Intuitive Thermal Comfort Controller

Guaranteeing an optimal level of thermal comfort can increase productivity and quality of life. ‘THERCOM’ project will facilitate the development of a new paradigm in indoor climate control to ensure optimal thermal comfort. The control development will focus on three characteristics: improving user experience, increasing energy efficiency and consistency with the technological revolution.

‘THERCOM’ will offer an innovative user experience by implementing intuitive interaction between the occupant and the controller. The controller will apply thermal comfort theory and, based on the European and UK standards, bring an improvement to the user experience. ‘THERCOM’ will be the first controller to directly relate to the user experience and the environment, providing consumers with a unique control. The controller will optimize the expediency of most of the room users: no other controller in the marker is able to adjust the setpoints to optimize the general thermal comfort level of the room.

Increasing energy efficiency is one of the principal objectives of our society to decrease the negative impacts on the environment. ‘THERCOM’ will generate the opportunity to increase thermal comfort and optimise energy consumption. Internet of Things offers for the first time in human history the opportunity to provide ‘intelligence’ to objects. The new technologies try to improve the human quality of life, and thermal comfort is one area with immense potential to apply ‘smart’ controllers. Using the theoretical knowledge of thermal comfort, empirical data, international standards, and innovative hardware, ‘THERCOM’ project seeks to create a new paradigm in the indoor climate controller world, based on people, and adapting to personal prophecies, the human being has to be the focus of the advances that seek to reach net zero because it is the humans who consume the energy.

Motivated people are the most powerful force in the world. ‘THERCOM’ is able to motivate people to reduce their energy consumption through competition, rewards, feedback, and other gamification concepts, utilising all the power of motivated people. With this in mind, the possible positive impacts of this project are immense.

Equal Opportunities

The V-LAB team members are culturally and gender diverse. In addition, the team consists of members from various parts of the world and different ethnic groups, including the BAME community. The anti-discrimination and equal opportunity policies at V-LAB heavily promote equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI), creating a safe environment for all its staff members. We provide equal pay based on skills for all applicants, including under-represented groups. We also highly encourage our employees to undertake training in equality, diversity and inclusion supported by the company. Being a modern company, we allow flexible and remote working to help employees with caring or family responsibilities. We are constantly promoting gender equality at V-LAB by focusing on diversity during recruitment process, implementing fair compensation and promotion procedures and access to appropriate diversity and inclusion training programs.

V-LAB is committed to promoting equality of opportunity regarding religious belief, political opinion, race, disability, age, sex, pregnancy and maternity, sexual orientation, married or civil partnership and gender reassignment. In line with this commitment, we have developed a Gender Equality Plan, a voluntary initiative to ensure that V-LAB’s employment and service provision policies meet legal requirements across all equality categories.

We also seek to promote good practice across the range of our policies and in respect of all equality categories. The Plan builds on existing work undertaken by V-LAB and assists in meeting future equality requirements. The Plan is designed to be flexible and possible to be revised in the future. It is recognized that the timescale of the Plan may have to be amended in accordance with other work priorities and available resources.

The Plan will be evaluated regularly and updated if needed. V-LAB provides the resources to ensure the implementation of the Plan. The Plan is integrated into our existing company planning and performance management processes. Further objectives relating to equality will be integrated into the personal performance plans of managerial staff.

1. Work-life balance and organizational culture.

2. Gender balance in leadership and decision-making.

3. Gender equality in recruitment and career progression.

4. Integration of the gender dimension into research and teaching content.

5. Measures against gender-based violence including sexual harassment.

The Plan implemented as action covers the following areas:

In recruitment processes, particularly in male-dominated areas such as engineering and information technology:

  • Regarding the shortlist of candidates created during recruiting, make it longer to possibly include one or more women.
  • Use structured interviews, which means that the same questions are asked to all candidates.
  • Ask candidates to perform actual tasks or similar tasks that they would be expected to perform in the role they are applying for. Try to use their performance on those tasks to assess their suitability for the role.

In salary negotiations, perform the following:

  • Try to remove the gender pay gap and be transparent about wages.
  • To clearly communicate the salary range on offer for a role to encourage women to negotiate their salary. This helps the applicant to know what they can reasonably expect.

Regarding work options, offer a number of options:

  • Offer flexible working options such as part-time or full-time work, remote working, etc.
  • Help to make work-life balance a priority for both men and women.
  • Offer a mentor to provide guidance and advice.

Offer participation in a leadership program:

  • To offer leadership development programs to teach essential qualities, including management skills and self-confidence.

Regarding violence and sexual harassment:

  • Inform and educate employees about zero-tolerance in these matters.
  • Have clear instructions about how to report matters, what happens afterwards, and what support is available.

The topics that our company V-LAB is working on are science, technology, and engineering related that appear to be gender neutral. Instead, we will consider questions such as the following, where we will prioritise sustainability and addressing societal needs:

  • Whose interests and needs are served by the research?
  • Who will be the users of the knowledge that is to be produced?
  • Who can benefit, and in which way from the research?

Formal document signed by the top management