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Centre for Sustainable Design of the Built Environment (SuDoBE)

The Centre was established in 2007 as a joint venture between Cardiff University, Building Research Establishment (BRE) and Welsh Government to focus on promoting sustainable design in Wales, the UK and internationally

The Centre’s main focus is on socio-technical aspects of sustainability, including the relationship between well-being, health and sustainable environments.

The main aim of its research is to develop knowledge that can inform future sustainable design that will enhance people’s lives. Under this umbrella, the team has developed and apply expertise in human-environment interaction and social innovation. This expertise underpins a broad approach to building performance evaluation that integrates architectural science, environmental psychology, philosophy of technology, anthropology and the humanities. This interdisciplinary approach allows us to develop ‘thick descriptions’ of how people experience and use the built environment.

Key successes

Key successes include research on the health impacts of energy upgrades in social housing (Poortinga), on BREEAM ratings and comfort in non-domestic buildings (Zapata-Lancaster) and research on collecting data on energy in Welsh social housing as part of the UK’s Smart Energy Research Lab (Tweed, Lannon). Marchesi and Tweed collaborate with Arup and Clarion Housing on a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship researching circular economy in social housing.

Funded projects

Since 2007, we have been involved in the following funded research projects:

TitleFunding agency/partnersDateValue
SHREWD (Social Housing Research on Energy from Welsh Data)Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

2020 – 2022

CircuBED (Circular Economy in Built Environment Design)Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship2018 – 2021£156k
Energy and Environmental Monitoring Toolkits for Social HousingEPSRC IAA2017 – 2018£30k
The Health Impacts of Structural Energy Performance Investments in Wales: An Evaluation of the Arbed ProgrammeNational Health Institute for Research2013 – 2015£750k
Re-Engineering the City 2020-2050: Urban Foresight and Transition ManagementEPSRC Sustainable Urban Environments 32010 – 2014£2M
Use of timber in building constructionLCRI Convergence funding2010 – 2013£525k (£290k)
Monitoring the performance of low carbon buildings and technologies in WalesLCRI Convergence funding2010 – 2013£415k (£180k)
Conditioning Demand: A Sociotechnical Study of Energy Users and Renewable/Efficient TechnologiesEPSRC & EDF – People, Energy and Buildings2011 – 2012~£600k (£150k to Cardiff)
Carbon, Control and Comfort: User-centred control systems for comfort, carbon saving and energy management (CCC)EPSRC/Eon2009 – 2012£2M (£300k)
Solutions for Holistic Optimal Retrofit – 1980s urban semi detached house – feasibility studyTSB Retrofit for the Future Phase 22010 – 2012???
Sustainable Refurbishment of Building Facades and External Walls (SUSREF)European Commission FP72009 – 20112.6M € (182k €) w/ 251k € to BRE Wales
Developing knowledge exchange mechanisms to support Welsh low-carbon housingWelsh Assembly Government, Knowledge Exchange Fund (KEF)2007 – 2008£50k w/ £22k to BRE Wales


For further information about the above projects please contact Professor Chris Tweed:

Professor Chris Tweed

Professor Chris Tweed

Chair in Sustainable Design

+44 (0)29 2087 6207