Author: Alice Moncaster

  • Have you ever thought of doing a PhD?

    Have you ever thought of doing a PhD?

    A PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) is awarded for postgraduate study in any subject (not only Philosophy) which involves substantial independent research that can be considered to be ‘adding to knowledge’ in your area. It usually takes 3-4 years full-time in the UK, produces a single-authored thesis of up to 100,000 words (depending on discipline), and […]

  • Do we need to redesign the COPs?

    Do we need to redesign the COPs?

    Today was the much-heralded (in my circles at least) ‘Built environment day’ at COP26. I have been trying to follow it on Twitter, which is ideal for those of us with short attention spans who are also meant to be working. There are some exciting events going on, and some brilliant and passionate speakers, and […]

  • Sustainability in the Built Environment: UK Government Inquiry

    Sustainability in the Built Environment: UK Government Inquiry

        Earlier this year the Environmental Audit Committee published a Call for Evidence on how best to reach ‘net zero’ in our built environment. They received 140 written responses, including two from members of the Design group, Alice Moncaster and Jane Anderson.  Both were also invited to give evidence in person (virtually), Jane on […]

  • The impact of the built environment on climate change – and of climate change on the built environment

    The impact of the built environment on climate change – and of climate change on the built environment

    Why is the built environment important to climate change?  We all live and work in buildings, and they provide us with shelter and warmth, belonging and protection. However the built environment is responsible for a huge 39% of all global carbon emissions, far higher than any other individual sector. This 39% can be divided into […]

  • Europe’s first eco-mosque

    Europe’s first eco-mosque

    I visited the Abu Bakr Siddiq Mosque in December 2005 during the Mill Road Winter Fair.  They welcomed me in for mint tea and sweet treats, while my highly-excited small daughters had their hands tattooed with henna.  At that point this was the only mosque in Cambridge, attached to the end of a Victorian terrace. […]

  • Can we design truly ‘zero carbon’ buildings?

    Can we design truly ‘zero carbon’ buildings?

    At the end of 2018, after repeated advice by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the European Commission called for a climate neutral Europe by 2050. For the construction industry achieving this will be particularly problematic. Not only is it the industry responsible for the highest percentage of global emissions, it already has exceptionally high […]

  • Redesigning the construction industry?

    Redesigning the construction industry?

    Good news, for everyone involved in the design and construction of the built environment: the UK Government is putting aside £72 million to ‘transform the construction sector’. It is doing so through setting up a ‘Core Innovation Hub’ (https://apply-for-innovation-funding.service.gov.uk/competition/142/overview). The announcement defines three innovations it wants the hub to focus on: a digitally driven manufacturing […]