more widely used for intensive simulation-based optimal design analysis. The grand professional challenges will be discussed.

About the Speaker

Prof. Jianlei Niu is Chair Professor of Building Environment and Energy, and Associate Head of the Department of Building Services Engineering, and Director of Research Centre for Building Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He received his BSc in HVAC Engineering and MSc in Thermal Engineering from Tsinghua University, and received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Delft University of Technology. He also had a unique industrial R&D working experience in UK. With an academic background in turbulence modelling and CFD (computational uid dynamics) and building thermal performance simulation, he has obtained and completed nearly 20 research grants from various funding bodies, and published over 200 technical papers including over 100 internationally reviewed journal papers and gave a large number of invited lectures and presentations worldwide, some of which were sponsored by the ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer scheme. He has successfully supervised over ten PhD students. His invention personalized ventilation technology has been patented in both China and USA, and won the Bronze award in 35th International Exhibition of Inventions, Geneva, Switzerland, and another patent PCM (Phase-change-material)-microcapsule–slurry-based thermal storage technology won him a gold award at the 38th event. He also provides specialist consultancy services to the local industry in datacentre cooling design.

He serves as co-editor-in-chief of the Elsevier journal Energy and Buildings and sits in the editorial board of several SCI journals including Building and Environment, Building Simulation, International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment, and Building Performance Simulation, and he also serves as Scientific Committee Member for the international conference series Indoor Air, Building Simulation, Roomvent, and CLIMA. He was awarded fellowship by ASHRAE, CIBSE, HKIE, IBPSA and ISIAQ.





  • Faculty of Construction and Environment, PolyU


Disclaimer: The above activity is not organized by Campus Sustainability Committee or Campus Sustainability Office, PolyU. All information provided here are for reference only.