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Our funded research is driving progress towards a sustainable built environment across the world.

Young people outside a centre in Cardiff.

AHRC IAA Project: Co-Producing Place Narratives

A participatory storytelling initiative of urban photography projects between the Schools of Architecture, Geography and Planning and Grange Pavilion Youth Forum.

Air quality in primary schools

Indoor Air Quality toolkit for Primary Schools

This EPSRC IAA project is an interdisciplinary impact project that will support schools to maintain healthy well-ventilated classrooms and indoor spaces.

Swansea Councils new build housing

Long term evaluation of Swansea Councils new build housing

Building and systems monitoring work being carried out by WSA will provide Swansea Council with evidence regarding the benefits of incorporating low carbon solutions into their new homes.

Press front page survey

Developing a practical retrofit early-stage survey tool to inform the decision-making process for existing homes

A practical retrofit early-stage survey tool - PRESS 1 - has been developed for the domestic sector following a review of existing survey tools.

Topologic toolkit

Topologic: enhancing the representation of space in 3D modelling environments

Using computational topology to support the creation and analysis of the lightest, most understandable conceptual building information models.

Embodied pedagogies

Embodied pedagogies: introducing ‘otherness’ in architectural education

The research examines the educational and ethical value that embodied pedagogies and pedagogies of alterity hold for architectural education.

Sustainability and design quality

The central role of architectural precedent in sustainable architectural design

Promoting critical evolution through an integration of the language of sustainability and design quality.

Decision making in regenerative design

Decision-making in regenerative design and development

Focusing on pushing the built environment beyond net-zero towards regenerating and restoring it.

Oratory of the Partal Palace, Alhambra, Spain

The 2013-2017 restoration of the oratory of the Partal Palace

This research focuses on the innovative outcomes of the latest restoration of the Oratory of the Partal Palace (2013-2017).

Care for Detroit, Grand Circus Detroit, 2012. Wes Aelbrecht

Constructing the Urban Imaginary: Photography, Decline and Renaissance

Discussing the construction of three distinct “urban imaginaries” during two cycles of urban redevelopment.

In-home device

Social housing research on energy from Welsh data (SHREWD)

An energy database for social housing in Wales to inform housing and energy efficiency policies.

Terrestrial Laser Scan of Port Eynon, April 2021


Raising awareness of the importance of harbours as coastal heritage.

Outdoor air quality sensor

South Wales indoor and outdoor air quality

Comparing outdoor and indoor air quality in Bridgend, South Wales.

Anaheim chillies

Urban food growing – what are our options?

How can people reduce the impact of their food?

Hassett 2020 case study house

Use of storage and renewable electricity generation to reduce domestic and transport carbon emissions

This project investigates the whole life energy, carbon and cost of an integrated renewable energy generation system.


Energy Revolution Research Consortium: EnergyREV

The EnergyREV Consortium will demonstrate how to deliver an equitable move to a zero-carbon future whilst enhancing the UK economy.

Practicing engagement: The value of the Architect in Community Asset Transfer

Practicing engagement: the value of an architect in a community asset transfer

The redevelopment of the Grange Pavilion by Grangetown communities, partners and Cardiff University’s Community Gateway.

A terrestrial laser scan of Sri Meenakshi Temple

Tamil Temple Towns: Conservation and Contestation

The project aims to provide an authoritative body of research to inform inclusive and sustainable guidelines for heritage conservation and management in the temple cities.

Eco hammam

Eco-hammam: Low carbon technologies for lighting, heating and water recycling

Engaging key stakeholders with bespoke low-carbon technologies for lighting, heating and water recycling to sustain a Moroccan heritage


CircuBED - Applying the circular economy to the design of social housing

Investigating the implementation of a circular economy in cities.

Circular Families game

The project explored the ability of playful practices to engage urban communities like social housing, support collaborative discovery and promote bottom-up knowledge on how they can contribute to a circular economy.

An archtectural drawing of the Temple of Ashapuri, India.

Temples of Ashapuri

Feasibility studies for the recovery, conservation and presentation of about twenty-six ruined medieval temples at Ashapuri.

Solcer house, Wales’ first low cost ‘energy positive’ house.

Solcer House

The Welsh School of Architecture has designed and built Wales’ first low cost ‘energy positive’ house.


Smart Operation for a Low Carbon Energy Region (SOLCER)

The aim of the Smart Operations for a Low Carbon Energy Region (SOLCER) project was to implement combinations of existing and emerging low carbon technologies through a systems based approach to optimise the use of energy at the point of generation.


The Sustainable Building Envelope Demonstration (SBED)

The Sustainable Building Envelope Demonstration (SBED) project is led by the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, in partnership with Tata Steel.

Smart energy regions

Smart Energy Regions - COST Action

The COST Action TU1104 “Smart Energy Regions” began in March 2012 and will take place over four years, involving numerous European researchers with different expertise and backgrounds.



The iSERVcmb project has provided a unique approach to understanding and reducing operational energy use in building services across Europe.



harmonAC addresses the practical issues arising from the need for regular inspections of air-conditioning systems of over 12kW cooling capacity as required by the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

Photograph of research posters on display

Euro-Mediterranean Urban Voids Ecology (EMUVE)

A Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship project looking at the existing voids produced by current shrinking cities along the Euro‐Mediterranean coastline.

Developing better outputs from building thermal simulation tools to improve decision making in the design of low energy buildings (EPSRC)

The research focused on the gap that exists between the output information from building performance simulation (BPS) tools and what is actually needed for building designers to undertake informed design decisions when designing energy-efficient low carbon buildings.

A damp interior

Correlating maintenance, energy efficiency and fuel poverty for traditional buildings in the UK

The study seeks pathways to demonstrate that better maintenance of traditional buildings could reduce energy costs in the context of climate change.

City skyline

Care for the City: Rethinking urbanism and ethics

Care for the City explores the role of care in the development and management of cities and urban communities.

Exterior of an old library

AHRC-funded project: Shelf-Life – Re-imagining the future of Carnegie Public Libraries

Shelf-Life asks if the uniquely controlled procurement of over 2600 public buildings across Britain and America around 100 years ago by the Carnegie Library Programme could benefit from some systematic thinking for their re-vitalisation at a time of crisis.

The historic city of Ajmer-Pushkar: mapping layers of history, use and meaning for sustainable planning and conservation

A study in the walled city of Ajmer, and nearby Pushkar, to develop inclusive, informed and sustainable planning decisions for public spaces in historic Indian cities.

The Nagara Tradition of Temple Architecture: Continuity, Transformation, Renewal

An examination of the transformations and renewals of an architectural tradition across a millennium and a half in India to see how past and present can be studied both for their own sakes and for their mutual illumination.

The making and remaking of Onllwyn: development and transformation of a former mining settlement through time

This project began in March 2022 as a piece of research to understand the development history of a former coal mining settlement, Onllwyn in the Dulais Valley.


Architectures of Alterity: Body/Media/Space

We support the interdisciplinary exploration of historical and contemporary architectures of alterity and initiate discussions on how design may defy cultural orders and support more diverse and inclusive forms of dwelling from past to present.

The Routledge Handbook of Urban Design Research Methods

The Routledge Handbook of Urban Design Research Methods

It is now a decisive moment for urban design to reflect on its rigour and relevance. This handbook is an attempt to seize this moment for urban design to further develop its theoretical and methodological knowledge base.

White cottage on Anglesey

Public Map Platform

Aiming to empower communities through an adaptable platform that integrates diverse voices into spatial data.

Increasing urban overheating risk from cooling decarbonisation by heat pumps

Exploring the potential exacerbation of urban overheating risks in the UK due to the increased adoption of heat pumps for cooling.

Heat resilient Reading for vulnerable population

Aiming to quantify the urban overheating risk and vulnerability in Reading, UK.

Climate Service for Resilience to Overheating Risk in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Enhancing the resilience of Colombo, Sri Lanka, against increasing heatwave risks.

Urban Climate Walk Reading

A research-led walk that leads diverse audiences through a series of streets and public spaces in Reading.

Eco-Mosques as Catalysts for Ecological Transitions in Kuwait University Campuses

EMACET engages key stakeholders with implementing actions consisting of energy-efficient retrofitting and ablution water recycling in Kuwait University mosques.

Analytical Modelling and Machine Learning for Sustainable Construction in the Built Environment

Creating innovative computational tools to create a more sustainable built environment.

A state-of-the-art Epidemic Indoors Intervention Simulator

Developing an indoor epidemic simulator to inform and mitigate future epidemic outbreaks.

small white timber-framed house behind a wall

Hygrothermal Monitoring of Timber-Frame Replacement Infill Panels 

This project looked at the risk of interstitial condensation and increased moisture content within replacement infill panels for timber-framed buildings.