University of Oxford Biochemistry building

ARCC news for April 2015

ARCC network news & events

New research fellowships feature in ARCC network workshop

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is inviting outline proposals for a number of EPSRC Challenge Fellowships in the Living With Environmental Change theme. They should address the question “How can cities, their hinterlands, linking infrastructure, rural surroundings and the regions they are in, be transformed to be resilient, sustainable, more economically viable and generally better places to live?”. Fellowships are offered as postgraduate and also early career fellowships. The closing date for submission of outline proposals is 10 June 2015.

This call featured in the third of network’s skills development workshops for early career researchers (ECRs). The recent workshop focused on building the skills needed to create successful applications for projects and fellowships. The 25 participants took part in practical sessions and heard presentations from EPSRC and from two ECRs who have recently been awarded fellowships. More information from the event, including presentations and a summary of the day is available from the ARCC website and go to the Proposals tab. For links to related online resources see the Funding page.

So what? call for research findings: Overheating and indoor air quality

We are pulling together a set of resources to be provided online and for delegates at an event this summer on overheating and indoor air quality. Working with the Homes and Communities Agency, we are looking for current and recently completed research on the causes, prevention and mitigation of overheating in homes (particularly new build homes) and the relationship between overheating, indoor air quality and impacts on residents. Closing date for submissions is 8 May, and there’s a goody-bag for the most viewed briefings.

ARCC network blog – new insights into urban resilience and managing our cultural heritage

There are a couple of new blogs on the ARCC network website. Sharing (e.g. space, governance) as a route to urban resilience is a theme taken up by Dr. Christopher Boyko of Lancaster University in our most recent update. Dr. Oliver Cox of The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH) discusses ‘Capability’ Brown, landscapes and the challenges that climate change presents for those responsible for managing our cultural heritage.

ARCC network responds to Dowling Review

The ARCC network took the opportunity to respond to the government-commissioned Dowling Review into building more effective business-research partnerships. We made the case for early engagement of relevant stakeholders, identified resources to support partnerships, promoted a shared approach to creating outputs; and highlighted the benefits of networks, like ARCC, to support the whole process. Our submission is now on the ARCC website.

Project news

iBUILD manifesto sets out priority infrastructure actions

Are you being served? is the manifesto from the team at the iBUILD (Infrastructure BUsiness models, valuation & Innovation for Local Delivery) project. It sets out five priority areas for action to revive infrastructure planning and delivery, based on research findings to date. As well as the manifesto, the iBUILD website provides further background on all priority areas and recommendations.

Local electricity supply – investigating alternatives to the ‘big six’?

Stephen Hall and Katy Roelich, researchers on the iBUILD team, have produced a short report on alternative approaches to local energy supply. Their evidence suggests that this would support the local energy generation sector and could lead to real improvements in energy efficiency.

Other news

Budget investment in infrastructure, cities and energy

In the last Budget statement before the election, £138m was allocated to the UK Collaboration for Research in Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC), which will comprise 13 partner institutions, co-ordinated by University College London. UKCRIC will help to ensure that resilience of UK infrastructure to environmental and economic impacts. A further £60m was earmarked for an Energy Research Accelerator based on a collaboration between 6 universities in the Midlands.

London Assembly Committee launches adaptation report

The London Assembly’s Environment Committee has published its report into adaptation in London. Come rain or shine drew on submissions from stakeholders including academics, local authorities and businesses. The report calls for a risk-based adaptation strategy and proposes recommendations including: updating building standards, promotion of flood-resistant buildings; and requesting an assessment of London’s drainage network.

NERC Environmental risks to infrastructure innovation programme

NERC is investing up to £1m to support short-term feasibility studies and longer-term translation projects to improve the access to and translation of research in quantifying environmental risks, impacts of multi-hazard risks and uncertainty in decision-making for infrastructure.

Special issue: Governing for urban resilience

The May issue of the journal Urban Studies is a special issue on governing for urban resilience, including an article on resilience and disaster risk reduction to heatwave risk in London.

Research details needed for Construction Leadership Council survey

survey has been launched to support the work of the Construction Leadership Council in devising plans to achieve its four strategic priorities (industrialisation, smart infrastructure and buildings, business models and domestic dwellings). In particular, the questionnaire seeks information about relevant research projects, so also provides an opportunity to raise the profile of built environment research.

Have your say – the most important questions for business practice

The Nexus Network is inviting business, academics, policymakers and the public to propose questions that will help to improve decision-making on food, energy, water and the environment. Until July, under the banner of Nexus 2020, the Network will collect suggestions for the most pressing questions for business. These will then inform academic papers, as well as an event in November this year. The Nexus Network website has details about Nexus 2020 and submitting questions to the project.

Radical solutions to change behaviour?

Changes to individual behaviours could offer significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions arising from indirect household energy consumption. Experience to date suggests that implementing these behavioural changes is difficult to achieve. A paper in Carbon Management considers what a radical approach might look like and, using case studies, explores how challenges to its implementation might be overcome.

Green Sky Thinking week

20–24 April 2015, events at locations around London

Future-proofing new and existing buildings

28 April 2015, Belfast

Stormy geomorphology: geomorphic contributions in an age of extremes – an international scientific meeting

11 May 2015, London (fee payable)

Effective knowledge exchange to motivate adaptation action – learning from the built environment and infrastructure sectors

12–14 May 2015, ECCA, Copenhagen (pdf, 420 KB)

Drawing pathways towards the resilient city: identifying vulnerabilities, empowering decision-making, fostering change

11 May 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark 

Science for the Green Economy: the new infrastructures – opportunity or risk?

18 May 2015, London 

Energy social scientists in a multidisciplinary setting: opportunities and challenges (TEDDINET)

21–22 May 2015, Bath

Limited (free) places available! If you are interested in attending, please email, including your name and institution, role in your research team, research project(s), accommodation needs for 21 May, plus anything you’d like to see covered during the workshop. Annual Assembly

28 May 2015, Edinburgh

The Academy of Urbanism Annual Congress – health, happiness and wellbeing

4-6 June 2015, Birmingham (fee payable)

Tomorrow’s City Today: prospects for standardising sustainable urban development

12 June 2015, London

Designing City Resilience

16–17 June 2015, London


Let’s make energy a service, not a commodity, say researchers | @ConversationUK @ElizabethShove

Domestic appliance-level electricity usage – interesting open-access data to help reduce demand: @ScientificData

Interesting point: cold homes cause more winter deaths than road accidents | @ConversationUK

Retrofitting Dutch housing to net-zero energy usage in 10 days | @renew_economy via @ECIU_UK

Co-housing – an interesting idea to make homes cheaper & greener | @ConversationEDU

Going with the flow – neat #SuDs infographic shows how it works | @Sudsulike

Sustainable cooling is as big an issue as heating | @ConversationUK