MyGlobalHome 'Connected Living' Demonstrator
The University of Surrey is working in partnership with MyGlobalHome to trial and demonstrate a state-of-the-art modular, smart home concept on the University campus. In addition to providing accommodation for our staff and students, the MyGlobalHome development provides the University with a set of physical ‘Living Labs’, where we can work collaboratively to better understand and shape the future of Urban Living.
MyGlobalHome’s concept is a state-of-the-art, sustainably-constructed, smart home. The internal space is modular and can be adapted to suit the occupier’s changing needs over time (e.g. by reconfiguring the layout via innovative ‘moving wall’ technology or by swapping prefabricated elements such as bathroom, study or gym). A central ‘Core’ provides not only a way of adapting its surrounding interior layout but an immersive, sensory space.
Each home incorporates a multitude of sensor and control technologies which enable the occupier to control all aspects of the home (e.g. heating, lighting, entertainment, security etc) whilst at the same time gathering information on how the home is performing (e.g. in terms of air quality, energy usage etc). This data is available to the occupier and can be used to support and enable usage optimisation and healthy, independent living. Furthermore, the technology can integrate with wider eco-systems including mobility, health, education and entertainment, linking the occupier to the wider community and smart-city technology.
For further information visit the MyGlobalHome website.
To date, MyGlobalHome have worked with the University of Surrey on two related Innovate UK funded projects, focused on transforming the construction sector.
Phase 1 (2018-2019)
This project, which was worth £1M with partner contributions, has led to the construction of a pilot demonstration of the MyGlobalHome modular living concept in the heart of the University’s Stag Hill campus. The development forms MyGlobalHome’s ‘Innovation Centre’ (commissioned in Spring 2021) and is an initial test-bed for their technology. It also provides a collaborative space for the University’s research community to work with MyGlobalHome on projects focused on the future of smart, modular living.
Phase 1 also comprised a series of research studies, undertaken by an interdisciplinary team of University of Surrey academics from Sociology (Professor. Gilbert; Dr Xenitidou), Psychology (Drs Hodgkins and Timotijevic), the Centre for Environment and Sustainability (Professor. Leach) and Civil and Environmental Engineering (Professor. Kumar and his team).
These studies were designed to investigate:
- The societal and ethical issues for designing a governance framework for deployment of responsible research and innovation ‘best practices’ within the construction industry for ‘smart homes’.
- Issues for designing best practices surrounding informed and implied consent within the field of data capture for smart homes.
- The state of the art in monitoring and modelling indoor air quality.
- The state of the art in energy systems for building-integrated generation and control.
Phase 2 (2020-2022)
This project, worth £7.9M with partner contributions, will lead to the construction of several smart homes on the University campus. This will include a mix of new-build and retrofit dwellings. The University is working with MyGlobalHome and its partners (Buro Happold, Beckhoff, Roomee and Supermassive UX) to provide an interdisciplinary package of pre- and post-occupancy evaluation studies, focused on:
- Assessing the physical performance of the smart home (in terms of indoor air quality).
- Social scientific studies of pre- and post-occupancy attitudes and behaviours, and societal risk perceptions.
- Studies designed to assess the factors that facilitate or inhibit the propagation of demonstrators into commercially viable products.
Both the Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects are yielding a legacy of state-of-the-art, digitally-enabled, buildings on our campus that can be utilised as ‘Living Labs’ for conducting research into the future of smart living.
- Phase 1 - £1m (including £622k from Innovate UK)
- Phase 2 - £7.9m (including £3.8m from Innovate UK)
End-user pre- and post-occupancy evaluations
Dr Chris Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Social and Environmental Psychology, with particular interests in attitudes and behaviours towards energy and environment.
He gained his first degree in Psychology (BSc) at the University of Birmingham (1999-2002) before moving to the University of Sheffield to complete a Master’s degree in Psychological Research (2002-2003) and a PhD in Social Psychology (2003-2007). His PhD, completed under the supervision of Prof. J. Richard Eiser, focused on understanding more about the nature and process of attitude formation in novel environments.
Upon completing his PhD, Chris completed a 4-year post-doctoral position on the ‘Understanding Risk: Climate change and energy choices’ project (2007-2010). It was this multi-centre (Cardiff, Sheffield & UEA), multi-disciplinary project that first stimulated Chris’s research interests in public attitudes towards environmental change.
Following his appointment as Lecturer in Social and Environmental Psychology at the University of Sheffield (2011), Chris continued to develop these interests and developed two key strands of research: (1) Assessing attitudes and behaviour towards energy supply and demand side technology options; and (2) Assessing the factors that facilitate and inhibit the promotion of more sustainable lifestyles. The applied relevance of these topics has led Chris to develop a number of fruitful collaborations with academics in other disciplines, as well as a number of non-academic stakeholder groups (e.g. business and industry).
Chris joined the University of Surrey in the summer of 2017.
Alongside his research and teaching roles, Chris is the Impact Lead and the Employability Lead for the School of Psychology.
All human behaviour takes place in a physical environment. These environments have significant impact on the way people feel, think and act. At the same time people are constantly modifying their physical environment either consciously or not. My research studies these people-environment interactions. I am particularly interested in people's relationship with the natural environment and the link between environmental sustainability and human wellbeing.
I gained BSc and MSc degrees in Psychology from Goldsmiths, University of London, before completing my PhD in Environmental Psychology at University of Surrey in 2015. I then undertook two postdoctoral research positions: first in the Department of Psychology, University of Tampere (Finland), funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and second at the Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College London (UK). In 2019 I returned to University of Surrey as Lecturer in Environmental Psychology.
As an environmental psychologist I focus mainly on restorative environments, place experience, and links between environment and wellbeing, including in the workplace. I also conduct research on consumer and user experience, especially with regard to improving perceptions and behaviours around goods and services. I am increasingly interested in links between consumer behaviour and sustainability. Before becoming a psychologist I trained in art and design, and I combine aspects of my work in environmental psychology with design thinking and research.
In the course of my work I have collaborated with a number of non-academic organisations, including the National Trust, Surrey Wildlife Trust, Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, the Cabinet Office, and Nestlé.
I started my career with GSK as a development chemist and then moved to Superdrug Stores PLC as Head of Technical Services. During my 14 years in industry, I gained extensive experience of managing technical and research projects within both branded and retail environments. In 2003, I joined the Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre (FCBH) at the University of Surrey, a multidisciplinary research centre which brings together skills and expertise in order to address research questions on food related policy, consumer behaviour and public health. I have played an instrumental role in the success of the Research Centre, working on a wide range of collaborative, multidisciplinary UK and EU funded research projects.
I have a keen interest in the communication of health-related information on foods to consumers i.e. nutrition labelling and health claims, this being the focus of my PhD thesis. In addition, I have expertise in exploring the design and delivery of interventions and m-health solutions to improve quality of life and to promote self-management of illness and/or healthier lifestyles.
Policy relevance and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) is a cross-cutting theme across my research, and my work is aimed at both understanding the processes of policy making and contributing high quality underpinning research evidence on which to base future policies.
Having completed my PhD in 2000 (University of Surrey) in the area of identity processes in the context of social and cross-cultural mobility, I have subsequently worked within advertising industry (J. Walter Thompson). I joined the Food, Consumer Behaviour and Health Research Centre (FCBH) at the University of Surrey (Department of Psychology) in 2002, a multidisciplinary research centre which brings together skills and expertise from across the University in order to address research questions on food related policy, consumer behaviour and public health. Since my arrival, I have played an instrumental role in the success of the Research Centre, working on research projects of substantive theoretical and applied relevance. I work within the critical public health framework and my empirically-oriented work has focused on understanding the role and nature of public and stakeholder engagement and dialogue in policy and science, risk perception and governance, and science-policy interaction. Policy relevance is a key theme across my research projects, and my work is aimed at both understanding the processes of policy making, and contributing evidence on which to base policies. I am particularly interested in public health nutrition, sustainable diets and illness prevention.
Nigel Gilbert has a Distinguished Chair in Computational Social Science at the University of Surrey. He is Director of the Centre for Research in Social Simulation, Director of the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN), and Director of the University's Institute of Advanced Studies.
His main research interests are processual theories of social phenomena; the development of computational sociology and the methodology of computer simulation, especially agent-based modelling; and the development, appraisal and evaluation of public policies.
He read for a first degree in Engineering, initially intending to go into the computer industry. However, he was attracted into sociology and obtained his doctorate on the sociology of scientific knowledge from the University of Cambridge, under the supervision of Michael Mulkay. His research and teaching interests have reflected his continuing interest in both sociology and computer science (and engineering more widely).
He is the author or editor of several textbooks on sociological methods of research and statistics and was the founding editor of the Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation as well as helping to establish the innovative online journal, Sociological Research Online.
Further details about Nigel Gilbert may be found in Wikipedia
Facilitating the roll-out the MyGlobalHome smart home
After studying economics and business administration in Marburg, Germany, I did an undergraduate degree in Development Studies, followed by a PhD in Industrial Environmental Management at the University of Kent. I joined the Centre for Environment and Sustainability (CES) initially as the BG Surrey Scholar in Risk Communication, focusing on engagement strategies towards contaminated land remediation and management. After the successful completion of this project, I have worked as Senior Lecturer and Reader in Environmental Business Management, of late looking at CSR and sustainability beyond 'environment'.
Research Fellow (Centre for Environment and Sustainability)
Air quality evaluations
Professor Prashant Kumar is Associate Dean (International) for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Chair in Air Quality and Health and the founding Director of the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) at the University of Surrey, UK. He is the Head of the GCARE’s Air Quality Laboratory and the Deputy Director of Research for the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. Since March 2018, he is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Engineering at the Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.
He received his PhD (Engineering) from the University of Cambridge, and an MTech (Environmental Engineering & Management) from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi. Prior to his PhD, he worked at a research instutute and in industrial sector for about 8 years. After his PhD, he joined University of Surrey as Lecturer (2009-2012), and subsequently worked as Senior Lecturer (2012-2015) and Reader (2015-2017).
His fundamental and application oriented crossdisciplinary research is focused at the interfaces of clean air engineering/science, human health and smart/sustainable living in cities/megacities. His research builds an understanding of the formation and emission of particles, both from vehicle exhausts and non-vehicular sources. He investigates their contribution to pollution, especially in megacity contexts. He is developing approaches to low-cost sensing and contributing to the development of exposure control technology and guidelines for policymakers to curtail pollution exposure in cities, with associated health benefits.
His current research projects are focused in broad multidisciplinary areas of air pollution monitoring/modelling, low-cost sensing, nature-based solutions, climate change mitigation and developing innovative technological and passive (e.g. green infrastructure) solutions for air pollution exposure control for both developing and developed world.
With over 210 articles in top-ranked journals (h-index 49; i10-index 133; citations >8500), his research has secured over £8 million of individual funding from the RCUK (e.g, EPSRC, ESRC, NERC, MRC, HEFCE, British Council, Innovate UK, Research England), industry and international funding bodies (e.g., European Commission, Qatar National Research Foundation, Commonwealth Commission, FAPESP). He has developed a network of collaborators across four continents, serving on editorial boards of several international journals and scientific evaluation panels of numerous funding agencies.
He is advising local/national/international agencies on air pollution and urban nexus and his research has featured in well-read media outlets such as the BBC and The Times.
Dr Hamid Omidvarborna is a research fellow at the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE), University of Surrey. Hamid’s research focus falls within air quality, air pollution monitoring, low-cost air pollution sensors, and citizen science activities. Hamid joined GCARE in January 2019 after a 2+ year’s appointment as Research Fellow at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), Sultanate of Oman (Centre for Environmental Studies and Research (CESAR)), where he worked with Prof Mahad Baawain on different air quality projects in Muscat Governorate and nearby cities. Prior to joining SQU, Hamid spent 4+ years doing research during his PhD in the US under the supervision of Prof Ashok Kumar, where he worked on combustion chemistry of biodiesel fuels, a project supported by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT). Hamid holds a Masters (and a Bachelor) degree in Chemical Engineering from Iran. Following the completion of his Masters and before leaving for the US, Hamid spent 2+ years working as a research and process engineer in two different industries. Details regarding the completed projects and publications can be found in Hamid’s LinkedIn account.
Global Home Pilot Demonstrator Project Manager
If you are interested in finding out more about the collaboration between the University of Surrey and MyGlobalHome, or if you have proposals for collaborative research projects that would make use of the Innovation Centre or the planned campus smart homes, please contact Dr Chris Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org.