SUBMIT YOUR PAPER:

B&C is an independent, peer-reviewed transdisciplinary journal. 

Types of papers: Research, Synthesis, Methods, Replication, Policy Analysis, Briefing Notes 

Submit your paper »
FORTHCOMING SPECIAL ISSUES:

• Housing adaptability »

• Urban expansion »

• MMC: beyond productivity »

• Climate action by cities »

• Energy, tech & gender in homes »
View our peer-reviewed content: 

B&C’s peer review content is published on our Ubiquity Press website »
LATEST SPECIAL ISSUE: 

Alternatives to Air Conditioning »
COMMENTARIES: 

Thoughts and feedback on topical issues in research, practice and policy

LATEST: 
• Lessons from the Swiss Impulse Programme»

• New European Bauhaus Festival»

• Mainstreaming Personal Comfort Systems»

• How R&D is Reducing the Use of Concrete»

• Publishing Books: Some Advice & Warnings»

• Embodied Carbon: Breaking Construction Dependencies»

• Building without Concrete?»
LATEST BOOK REVIEWS:

Climate Adaptation & Resilience Across Scales »

Visual Delight in Architecture »

Flourish: Design Paradigms for Our Planetary Emergency »
COP-26 EXPECTATIONS

Read this vital series of built environment perspectives on expected outcomes from COP-26 »
Briefing Notes:

A new type of article providing a concise summary for practitioners of a what is known in a particular research topic and how to act on the results »
PUBLISHED SPECIAL ISSUES:

• Alternatives to air conditioning

• Urban systems for sustainability & health

• Retrofitting at scale

• Urban densification

• Education & training for zero carbon

• Carbon metrics

• Climate justice
MAINSTREAMING PERSONAL COMFORT SYSTEMS

Read this series of perspectives exploring how barriers to this promising approach can be overcome »
SUBMIT YOUR PAPER:

B&C is an independent, peer-reviewed transdisciplinary journal. 

Types of papers: Research, Synthesis, Methods, Replication, Policy Analysis, Briefing Notes 

Submit your paper » FORTHCOMING SPECIAL ISSUES:

• Housing adaptability »

• Urban expansion »

• MMC: beyond productivity »

• Climate action by cities »

• Energy, tech & gender in homes » View our peer-reviewed content: 

B&C’s peer review content is published on our Ubiquity Press website » LATEST SPECIAL ISSUE: 

Alternatives to Air Conditioning » COMMENTARIES: 

Thoughts and feedback on topical issues in research, practice and policy

LATEST: 
• Lessons from the Swiss Impulse Programme»

• New European Bauhaus Festival»

• Mainstreaming Personal Comfort Systems»

• How R&D is Reducing the Use of Concrete»

• Publishing Books: Some Advice & Warnings»

• Embodied Carbon: Breaking Construction Dependencies»

• Building without Concrete?» LATEST BOOK REVIEWS:

Climate Adaptation & Resilience Across Scales »

Visual Delight in Architecture »

Flourish: Design Paradigms for Our Planetary Emergency » COP-26 EXPECTATIONS

Read this vital series of built environment perspectives on expected outcomes from COP-26 » Briefing Notes:

A new type of article providing a concise summary for practitioners of a what is known in a particular research topic and how to act on the results » PUBLISHED SPECIAL ISSUES:

• Alternatives to air conditioning

• Urban systems for sustainability & health

• Retrofitting at scale

• Urban densification

• Education & training for zero carbon

• Carbon metrics

• Climate justice MAINSTREAMING PERSONAL COMFORT SYSTEMS

Read this series of perspectives exploring how barriers to this promising approach can be overcome »
 
PhD Video Challenge: Why It Matters

This ‘video challenge’ celebrates a diversity of built environment research from PhD students in many countries and built environment disciplines. PhD students are invited to make a video explaining why your research matters...

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Register for the Video Challenge

Once you have read about the Video Challenge and are ready to enter your video, use this to register. The deadline for submitting your video is noon on Monday 17 October 2022.

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Understanding Demolition

Guest Editor: Satu Huuhka (Tampere U)

Deadline for Abstracts: 7 October 2022

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Is it environmentally, economically, socio-culturally more sustainable to extend buildings’ lives or to build new? What are the specific challenges, potentials, and contributions for retaining existing buildings as opposed to their demolition and replacement? What are the drivers for the demolition of buildings? How can a more sustainable approach be created? How can retention and adaptive change be applied in different conditions and different scales (buildings, neighbourhoods, building stocks)?

Demolition has so far mainly been approached as a technical undertaking of engineering. Building preservation is primarily framed as historic conservation i.e. rarity, architectural quality, historic role, etc). Social scientists (e.g. Gilbert, 2009) have criticised mass-replacement policies and the consequences for underprivileged people who are dislocated. There has been relatively little problematisation both in- and outside of academia whether and when demolition should be performed, apart from Thomsen et al. (2011) and the RetroFirst campaign in the UK by the Architect’s Journal (2019).

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Data Politics in the Built Environment

Guest Editors: Andrew Karvonen (Lund U) & Tom Hargreaves (U of East Anglia)

Deadline for abstracts: 26 September 2022

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How are data reconfiguring life in buildings and cities? Who are the subjects and objects of data-driven buildings and cities? What are the implications of data-driven buildings and cities for social equity and justice? How do these powers and associated practices align with policies and regulation?

The aim of this special issue is to improve our collective understanding of the practices, politics, and power implications of data-driven buildings and cities. How is data generated, metabolised, and gathered in the built environment? Who designs and governs these data flows and to what end? Who and what is enrolled in the datafication of buildings and cities? What forms and types of data are collected and what gets ignored in data flows at and across different scales? What are the broader implications for social justice and equity? We invite social scientists, planners, designers, building scientists, data scientists, and environmental scientists to shine a critical spotlight on the motivations, methods, and consequences of data-driven buildings and cities.

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Alternatives to Air Conditioning

In an increasingly hotter world, what policies, designs, technologies & behaviours can provide thermal adequacy for coolth?

Buildings and cities have become highly dependent on air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation. Without significant intervention demand for air-conditioning (AC) is projected to rise by 700% by 2050. The implications of an unsustainable increase in cooling demand are being recognised in many countries around the world.

Recent discussions about ‘build back better’ after the Covid-19 pandemic afford an opportunity to reconsider many contemporary practices in the built environment: health and wellbeing, thermal comfort and the agency of building occupants, adaptation to climate change, energy use and environmental impacts, economics and equity, social expectations and demographics, design and innovation, thermal characteristics of buildings and cities. In addition, many countries have stipulated that new buildings must be carbon neutral. Climate change will create an increasingly warmer world – impacting on summer overheating in buildings. This is an urgent concern for both mitigation and adaptation: how can thermal comfort be provided during hotter summers without the GHG emissions? ‘Conventional’ air conditioning will soon be technologically redundant. Can our cities and buildings be designed to have little or no mechanical intervention?

Guest editors: Brian Ford, Dejan Mumovic, Rajan Rawal

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Lessons from the Swiss Impulse Programme

What works: this Swiss programme shows how a long-term, consistent approach by government and other stakeholders created a successful transition for construction SMEs. It could be adapted for a low-carbon transition.

The former Swiss 'Impulse programme' was a successful response to the 1970s energy crisis. It provides important lessons for today’s climate emergency about what governments, industry and academia can do to create a successful transition within the construction industry. Niklaus Kohler and Kurt Meier (both former members of the Construction and Energy Impulse programmes) reflect on key lessons for today about its implementation and how to sustain change over the short and long term.

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New European Bauhaus Festival: Living within Planetary Boundaries

Presentations, performances, debates and exhibitions provide a positive message about embracing change in the built environment.

The first annual festival of the New European Bauhaus – a cultural initiative of Ursula von der Leyen (President of the European Commission) – took place in Brussels 9 – 12 June 2022. This ambitious programme and its recent festival recognises the built environment's centrality to creating climate neutrality, quality of life and social equity. Matti Kuittinen (Aalto University, coordinator of the Nordic Bauhaus programme) reflects on the festival, summarises its takeaways and applauds the mainstreaming of the New European Bauhaus.

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How R&D is Reducing the Use of Concrete

Concrete has high environmental impacts. Can the construction industry reduce the volume of concrete that is used?

After water, concrete is the most widely used substance on earth. Paul Shepherd (University of Bath) explains how deep reductions in the amount of concrete used in buildings can be achieved through advanced structural design and fabrication.

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Transition to Personal Comfort Systems

How can this low-energy approach to personal thermal comfort be implemented?

Mechanical engineer David Heinzerling, PE (principal at Taylor Engineers and chair of ASHRAE Standing Standard Project Committee 55 – SSPC-55, the committee overseeing the ASHRAE Standard 55: Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy) looks at the barriers and opportunities for mainstreaming Personal Comfort Systems.

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2021 Reviewers

Buildings & Cities gratefully acknowledges and thanks our reviewers.

Buildings & Cities is most grateful to the many people in 2021 listed below who provided detailed, rigorous reviews of submitted manuscripts in 2021.

An enormous thank you to this diverse community of scholars who help to maintain the highest standards for both the journal and the wider community.


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Personal Comfort Systems: Using Internet of Things for Optimization

The IOT can coordinate PCS & HVAC systems to improve energy efficiency.

Joyce Kim (University of Waterloo) explains key findings and lessons arising from a Personal Comfort Systems field study using the Internet of Things. Key questions addressing the next steps for widespread adoption are posed.

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Personal Comfort Systems: Lessons from the creation of the ‘Klimastuhl’

Part of a a new series on Personal Comfort Systems: How barriers to this promising approach can be overcome.

Sabine Hoffmann (Technical University of Kaiserslautern) explains how an office chair with heating and cooling was developed and commercialised.

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Embodied Carbon in Concrete: Problems of Mis-Messaging

Is trade body information accurate about the embodied carbon in concrete?

Alice Moncaster (Open University) introduces new research that examines trade body information: Embodied Carbon of Concrete in Buildings, Part 2: Are the Messages Accurate? The claims made about thermal mass, durability and carbonisation are found to be at significant variance with the scientific literature. This has important implications for the messages it sends to construction professionals, decisionmakers and policymakers.


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Mainstreaming Personal Comfort Systems (PCS)

First in a new series examining how barriers to this promising approach can be overcome.

Ed Arens and Hui Zhang (Center for the Built Environment, University of California, Berkeley) introduce a series of commentaries that explore the development and adoption of personal comfort systems: decentralized building thermal control, in which occupants control their local environments with personal devices while the amount of central space conditioning (HVAC) is scaled back. This has been shown to improve thermal satisfaction and reduce energy demand. What are the barriers to its implementation?

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Latest Peer-Reviewed Journal Content

Journal Content

Alternatives to air-conditioning: policies, design, technologies, behaviours [editorial]
B Ford, D Mumovic & R Rawal

Benchmarking energy performance: indicators and models for Dutch housing associations
H S van der Bent, H J Visscher, A Meijer & N Mouter

Emissions from a net-zero building in India: life cycle assessment
M Jain & R Rawal

Lack of adaptability in Brazilian social housing: impacts on residents
S B Villa, P B Vasconcellos, K C R de Bortoli & L B de Araujo

Participation in domestic energy retrofit programmes: key spatio- temporal drivers
E Mohareb, A Gillich & D Bristow

Embodied carbon of concrete in buildings, Part 2: are the messages accurate?
A Moncaster, T Malmqvist, T Forman, F Pomponi & J Anderson

An alternative approach to delivering safe, sustainable surgical theatre environments
C A Short, A W Woods, L Drumright, R Zia & N Mingotti

Adapting owner-occupied dwellings in the UK: lessons for the future
T Hipwood

Integrating low energy cooling & ventilation strategies in Indian residences
M J Cook, Y Shukla, R Rawal, C Angelopoulos, L Caruggi-De-Faria, D Loveday, E Spentzou, & J Patel

Balconies as adaptable spaces in apartment housing
T Peters & S Masoudinejad

Inclusive Living: ageing, adaptations and future-proofing homes
V McCall

Residential geothermal air-conditioning: inhabitants’ comfort, behaviour and energy use
L Thomas, A Woods, R Powles, P Kalali, & S Wilkinson

Energy retrofit and passive cooling: overheating and air quality in primary schools
D Grassie, Y Schwartz, P Symonds, I Korolija, A Mavrogianni & D Mumovic

Outdoor PM2.5 air filtration: optimising indoor air quality and energy
E Belias & D Licina

Architects’ ‘enforced togetherness’: new design affordances of the home
E Marco, M Tahsiri, D Sinnett & S Oliveira

Overheating assessment in Passivhaus dwellings: the influence of prediction tools
V L Goncalves, V Costanzo, K Fabbri & T Rakha

The use of apartment balconies: context, design & social norms
M Smektała & M Baborska-Narożny

Sharing a home under lockdown in London
F Blanc & K Scanlon

Projected climate data for building design: barriers to use
P Rastogi, A Laxo, L Cecil &D Overbey

Residents’ views on adaptable housing: a virtual reality-based study
J Tarpio & S Huuhka

Technological transitions in climate control: lessons from the House of Lords
Henrik Schoenefeldt

Internal thermal mass for passive cooling and ventilation: adaptive comfort limits, ideal quantities, embodied carbon
T de Toldi, S Craig & L Sushama

Understanding air-conditioned lives: qualitative insights from Doha
Russell Hitchings

Living with air-conditioning: experiences in Dubai, Chongqing & London
N Murtagh, S Badi, Y Shi, S Wei, W Yu

Air-conditioning in New Zealand: power and policy
H Byrd, S Matthewman & E Rasheed

Summertime overheating in UK homes: is there a safe haven?
P Drury, S Watson & K J Lomas

See all

Endorsements

  • Gail Brager, University of California at Berkeley, US

    I am excited about the prospects of this new journal, Buildings and Cities. Its highly respected and experienced editorial team will ensure that the journal’s focus on interdisciplinary and multi-scale approaches will push our industry forward in addressing critical issues facing the built environment.

  • David Lorenz, Lorenz Property Advisors, Germany

    The quality of editorial work and support to authors is unmatched within the landscape of property and construction journals. The editors are highly experienced and have a strong track record of working closely with each author.

  • Kathryn Janda, University College London, UK

    By crossing the scale of buildings and cities, as well as bridging the gap between social and technical research, Buildings and Cities is of vital importance to academics and practitioners working to support sustainable and socially just improvements in the built environment. The editor-in-chief has an extraordinary and well-deserved reputation for fostering new ideas as well as thoughtful and constructive critique. This journal is poised to make significant contributions to the fields its topics integrate.

  • Minna Sunikka-Blank, University of Cambridge, UK

    My experience of the review process has been extremely positive: it has always been rigorous, constructive and improved the papers considerably.

  • Lauri Koskla, University of Huddersfield, UK

    The launch of Buildings and Cities has to be warmly welcomed. The members of the editorial team have an excellent track record in actively engaging with the scholarly community for ensuring that published papers are not only rigorous but also relevant.

  • Alison Kwok, University of Oregon, US

    Featuring integrated, topical perspectives about the issues in built environment, authors will find guided support, an expert editorial team, and a superior, high quality publication with a visionary, not-for-profit journal, Buildings and Cities. Readers will see articles addressing key research and high-level discussion about accelerating and implementing strategies to address stringent climate goals.

  • Robert Lowe, University College London, UK

    I wholeheartedly commend the new Buildings and Cities journal under its Editor in Chief, Richard Lorch, together with Niklaus Kohler, Ray Cole, Fionn Stevenson and others. It was a privilege to serve on the editorial board of its predecessor, Building Research and Information for 19 years. It is my opinion that it was consistently the most interesting and impactful journal in its field – which Lorch, together with other Board members and contributors essentially defined. I have every confidence that Buildings and Cities will continue this record.

  • Susse Georg, Aalborg University Copenhagen, DK

    In light of the many challenges that cities face, we need a journal that cuts across disciplinary and professional boundaries to enhance our understanding and insights. This new transdisciplinary journal with a strong editorial team will be a great support to researchers and practitioners alike.

  • David J. Edwards, Birmingham City University, UK; KNUST, Ghana; and University of Johannesburg, ZA

    Buildings and Cities is poised to be a leading scientific peer reviewed journals. Its Editor in Chief, Richard Lorch, has an unparalleled reputation of upholding academic fairness and complete integrity. Consequently, I have no hesitation in recommending 'Buildings and Cities' to my peers.

  • Heather Chappells, University of British Columbia, CA

    Interdisciplinary insight is vital in addressing the sustainability of the built environment, which encompasses the complex intersection of resources, infrastructures, institutions, communities and citizens. In recognizing this Buildings and Cities is set to become one of the foremost journals supporting innovative research in sustainability across diverse urban settings and scales. With an experienced editorial team at the helm it offers a valuable resource for students, scholars and practitioners interested in inclusive and integrated approaches to sustainable development.

  • Sergio Altomonte, UC Louvain, Belgium

    Does built environment research and practice need a new, international, independent, authoritative and openly accessible resource? Buildings & Cities offers a timely and exceptionally relevant response to this question because it is designed to inspire dialogue, engage debate and promote robust evidence, ideas and knowledge. It is founded on principles of rigorous peer-review, relevance, integrity, and inclusiveness, and driven by the recognised competence of it editorial team.

  • Tom Spector, Oklahoma State University, US

    Not only is the evaluation of buildings’ and cities’ performance through time and across scales more possible than ever before, it is more necessary. The journal Buildings and Cities, with its experienced editorial team led by Richard Lorch, is poised to be a leader in this important role.

Gail Brager, University of California at Berkeley, US1 David Lorenz, Lorenz Property Advisors, Germany2 Kathryn Janda, University College London, UK3 Minna Sunikka-Blank, University of Cambridge, UK4 Lauri Koskla, University of Huddersfield, UK5 Alison Kwok, University of Oregon, US6 Robert Lowe, University College London, UK7 Susse Georg, Aalborg University Copenhagen, DK8 David J. Edwards, Birmingham City University, UK; KNUST, Ghana; and University of Johannesburg, ZA9 Heather Chappells, University of British Columbia, CA10 Sergio Altomonte, UC Louvain, Belgium11 Tom Spector, Oklahoma State University, US12