Architecture lecturer part of research project investigating public perception of low carbon building materials

A multi-disciplinary team of 6 researchers (two each from the University of Leeds, University of York and University of Sheffield) have been awarded research funding to investigate public perception of low carbon building materials. The research will start in May 2016 and is supported by The White Rose University Consortium, a strategic partnership between 3 of the UK’s leading research universities, Leeds, Sheffield and York. Sofie Pelsmakers, co-investigator from the Sheffield School of Architecture will collaborate with Danielle Densley TingleyJannik Giesekam (University of Leeds) and Karen Parkhill and Carolyn Snell from the University of York and the project will be lead by Katy Roelich at the University of Leeds. The project will explore public perception of low carbon building materials, including direct benefits and co-benefits and will aim to identify how public policy and designers could use this evidence to overcome existing barriers to the use of low carbon materials and accelerate their uptake. The project will start in May 2016 and last for 12 months.

SSoA lecturer awarded WUN funding to work with Sydney University

Sofie Pelsmakers, lecturer in environmental design, was awarded travel funding by the World University Network (WUN), with contributions from the department and Sydney University to research the “Effect of uninsulated floors on occupant thermal comfort and compensating energy use”. Sydney University have a state-of the art and unique Internal Environmental (IEQ) Lab, headed by Professor Richard de Dear and which will be adapted to allow the research to take place in August 2016. Other projects awarded funding can be found here.

MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies course webinar

We recently held a successful MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies webinar with prospective students from all over the world.

The event was hosted by course leaders, Sofie Pelsmakers and Aidan Hoggard, alongside student ambassadors Anaclara Penha and Maria Englezou.

The webinar aimed to guide participants, who have an interest in this field on:

  • Our world-leading expertise in sustainability
  • Why there is an industry need for expertise in this area
  • Course structure, outcomes and activities our students are involved in
  • Admissions and selection procedure

View a recording of the webinar here

We have also put together some course videos where you can hear our academic staff and current students talking about the MSc in Sustainable Architecture Studies course and why it’s so important for architects to possess skills in this field.


PhD Studentship Opportunity

We are pleased to invite applications for a 4 year studentship funded by the Grantham Foundation, Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures.

The Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures focuses on advancing the science of sustainability and connecting it with the policy debate around how humans can live in a more sustainable way.

We are recruiting Grantham Scholars who will combine outstanding intellect with a strong commitment to public engagement, leadership and action. If these principles match your ambitions, you are invited to apply for one of our interdisciplinary PhD research projects to help solve the challenges of sustainability. You will be supported by the Grantham Centre through a unique training programme, designed to equip to with the skills to become a policy advocate and leader in sustainability matters.

Project title: Characterising Uncertainty in Complex Environmental Simulations for Public Engagement with Climate Change Conscious Sustainable Planning and Design

Project description: Urban neighbourhoods and buildings designed or retrofitted with future climate in mind are more likely to perform sustainably. To do so, the planning and design process will require uses of detailed site-specific climate projections, and complex urban microclimate and building climate models. Although computationally intensive, the multi-scale environmental modelling and simulation can be used to systematically explore a large number of planning and design parameters and options, to examine the likely effect on sustainability over time. However, the computer simulation involved is often computationally expensive and contains uncertain elements, and the implication of compounded uncertainties in the complex multi-scale environmental simulations is not well understood. This research aims to identify, quantify and visualise such uncertainties.

Further information and applying

Closing date: 7 March 2016

Future Scenarios – Surgery & Network Event

The University of Sheffield and the Open University have launched the Climate Change in Residence: Future Scenarios project. This funded programme of work provides an opportunity for three artists to be ‘in residence’ for one year from June 2016 within key climate change networks and institutions. They will be supported to develop new cultural work in the context of climate change scenarios.

This event has been organised by SSoA’s Renata Tyszczuk and will take place on 27 January 2016. The evening will explore why scenarios are such a key element of climate change research and politics, and also why it is important to invite a wider range of perspectives on these themes.

Find out more

How can we build a more sustainable future?

Researchers from the Sheffield School of Architecture joined world leaders and policy makers in Paris for the start of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (30 November – 11 December 2015).

Professor Doina Petrescu and Dr Renata Tyszczuk are attending the conference to share their expertise on urban resilience, industry and energy. Professor Petrescu ran an event on Collaborative Civic Resilience and Dr Tyszczuk will take part in workshops at the Le Bourget conference centre, gathering material for the Creative Climate project she helped launch in 2009.

Collaborative Civic Resilience Event, Climate Generations Area, COP21

Professor Petrescu organised an event and exhibition which took place on 5 December as part of the Climate Generations area of the conference. These areas are open to the general public and those taking part in the international climate negotiations.

The event offered a forum for debate on different approaches of Collaborative Civic Resilience. It aimed to address the role of grassroots urban resilience initiatives in allowing neighbourhoods to adapt to the complex crisis we face: climatic, social, ecologic, economic.

Professor Petrescu is exhibiting the R-Urban research project throughout the conference, which is a collaboration between the University of Sheffield and her practice, Atelier d’Architecture Autogérée. R-Urban involves a network of community driven bottom up strategies of urban regeneration. One commons project, in a suburb of Paris, now has 400 citizens co-managing 5000 square metres of land, producing food, energy and housing, while actively reducing waste and water usage.

In order to become more effective, more strategic and have a lasting impact at a larger scale, these initiatives need to act convergently with other initiatives and frameworks. The exhibition presents a number of practices, structures and tools for initiating collaborative resilience and propose a co-produced vision of resilient urban regeneration of metropolitan suburbs.

Culture and Climate Change launch Climate Change in Residence: Future Scenarios

Culture and Climate Change, a collaboration between the University of Sheffield and The Open University, are pleased to launch Climate Change in Residence: Future Scenarios, a new networked residency programme that embeds artists within contemporary thinking on climate research and policy. Three individual artists or collectives working in any artform will be offered an award of £10,000 each for a year-long residency beginning in June 2016.

The Climate Change in Residence project is supported by the University of Sheffield, the Open University, the Ashden Trust and Jerwood Charitable Foundation. Dr Tyszczuk will launch the project alongside the delegation from the Open University who are attending the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.

This is a pilot artist residencies programme that aims to put more culture into climate scenarios. Scenarios are a key element in the political and public conversation about climate change but have to date been almost exclusively the preserve of natural science modellers and economists. They need company.

Rather than being based in one place, the project aims to follow the networked nature of climate change knowledge by experimenting with ‘network residencies’.

“This project offers artists interested in climate change a unique and exciting opportunity to work within a network of internationally renowned climate researchers and policy makers. By establishing new forms of collaboration, we can open up and bring more energy to contemporary debates about climate change and the future.”

Dr Renata Tyszczuk, Senior Lecturer, Sheffield School of architecture