Architecture and sustainable buildings

sustainable building with green roof

Our research takes multi-disciplinary approaches to low carbon design; optimal structural design; low impact materials and waste minimization; relationships between occupant behaviours, wellbeing and building performance.

Designing, developing and operating sustainable buildings is one of the key challenges facing the international community. The built environment plays a key role on the triple bottom line of sustainable development: planet, people and profit. In the School of Civil Engineering we aim to promote a holistic approach to improve the development of sustainable buildings. Our approach aims to develop strategies for low carbon buildings that are energy efficient, safe, comfortable and affordable.
Energy efficient low carbon buildings can be achieved only by reducing both embodied carbon and operational energy. Our research aims to address embodied carbon reduction through the development of optimized structural design, using of eco-friendly materials, recycled components and improving reclamation of components. We promote energy efficiency in the operational stage through the exploration of insulation materials, adaptive facades, intelligent skins and integration of renewable energy sources and energy storage.  Our expertise includes optimal design, energy simulation and performance monitoring.

Safe low carbon buildings: Interventions focused only on a unique aspect (i.e. the ecological/ environmental performance) will result in a business dead-end for the built environment. We believe that sustainable buildings should satisfy structural requirements such as safety, reliability and robustness. For this reason our research seeks to develop integrated approaches towards the definition of sustainable structural design and retrofit methodologies. A sustainable construction should be designed or retrofitted on the basis of the cradle to grave thinking, so an explicit reference to the life-cycle needs to be considered to achieve sustainable solutions. 

Affordable buildings: Too often, low carbon buildings and high-energy efficient solutions for new and existing constructions come at levels of cost that are unaffordable to many in society. We are interested in investigating solutions that can have environmental, health and well-being impact and also address affordability and fuel poverty. Our work building on knowledge in the field of architecture, building physics and structural analysis aims to low embodied carbon, safe and energy efficient solutions that are affordable to all.  

Current and recent projects

Modular housing building as response to housing crisis (ESRC LSSI IAA), PI: Ornella Iuorio (2018-19)
Ilke Homes KTP, Funded by Innovate UK, PI: Ornella Iuorio (2019-2021)

Seminar series “Between Architecture and Science” (April – June 2018)