Please click on the boxes below to find out more about the research students within Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of Huddersfield:
PhD Part-time, commenced January 2015
Supervisors: Professor Nicholas Temple and Dr Lisa Stansbie
Research Centre: CUDAS
Modern architecture is an essay in Zeitgeist – the Spirit of the Time. Largely, it fails to engage with the Genius Loci – the Spirit of the Place.
A modern, but vernacular architecture has emerged in the rural West of Scotland: However, it still denies its Landscape context. Around the dwelling, the land is scraped to a flat plane: gravel; lawn; deck. The palimpsest that was the landscape is reduced to a compositional Background to the Architectural Figure. Its Local Distinctiveness, its narrative, is erased.
There is, in on the remote coast of Assynt, a tiny, extraordinary building, brutally modern, and an element of the landscape quite completely. The Hermit’s Castle, declares in form and name, antithetical archetypes of Scottish architecture in the wilderness: Castle and Bothy.
From this touchstone, My research practice will attempt to find a synthesis of Zeitgeist and Genius Loci in the dialogue between contemporary architecture and land.
PhD Part-time, commenced September 2016
Supervisors: Professor Angela Lee
The Impact of the Treble Lean Construction Constraints (i.e. Standardisation, Tools and Techniques, and Culture and Change) in Healthcare Hospitals Projects.
The manufacturing industry has a considerable interest in achieving substantial improvements in terms of productivity and quality. Researchers are concerned with the applicability of “lean production” principles currently implemented in manufacturing to the Healthcare Hospitals Projects. The attractive aspect persuading researchers to perform further extensive research is the observation that manufacturing has succeeded in reducing cost and time while improving quality and productivity, whereas the Healthcare Hospitals Projects has not achieved such positive results.
PhD Full-time, commenced January 2015
Supervisors: Professor Angela Lee
The overwhelming scientific evidences and recent events made mankind to consider retracing the path of industrialisation towards more sustainable practices. Biomimicry is an approach that seeks to provide sustainable technological solutions by asking nature itself, with long list of successes. From the Wright brothers observation of flying birds that led to the aeroplane, to solar cells inspired by leaves, and the concept of industrial ecology whereby human industrial activities are organised in the style of the natural ecological systems in order to produce zero waste. Nevertheless, the wisdom of considering the mother nature as a teacher is a long established tradition among the pre-industrial societies all over the world. They do not only ask nature, they learn to live in harmony and as part of the overall natural sytem. The study of the model of such pre-industrial societies for inspirations to provide sustainable solutions is referred to as the ethnomimicry. This study, is the ethnomimicry of the model of such societies of Kano in Nigeria, where exists a naturally evolved industrial ecology with virtually zero demolition waste. This research tries to answer the questions of how does this community that produces zero demolition wastes operate? what are the factors that may be influencing the phenomenon? And why it can or cannot work elsewhere?
With the report that 90% of all materials ever extracted may be residing in the built environment and most of it on the way to the landfill at the end of service of the built facilities, the findings of this research will open another way of turning otherwise waste into wealth while saving the environment.
This research focuses on the civic life and civic responsibility of a Balinese community in the context of ceremonial activities and traditions taking place in the littoral regions, tracing relationships between ritual itinerary and topography, and highlighting the tensions and conflicts that have recently emerged between these ritual traditions and recent developments in tourism. The research aims to trace the historical background of this rich ritual tradition of the coastal towns on the island, and to establish its role in Bali today in the light of dramatic economic and social changes. Since there are negative impacts and implications on the civic life of the community, the research aims to formulate a concept of planning and design guidelines which aim to achieve a balance between ecological needs, custody of civic space and sustained development in tourism.
Working Title: "Systematic Approach to Oil Spill Waste Management in Arctic".
Exploration drilling in the Arctic Ocean has until date been limited due to extreme weather conditions and high costs. However, as the ice edge is gradually declining it becomes more practicable and thereby more economic feasible for more oil companies to explore the 30% of the world's undiscovered gas and 13% of the world's undiscovered oil in the area. The 2010 Macondo oil spill in the Mexican Gulf made it evident to the oil industry how wrong a worst case scenario can advance. In the aftermath of the incident the oil industry have put more emphasis on improving and testing their oil spill contingency plans, but it could be argued that a major oil spill in Arctic might generate a significant larger amount of waste compared to the Macondo spill. Further, the extreme weather conditions in Arctic would make clean-up operations and logistical support more challenging, thus, it is uncertain to whether the oil industry's current oil spill contingency plans are adequate for managing such an incident.
PhD Part-time, commenced October 2007
Supervisors: Professor Paul Ward (Modern British History)
Research Centre: Academy of British and Irish Studies and CUDAS
The focus of my current research looks at the events and outputs that made up the 1951 Festival of Britain celebrations in Leeds, York, Hull, Manchester and Liverpool. These were key cities in Yorkshire and Lancashire (pre 1974 boundary changes) that were identified by the London based Festival Office to receive significant festival status. These cities used the Festival of Britain to boost civic pride and consolidate their identies of space and place in a post-war world, often restoring, preserving or creating new buildings of architectural significance.
The PhD will help develop a systematic understanding of the granaries of northern Portugal. The espigueiro (in Spanish horreo) are a unique building type with antecedents in South America from where maize was introduced to Europe in the 16th century. This study will identify particular characteristics to help understand both the evolutionary chronology of the physical buildings but also the cultural and economic significance of the granaries.
Attentiveness on neighbourhood scale is Inevitable in making cities resilient to natural and human-induced disasters. The inherent features of a neighbourhood such as immediate resources network, social network within close proximity, easy intervention can be considered as strengths of creating neighbourhood resilience.
Most of the contemporary approaches in creating neighbourhood resilience are more focused on forceful community based action projects such as training and education, setting up wide variety of community groups, neighbourhood watch schemes which are virtuous but eventually challenging to implement, especially within urban cities with their busy life style. So in a situation like this, how can we plan and design ‘built-environment’ of a neighbourhood in a way that can rationally create and strengthen the neighbourhood resilience without taking any forceful action. Accordingly this research is focused on incorporating planning and design solutions to strengthen resilient neighbourhoods in urban cities.
PhD Full-time, commenced October 2015
Supervisors: Professor Patricia Tzortzopoulos
Application of BIM technologies in social projects: integration between product and production system design from a lean perspective.
In order to reduce project duration and increase the flexibility of product, the design stage is commonly overlapping the production stage. Decision making in construction projects is fragmented between the stages of design and production, which in general is considered to be problematic and should become better integrated to improve the performance of architectural engineering and construction projects. Using BIM technologies can support the construction professionals to perform analysis at different stages of a project, through the manipulation and evaluation of the impacts of changes in project parameters, provision new information for decision-making. In this context, it’s necessary to study how BIM technology can contribute to integrate the design and production designs, in order to deliver value for final customers of social relevance projects.
PhD Full-time, commenced April 2015
Supervisors: Professor Patricia Tzortzopoulos Fazenda
Research Centre: Innovative Design Lab
In order to cope with the paradigmatic change involved in built environment related to managerial and technological developments, it is crucial to investigate how to develop a framework to produce an equivalent thinking change on designers. The research focus is in the role of architecture design in the implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Lean Construction process, regarding to a substantial change to systemic thinking in the design process. Based on a Design Science research approach it is expected to provide a consistent framework on how to manage this transformation in academic and professional practice.
PhD Full-time, commenced January 2016
Supervisors: Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga
Study of vulnerabilities among females during and after natural disasters; A case of females in flood affected areas in Sri Lanka
Due to specific features of females, they are more vulnerable to natural disasters specially during floods. Even though the general life expectancy is much higher among women than men in almost all countries, studies revealed that the ratio of loss of lives between women is greater than women during floods. This highlights that vulnerabilities among females are different and specific than males. Therefore, this study examines vulnerabilities faced by females during and after a disastrous situation. In terms of disasters, the study will be limited to the areas affected by severe floods during 2013-2014 in Sri Lanka. And also to identify the reasons for such vulnerabilities faced by females in flood affected areas in Sri Lanka. In addition the study aims to identify the factors that hinders the resilience capacity among females in the flood affected areas in Sri Lanka
The influence of indoor design criteria on occupants’ energy consumption behaviour in buildings
Several scholars have focused on the influence of occupants’ behaviour on building energy consumption with attention to climatic properties, building types and social behavioural parameters, however, the influence of architecture and interior design of the space on occupants’ energy behaviour have been overlooked. The interior design of the space influences energy behaviour of occupants in different ways: the building openings inside/outside relationships in terms of visual qualities, the circulation and movement of users inside the building which affect their action scenarios, and effects of colours and compositions of the interior spaces, may increase or decrease the occupant’s use of openings or building control systems. This research intends to find the influence of interior design parameters, by changing interior compositions of the selected spaces of the case studies and analysing the consequences of the changes in the final energy consumption.
Sustainable design at the urbanisation boundary in China
This research project investigates a range of sustainability issues arising from the urbanisation process taking place in almost all areas of China at the present time. It specifically seeks to identify and test the hypothesis that at this boundary there are opportunities to improve sustainable design and reduce negative environmental impacts whilst at the same time satisfying the needs and aspirations of occupants. A secondary hypothesis concerns whether the current procurement processes would permit such development as a means to reduce the performance gap between as-designed and in-use. In this there will be investigation and evaluation of technical and non-technical barriers to achieving optimum outcomes.
Gender Equity and Disaster Resilience Associated with the Third Revolution Digital Technology
Resilience describes the capacities of societies, communities and individuals or a social-ecological system to deal with adverse consequences and the impacts of hazard events. Emergency Communications and Warning Systems will enable improving disaster resilience. As many have online access today and young women have increased their online communication while young men tend to explore technology resources, the potential of using user friendly third revolution digital technology such as semantic features has the potential to improve the access to early warning/risk information supporting the decision making of the communities at immediate risk saving lives. Integration of gender perspectives into disaster risk reduction by means of fostering awareness about gender equity to help reduce the impact of disasters, incorporating gender analysis in disaster management can decrease vulnerability of the communities. Therefore, this study aims to critically examine the effect of third revolution digital technology on gender equity within disaster early warning systems.
During periods of conflict, infrastructure typically suffers from damage and neglect, and an absence of new investment. The vital role of infrastructure in serving human endeavours means that when elements of it are damaged or destroyed, the ability of society to function – economically and socially – is severely disrupted. Yet, with the cessation of violence, resettlement and reconstruction can also be a critical element of a broader process of reconciliation between communities involved in the conflict.
This study aims to develop a novel framework that promotes conflict sensitive development of physical infrastructure, focusing on the road network in war-affected area. It will consider the economic and social impact of infrastructure projects, as well as their contribution, positive or negative, to the process of reconciliation.
The working title of the study is “The economic benefits of Sri Lanka’s post conflict road infrastructure reconstruction programme and lessons for post conflict resolution”.
A study of the social-cultural aspects of the self-built housing in Hanoi city, Vietnam after the economic reform in the 1980s.
In Vietnam, private self-built housing has contributed large amounts shelter, and they play important role to characterize Vietnamese urban. Throughout history, although there are various changes in the architectural elements, there are still some important rules within the dynamic transformation process. Among the strict control of regulations and plans, the self-built housing, which organized by citizen to suit with their life styles, can not easy to replace by modern house forms. Base on this observation, the original question of this study has been how and why do people practice the self-built construction under the complex urban environment? And what is the primary concept within the self-built housing?
A model towards oil spill disaster risk reduction and management in the oil and gas region of Nigeria.
The Nigeria Niger Delta has been suffering from negative environmental consequences of oil development since the discovery of oil in the 1950s. The growth of the country’s oil industry, combined with a population explosion and lack of enforcement of the environmental regulation has led to substantial damage to the environment. Many oil spills have contaminated the coastal shorelines, causing severe localised ecological damage to the near-shore communities. Oil spills in the Niger Delta have been a regular occurrences and the resultant degradation of the surrounding environment has caused significant tension between the people living in the region and the multinational oil companies operating in the region. This study aimed at introducing a new technique/ models towards the reduction and management of oil spill disaster and the impact of these spills on the environment and human health especially the women in this region.
Managing vulnerabilities of unplanned urban built environments through consolidating indigenous knowledge and scientific disaster reduction approaches
The unplanned urbanisation often leads to increased vulnerabilities to the built environment such as increased cost of housing and infrastructure, emergence of slums, poor accessibility to the buildings, unendurable constructions, overexploitation of resources, inequity of the expenditures, and unsustainable degradation of the environment. Gradually, these vulnerabilities lead to negative consequences in case of a destructive event.
In many cultural contexts indigenous knowledge was used as an early warning of disasters. Indigenous inhabitants have cultured to adapt the gradual change and adjust their livelihood strategies. Literatures proved that, knowledge of local people through years of experiences supports to deal with disastrous situations compared to officials appointed by the government bodies. However, this knowledge often overlooked by the professionals and the government bodies. Therefore, indigenous knowledge needs to be drawn upon in addressing the environmental hazards and the consequences for concentrated communities of urban built environments. This research aims to develop a model to consolidate indigenous knowledge and scientific disaster reduction approaches.
Within the UK domestic buildings account for one quarter of UK energy consumption which is higher than the amount consumed by non-domestic buildings such as factories, offices, and retail buildings. The consumption of fossil fuel based energy results in the release of Carbon Dioxide which has been shown to contribute to climate change. In response to this the government has set ambitious targets to reduce the space heating energy use of new housing to zero by 2016. However, two problems remain. Firstly, the vast majority of dwellings are existing properties that will not benefit from these new standards and secondly those new properties built to the new zero space heating standard will still require some heat input. This heat is derived from ‘casual’ gains i.e. from occupants, lighting, appliances and most importantly the sun. This research project aims to investigate the latter of these gains by investigating the use of south facing walls as a collector of solar thermal energy.
PhD Part-time, commenced April 2015
Supervisors: Dr David Swann and Professor Richard Haigh
Research Centre: IDL and GDRC
'How can design improve the transportation and distribution of humanitarian aid products to communities in disaster relief sites?’
This PhD study will explore how design can address the challenges that face displaced people and aid workers in transient settlements and the difficulties encountered by humanitarian aid organisations in supporting them.
The aim of the research study is to develop new system technologies to facilitate the movement of humanitarian aid, medical goods and essential products around relief sites and refugee camps.
The PhD research seeks to identify the gaps and opportunities within existing systems and processes using a design-led approach to make an impact within the confines of present infrastructure and logistic systems.
Empirical research will seek to capture a detailed understanding of current systems, infrastructures, supply and distribution networks, operational difficulties and challenges, product procurement systems and specification criteria, and academic works related to this area of study.
This research focuses on improving dimensional tolerance management in construction. All construction elements are assumed to have specific dimensions and their location is dimensioned on the drawings to a theoretically exact position. However, in reality all dimensions and positions of installed materials vary somewhat. The acceptable range of variation, permitted in a specified dimension or location without impacting structural integrity, operating capability, or abutting components, is the tolerance of the material or installed position of the material. Despite the notable impact of tolerance problems, there is little evidence on the construction literature related to documentation of problems associated with tolerances. This research aims to present a systematic and practical approach for dimensional tolerance management of elements in construction projects using new technologies based on Lean Construction principles.
PhD Full-time, commenced October 2014
Supervisors: Professor Lauri Koskela
Construction management in refurbishment projects
Refurbishment projects have different features in comparison with new builds. The degree of complexity and uncertainties is higher in refurbishments. However, studies indicate that companies are still using mainstream practices for managing production in such projects. Yet, data suggest that such traditional approach is likely to lead to poor project performance. It is contended that the construction management in refurbishments needs an appropriate approach tailored to its particular characteristics and in line with the lean theory. Therefore, this research aims at devising a method for construction management in refurbishment projects. It is argued that it helps to improve project performance by proposing a conceptual framework tailored to the nature of refurbishments as well as by indicating appropriate approaches of production control.
PhD Full-time, commenced October 2011
Supervisors: Professor Patricia Tzortzopoulos
Variability in design workflow is a problem related to poor planning and control of design tasks and is a major cause of delays in building projects. This is because traditional design planning practices lack a mechanism to control workflow and are therefore unreliable. There are studies that demonstrate that the Last Planner system (LPS) of planning and control can improve workflow during the construction process by increasing task planning reliability, as measured using Percent Plan Complete (PPC). In two action research studies, the researcher collaborated with design practitioners at two architectural/engineering (AE) firms in Florida to implement LPS in two building design projects and evaluate its effectiveness in improving workflow during the design process. As Building Information Modeling (BIM) was used as a design tool in both projects, the researcher and the practitioners also tried to find the best ways to combine LPS and BIM to achieve better design workflow.
Supervisors: Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga
“Community Capacity Building for Disaster Risk Reduction: Exposing and Challenging Level of Prioritization in Kenya”. Since the 2005 endorsement of the 10-year Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) whose goal was the ‘building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters’, many gains were realized but with abysmal efforts directed at empowering communities toward improved DRR. This research zooms in on Kenya, a Horn of Africa high disaster risk country, where after spending more than US$ 1.5 billion on disaster responses between 2009 and 2013; one would expect Community Capacity Building for Disaster Risk Reduction to be a top priority by the government of Kenya and her development partners. This research therefore sets out to assess and where possible challenge the level of prioritisation for community capacity building for disaster risk reduction among key government of Kenya development partners..
The study is seeking a balance between provision of the indoor thermally comfortable conditions and energy efficiency for cooling by optimizing design solutions and developing practical guidance of natural ventilation for specific dwelling types.
The main residential building type studied is ‘Shophouses’ which are the most repetitive vernacular terrace types found not only in Vietnam but also other parts of Southeast Asia. These dwellings are long and thin making it tricky to find ways to enhance the cooling effect from natural air flows which are the typical technique to reduce discomfort. Under increasing impacts of global warming and climatic events by rapid urbanization, it is more important to find ways to reduce the thermal stresses from heat discomfort. The dwelling types represent more than 40% of the housing stock in some areas and the consequence of the lack of air flow is increasing installation and use of air conditioning.
The project seeks to combine an understanding of building and urban typologies, planning implementation, thermal measurement, occupant surveys, modeling and other analytical tools to develop practical guidance and understanding for the future. In essence, it is to find the optimum combinations to reduce thermal stress balancing comfort and energy use.
PhD Full-time, commenced April 2015
Supervisors: Professor Richard Haigh
Research Centre: IDL
Many developing countries, including Malaysia, are now paying serious attention to disaster management and considering it in their national development plans. However, because of the economic status of these countries, finance is a crucial problem, as disaster risk reduction (DRR) plans are expensive if they are to be effective. Without many options, the governments of developing countries have to carry out disaster management programmes with limited and insufficient funds. A large proportion of disaster risk financing is shouldered by government, following the perception that disaster risk management is for the public. Different scenarios can be seen in the United States and France, where government and private sectors collaborate to develop programmes such as the US National Flood Insurance Program and the French Caisse Centrale de Reassurance. Therefore, the problem investigated in my research is to explore how the implementation of public private partnerships (PPP) for managing disasters in developing countries can deliver integrated resilience-building and disaster planning; it will also examine the roles of PPP in providing better a DRR structure and reducing the financial burden.