Work in this area is led by Professor Brian Ford (Head of the School of Built Environment) and includes interdisciplinary projects spanning the Institutes of Architecture and Sustainable Energy Technology. Research activity recognises that it is very difficult to disentangle the environmental strategies adopted in buildings from building design and construction techniques. The work in this area focuses on the construction of buildings and on the way in which building material and form can shape the internal environment.
Activity includes work in the area of natural ventilation and in particular the use of ventilation strategies to passively cool buildings in hot climates through their use with thermal mass and techniques such as passive downdraft cooling. Daylight represents an important area of research with recent work exploring atrium design and the visual environment within spaces enclosed by tensile membrane structures. Work in the area of acoustics explores the relationship between form materiality and the aural environment making use of techniques such as ray tracing and real time auralisation to recreate and inhabit buildings at the design stage as well as buildings lost to history.