The ESP-r system has evolved to its present form over three decades. From 1974 to 1977 Joe Clarke developed the initial prototype as part of his doctoral research. Then, over the period 1977 to 1980, with funding from the UK Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), ESP-r was refined in a number of respects: the system was reorganisation and documented, validation trials commenced, multi-zone processing was implemented and a graphics orientated user interface was established. In 1981 Professor Clarke was joined by Dr Don McLean and, with further funding from SERC and from the CEC, ESP-r's capabilities were extended by the addition of dynamic plant simulation, the inclusion of building air flow modelling, and a move to low cost Unix workstation technology.
In 1987, the Energy Simulation Research Unit (ESRU) was formed to address the problems confronting the further evolution of building energy and environmental simulation. As part of its research portfolio, ESRU has continuing to evolve ESP-r - most notably within the framework of UK and European research and technology transfer projects.
These and related activities are ensuring that ESP-r will continue to evolve, in terms of further validation, technical extensions and user interface improvements - well into the future. The ESRU researchers involved in ESP-r evolution include Essam Assem, Ian Beausoleil-Morrison, Tin-tai Chow, Stephane Citherlet, Joe Clarke, Jon Hand, Jan Hensen, Milan Janak, Nick Kelly, Malcolm Lindsay, Iain Macdonald, John MacQueen, Christoph Morbitzer, Abdul Nakhi, Cezar Negrao, Paul Strachan and Dechao Tang.
Over time many individuals have made valuable contributions to ESP-r developments. The most important of these have come from our research colleagues at the University of Strathclyde who have contributed much in the way of computational methods and technical support. In particular we are indebted to Tom Maver, Harvey Sussock, Alan Bridges, Don Stearn and Iain Forrest. One other colleague springs readily to mind: Damian Mac Randal, now a project leader within the Informatics Department at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. He was the driving force behind our move to Unix workstations.
We also extend our thanks to several other individuals: to Fred Winklemann of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory who helped to develop ESP-r's time-step control mechanism; to Cor Pernot of the FAGO group in Eindhoven who installed ESP-r's comfort routines and continues to take an active interest in the system; and to Jeremy Cockroft, now with Honeywell, who worked on the original air flow solver upon which we have built over the years.