UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage

Dr Scott Orr

Dr Scott Orr


Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Mar 2016

Research summary

Dr Scott Allan Orr was appointed as Lecturer in Heritage Data Science in the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage (within the Bartlett School of Environment, Energy, and Resources) in 2019. His research uses data-driven multi-scale approaches to further understanding and management of the historic built environment.

His research focuses on experimental methodologies that enable understanding of weather events and climate and their impacts on the historic built environment. This includes façade-scale investigation techniques that adapt non-destructive equipment designed for contemporary civil engineering applications to identify moisture regimes in solid-wall masonry structures. More recently, he has also collaborated on characterising damage to materials by post-processing hygrothermal simulations. On a regional and national scale, Scott uses probabilistic modelling with semi-empirical evaluations of wind-driven rain to characterise changes in exposure of the UK’s built environment due to climate change in the 21st century; this work predicted future exposure to be more polarised in winter and summer months and include shorter but more intense and concentrated wind-driven rain events. This work also identified statistical flaws and limitations of existing standards (e.g. ISO 15927-3) and led to new metrics (indices of exposure) with improved statistical robustness, including some to specifically characterise extreme events in the context of building performance. Scott is also currently an advisor on a doctoral project in Belgium to characterise salt weathering risk to historic buildings, including national-scale evaluations of risk represented by a range of historic building typologies and databases of salt ion concentrations.

Teaching summary

Scott is the Deputy Programme Director on the MSc in Data Science for Cultural Heritage. This programme pioneers a new way of teaching data science through application in a cross-disciplinary context.

He leads on several modules within, including an Introduction to Heritage Science, Heritage Data Mapping and Visualisation, Technologies and Digital Approaches for Built Heritage, and Heritage Data Management.


University of Oxford
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2018
University College London
Other higher degree, Master of Research | 2015
University of Toronto
First Degree, Bachelor of Applied Science | 2014


Dr Scott Allan Orr is a Lecturer in Heritage Data Science at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage. An engineer with broad interests, his research within heritage science primarily uses data-driven approaches to assess environmental impacts on the historic built environment, the use of non-destructive tools in building surveys, and incorporating value and perception into scientific evaluations. His research emphasises a holistic approach to considering the historic built environment in its context: an upcoming project with the University of Antwerp will evaluate synergies between urban greening and sustainable environments for historic building materials. He is the Deputy Programme Director of the MSc Data Science for Cultural Heritage, on which he teaches modules about heritage data visualisation, heritage science, and digital technologies for the historic built environment.