The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


C&PM academics win Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities grant

1 August 2014

sustainable cities

A team of academics at The Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management and the Department of Geography have won funding from UCL’s Grand Challenge of Sustainable Cities small grants scheme, to explore how today’s householders could be encouraged to make their properties more sustainable, and increase the likelihood of healthier homes for the next generation of occupants.

With 87% of the UK’s existing housing stock likely to still be in use in 2050, future sustainable cities will require high energy-efficiency in homes already built. But the typical householder still rejects initiatives aimed at energy-efficiency, with cost and disruption the primary reasons. But when homeowners undertake minor construction work on their home, a financial commitment and disruption is already expected, so these minor works could be the point where barriers to sustainable change can be lowered.

The project, led by Dr Aeli Roberts, Dr Niamh Murtagh and Richard Hind alongside Dr Russell Hitchings from UCL’s Department of Geography, will examine minor construction works as an important ‘point of change’ with significant potential for introducing energy-efficiency enhancements into the home. The study will focus on the interactions between householder and architect during a minor works project and will examine if and how issues of sustainability are considered, accepted or rejected at this opportune stage, and furthermore, will explore what can be done to encourage uptake of energy-efficiency initiatives during the interaction.