Research Pathways

A Longitudinal Approach to Research

RESEARCH PATHWAY: personal reflections on a career in research

Thomas Lützkendorf (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) considers his research focus on environmental performance assessment: life cycle analysis of buildings – a significant topic in the climate emergency. Maintaining focus, depth, long-term commitment and continuity in research are vital ingredients. In addition, an accompanying responsibility is to translate scientific findings into accessible advice, guidance and practices for end-users.

Creating Adaptive Thermal Comfort

RESEARCH PATHWAY: personal reflections on a career in research

Rev Michael A. Humphreys (Emeritus: Regent’s Park College, University of Oxford) explains how a new approach to thermal comfort – adaptive comfort – was formulated in the 1970s and met with initial disbelief. It took perseverance and signficant investment of time outside of work to assemble and analyse sufficient data which then persuaded relevant line managers. The journey of how adaptive comfort became mainstream over the next 20+ years includes the creation of a network of like-minded researchers and their influence on national and international standards.

Expanding Boundaries & Negotiating Transitions

RESEARCH PATHWAY: personal reflections on a career in research

Raymond J. Cole (University of British Columbia) offers a candid reflection on his 50-plus-year career from earlier technically framed research on 'green' building and building environmental performance to more expansive later research that positioned buildings within larger socio-ecological systems. Lessons and insights are offered regarding the relationship between research and practice and the potential benefits gained from building bridges across disciplines.

Greening China’s Built Environment

RESEARCH LEGACY: personal reflections on a career in research

Kaixun Sha (Shandong Jianzhu University) reflects on a research career to 'green' the built environment in China.  Key  insights explain why sustainability in China depends upon much more than technology: the institutional environment and willingness, international knowledge exchange and cooperation, making practical trade-offs, and harnessing professionalism to ensure appropriate governance and outcomes.

50 Years a Cartoonist

50 Years a Cartoonist

RESEARCH LEGACY: personal reflections on a career in research

Louis Hellman - cartoonist, satirist and architect - reflects on a long career chronicling the architecture profession and its foibles. His research into the occupants' perspective, architectural practice and the drivers that influence the built environment resulted in a powerful, insightful critique of the built environment and a moral compass to the architectural profession.

Building as Pedagogy: Oberlin's Adam Joseph Lewis Center

RESEARCH LEGACY: personal reflections on a career in research

David Orr (Oberlin College) explains how a radical building project to 'design with nature' had profound impacts on education as well as inspiring students, designers and the wider communityThe Adam Joseph Lewis Center is a milestone building. With ingenuity and effort, it provided a positive message that we can design neighborhoods, communities, cities, and nations to enhance the biosphere. It continues to provide many lessons for designers and students.

The Application of Research: Reconciling Simplicity and Rigour

RESEARCH LEGACY: personal reflections on a career in research

Edward Yan Yung Ng (Chinese University of Hong Kong) draws 5 conceptual and strategic lessons from his research career spanning building design, urban daylighting, urban ventilation and urban climate. Sound advice is offered to early career researchers. Amongst chief insights are the understanding of both theory and critical practice in order to frame a clear aspiration for research questions to pursue. Equally important is learning how to convey knowledge in language appropriate to end users (e.g. practitioners and policy makers).

Living within Planetary Limits: Linking Research, Practice and Teaching

RESEARCH LEGACY: personal reflections on a career in research

Robert Vale and Brenda Vale reflect on their pioneering work in ecological design and a career linking architectural practice, research, writing and teaching. Their exemplary approach to the creation of low energy and autonomous buildings opened new possibilities for architecture. However, the architectural profession has been slow to change. Personal reflections are offered as insights and advice to early career researchers.

Journey to a Socio-ecological Agenda

RESEARCH LEGACY: personal reflections on a career in research

Marina Fischer-Kowalski considers the key drivers in her interdisciplinary career linking social metabolism and material flow accounting that led to the creation of economy-wide energy and material flow analysis (MEFA). Research into broad, complex issues cannot be done alone. Insights and advice are offered on intensive multidisciplinary collaboration.

Biological Analogy and an Architectural Science

RESEARCH LEGACY: personal reflections on a career in research

Philip Steadman (University College London) considers how seminal theoretical perspectives from biology, maths and architecture helped to shape a revolutionary vision of an architectural morphology over a 55 year period. Personal reflections are offered as insights and advice to early career researchers.

Why Social Theory is Important for Energy Research and the Built Environment

RESEARCH LEGACY: personal reflections on a career in research

Sociologist Elizabeth Shove (Lancaster University) reflects on key drivers that have helped to shape a part of her intellectual career for understanding energy demand in the built environment: the invigorating force of social theory, intellectual curiousity and the importance of challenging what others take for granted.

Latest Peer-Reviewed Journal Content

Journal Content

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

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

Architectural form: flexibility, subdivision and diversity in Manhattan loft buildings
C S Kayatekin

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

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Latest Commentaries

Publishing Books: Some Advice and Warnings

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.

Christopher Alexander and 'Notes on the Synthesis of Form'

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.