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IT1.28 - fact sheet

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Establishing research directions in sustainable building design

Buildings contribute more than half of the United Kingdom's greenhouse gas emissions through their construction and
energy use. Therefore the design of buildings and planning of cities have a major role to play in the mitigation of climate
change. Conversely, urban design must adapt to the impacts of climate change, such as changes in extreme weather.
Buildings should also interact with the environment to reduce energy use by using features such as natural light and

Dr Koen Steemers, from the Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies at the University of Cambridge, is bringing
together a network of researchers to develop a clear agenda for future research into sustainable building and urban design.
It is the first time that architects, engineers, economists, social and natural scientists have collaborated to formulate a
holistic approach to improving the relationship between buildings and climate.

Researchers from a range of disciplines and organisations will meet at a series of workshops to exchange ideas, brainstorm
and collate information. They will explore issues such as changes in the behaviour of building occupants, changing transport
patterns, ideal city layouts, reduction of energy use and the impacts of microclimate on buildings. Subsequent workshops
will be expanded to include experts from the architecture, engineering, construction and energy industries, as well as local
and regional governments.

The resulting research priorities will guide future examination of the interaction between buildings, cities and climate

Buildings contribute more than half of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, and are affected by the impacts of climate
© M. Robinson

More information

Contact the lead investigator of Project IT1.28 (Sustainable building form: the role of architecture and urban planning with
respect to climate change):
Dr Koen Steemers
The Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies
University of Cambridge, 1-5 Scroope Terrace, Cambridge CB2 1PX, UK
Phone: +44 (0) 1223 33 1701; Fax: +44 (0) 1223 33 1700

Other researchers involved in this project are:

Dr Jonathan Köhler, Department of Applied Economics, University of Cambridge
Professor John Page, Professor Geoff Levermore, Dr Simon Shackley, UMIST, University of Manchester
Dr John Turnpenny, Tyndall Centre and University of East Anglia
Dr Tom Markvart, School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton
Mr Steve Sorrell and Professor David Gann, SPRU, University of Sussex

July 2001 to July 2002

Useful web sites:

The Tyndall Centre:
Research at the Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies:
European projects addressing sustainable development and the built environment:
University of Hong Kong's concepts about sustainable architecture and building design:

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IT1.28 - fact sheet

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