Dr James Allan is a Scientist at the Urban Energy Systems Laboratory at Empa. He is experienced in modelling energy systems and buildings and his research is currently focused on semantic and linked data architectures. Since 2022 he is the thematic lead for Digital Twin research within the lab. In this role, he coordinates research activities related to digital twins. This includes the use and development of digital platforms to integrate and exchange data. James has also been involved in several international communities to develop open-source data models to improve interoperability within the energy modelling sector (CityGML, Linked Building Data Community).

Before joining Empa, he was a Senior Consultant at the Building Research Establishment (BRE), UK. In this role, he developed an annual building stock database to assess the energy performance and health risks for every domestic building in England and Wales. James received his M.Sc. and Dr. Eng. From Brunel University, London and his B.Sc from Nottingham Trent, Nottingham. 

Professional/Academic Experience

2019-Present    Lecturer, Whole Building Simulation, ETH, Zürich, Switzerland

2018-Present    Postdoc/Scientist, UESL Empa, Dübendorf, Switzerland

2016-2018        Consultant/Senior Consultant Building Research Establishment, UK

2010-2014        Research Engineer, ChapmanBDSP, London, UK   


Allan, J., Croce, L., Dott, R., Georges, G., & Heer, P. (2022). Calculating the heat loss coefficients for performance modelling of seasonal ice thermal storage. Journal of Energy Storage, 52, 104528 (9 pp.). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.est.2022.104528

Allan, J., Eggimann, S., Wagner, M., Ho, Y. N., Züger, M., Schneider, U., & Orehounig, K. (2022). Operational and embodied emissions associated with urban neighbourhood densification strategies. Energy and Buildings, 276, 112482 (8 pp.). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2022.112482

Malhotra A, Bischof J, Nichersu A, Häfele KH, Exenberger J, Sood D, Allan J, Frisch J, van Treeck C, O'Donnell J & Schweiger G (2022). Information modelling for urban building energy simulation—a taxonomic review. Building and Environment, 208, 108552 (18 pp.). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2021.108552

Orehounig, K., Fierz, L., Allan, J., Eggimann, S., Vulic, N., & Bojarski, A. (2022). CESAR-P: a dynamic urban building energy simulation tool. Journal of Open Source Software, 7(78), 4261 (7 pp.). https://doi.org/10.21105/joss.04261

Petkov, I., Mavromatidis, G., Knoeri, C., Allan, J., & Hoffmann, V. H. (2022). MANGOret: an optimization framework for the long-term investment planning of building multi-energy system and envelope retrofits. Applied Energy, 314, 118901 (32 pp.). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2022.118901

Allan, J., Fierz, L., Bollinger, A., & Orehounig, K. (2021). Linked data ontology for urban scale building energy simulation. In eSIM 2020 conference proceedings (p. (8 pp.). IBPSA. http://www.ibpsa.org/proceedings/eSimPapers/2021/Contribution_1148_final_a.pdf

Mittelviefhaus, M., Pareschi, G., Allan, J., Georges, G., & Boulouchos, K. (2021). Optimal investment and scheduling of residential multi-energy systems including electric mobility: a cost-effective approach to climate change mitigation. Applied Energy, 301, 117445 (24 pp.). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2021.117445 

A Review on Country Specific Data Availability and Acquisition Techniques for City Quarter Information Modelling for Building Energy Analysis A Malhotra, J Bischof, J Allan, J O'Donnell The 8th Conference of IBPSA Germany and Austria (BauSim 2020), Graz, Austria https://doi.org/10.3217/978-3-85125-786-1

Allan, J., Boegli, M., Bollinger, A., Alet, P. J., & Wiget, M. (2020). Speed-optimized simulation models for rapid performance evaluation of heating and energy management systems. In 16th conference of IBPSA (pp. 3668-3675). Rome: International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA). http://www.ibpsa.org/proceedings/BS2019/BS2019_210997.pdf

Allan, J., Georges, G., Heer, P., Budiman, D., & Croce, L. (2019). Characterization of heat pump, PV and battery demonstrator technologies using a coherent energy assessment. In Journal of physics: conference series: Vol. 1343. CISBAT 2019. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1343/1/012105 

Allan, J., Dehouche, Z., Stankovice, S. and Harries, A., 2017. Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulation and Experimental Study of Key Design Parameters of Solar Thermal Collectors. Journal of Solar Energy Engineering, 139(5), p.051001.

Allan, J., Pinder, H. and Dehouche, Z., 2016. Enhancing the thermal conductivity of ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) in a photovoltaic thermal collector. AIP Advances, 6(3), p.035011.

Allan, J., Dehouche, Z., Stankovic, S. and Mauricette, L., 2015. Performance testing of thermal and photovoltaic thermal solar collectors. Energy Science & Engineering, 3(4), pp.310-326.