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Key Organisations and Actor networks in the UK Green Building sector / Academic

There are a number of academic organisations with a notable specialism in areas surrounding research in the sustainable and low carbon built environment. The following table does not provide an exhaustive list, but indicates some of the key players in the UK. A list of these groups can be found in Table 1.

Table 1 Major academic centresOrganisationSector/StructureBrief descriptionRelevant roles/ activitiesBathAcademicBRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials (BRE CICM)

Centre for Energy and the Design of Environments (EDEn)

The BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials (BRE CICM) conducts leading research, development and consultancy in the field of innovative and sustainable construction materials and technologies.

The Centre is leading the way in researching solutions to the environmental impacts of construction and infrastructure. Developing the use of radical, low-carbon building materials and reinforcement technologies for the construction industry, the Centre is assisting in reducing the UK’s eco footprint – vital to mitigate the projected doubling of cement-based CO2 emissions by 2050

Buildings in the clouds The Centre for Energy and the Design of Environments (EDEn) was established as a research unit in 2006 to promote research in the field of sustainable building design and environmental engineering.

EDEn is at the cutting edge of research in design sustainability, natural processes and renewable energyUCL/ Loughborough LoLo (Energy Institute- Bartlett)

The London – Loughborough EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Research in Energy Demand (LoLo) is the premier centre for energy demand research in the built environment in the UK.The EPSRC LoLo CDT will inspire the leaders and innovators needed to transform the UK’s buildings and energy sector. Hosted by the UCL Energy Institute and Loughborough University, the Centre’s core focus is the energy performance of buildings- their technologies, and multiple interactions with people and the wider energy system.

Centre of Alternative Technology (CAT) The Graduate School of the Environment (GSE)The Graduate School of the Environment (GSE) at CAT is a world class training centre with 40 years expertise in sustainability practice.

We run a range of postgraduate courses on renewable energy and sustainability and adaptation, as well as a Professional Diploma in Architecture.  Continuing professional development and short courses are also available.

Based in the Wales Institute for Sustainable Education (WISE)Leeds Becket Leeds Sustainability InstituteThe Leeds Sustainability Institute is a centre of research, informed and supported by business leaders, professional associations and community groups addressing the challenges of creating more sustainable places, communities and economies. Through the Institute a wealth of experience and skill is captured; with the potential to influence and shape the future via its networks and partners.

Central to the Institute are core and interlinked research themes:

  1. People and Places

  2. Infrastructure

  3. Buildings and the Environment

  4. Business Practice

  5. Energy

  6. Information and Communication Technologies

  7. Design and Ecological EngineeringOxford Brookes The Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD), founded in 2004, is one of the UK’s largest research institutes dedicated to sustainable development research in the built and natural environments. OISD, which consists of eight distinct research groups, addresses the multiple dimensions of sustainable development and the synergies and processes that link them, through a multi- and inter-disciplinary approach. OISD is contributing to major Research Council programmes such as Living with Environmental Change, Energy research, Sustainable Urban Environments and Lifelong Health and Wellbeing, through various research grants

Low Carbon Building group

The LCB has an international profile in the field of carbon counting, building performance monitoring, post-occupancy evaluation, low-carbon retrofitting and climate change adaptation of buildings and neighbourhoods. The Group also holds world-leading expertise in the study of thermal comfort, in particular the adaptive approach based on field surveys. Publications from the Group in low-carbon buildings and sustainable design are recognised international references. Other related areas of expertise include: urban energy modelling using Geographical Information Systems (GIS), low carbon communities and design of low-energy buildings in diverse climates.Cardiff RiBE – Centre for Research in the Built Environment

DRUw – Design Research Unit Wales

LCRI – Low Carbon Research Institute

SuDOBE – Centre for Sustainable Design of the Built Environment

Sustainable Places Research Institute

RiBE – Centre for Research in the Built Environment

CRiBE provides a complete design and environmental consultancy service, across all aspects of the built environment. CRiBE’s interdisciplinary expertise, underpinned by a dedicated business support team, is successfully applied to both large international and small local practices and businesses.

DRUw – Design Research Unit Wales

DRUw provides a research based approach to architectural design, urban design and landscape projects, focusing on sustainability, place-making, tectonic form and sensitive contexts. Work is carried out in partnership with industry. Projects are shaped through rigorous and critical analysis of all parameters shaping the conceptualisation, development and solution of the project.

LCRI – Low Carbon Research Institute

The LCRI involves a capacity for Welsh Universities to seek funding for large energy projects by targeting cross-disciplinary research in the energy field. LCRI co-ordinates research, technology development / demonstration and knowledge transfer. It seeks to achieve long term affordable low carbon energy costs, use energy efficiently from different sources, reduce energy demand across all sectors, be less dependent on imported fuels and reduce impact on climate change.

SuDOBE – Centre for Sustainable Design of the Built Environment

SuDoBE creates a focus for research collaboration on sustainable design in Wales, the UK and internationally. The main theme of its research is how design can enhance the quality of people’s experiences and interactions with built environment and its technologies and simultaneously minimise the impact on precious resources.

Sustainable Places Research Institute

The Research Institute has six interlinked research programmes:

  1. Transitions and adaptations in selected city-regions

  2. Security, risk and resilient places

  3. Resilience and adaptation in coupled physical, ecological and social systems

  4. Health and connected communities

  5. Adaptive governance for social and ecological transitions

  6. Adaptations around mobilities, flows and migrationsUniversity of Strathclyde Glasgow

ESRU Energy Systems Research Unit

ESRU was established in 1987 as a cross-discipline research group concerned with new approaches to built environment energy utilisation and the introduction of sustainable means of energy supply at various scales.Research within ESRU is concerned with the development and testing of new technologies and methods for energy utilisation and supply, and the evolution of computational tools to assist designers in their attempts to devise clean and sustainable overall solutions.

Our research goals include:

  1. improving the accuracy of the mathematical models and numerical methods used to represent heat, mass, light and power flow;

  2. applying simulation to optimise energy component and system performance, and promote energy efficiency measures;

  3. evolving software engineering techniques that increase researcher efficiency and program robustness;

  4. improving confidence in predictions through the development of program validation, calibration and accreditation procedures; and

  5. constructing knowledge-based design support environments to enable application interoperability and effective team working.

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