Sustainable design, materials and building performance

Researching the impacts on all aspects of the design and construction industry of creating a more sustainable built environment

The challenge of creating a more sustainable built environment impacts on all aspects of the design and construction industry.

Research aspects within the sustainable design, materials and building performance theme include energy efficiency and emissions reduction; rethinking the way we design to accommodate a changing climate and responsibly sourced, low impact materials; how to improve the operation of the industry and change the way we educate and train those in the industry.

Research topics

  • Exploring the education, training and attitudinal challenges of developing the 'energy literate' built environment professionals, needed to deliver the higher performing buildings required by a low carbon society.
  • Researching how emerging energy analysis tools are used by the design professions to inform their early stage design work.
  • Developing greater understanding of the consequences of the thermal upgrading of existing buildings on their building fabric and the health and comfort of their occupants.
  • Developing understanding of the impact of the changing climate on buildings and developing adaptation strategies to increase the resilience of both new buildings and the existing building stock.
  • Exploring the causes behind the increasing occurrence of overheating and developing passive and low energy strategies to avoid it.
  • Developing innovative construction techniques and building solutions using low carbon materials such as the Modcell straw bale system.
  • Developing tests and protocols to help narrow the performance gap between designed and as built performance of new and retrofitted buildings.

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