School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Research

Products and Processes

Our research is improving how buildings and their components are designed, manufactured and deployed to reduce resource consumption and enhance their performance.

We are developing innovative ICT applications, process models and supply chain reconfiguration techniques to systematically address sequencing, automation and waste reduction, along with developing novel materials and construction processes. 

We also have expertise in developing decision-support tools to inform the resilient design of critical built assets to natural and human-induced threats.

Research themes

Innovative ICT applications

Our expanding ICT research portfolio focuses on the novel application of Building Information Modelling (BIM). Building on our experience of mobile communications and working in collaboration with key industry networks COMIT and FIATECH, we are developing novel Field-BIM applications for Crossrail. Through a recent appointment we have started exploring the use of augmented reality as a conduit for on-demand BIM content during construction, renovation and maintenance processes, and we have an established programme of work interrogating BIM for claims forensics.

Our expertise in ICT is finding new problem domains in low carbon construction through our leadership of the REViSITE project (Roadmap Enabling Vision and Strategy for ICT-enabled Energy Efficiency), which has shaped the EC ‘Horizon 2020’ funding agenda for ICT-related energy reduction research. The Design4Energy project will develop methods to predict the current and future energy efficiency of buildings to inform decisions around the optimisation of energy performance. A number of recently funded projects will explore management and procurement strategies for delivering zero-carbon and energy efficiency agendas. The Bicester Eco-town Process Improvement Toolkit project seeks to close the performance gap between predicted and real energy use in zero-carbon homes in the UK’s largest zero-carbon development.

Corporate social responsibility

Our work on corporate social responsibility, founded on an EPSRC-funded network on responsible sourcing, Action Programme on Responsible Sourcing (APRES), has nurtured a collaborative network of over 150 organisations developing novel material sourcing practices. This work will be taken forward through the new CORE project (Creative Outreach for Resource Efficiency) aimed at maximising stakeholder engagement in resource efficiency. Other work is developing new waste minimisation protocols that are being incorporated into the BS 8895 standard on material efficiency:

  • Reducing waste through integrated product design and manufacture
  • Cutting Waste in Construction
  • Efficiency and Effectiveness of Domestic Waste Management

Resilient design

Another strand of research is developing decision-support tools to inform the resilient design of critical built assets to natural and human-induced threats both now:

  • RE-DESIGN: Resilient Design for counter-terrorism: Decision support for designing effective and acceptable resilient places
  • Major Construction Hazards
  • Designing safer urban spaces (DESURBS)
  • Water Tight? Protecting the UK´s Water Infrastructure
  • Resilient Futures: Modelling the Future Resilience of UK Critical Infrastructure (R-Futures)

We have brought in new expertise to develop strategies for building community resilience through better designed built environments.

Case study

Revolutionising design planning and management

Since 2008 projects valued at £11bn have been improved using the ADePT method.

Revolutionising design planning and management

Further information