Dr Mark Dowson

Associate, Sustainability

Buro Happold

Biography

Mark is an Associate in the BuroHappold Sustainability and Building Physics team in London. He is a Chartered Engineer, holds an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) in Environmental Technology and is an accredited CIBSE Low Carbon Energy Assessor (DEC operations), ESOS Lead Assessor and BREEAM AP. Within BuroHappold, Mark leads the company’s Building Performance task group, specialising in post occupancy evaluation and closing the energy performance gap.

During Mark’s Engineering Doctorate he led a 4-year research project investigating the thermal efficiency of the UK housing stock and developing/testing new retrofit products incorporating high performance silica aerogel insulation. Whilst undertaking this research, he led the sustainability and engineering works for the Innovate UK ‘Retrofit for the Future’ project involving the refurbishment of a 1960s property in London aiming to cut it’s CO2 emissions by 80%. On the south facing wall Mark designed an innovative solar-air heater, containing an aerogel cover, used to pre-heat the mechanical ventilation with heat recovery system. This product won ‘Passive Product of the Year’ at the 2013 CIBSE Building Performance Awards.

Regarding phase change materials, a colleague of Mark’s (Dr Gideon Susman, now based in the BuroHappold Los Angeles office) invented the NewMass PCM cooling system. The NewMass system is a low energy cooling system composed of an array of finned tubes that sit below the ceiling of an occupied space. The tubes are filled with a ‘phase change material’ (PCM) that passively absorbs excess heat from the space through changing phase from a solid to a liquid. As part of an Innovate UK project, Mark led the installation and monitoring phases for the NewMass technology in a classroom and IT suite at Brentfield Primary School. An energy saving of 36% when compared to a traditional chilled beam system was validated. The product also won ‘Energy Efficient Product or Innovation’ of the year at the 2018 CIBSE Building Performance Awards.

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