PhD Position in Off-Grid Zero Emission Building Concepts for Warm Climates

Trondheim, Norway
23 Dec 2017
End of advertisement period
01 Feb 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Information about the Centre

The Research Centre on Zero Energy Neighbourhoods in Smart Cities (ZEN Centre) is a Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME) funded by the Research Council of Norway and the consortium partners. The main objective of the ZEN Centre is to develop knowledge, competitive products and solutions that will lead to realization of sustainable buildings and neighbourhoods that have zero emissions of greenhouse gases related to their production, operation and transformation.

The Centre is a follow-up of the Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings,


Buildings account for 32% of total global final energy use, 19% of energy-related GHG emissions (including electricity-related), and approximately one-third of black carbon emissions. This energy use and related emissions may double or potentially even triple by mid-century due to e.g. the increased access for billions of people in developing countries to adequate housing, electricity, and improved cooking facilities. The ways in which these energy-related needs will be provided will significantly determine trends in building energy use and related emissions. In addition, population growth, migration to cities, household size changes, and increasing levels of wealth and lifestyle changes globally will all contribute to significant increases in building energy use (IPCC 2014).

Position Summary

A PhD research position is available on the topic “Off-Grid Zero Emission Building Concepts for Warm Climates”. This project aims to develop a low-cost off-grid zero emission residential building concept for warm climates. The buildings should be built with minimal CO2 emissions, be energy efficient, use local environmental-friendly materials and solutions, utilize passive climatization strategies, use local renewable energy sources, have a healthy indoor environment, and be adapted to local needs and preferences. This will allow for an increased living standard and at the same time result in transition to a low carbon society.

Specific Responsibilities

The PhD research will pursue the following objectives:

  • Identification of existing concepts for zero emission buildings in warm climates (comprehensive literature review of methods, tools, technologies, strategies for energy efficiency, passive design, and renewables integration).
  • Adaptation of ZEB model and method for warm climates. Development of representative designs and benchmarks for zero emission buildings in warm climates;
    • Optimal low-cost and low emission building envelope components
    • Daylighting and climatization solutions for optimal environmental quality
  • Data sources, data analytics and visualization modelling and development in collaboration with ongoing research in ZEN WP 1.3.
  • Modeling, design and optimization of the renewable energy technologies (e.g. building integrated solar energies like BIPV/T, semitransparent PV windows, batteries), for off-grid operation.
  • Assessment of cost-optimal for zero emission buildings

This PhD research project is part of the already established cooperation on energy efficient and zero emission buildings with the MOE Engineering Research Center of Solar Power & Refrigeration at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), China. Collaboration with SJTU researchers is expected, and the candidate is expected to stay about 1 year in Shanghai.


We seek a highly motivated candidate with a Master's degree (or equivalent) in Architecture, Mechanical, Energy, Environmental or Civil Engineering or a relevant subject. The candidate should present a strong interest for multi-disciplinary analysis of technical building systems, as well as, for integrated modelling and simulations of energy/environmental performance of buildings. In addition, prior experience with the aforementioned disciplines will be considered as an advantage. Prior knowledge in visualization methods to integrate environmental factors into early architecture design stages, and or the use of immersive environments e.g. VR, AR for parametric building design and simulation, is considered advantageous.

It is fundamental that the person hired can communicate and cooperate well with people from different communities and cultures, and has good written and oral language skills in English. Working knowledge of a Scandinavian language is an advantage.

For further information, please contact: ZEN Centre Director, Professor Arild Gustavsen, phone: +47 99363674, email: or Coordinator NTNU Energy Eleni Patanou, phone: +47 96696545, email:

General terms and conditions:

The position as a PhD candidate is administratively located at the Department of Architecture and Technology, Faculty of Architecture and Design, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Currently, there are 29 Professors, 21 Associate Professors, 12 Adjunct Professors, 46 PhD Research Fellows and 5 postdoctoral positions appointed at the Faculty. Further information about the Faculty is available at Information about the ZEB Centre at NTNU is available at Information about NTNUs Thematic Strategic Areas is available at

The employee is obliged to follow the regulations that concern changes and developments within the discipline and/or the organizational changes concerning activities at the University.
The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants.

The position adhere to the Norwegian Government’s policy of balanced ethnicity, age, and gender.

In accordance with new regulations, public information concerning the applicant will be made public even if the applicant has requested not to be listed on the list of applicants.

The position as PhD candidate is registered as code 1017 and normally remunerated at wage level 50. There will be a 2% contribution to the Norwegian Pension Fund from the gross salary.

Applications must be submitted electronically through this page ( Please include a 2-page project description, elaborating on the research plan to be followed and tasks to be carried out. Relevant certificates must be submitted electronically and copies of diplomas and certificates will be required from those candidates who are invited for an interview.

Application should be marked: [AD]-2017/40605

The application deadline is 1. February 2018. Start-up date may be discussed, but no later than 1 June 2018.

About this job

  • Deadline Thursday, February 1, 2018
  • Employer NTNU - Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet
  • Website
  • Municipality Trondheim
  • Place of service A. Getz vei 3, 7491 Trondheim
  • Jobbnorge ID 146078
  • Internal ID 17/10605
  • Scope Fulltime
  • Duration Temporary

About applications

  • Applications on this job are registered in an electronic form on
  • You must complete: Standard CV
  • Please refer to where you first saw this job advertised!

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