About Architecture, Built Environment and Planning Research

Our research is concerned with delivery that enhances the quality of the built environment and addresses the changing needs of society.

Our Architecture, Built Environment and Planning research aims to improve the quality of the built environment and address the changing needs of society in a more sustainable manner. We aim to support research at the forefront of the built environment. Our main objectives are:

  • to promote diversity in the breadth of the research portfolio coupled with specialisation in specific areas of excellence
  • to work in partnership networks
  • to share best practice
  • to engage with industry and the end-users of research
  • to grow the research base through enhanced post-graduate activity

Our activities are focused upon 5 key research areas, each one is specific but they collectively embrace the diversity of built environment research. The current portfolio of research projects across the centres include European grants through Horizon 2020 and INTERREG funding, UK research councils, government departments and agencies, industry, professional bodies and charities.

Our main centres for research are:

Our staff members are drawn from an extremely wide and varied background and offer expertise across many different disciplines within the built environment. With over 50 academic and contract researchers and approximately 70 PhD students, we have a variety of research expertise making Ulster University one of the leading institutions worldwide in this research area.

The UK’s assessment of research quality, the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) confirms Ulster’s role as one of the core universities for built environment research. With an increased quality performance and a greater number of staff than previously returned, Ulster is ranked 6th in the discipline.

Central to this performance is our research impact with 100% of our work being rated as outstanding and very significant. This spans diverse activities such as the application of solar energy in the agri-food sector, fire safe materials and structures, the safe use of hydrogen as an alternative energy source and the financing of regeneration and infrastructure, research at Ulster has not only been rated as world-leading but has particular significance to the regional economy of Northern Ireland.

Likewise, our research environment is rated as 100% and is world-leading and internationally excellent reflecting the strong portfolio of external research grants from prestigious sources and a vibrant PhD programme.