Lecturer/ Deputy Head
Research Group: Practice Research Group
Welsh School of Architecture
Bute Building, King Edward VII Avenue
My research centres on a cluster of topic areas, which come under the broad heading of design and construction technology. Full details of these may be found at www.dru-w.co.uk
The topics are as follows:-
Design Research Unit - Architecture and Urbanism
It may seem axiomatic that design should be central to research in a school of architecture but that is not always the case. A new Unit was established in 2000 in order to concentrate on architectural, urban design and landscape projects from the position of research. The Design Research Unit, therefore undertakes projects, often in collaboration with other specialists, that provide the opportunity for the development of design studies based on research or as research in their own right.
The common goal in the work of the Design Research Unit to date has been to found the activities of the Design Studio on a sound research based approach.
As such, projects are shaped through rigorous and critical analysis of all parameters shaping the conceptualisation, development and solution of the project.
The design and research projects are pursued through collective and collaborative endeavour based on sound design theory and underpinned by the considerable resources of the Centre for Research in the Built Environment. Since its inception a number of key projects have been secured and completed and a number of publications have followed as well as design awards and exhibitions. (See list)
Architecture and Urbanism
DRUw has a number of on-going projects that fall under the general heading of Urban Sustainability. Starting with projects centering on the market towns of Monmouthshire including a LIFE funded project related to accessibility in Chepstow worjk has been extended to include involvement in the design and development of 2 of Wales largest urban design projects - Roath Basin, Cardiff Bay for the Welsh Development Agency and Coed d'Arcy for Edward Ware Homes the developer. At Roath Basin we have been conducting studies on pedestrian comfort in the public realm and at Coed d'Arcy I have been advising on a range of potential sustainable construction including the use of local material. In our own right we have continued with a Vision and Masterplan for Cardiff University at Maindy, Cardiff and a sustainable cultural quarter in Bassano, Italy.
At a rural level we have worked for the National Parks of Wales on providing draft supplementary planning guidance for Sustainable Design and projects for low cost rural housing are ongoing through the Ty- Unos (House in a night) initiatives.
The Building Envelope
The design and construction of the building envelope (as a climatic filter). This considers how the external fabric of buildings can be constructed to act with climate to meet the overall performance requirements of buildings.
Interest centres on the whole palette of construction materials however currently work is focused on the use of sustainably grown broad-leaved timbers (with Coed Cymru) and steel framed housing (with British Steel sponsored first Eng D's in Architecture). See publications for details.
The research has responded to Latham and Egan in the quest for efficient and effective construction systems. Funded research under the EPSRC Initiatives in Manufacturing Industries has been completed (Housebuilding as a Manufacturing Industry 'HOBMAN' with Westbury Homes and Warwick Manufacturing Group first cross-sectoral work of this kind in the UK). Collaborative work with strategic partners Gwalia, Seren and Wales and the West Housing Association to extend and transfer knowledge in local sustainable supply chains in housing in Wales is ongoing through a KEF funded project entitled MMC Wales.
Other areas of interest under this heading relate to prefabrication and modular construction and design and research projects are in progress in collaboration with CORUS plc and Gwalia Housing Associationymru and Coed C.
Critical Studies in Tectonic Form and Technique
Personal research is carried out on a number of architects for whom the technique of making buildings and their materiality is at the heart of their design philosophy. Work has been published in international journals as well as at Conferences.
Following research through 2000/2001 a book co-authored with Professor Dean Hawkes was published in 2002 in English, Spanish, German and Chinese.