UoA 16B Architecture, Built Environment and Planning - Architecture

A global reputation for innovative research into architecture and the built environment underpins our continued success. The strength and depth of our expertise in fields including low carbon environments, sustainable design, the cultural context of architecture, and the influence of designed environments on quality of life are reflected in our GPA score of 3.11 and a UK ranking of 13th. A distinctive feature of this unit is that 90% of our research has been deemed ‘outstanding’ for its impact in terms of its reach and significant, ranking us top in the UK.

Quality level 4 3 2 1 UC
Overall 45.0% 30.0% 16.0% 9.0% 0.0%
Outputs 30.0% 32.0% 24.0% 14.0% 0.0%
Impact 90.0% 10.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Environment 50.0% 50.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
About the REF

Research in the Welsh School of Architecture spans the physical sciences, social sciences, humanities and design to foster excellence in key areas of architecture and built environment.

Our rich interdisciplinary research environment focuses on low carbon and sustainability, future cities, history and theory of architecture and the creation of places that enhance people's enjoyment of the built environment.

We've attracted £10.5M of income during the REF period, an increase of 260% over RAE 2008. This funding has enabled research into building performance evaluation, policy guidance on sustainability and low carbon futures and an expanded theoretical and historical understanding of architecture that informs professional debate and future design.

The School is home to the £34M Low Carbon Research Centre, which creates innovation in energy systems and building fabric along with the social changes that are required to realise a low carbon future. Our researchers also have access to the SkyDome, an artificial sky and heliodon facility, which allows researchers and designers to simulate using scale models, the lighting conditions within and around their buildings.

Case studies

Dubai skyline.

Cities and buildings of the future

We have developed advanced computational numerical models that are used in the design of major buildings and urban developments.

Groups 

 Research in the Welsh School of Architecture (WSA) is organised across three groups:

GroupDetails
Architectural Science Group (ASG)Undertakes interdisciplinary research on sustainability and the sustainable management of the built environment, from individual components, through whole buildings, to community urban and city scales.
Architectural History and Theory Group (AHTG)The groups interests are linked by a common concern with understanding the histories and theories of architecture - including its practice, making and education - within the situated realities of its cultures and contexts.
Design and Practice Research Group (DPRG)Formed in 2010 to encourage and promote research that is carried out through the act of design. This places the activities of the design studio and workshop on an equal footing with those of the library and laboratory.

Centres and Institutes

Centre/InstituteDetails
Low Carbon Research Institute (LCRI)Developed capacity and facilities around the existing areas of low carbon and energy expertise in Wales whilst being international in its outlook, and with a strategic long term programme of research.
Centre for Sustainable Design of the Built Environment (SuDoBE)The primary focus of this Centre is to investigate relations between people and the built environment. The research embraces studies of thermal comfort and energy, health and well-being and tensions between practices and tactics in the design process and elsewhere.
Practice, Research and Advancement in South Asian Design and Architecture
(PRASADA)
Focuses on historical traditions of the Indian subcontinent,
including their relevance to contemporary design, particularly temple architecture.
Design Research Unit Wales (DRUw)Engages in architectural design projects that address key topics in contemporary architectural design, including low carbon design, landscape and placemaking.
Centre for Research in the Built Environment (CRiBE)Offers consultancy services, drawing upon the School's diverse and interdisciplinary research expertise. It also provides support with project and financial management to other centres and is often the first point of contact for external organisations. In this role, it is well placed to deliver impact through engagement and dissemination.

Overall ranking

Pos. Institution GPA
1 University of Glasgow 3.38
1 University of Bath 3.38
3 University of Cambridge 3.35

11 Sheffield Hallam University 3.13
11 Newcastle University 3.13
13 Cardiff University B 3.11
14 University of Edinburgh 3.05
14 University of Manchester 3.05
14 Heriot-Watt University 3.05
17 University of Ulster 2.94

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