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Professor Chris Tweed

Professor Chris Tweed

Chair in Sustainable Design

+44 (0)29 2087 6207
Bute Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NB
Media commentator
Available for postgraduate supervision


I studied architecture at the Welsh School of Architecture before specialising in research on energy in buildings. I later developed my expertise in the area of information and communications technology applied to a range of topics and problems in the built environment, including knowledge

Currently my research focuses on how people experience and use the built environment, which embraces topics around thermal comfort, aesthetics and usability and includes heating and cooling technologies, so-called smart buildings and retrofit.


I studied at the Welsh School of Architecture and conducted research for a doctorate on energy modelling in buildings.

I have 30+ years’ experience researching and teaching architecture, information technologies, energy conservation and sustainable design of the built environment. I was appointed Chair in Sustainable Design and Director of the BRE Trust Centre for Sustainable Design of the Built Environment (SuDoBE) in 2007 and have a track record of attracting research funding from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and from the European Commission.

Before returning to Cardiff I was Head of the School of Architecture at Queen’s University of Belfast from 2002-2005, a Visiting Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh in 2000, and Director of the EdCAAD (Edinburgh Computer Aided Architectural Design) at the University of Edinburgh.

I have published extensively in peer-reviewed, international journals and conferences on sustainability, energy conservation, CAD and information systems. I was a member of the sub-panel for Architecture and the Built Environment in the UK’s Research Assessment Exercise 2008, and am currently a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College and reviewer for the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR).

I was appointed Head of the Welsh School of Architecture in January 2014.

Honours and awards

  • Member of the Research Assessment Exercise sub-panel on Architecture and the Built Environment 2008.
  • Member of the Research Excellence Framework 2021 sub-panel for Architecture, Planning and the Built Environment.
  • External assessor for Universiti Putra Malaysia.
  • BRE Research Fellow.

Professional memberships

  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy (FHEA)







  • Marchesi, M., Tweed, C. and Gerber, D. 2019. Circular design for affordable, human-centred and zero-waste urban housing. Presented at: 19th European Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production (ERSCP 2019), Barcelona, Spain, 15-18 October 2019 Presented at Segalas, J. and Lazzarini, B. eds.Proceedings of the 19th European Roundtable for Sustainable Consumption and Production Circular Europe for Sustainability: Design, Production and Consumption. Book of abstracts. ERSCP 2019, Barcelona pp. 204.
















I lead the People and Buildings module on the MSc Advanced Building Performance Evaluation. I provide lectures on Human-Centred Design and Experiencing Architecture on modules in the BSc programme.

I have taught topics across the architectural education spectrum ranging from thermal aspects of building technology and acoustics through to philosophy in design and environmental psychology.

My current teaching relates closely to research interests described above and focuses on how developing a better understanding of human factors can inform architectural and urban design to produce a better built environment, aligned more closely to people’s needs and wants.

My main interests lie at the interface between people and the built environment and its technologies.

Within this broad area, a recurring theme in my studies is the tensions between formal and official policies, procedures and structures, and the informal, ad hoc responses of those on the receiving end of policy, guidance/advice and designs.

This work is being advanced through funded research, such as the recent EPSRC projects, Carbon, Control and Comfort: User-centred control systems for comfort, carbon saving and energy management and Conditioning Demand: Older People, Diversity and Thermal Experience.

It is also evident in the research carried out by the PhD students I supervise, who are conducting research on such topics as the informal responses to low carbon design advice and legislation in architectural practice, insulation installer practices on site, ad hoc low impact housing development in Wales, how people use transition spaces in public buildings, and community based apple harvesting in urban areas.

A second key interest is how people experience the built environment with a particular emphasis on thermal comfort and experience. This currently manifests itself in an overarching interest in designing for usability and delight.

This is summarised in mytalk at TEDxCardiff:


Main expertise
  • Human interaction with designed environments and technologies
  • Human-centred low carbon design
  • Socio-technical studies of architecture and the built environment.
Supervision experience

I have supervised eight students to completion at the Welsh School of Architecture, and am currently supervising four PhDs.

Additional supervision interests
  • Design thinking
  • Service design
  • Architecture and anthropology.

Past projects