Professor Marialena Nikolopoulou to speak at CIBSE Build2Perform Live 2019

Deputy Head of School, and former Director of CASE Research Centre, Professor Marialena Nikolopoulou will be speaking at the upcoming CIBSE Build2Perform Live 2019 at Olympia in London on Wednesday 27th November 2019 with a talk on Urban Design. Her session will run through how the Urban Albedo collaborative research project is looking at the impacts of the urban fabric to the urban temperatures and how new material can improve urban climate. The session will cover:

  • Understanding the principles of urban design
  • Find out the seasonal effects of albedo on urban temperature
  • Understand the impact of urban fabric on urban albedo.

FEW-Meter Project hosts successful Technology and Green Spaces Symposium

Dr Silvio Caputo is leading the UK team in an international 3-year project, funded under the SUGI called Food-Water-Energy Nexus, which started in June 2018. The FEW-meter project aims at measuring the efficiency of urban agriculture in terms of resource consumption, food production and social benefits. Each one of the five countries involved in the project (UK, France, Germany, Poland and USA) will focus on a specific type of urban agriculture and a particular city. The UK will be looking at Community Gardens and City Farms in London, which have recently seen a surge of interest.

Recently, as part of the project, Kent School of Architecture and Planning, and Social Farms and Gardens, the association representing UK community gardens and city farms, organised a symposium, ‘Technology and Green Spaces’ on 29th October 2019.

The symposium was very well attended and participants included organisations such as Forum for the Future, universities such as University of Salford and many other associations that work in the field of urban agriculture and the management of green spaces in cities.

The symposium was structured in two sessions: the first one exploring new food technologies and how these are changing the landscape of urban agriculture and the second one looking at digital tools to enhance user’s experience in public parks. The day ended with a discussion on the future of these technologies, their risks and benefits, with a very high-level exchange of opinions that will surely set the future agenda for projects in this field. KSAP and Social Farms and Gardens will draft a report to summarise the main findings of the event, which will be very useful to trace the evolution of the use of green space in cities.

CASE Dalby Square project featured on BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Show

The Centre for Architecture and the Sustainable Environment’s (CASE) Dalby Square project was recently featured on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme. The Dalby Square project in Margate is a cross-sector collaboration between Kent County Council (KCC), Thanet District Council, Kent School of Architecture and Planning, the School of Psychology and the private sector. The aim was to develop and retrofit the KCC owned property at 12a Dalby Square into an exemplar residence that simultaneously addresses the challenges of climate change and promotes opportunities for inter-generational living, whilst also ensuring that the existing architectural details of the property are conserved and restored.

“The council wanted to address some of the issues with Dalby Square, and bring it back to its former glory, as part of the wider regeneration of Margate”, says Professor Marialena Nikolopoulou, CASE founder and director of the centre between 2011 and 2018. She also notes that, “If you have an extended family living together they they can afford the house, they’re in a better situation, while also looking after each other. Whether that’s grandparents looking after their grandchildren, or an extended network of siblings.”

CASE worked with architects Lee Evans Partnership to transform the five-story terraced townhouse from former subdivided hotel rooms into a home that enables several generations of the same family to live together under one roof, with both communal and private living areas.

The refurbishment of the heritage townhouse in Dalby Square, Margate, has been completed and a three-generation family are part of the innovative project, where extensive monitoring will take place, to evaluate the climate change adaptation strategies, whilst focusing on overheating, thermal comfort and energy performance, while testing the concept of multi-generation living. CASE aims to develop a ‘Sustainable Heritage Toolkit’ to help other coastal towns across the UK.

You can watch the episode on BBC iPlayer, with the feature on 12a Dalby Square starting at 47.31.

CASE Open Lecture: Tim Stonor, Space Syntax

The next CASE Open Lecture will be given by Tim Stonor, Managing Director of Space Syntax, with his talk titled, ‘Space Syntax: a Smart City approach to urban planning and design’ on Tuesday 19th November at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

Tim Stonor is an architect and urban planner who has devoted his career to the analysis and design of human behaviour patterns – the ways in which people move, interact and transact in buildings and urban places. He is an internationally recognised expert in the design of spatial layouts and, in particular, the role of space in the generation of social, economic and environmental value. Tim is the Managing Director of Space Syntax, an urban planning and design company created at University College London in 1989 to develop and apply predictive design technologies. He is Director of The Academy of Urbanism, a Visiting Professor at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, a Harvard Loeb Fellow and Deputy Chair of the UK Design Council.

Space Syntax: a Smart City approach to urban planning and design

The spatial layout of the buildings and urban places exerts a powerful influence on human behaviour. The way that people move, interact and transact is directly influenced by the way that places connect as networks of space.

The science-based and human-focused approach developed by Space Syntax aids the planning and design process by identifying the fundamental links between spatial layout, land use attraction and the performance of places.

In his talk, Tim will describe the way that Space Syntax has used data, algorithms and predictive analytics over thirty years of international planning and design practice.

FEW-Meter hosting one-day symposium: ‘Technology and Green Spaces’

Dr Silvio Caputo is leading the UK team in an international 3-year project, funded under the SUGI called Food-Water-Energy Nexus, which started in June 2018. The FEW-meter project aims at measuring the efficiency of urban agriculture in terms of resource consumption, food production and social benefits. Each one of the five countries involved in the project (UK, France, Germany, Poland and USA) will focus on a specific type of urban agriculture and a particular city. The UK will be looking at Community Gardens and City Farms in London, which have recently seen a surge of interest.

On Tuesday 29 October, the FEW-Meter project will be holding a one-day symposium showcasing the use of the latest technology in green spaces. Sessions covering topics surrounding technology, food, environment and access; plus a presentation given by key note speaker, Mike Hardman from the University of Salford.

The ‘Technology and Green Spaces’ symposium will be held at The Garden Room, St Luke’s Community Centre, 90 Central Street, London EC1V 8AJ.

For all staff and PhD students at Kent School of Architecture and Planning,  the event is free. Please contact Dr Silvio Caputo or Dr Victoria Schoen for registration. For other University of Kent staff who are interested in attending, please select ‘Concession Ticket‘ on the event page.

CASE Open Lecture: Professor Rohinton Emmanuel

The first CASE Open Lecture of the year will be given by Professor Rohinton Emmanuel, with his talk titled, ‘Architectural education in a time of climate emergency: thoughts on key challenges and future directions’ on Tuesday 15 October at 6pm in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1.

We live in a rapidly warming world with limited time for corrective action. The contribution of built environment to the problem of climate change is considerable but many of the low-hanging fruits of actions to mitigate it are also found within the built environment, especially in cities.Based on my own world view of higher education in the 21st Century I propose to explore the key challenges facing university education at present and enumerate the architectural educational responses needed urgently to address the climate emergency. We will explore a set of initial ideas to transform architectural education to be fit-for-purpose to face this challenge and put forward ideas to move forward to a climate-sensitive design future.

Rohinton Emmanuel is Professor of Sustainable Design and Construction and Director, Research Centre for Built Environment Asset Management (BEAM) at Glasgow Caledonian University. He pioneered the inquiry of urban heat island studies in warm regions and has taught and consulted on climate and environment sensitive design, building and urban sustainability and its assessment, building energy efficiency, thermal comfort and carbon in the built environment. Rohinton was the Secretary of the largest group of urban climate researchers, the International Association for Urban Climate (2010-2013) and was a member of the Expert Team on Urban and Building Climatology (ET 4.4) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as well as the CIB Working Group (W108) on “Buildings and Climate Change.” He has also worked as a green building consultant (LEED certification) and has authored over 150 research publications, including An Urban Approach to Climate Sensitive Design (E&FN Spon Press, 2005), Carbon Management in the Built Environment (Routledge, 2012), Critical Concepts in Built Environment: Sustainable Buildings (Routledge, 2014) and Urban Climate Challenges in the Tropics (Imperial College Press, 2016).

He is currently the Coordinator of an Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree Programme on urban climate and sustainability, MUrCS, as well as a Co-Investigator of a H2020 Project (OPERANDUM) on nature-based solutions to mitigate hydro-meteorological risks.

Professor Marialena Nikolopoulou speaks at Asia-Pacific Energy Sustainable Development Forum

Professor Marialena Nikolopoulou recently attended the fifth Asia-Pacific Energy Sustainable Development Forum, for the fifth anniversary celebration event of APSEC, held in Tianjin on 18-20 September. The forum was organised by APEC Sustainable Energy Centre under the guidance of Tianjin University and National Energy Administration China.

Professor Nikolopoulou presented the recent work on the Urban Albedo project, with a talk titled, ‘Developing an urban albedo calculator: an empirical model to predict changes in relation to urban fabric and solar altitude in London’. Urban albedo, the capacity of urban surfaces to reflect solar radiation, is one of the most important contributors to changes in outdoor temperature, intensifying the urban heat island phenomenon, where temperatures in urban centres are higher than the surrounding rural environs.

In addition to attending the conference in Tianjin, Professor Nikolopoulou also represented the University of Kent at the EIC Fair in Tianjin, and visited schools and agents in Beijing as part of her trip to China.

Dr Renganathan invited to speak at Indian Faculties of Architecture

Senior Lecturer and CASE (Centre for Architecture and the Sustainable Environment) director, Dr Giridharan Renganathan, was invited to speak to the staff at the Faculty of Architecture, Karpagam University, Coimbatore, India.

His presentation titled, ‘Experimental approach to urban albedo calculation: methodological challenges’, outlined the ongoing EPSRC funded Urban Albedo research project at the Kent School of Architecture and Planning, and discussed challenges related to surveying and scaling, experimental model building, sourcing and installation of equipment, development of digital model, validation of digital model.

The presentation focused on measures taken within budgetary constraints to overcome the challenges and its implications. Dr Renganathan also discussed the challenges in integrating passive strategies in the context of climate change with undergraduate and postgraduate students.

In addition to the presentation at Karpagam University, Dr Giridharan Renganathan was also invited to deliver a lecture to postgraduate students and staff and the Department of Architecture, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, India. The lecture titled, ‘Building resilience to overheating: a case study of Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge’, discussed the proposed advanced adaptive refurbishment options and their relative performance predicted against the existing internal conditions, energy demands and carbon dioxide emissions. The lecture highlighted that this may have more resilience in the current climate than expected, and that it will remain resilient into the 2030s. However, beyond 2050 some form of mechanical cooling may be needed. Dr Renganathan also highlighted that the problem could be more complex in hot and humid conditions such as in India, and the importance of developing context specific performance database for soft-landing measures.

Dr Renganathan gives lecture at University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka

Senior Lecturer and CASE director Giridharan Renganathan was invited to deliver a lecture to postgraduate students and staff at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. The lecture titled, ‘Research Methods for Performance Analysis’ discussed categorisation of research with a specific focus on architecture, premises and characterisation of qualitative and quantitative research, and research design with a focus on case study.

Dr Renganathan used examples from his research work on hospital performance studies in UK, urban heat island studies in Hong Kong and urban albedo studies for high latitude locations to highlight the methods and techniques, with a specific focus on surveying, monitoring, modelling, statistical analysis and experimental process. The talk concluded by highlighting the limitation of these techniques and possible way forward.

BBC reports on Dr Henrik Schoenefeldt’s research at Houses of Parliament

Dr Schoenefeldt’s current research project at the Houses of Parliament was featured on the BBC. It was subject of the special report ‘Political hot air’ on BBC South East Today, 18 April 2019, 6.30. Henrik took Robin Gibbons, BBC broadcast journalists, around the hidden voids of the Palace of Westminster and gave an interviews on his academic research. The project aims to provide a critical understanding of the design, history and performance of the 19th century ventilation system of the Houses of Parliament, and to explore the possibility of revitalising the currently disused system during the restoration of the Palace of Westminster. A brief summary of the project can be found on the parliamentary website here and it has also been the subject of a cover article in the CIBSE Journal.