Sustainable Built Environments Research Group

This School-based Research Group forms a focus for research addressing different aspects of the built environment and its associated disciplines. Our research explores issues from reducing the environmental impact of buildings and cities, to relationships between the cultural, social and spatial characteristics of built environments and communities, innovations in construction science, building materials and techniques, and the management of building processes.

To achieve this, we have adopted a holistic approach to sustainability by embedding UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals into everything we do. Interdisciplinary aspects include architectural education and practice, environmental science, historical infrastructure and cities, health and wellbeing of citizens, anthropology, and heritage.

Our mission is to use an inter- and intra-disciplinary approach to enhance the quality of life in environments, buildings, cities and landscapes, by providing informed, innovative and practical solutions for the benefit of people, nations, and the natural world.


Details of academic staff in the School and their research and practice interests can be found here.  

Aims and Objectives 

Aims and Objectives


Our aim is to increase the academic rigour and relevance of our research and translate it into practice with impact, enhance the quality of narrative and the depth of cooperation within the School, College, University and beyond.


Support: to support research with high impact across the School

Develop: to develop research in the School by supporting colleagues to pursue areas of both personal, and common, interest

Engage: to enhance our existing links, and create new networks to make our research more internationally relevant

Contribute: to contribute to theory and practice development, and knowledge transfer, enhancing the social, cultural, and economic wellbeing of our community

Selected Examples of Staff Publications

Baldwin, Peter (2019) Narrative Interactions. In: People, Personal Data, and the Built Environment. Springer

Mandal, Anindita and Byrd, Hugh (2017) Density, energy and metabolism of a proposed smart city. Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs, 1 (2). pp. 57-68. ISSN 2475-6156

Kolakowski, Marcin and Carter, Doina (2018) Lincoln's Orgone accumulator: The question concerning life and architecture. Parasol: Journal of the Centre for Experimental Ontology . pp. 41-62. ISSN 2515-2920

Elnokaly, Amira, Ayoub, Mohamed and Elseragy, Ahmed (2019) Parametric Investigation of Traditional Vaulted Roofs in Hot-Arid Climates. Renewable Energy, 138 . pp. 250-262. ISSN 0960-1481

Fieldson, R. and Sodagar, B. (2017) Understanding User Satisfaction Evaluation in Low Occupancy Sustainable Workplaces, Sustainability 2017, 9, 1720; doi:10.3390/su9101720

Kołakowski, Marcin (2017) How to measure well-being in architecture. The benefits of using mixed-method research. Based on a case study involving inhabitants of heritage houses. Architectus, 1 (49). pp. 15-32. ISSN 1429-7507

Olweny, Mark (2020) Architectural Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Investigation into Pedagogical Positions and Knowledge Frameworks. Journal of Architecture, 25 (6). pp. 717-735. ISSN 1360-2365

Paranagamage, Primali, Price, Andrew, Khandokar, Fahmida and Austin, Simon (2014) Urban design and social capital: lessons from a case study in Braunstone, Leicester, UK. Proceedings of the Third World Construction Symposium 2014: Sustainability and Development in Built Environment: The way forward . pp. 575-585. ISSN 2362 -0919

Pretlove, Stephen (2017) An evaluation of heating strategy, thermal environment and carbon emissions in three UK churches. International Journal of Architectural Heritage, 11 . pp. 913-932. ISSN 1558-3058

Sarhan, Saad, Pasquire, Christine, King, Andrew et al (2018) Institutional waste within the UK construction procurement context: a conceptual framework. The Engineering Project organization Journal, 8 . pp. 36-64. ISSN 2157-3727

Sodagar, Behzad and Starkey, Diane (2016) The monitored performance of four social houses certified to the Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5. Energy and Buildings, 110 . pp. 245-256. ISSN 0378-7788

Szynalska McAleavey, Karolina and Foley, Harry Patrick (2021) Yesterday’s church of tomorrow: Hyperbolic paraboloids and post-war ecclesiastical architecture. Twentieth Century Architecture . ISSN 1353-1964

Whelan, Deborah (2019) Snippets from the north: Architects in Durban and their response to identity, common culture and resistance in the 1930s. Vitruvio: International Journal of Architectural Technology and Sustainability., 4 (1). pp. 26-38. ISSN 2444-9091

Zhao, Jing and Carter, Kate (2020) Do passive houses need passive people? Evaluating the active occupancy of Passivhaus homes in the United Kingdom. Energy Research & Social Science, 64 . p. 101448. ISSN 2214-6296

The full list of publications can be obtained from staff webpages.


Examples of Recent PhD Completions

Nastran Namvar: thesis title: CITY/CAMPUS DUALITY Spatial Impact of University Campuses on Cities with reference to Lincoln, Worcester and Bath, UK. Awarded 16/06/2020.

Shireen Alqadi: thesis title: Accelerating Sustainable Housing Considering Occupants’ Health, Wellbeing and Thermal Comfort, the Case of Palestine. Awarded 24/07/2019.

Rodderick Adams: Thesis title: A Spatial Narratology – Explaining a productivity relationship between humans and the interior work environments they inhabit. Awarded 05/10/2017.

Timothy Odeyale: completed 15.05.14

Thesis title: ‘Ona kan o w’oja’ ‘One road does not lead to the market’: A case study of Food Markets’ Built Environment in Akure, Nigeria. Awarded 15/05/2014

Mohammad Al Salem: Thesis title: The Role of Human Experience in Enhancing Arab Cultural Identity Awareness in Interior Design Education in Kuwait. Awarded 09/07/2014.

Research Project Examples

Research into developing a light-weight portable structure

The structure will be used to continue specialist outdoor surface coating operations during inclement weather conditions without which the work has to be stopped.

Project team:

Profesor Behzad Sodagar

Professor Chris Bingham

Dates: 2017 ongoing

Funding: Innovate UK, Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) in partnership with Floor & Wall Ltd,  £142,916.


Power Politics: Electricity and Sustainability in Post-Disaster Otautahi (Christchurch)

Research into the effectiveness of rebuilding the infrastructure of Christchurch after the 2011/2012 earthquakes.

Project team:

Professor Hugh Byrd

Associate Professor Steve Matthewman

Dates: 2017 ongoing

Funding: The Royal Society of New Zealand (RSNZ) Marsden Fund Grant 16-UOA-118


Developing Construction Supply-Chain Management Standards (CSCMS) for Improving Occupational Stress management and Productivity in Construction Projects

In collaboration with industry partners, this research contributes to further understanding of occupational stress management in construction projects, for the benefit of the construction sector and policy-makers.

Project team: Dr Saad Sarhan

Professor Stephen Pretlove

Dates: 2019 ongoing

Funding: B&CE's Occupational Health Research Award, £25,000.