Research Centre and Laboratory
The research project centre at UEL has been established, and provides an experimental learning hub where researchers, academics, and SD-BE trainees can interact and learn through hands-on experience and practical experiments. The research centre is furnished with specialist monitoring equipment including a thermal camera, anemometers and humidity monitors. The lab is also equipped with the specialist design software ‘Design Builder’ and ‘Integrated Environmental Solutions’.
These resources allow the research centre to be utilised as a capacity-building initiative by generating real world case study data for use in the SD-BE training programmes. Case study data provides the SD-BE trainees with a practical outlet for them to apply their knowledge and understanding of the principles of sustainable development. This reinforces learning by applying theory to real world practice.
Through the utilisation of the research project centre, the SD-BE research team can produce a range of novel case studies, publish papers, and develop wider collaborations surrounding sustainable design in the built environment.
The research project centre has also shown additional benefit:
- Final year undergraduate students (BSc Architectural Design Technology) at UEL have been taught by the SD-BE project team how to utilise the design software. The students applied their learning to a new modular timber structure case study. The results they obtained through their modelling and simulation helped the architects improve the proposed design to better improve thermal comfort.
- Current PhD students are working under supervision of the research project team and have access to the research centre, which enables their research. One research project focuses on the energy efficient and cost effective retrofit of buildings in Cyprus through modelling and simulation; Another project is investigating energy consumption behaviour to inform the development of a smartphone application that will provide tailored energy saving advice using a survey questionnaire. A third PhD project is investigating the potential of green roofs within sustainable urban design.