Research team

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sustainable building with green roof

Energy and sustainable buildings

Energy and Sustainable Buildings

Our research aims to address the key challenges of developing and maintaining buildings that make efficient use of resources, can be operated sustainably and provide healthy environments that contribute to our wellbeing. The complex inter-connected nature of our energy system and the buildings we use needs an innovative approach to create a future that is resilient and sustainable. A key area of our research is the relationship between the way that we live and the performance of our buildings.

Our research embraces the development of some of the most energy efficient approaches to provide heating and cooling and ventilation in buildings, while considering the health of the indoor environment. We work on innovative alternatives to how we generate, distribute, and store energy and the ways our energy infrastructure is procured, owned and managed.

Interdisciplinary research

We are part of the University cross-faculty Energy Leeds initiative. Energy Leeds brings together academics with expertise in energy technologies, policy, behavioural science, environmental assessment and climate change science.

We are also engaged with leading international organisations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA)European Geothermal Energy Council (EGEC) and regularly speak at related events and conferences.

Research areas

  • Healthy buildings: natural and low energy ventilation, including relationships to air quality and occupant health and wellbeing

  • Energy from waste: integrated approaches to solid waste management, mechanical-biological treatment and solid fuel recovery technologies, material characterisation, process quality control

  • Energy geotechnics: geothermal heating and cooling system design; ground heat exchanger and energy pile modelling and monitoring; ground properties assessment; heat pump applications

  • Energy storage and distribution: economic analysis and risk assessment of large-scale storage systems; ground thermal energy storage applications; thermal energy networks

  • Nuclear energy infrastructure: small modular reactors, load-following and co-generation, decommissioning and end of life management

  • Architecture and sustainable buildings: multi-disciplinary approaches to low carbon design; optimal structural design; low impact materials and waste minimization; relationships between occupant behaviours, wellbeing and building performance

  • Nature-based solutions for buildings and neighborhoods: sustainable drainage systems; green spaces in the urban environment.

Further information

View all members of our research group and publications.

PhD projects

We have opportunities for prospective postgraduate researchers. Find out more.

Informal enquiries can be made to the group leader, or any member of staff working in a relevant area.

Contact us

If you would like to discuss an area of research in more detail, contact the Group Leader Professor Simon Rees, or either of the Deputy Group Leaders Dr Ornella Iuorio or Dr Giorgio Locatelli.