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:

• Urban Expansion »

• 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 ISSUES: 

• Modern Methods of Construction: Beyond Productivity Improvement »

• Housing Adaptability »

• Alternatives to Air Conditioning »
COMMENTARIES: 

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

LATEST: 

• Can Personal Carbon Allowances Help Cities Reach Their Climate Targets?»

• Lessons from the Swiss Impulse Programme»

• New European Bauhaus Festival»

• Mainstreaming Personal Comfort Systems»

• How R&D is Reducing the Use of Concrete»
LATEST BOOK REVIEWS:

Designing for the Climate Emergency »

Concrete Cities: Why We Need to Build Differently »

Reimaging Sustainable Cities »

Defensible Space on the Move »

The Impact of Overbuilding on People and the Planet »

Routledge Handbook of Resilient Thermal Comfort »
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:

• MMC: beyond productivity improvement

• Housing adaptability

• 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:

• Urban Expansion »

• 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 ISSUES: 

• Modern Methods of Construction: Beyond Productivity Improvement »

• Housing Adaptability »

• Alternatives to Air Conditioning » COMMENTARIES: 

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

LATEST: 

• Can Personal Carbon Allowances Help Cities Reach Their Climate Targets?»

• Lessons from the Swiss Impulse Programme»

• New European Bauhaus Festival»

• Mainstreaming Personal Comfort Systems»

• How R&D is Reducing the Use of Concrete» LATEST BOOK REVIEWS:

Designing for the Climate Emergency »

Concrete Cities: Why We Need to Build Differently »

Reimaging Sustainable Cities »

Defensible Space on the Move »

The Impact of Overbuilding on People and the Planet »

Routledge Handbook of Resilient Thermal Comfort » 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:

• MMC: beyond productivity improvement

• Housing adaptability

• 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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Clothing: The First Layer of Personal Comfort

In the context of the climate and energy crises, clothing can reduce the energy demand associated with thermal comfort.

Alongside personal comfort systems (PCS) devices, clothing is another key site for (re)design in a body-centred personal comfort paradigm. Janine Morley (Lancaster University) explains how clothing and PCS could transform how thermal comfort is achieved whilst delivering energy savings and, potentially, increased satisfaction.

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Photo: (c) Johanna Frischknecht

The 80th LCA (life cycle assessment) Forum held on 9 June 2022 considered key issues in research and legislation for how carbon storage in buildings should be accounted for.

Key conclusions from this scientific meeting can be summarised as follows. CO2 is a waste product and urgently needs a proper treatment, like phosphorous emissions in the 1960s and NOX emissions in the 1980s, which were effectively being reduced with wastewater treatment plants and car catalysts, respectively. Biogenic carbon needs to be stored long-term (3000 to 8000 years which is equivalent to 100 to 300 generations) to be effective in reducing the rise of the global surface temperature. Temporary storage of biogenic carbon may be used to cap peak of temperature rise but only if fossil CO2 emissions are drastically cut to net zero (i.e. including permanent carbon dioxide removals, CDR) at the same time. Temporary storage of biogenic CO2 gives us a few decades time to develop effective CDR methods. CO2 offsets shall be based on CO2 removal and long-term storage. Technologies are currently not available and urgent efforts are needed to make them ready in large scales within the next few decades.

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Modern Methods of Construction: Beyond Productivity Improvement

This special issue investigates the broader implications and consequences of MMC over the life of the building - for both civil society and the construction industry.

Modern methods of construction (MMC) are being promoted as a solution to the perceived failings of the construction sector. The narrative is notably characterised by a strong pro-innovation bias. This special issue examines the assumptions underpinning the prevailing ‘presumption in favour’ of MMC. Evidence is offered about the externalities which lie beyond the narrowly-defined construct of productivity.

Guest editor: Stuart D. Green

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Social Value of the Built Environment

Guest Editors: Flora Samuel (U of Reading) & Kelly J. Watson (Hatch Urban Solutions)

Deadline for Abstracts: 1 NOVEMBER 2022

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The UN Sustainable Development Goals define many values and actions for environmental, social, economic and climatic issues. Social value can be a driver to radically change built environment practices and outcomes. However, the questions surrounding the social value of the built environment – definitions, inclusion processes, delivery, evaluation and benefits – remain unclear and require further development by governments, industry, researchers and civil society. This special issue explores social value in relation to both placemaking (urban design, architecture and real estate) and construction (procurement and labour) processes.

The emergence of the social value agenda has real potential for the promotion of justice, equality and social cohesion in our built environment. Social value is often defined in different ways by sector, industry and context. A useful working definition is “the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the relevant area” (PSSVA, 2012).

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Buildings & Cities is now indexed in Scopus

We are pleased to announce that B&C has been accepted into Scopus.

All peer-reviewed B&C articles will be indexed in Scopus. Inclusion in Scopus will help further increase the discoverability of all B&C articles. Authors can be assured their research is reaching a wide audience around the world.

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Harnessing the Power of Spatial Data

RESEARCH PATHWAY: personal reflections on a career in research

Polly Hudson (Alan Turing Institute) explains how her curiosity about planning knowledge and local community engagement led to new ways to capture and represent 2D, 3D and 4D spatial data about building stocks and urban form. New challenges arise for creating dynamic urban models and platforms: promoting public participation and understanding, use as a planning tool, combining diverse data sources, and simulating the behaviour of building stocks over time.

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Concrete Cities: Why We Need to Build Differently

By Rob Imrie. Bristol University Press, 2021, ISBN 9781529220520

Pryor Placino (Western Sydney University and Thammasat University) and Katherine Gibson (Western Sydney University) applaud this significant book which offers a profound, urgent critique of the construction economy and a vision for a new regime.

Rob Imrie’s book puts the modern building industry’s uncaring nature under critical scrutiny. He asks: why have the construction and property industries worsened the quality of life in many urban spaces instead of making them livable? Construction projects across the globe have become expansive and disruptive. They are major contributors to air and noise pollution, voraciously consume mineral-based raw materials and fossil fuels, and selectively support the needs of able-bodied people over others. As the author emphatically points out, these unfortunate situations need not prevail.




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Housing Adaptability

This special issue advances the understanding and implementation of housing adaptability and flexibility across a range of issues: spatial, social, environmental, economic, time and multi-use and multiuser adaptability.

The adaptability of our homes is a social, emotional and cultural issue as much as a technical or construction challenge. The need for housing adaptability and flexibility became apparent during the pandemic, when an increasing range of activities, such as working, studying, home-schooling, exercising etc., occurred in homes that were never designed for this purpose and thus ill-suited. However, the need for adaptability and flexibility is also necessary at other times during a building’s lifespan. Dwellings need to accommodate new working practices promoted by digitisation, or a changing demographic (ageing population, migration, fluctuation of household members).

Guest editors: Sofie Pelsmakers and Elanor Warwick

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Can Personal Carbon Allowances Help Cities Reach Their Climate Targets?

Could a focus on city dwellers to reduce individual emissions – personal carbon allowances – have value in meeting city Net Zero targets?

Many cities throughout the world have set carbon and / or energy targets including renewable energy production and emissions reduction goals. Despite the commitment to take action, cities do not directly control the majority of the uses of energy or consumption-related sources of carbon emissions within their boundaries. Could a focus on household energy use, personal travel and consumption of material goods help to achieve this transition at city level? Tina Fawcett (University of Oxford), Kerry Constabile (University of Oxford) and Yael Parag (Reichman University) consider whether and how cities could harness personal carbon allowances in a practical manner.

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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 / deconstruction 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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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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Mainstreaming Personal Comfort Systems

This series of perspectives considers 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.

Can the construction and property industries implement innovative practices and technologies to improve building performance and thermal comfort?

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Latest Peer-Reviewed Journal Content

Journal Content

Implications of urban expansion: land, planning and housing in Lagos
B Oyalowo

Technological fascination and reluctance: gendered practices in the smart home
L K Aagaard & L V Madsen

Attuning smart home scripts to household and energy care
D Chambers

Modern methods of construction: reflections on the current research agenda [editorial]
S D Green

Masculine roles and practices in homes with photovoltaic systems
M Mechlenborg & K Gram-Hanssen

Brokering Gender Empowerment in Energy Access in the Global South
A Schiffer, M Greene, R Khalid, C Foulds, C A Vidal, M Chatterjee, S Dhar-Bhattacharjee, N Edomah, O Sule, D Palit & A N Yesutanbul

Housing adaptability: new research, emerging practices and challenges [editorial]
S Pelsmakers & E Warwick

Living in an Active Home: household dynamics and unintended consequences
F Shirani, K O’Sullivan, K Henwood, R Hale & N Pidgeon

Institutionalisation of urban climate adaptation: three municipal experiences in Spain
M Olazabal & V Castán Broto

Energy housekeeping: intersections of gender, domestic labour and technologies
R Martin

Speculation beyond technology: building scenarios through storytelling
R M Dowsett, M S Green & C F Harty

Professional judgement: an institutional logic approach to contractor tender pricing
D Jefferies & L Schweber

Emerging technologies’ impacts on ‘man caves’ and their energy demand
Y Strengers, K Dahlgren & L Nicholls

The gender of smart charging
S Pink

Fire performance and regulatory considerations with modern methods of construction
B J Meacham

Who cares? How care practices uphold the decentralised energy order
K Lucas-Healey, H Ransan- Cooper, H Temby & A W Russell

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

See all

Join Our Community

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