Built Environment
Research Group

Our innovative research is helping to address the increasing pressure that demand for high standards of living is placing on our Earth’s resources. Our researchers are working with the Civil Engineering, Construction and Architectural Technology industries to find state-of-the-art solutions to future-proof our cities.

Sustainable design and engineering research will help reduce carbon emissions, improve living standards, meet new regulations and develop smart cities fit for the future.

Demand for innovation

About 50% of the annual energy consumption on Earth is attributed to the operation of buildings to maintain a high quality of human living standards. Designing environmentally friendly and healthy structures is, generally, based in bioclimatic technologies used by engineers, people, authorities and investors.

There is significant demand for innovative research in sustainable design and engineering in order to decarbonize cities, improve human living, meet regulations and develop smart-city applications. 

The focus of our Built Environment Research Group (BERG) is, therefore, to approach the new future city ‘state of the art' ideal. We deal with present global and local challenges in the construction industry in terms of regulations, climate change strategy and smart city concept. The Built Environment Department in the College of Engineering and Technology established the research group to deal in the most efficient way with innovative solutions in the Civil Engineering, Construction and Architectural Technology sectors.

Our impact

Working with public sector organisations, large and small businesses, consultants, and national and international research partners, we are helping develop simulation tools and sustainable design techniques.

As well as meeting new building industry regulations, these are also contributing more widely to efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, address climate change and meet health and safety requirements. Our research is also helping to develop sustainable materials to address issues such as overheating in care homes.

The work of our researchers is reaching a global audience through a variety of academic publications, including: Physica, Energy and Buildings, Energy Conversion and Management, Sustainable Cities and Society, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, and the International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences.

Key research themes

Building and urban bioclimatic design

Our researchers are investigating how buildings interact with the surrounding environment and respond to large and small changes in the climate. Using advanced planning, interior design techniques and sustainable architecture practices such as biophilic design (including nature in the design), we can address issues such as overheating, energy demand and human health and safety.

Structural design and technology

Research into concrete healing technologies and quantitative surveying techniques is enabling us to provide solutions that will protect land from flooding and reduce earthwork defects. This will enable the development of construction management approaches that are both environmentally friendly and financially viable.

Future and smart cities

We are using sustainable engineering principles to develop applications and technologies that will improve quality of life and reduce carbon emissions. Using advanced software, data gathering and analysis techniques, we can assess scenario-based solutions to develop the best smart designs.

Quantity surveying and commercial management

The University has invested in advanced quantity surveying technology in order to improve the teaching experience and high-level research. Doctoral students and academic staff are able to use high-level surveying technologies to accommodate PhD courses and consultancy. Quantity surveyors also study and investigate the financial, legal, managerial and economic aspects of project and commercial management, providing key advice on costs and contracts. 

Work with us

If you are interested in collaborating with our research group or undertaking a PhD, please contact Professor Stamatis Zoras at s.zoras@derby.ac.uk for further information.