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 research portfolio spans multiple aspects of the discipline area, successfully integrating engineering solutions and technologies with policy, investment and development.

Sustainability, enhancement of the quality of the built environment and societal well-being provide a common underpinning to our research agenda through the evaluation of issues of global significance:

  • climate change
  • reductions in greenhouse gas emissions
  • alternative energy sources
  • retrofitting the existing building stock
  • safety aspects of buildings
  • materials and hydrogen/ fuel cell technologies
  • resilience of infrastructure
  • regeneration
  • future well-being of urban environments.
100% of our research environment and impact judged to be world-leading and internationally excellent (REF, 2014). We are rated 6th in the UK power rankings.

Themes

Our research falls into the following main themes:

  • Renewable and sustainable energy technologies, demand side management, energy storage and passive building design
  • Hydrogen safety science and engineering and fuel cell technologies
  • Fire dynamics and materials, structural fire engineering, human behaviour in fire, fire protection and fire modelling
  • Property/real estate research, housing, regeneration, planning, sustainability and the urban environment
  • Construction and civil engineering

Facilities

Our FireSERT research centre offers a comprehensive range of commercial fire testing services accredited to British and European standards.

The Centre for Sustainable Technology is equipped with excellent indoor and outdoor laboratory facilities for advanced glazing, solar technologies, biomass gasification, heat pumps, thermal comfort and engine testing.

The ‘Terrace Street’, a ‘living laboratory’ located at the CST allow us to evaluate the techno-socio-economic challenges associated with retrofit building components and renewable technologies.

The HySAFER Research facilities include powerful processor computers and specialised software for modelling and simulation of hydrogen safety phenomena.

Our highway laboratory facilities are used for predicting the performance of highway construction materials for a wide range of British Standard.

Research

We undertake research for, or on behalf of, government departments/agencies/stakeholders leading to direct access to public sector decision makers and influencing policy across matters pertaining to spatial planning, housing, property, energy, land and water and safety engineering.

Our extensive global involvement in partnerships, international recognition and scientific expertise is influencing research agendas with critical mass achieved by a strong nucleus of research staff, a vibrant PhD community, a track record of research funding nationally/internationally and impact through engagement with industry and professional practice.

Impact

Our research has been set in the context of major challenges concerning energy efficiency, the depletion of resources, sustainability, safety, the more frequent occurrence of extreme events as well as uncertainties arising from the financial crisis and market downturns.

In responding to these, we are focussed upon issues relevant to these drivers and has sought solutions that reflect the highly varied and multi-faceted research portfolio.