Built Environment as a research theme is offered by an interdisciplinary group of researchers, with backgrounds encompassing architecture, engineering, social science, planning and design. We have a particular interest in environmental and social sustainability in the design and construction of the built environment.
Most of us are members of the Design Group, and we work closely with other colleagues in the Design and Manufacturing groups to develop innovative, radical and workable solutions to the challenges facing the world today. Our research interests include, in the context of the built environment:
- low embodied and operational energy/carbon buildings, renewable energy, energy retrofit
- participatory design, co-design, community-led design, inclusive design, design interactions
- design and innovation for sustainable urban environments, design ecologies, urban living labs, socio-technical transitions, ecoliteracy, adaptive architecture, the circular economy
- smart urbanism, digital design in virtual learning spaces, generative computational design, BIM, LCA
- heritage buildings and value, decision-making, social value, policy, gender and inclusivity
- oversizing of buildings and building services, establishment of appropriate requirements
Potential research projects
If you are interested in discussing the possibility of undertaking a PhD in any area related to the topics above, please do get in touch with one of the listed supervisors. Check our individual research pages, interests and publications to see who might be the best fit for you, or get in touch with Dr Alice Moncaster if you are not sure. You will need to develop a research proposal, and to do some background reading around your topic.
We will support you in finding funding where possible – please note that this can often take a year or more to arrange. Currently we are part of the Open-Oxford-Cambridge Doctoral Training Partnership funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council; please do get in touch with us if you think your topic is suitable. Find out more about how to apply.
We welcome mature students, and appreciate the additional wisdom and tenacity that relevant experience can bring. We do prefer full-time students (generally 3-4 years), simply because a part-time PhD is incredibly difficult for the student to manage and statistically part-time students are far more likely to drop out before finishing, but we do not rule out part-time study completely.