Guest editors: John Robinson & Kim Slater (U Toronto)
Abstract submissions closed on 15 DECEMBER 2021
Are cities’ implementation efforts achieving the transformation to realise low-carbon, climate resilient cities? What is the extent and effectiveness of these actions? How can implementation be accelerated?
With their predominantly coastal geographies, rapidly growing populations, and emissions-intensive activities, cities are highly vulnerable, as well as major contributors, to climate change. Fortunately, as “hubs of commerce, culture and innovation” (C40 Cities, 2021), cities are also promising sources of solutions. Taken together, these factors demand a closer examination of the progress and solutions that cities are making to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts.More
Guest editor: Shlomo Angel (Marron Institute, New York U.)
Abstract submissions closed on 03 DECEMBER 2021
How can urban expansion be undertaken more sustainably, how can expansion be contained and appropriate strategies created for rapid and modest urban growth?
This special issue explores the quantitative and qualitative dimensions of urban expansion; when, where and how expansion can and should be contained; and when, where, and how it can and should be managed in an orderly, inclusive, and sustainable manner. When cities grow in population, economic output and cultural amenities, they need more physical space. Such space can be created through densification (the focus of a recent B&C special issue) and/or by expanding their footprints into the rural periphery. Urban expansion in geographic space is often ill-defined and its measurement and projection into the future are controversial. ‘Sprawl’ is detrimental to the surrounding countryside, costly in terms of infrastructure, excessive waste of energy and resources, and increased GHG emissions. But the regulatory containment of urban expansion is problematic as it can result in land and house price inflation, making cities less affordable. The speed of urban expansion has consistently been underestimated especially in the Global South where expansions occur in a disorderly and unplanned manner with negative consequences for inhabitants.More
Guest Editor: Stuart D. Green (University of Reading)
Abstract submissions closed on 13 SEPTEMBER 2021
What are the potential unintended consequences of modern methods of construction which are not currently considered?
This special issue investigates the externalities of modern methods of construction (MMC). It examines the dominant narrative used to promote MMC. Although an increased proportion of pre-manufactured value (PMV) may improve narrowly-defined site-based ‘productivity’, evidence is needed on the associated externalities and potential long-term adverse systemic consequences. What can be learned from previous attempts to modernise the construction process with industrialised methods?More
Guest editors: Kirsten Gram-Hanssen & Yolande Strengers
Abstract submissions closed on: 07 SEPTEMBER 2021
How are visions, relationships and practices with emerging technologies and energy interacting with gender relations and dynamics in homes?
From aspirations for leisure-enhancing electronic and digital gadgets through to self-cleaning buildings, imaginaries (visions) of technology in the home reflect long-held gendered associations (Berg 1994; Cowan 1989). This special issue investigates how emerging technologies are informed by gender and generate gendered effects in ways that support or undermine energy policies and initiatives. The issue will explore the relationship between gender, emerging technologies and energy from many perspectives, to help realise more gender-inclusive technologies, buildings, policies, programs and outcomes, and to ensure that gender insights can assist in making energy policy more effective by building on everyday life understandings.More
Guest Editors: Ed Arens, Hui Zhang, Rajan Rawal and Yongchao Zhai
Abstract submissions closed on: 06 SEPTEMBER 2021
How can the innovation process be assisted and accelerated for implementing this technology? What leadership can these different actors provide for promoting this transition?
This special issue explores the further development and adoption of decentralized building thermal environmental control, in which occupants can create and control their local thermal environments with personal devices while the central space conditioning (HVAC) is scaled back. This approach to personal control promises to make a greater proportion of a building’s occupants comfortable, while at the same time reducing the energy- and system costs of a central HVAC system.More
Guest Editors: Sofie Pelsmakers (Tampere University) and Elanor Warwick (Clarion Housing)
Abstract submissions closed on 7 June 2021
Over the past 40+ years, the size of urban dwellings has diminished in many Western and Asian countries, resulting in negative impacts on residents’ needs and activities (Park, 2019; Tunstall, 2015). At the same time, an increasing range of activities is expected to be performed at home. One set of possible solutions involves increasing the adaptability of spaces within the dwelling. Other solutions may reconsider the relation between domestic privacy and public cohabitation / shared facilities. Original research, policy analysis, methods and synthesis papers are sought that investigate, analyse and connect different aspects and/or disciplines of adaptable living environments (i.e. inhabitants, the individual dwelling, the housing block, spaces adjacent to homes and their neighbourhood).More
Guest Editors: Brian Ford (Nottingham U), Dejan Mumovic (UCL), Rajan Rawal (CEPT University)
Abstract submissions closed on 12 APRIL 2021
Can our cities and buildings be designed to have little or no mechanical intervention?
The alternatives to conventional air conditioning embrace much more than a technological issue – they require holistic design thinking and include social aspects (expectations, behaviours, practices) which may challenge the ways in which work, leisure and other activities are pursued. This special issue explores alternative approaches to providing thermal comfort and ventilation in different climatic zones across the world at the scales of building, neighbourhood and city. It considers the implications of these alternatives across a range of issues: health, wellbeing, air quality and heat stress; technical / design solutions; social expectations and practices; climate change; policy and regulation; supply chain and procurement; education and training. It includes a range of disciplines: geography, sociology, anthropology, behavioural sciences, architecture, engineering, public health, economics, energy and environmental assessment.More
Guest Editors: Jonathon Taylor (Tampere U) and Philippa Howden-Chapman (U of Otago)
Abstract submissions closed on 30 July 2020
Negative consequences of human activity represent an unprecedented threat to both human health and planetary health. Transformative changes are urgently needed to mitigate the threats to planetary and human health. Recent epidemics (SARS, MERS, COVID19) have revealed the need for a systems-based approach to reducing risk and combatting the spread of diseases.
Cities are complex systems (Siri, 2016, Rydin et al., 2012), with interactions between various factors e.g.: urban density, ‘green’ infrastructure and open space, housing, transport, waste management, water and sanitation, air quality, health systems, and city governance. With an increasing majority of the global population now inhabiting urban areas (United Nations, 2018), it is essential that cities reduce their environmental footprints and increase their resilience to environmental change whilst protecting and promoting planetary health.
This special issue explores how these multiple challenges can be addressed through development and implementation of evidence-informed solutions in a variety of different contexts (mature cities, rapidly expanding urban areas, shrinking cities, and informal settlements; Global North and Global South); political systems (high centralised, decentralised, autocratic, democratic) and scales (city, neighbourhood, street, building).
Papers are sought on a variety of topics that model, track or evaluate the effectiveness and outcomes of different policies or practices, as well as the interaction between various systems. We are interested in research that accelerates the implementation of large-scale ‘transformational’ changes that improve health and sustainability in low-, middle- and high-income settings, and across different socioeconomic and demographic groups.More
Guest Editors: Faye Wade (University of Edinburgh) and Henk Visscher (TU Delft)
Abstract submissions closed on 13 July 2020
A major contribution to achieving emissions reductions must come from retrofitting the existing domestic (e.g. residential and mixed-use partly residential) building stock to radically reduce the use of non-renewable energy for heat and power (CCC, 2019). Retrofitting is “the introduction of new materials, products and equipment into an existing building with the aim of reducing the use of energy” (Baeli, 2013: 17). Successful retrofitting will only be achieved through aligning governance, economic, social and technical systems.
What are the capabilities and capacities for delivering retrofit at scale? This special issue explores the accelerated delivery of domestic energy retrofitting at different scales – national, municipal, neighbourhood and individual sites. It will interrogate governance, economic / business, organisational, social and technical aspects and their interactions: existing planning capabilities; available building stock data and what more is needed; rural and urban retrofit strategies; the roles, capabilities and capacities of existing and new actors / enterprises in delivering retrofit (e.g. local authorities, urban planners, construction professionals, contractors and subcontractors); how can renovation elements be produced in an industrialised way to increase capacity and reduce costs; the economic, social, political, legislative, regulatory aspects of delivery models; what owners or inhabitants require; forms of user engagement; what future proofing is appropriate; what requirements and guarantees will ensure performance in use. There will be insights across different scales and geographical contexts as well as top-down vs bottom-up models. Distinctions & complementarities will be drawn for policies and delivery strategies for different scales, stakeholders, inhabitants and disciplines.More
Guest Editor: Jacques Teller, University of Liège
Abstract submissions closed on 02 March 2020
The expansion of built-up urban areas progressively often leads to a loss of agricultural land and green spaces. It tends to increase distance travelled by car and contributes to habitat fragmentation. Accordingly, a number of cities and regions have adopted planning policies dedicated to fostering urban densification, through in-fill development and urban consolidation, in order to prevent a further expansion/sprawl of urban areas and the concomitant artificialization of open/green spaces. Other cities have an ad hoc or laissez faire approach to planning, respond to specific proposed projects on an individual basis or lack enforcement.
This special issue investigates the specific challenges, impacts and fragilities that urban densification creates in many cities and the different scales where these can be found.
Papers are sought which provide evidence, investigate and analyse urban densification in a multi-dimensional perspective, considering economic, social, climate and environmental factors that impact at different scales. These determinants typically include local and urban factors. Resistance to densification may be related to socio-economic, environmental or morphological aspects. Higher densities may also introduce new fragilities that reduce urban resilience. These different factors should be considered from a spatial justice perspective, balancing the individual and collective costs and benefits of densification. What kinds of balance are needed between neighbourhoods with different densities? What public institutionshave agency to incorporate these issues into their policies, assessments and practices? What links and connections operate between urban planning and individual building site level, and vice versa? What are bottom-up (site level) approaches to densification?More
Guest editors: Alison Kwok (University of Oregon) and Fionn Stevenson (University of Sheffield)
Abstract submissions closed on 07 November 2019.
Built environment education is at a critical juncture to ensure that the workforce has the capacities and capabilities to rapidly decarbonise built environments and reduce environmental degradation, for both new construction and the existing building stock. A rapid transition is needed in universities and training colleges in order to address the Climate Emergency by equipping students and existing professionals / workers with new knowledge and skills. Currently, a workforce without the appropriate low-carbon skills at national and global levels is delivering immediate and long-term negative consequences due to the longevity of buildings, infrastructures and cities. The decisions and designs made now and over the next few years will continue to impact for 60+ years.
The present systems of professional and vocational knowledge creation and transfer (which varies considerably from country to country and program to program) need to be challenged to produce very different forms of interdisciplinary and disciplinary knowledge and skills. Opportunities for synchronicity and rapid propulsion need developing – both within disciplinary boundaries and between disciplines.
To address this sense of extreme urgency, this special issue will examine key questions and offer solutions for educational and training pedagogies, curricula and other practices for the many different built environment disciplines / trades. How can education and training be rapidly changed to ensure the creation of zero-carbon built environments? How can this transition be implemented successfully? What positive examples and models can be drawn upon or adapted? Key topics are: mainstreaming, policy and leadership, transitioning, teaching, upskilling and certification.More
Guest editor: Thomas Lützkendorf (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany)
Abstract submissions closed on 26 September 2019.
The built environment’s types and ranges of contributions to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and thus to climate change are well known. There is acceptance of the need to drastically reduce GHG emissions and that the built environment must have a significant role. The focus of this special issue is to go substantially beyond the calculation of embodied and lifetime energy / CO2, to explore the appropriate units of assessment and their scalability for each country’s / region’s built environment in relation to the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and the more recent commitment to limiting global warming to 1.5 C or less.
What is currently lacking is a consistent, robust basis for GHG / carbon metrics associated with the built environment. The development and application of life cycle analysis and sustainability assessments have led to numerous initiatives. Terms, concepts, guidelines, databases and tools nowadays proliferate in a seemingly endless variety. Clarity and consistency are needed on boundary definitions. Although carbon metrics exist they deserve further scrutiny and development to create a next generation of metrics. Although carbon metrics have been the subject of scientific discussion in the past, their results should now become a reliable and directional basis for real decisions.
The aim of this special issue is to develop a common basis for the identification and assessment of GHG emissions in the context of the different scales of the built environment (city, building stocks, neighbourhood, individual building). It will also present possible applications and opportunities, address methodological questions, improve transparency and provide impetus for public policies. Possible topics include: different approaches and trends in environmental performance, methodological questions, data quality, standardization, legislation and governance, forms of communication.More
Guest editors: Anna Mavrogianni (University College London) and Sonja Klinsky (Arizona State University)
What are the influences and roles of buildings, neighbourhoods, communities and urban design in the context of ongoing and anticipated future anthropogenic climate change? How does the design and operation of the built environment under changing circumstances exacerbate or alleviate inequities and vulnerabilities, particularly for low-income communities? Insufficient capacity for climate change adaptation and unequal distribution of resources will negatively affect the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals promoting the wellbeing of people in developing countries and low-income communities within wealthy countries.
As the built environment is at the heart of the lives of people and communities, a deeper understanding of the justice implications of efforts to change or maintain the built environment in the context of climate change is essential.
This Special Issue will specifically explore the roles that the different scales of the built environment play in the climate change and inequity nexus. It seeks to examine the full implications of the built environment on social inequities and human development in the context of climate change: how might climate change or climate policies exacerbate these problems, what the scale of this is likely to be, and what policies, strategy solutions, resources and capabilities may be required to manage these concerns within and between countries.More
An alternative approach to delivering safe, sustainable surgical theatre environments
C A Short, A W Woods, L Drumright, R Zia & N Mingotti
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
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
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
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
Survey study on energy use in UK homes during Covid-19
G M Huebner, N E Watson, K Direk, E McKenna, E Webborn, F Hollick, S Elam & T Oreszczyn
Ceiling-fan-integrated air-conditioning: thermal comfort evaluations
M Luo, H Zhang, Z Wang, E Arens, W Chen, F S Bauman & P Raftery
The future of IEQ in green building certifications
D Licina, P Wargocki, C Pyke & S Altomonte
The significance of urban systems on sustainability and public health [editorial]
J Taylor & P Howden-Chapman
Empowered by planning law: unintended outcomes in the Helsinki region
A Joutsiniemi, M Vaattovaara & J Airaksinen
Climate change projections for sustainable and healthy cities
C Goodess, S Berk, S B Ratna, O Brousse, M Davies, C Heaviside, G Moore & H Pineo
Retrofit at scale: accelerating capabilities for domestic building stocks [editorial]
F Wade & H J Visscher
Philip Steadman (University College London) has authored a dozen books over 50 years. Reflecting on his own experiences, he offers some advice to new authors planning to publish books about architecture and building.
Philip Steadman (University College London) revisits and critiques this influential book by Christopher Alexander (1936-2022). Its method relies in part on the mathematics of set and graph theory, together with a computer technique for analysing complex systems and dividing them into their component sub-systems.