University of Oxford Biochemistry building

ARCC news for December 2013

Welcome to the first ARCC network e-newsletter – ARCCnews. You have been sent the newsletter because you have been associated with the ARCC network in the past year or so, and we wanted to let you know about our recent activities, news and events.

ARCCnews will, from now on, be distributed monthly, with information about the network, individual projects and related items on the built environment and infrastructure. You can unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.

ARCC network news

1. New ARCC website for better access to latest developments

The ARCC network has launched its new website, which we hope will provide a better route to information about the projects and the work of the network. The new site, this newsletter and the ARCC network twitter feed are part of our strategy for sharing news and information about ARCC more widely. The website will continue to develop over the coming months, and if you have any feedback or comments, please contact us. Please also note the URL has changed to www.arcc-network.org.uk – you might like to update any bookmarks accordingly.

2. Energy management and system resilience in Northern Ireland

Climate Northern Ireland and the ARCC network recently organised a seminar that brought together stakeholders and three energy research projects with the aim of exchanging information and knowledge, and forging new links. Presentations were made by Challenging Lock-in through Urban Energy Systems (CLUES), Resilient Electricity Networks for Great Britain (RESNET), and An Evidence Based Methodology for Understanding and Shrinking the Urban Carbon Footprint (4M). Presentations from the event are now online.

ARCC network events

3. Knowledge Exchange and Effective Communication of your Research – ARCC network Early Career Researcher workshop, 13-14 March 2014, Oxford

To support EPSRC’s strategic aims, the ARCC network is initiating a series of workshops for early career researchers in the built environment and infrastructure sectors. This first event will explore approaches for exchanging knowledge and information with policy and practice stakeholders. Expressions of interest from those wishing to attend are now invited for submission by 31 January 2014. See the website for more details.

4. Save the date: ARCC Assembly 2014, 10-11 June 2014, Austin Court, Birmingham

This event will showcase advances from across EPSRC’s built environment and infrastructure research portfolio, highlight implications for end-users and place research outputs into the context of wider policy and practice requirements. More information will be on the ARCC network website in the new year.

Project news

5. SHOCK(not)HORROR

To explore what next century’s integrated and sustainable infrastructure might look like, the Shock (not) Horror project studied recent ‘shock’ events (e.g. 2007 floods). The research team has developed new concepts of infrastructure resilience, using shocks to highlight the interdependencies of existing infrastructure systems and to show opportunities for infrastructure transformation. Final project findings and their implications were discussed at a dissemination meeting on 22 November, and presentations from this event are available.

6. Adaptation and Resilience in Cities: Analysis and Decision making using Integrated Assessment (ARCADIA)

Urban areas are vulnerable to the socio-economic impacts of climate change and extreme events due to their concentrations of people and assets. While cities have been developing strategies for responding to climate risks, they have lacked the evidence needed to make the case for prioritising action. ARCADIA has considered the relationships between the built environment, land-use, infrastructure systems, the urban economy and climate. A new series of factsheets summarises final outputs and their implications on topics such as: disruption to urban transport systems, heat-related residential discomfort; and indirect economic impacts of climate change. Project outputs, key findings and factsheets are on the project page.

7. Infrastructure business models, valuation and innovation for local delivery (iBUILD)

Launched earlier this year, the iBUILD project is looking to develop new infrastructure business models and to promote an integrated approach to local infrastructure investment. A key activity will be testing new approaches by using integrative case studies developed in partnership with stakeholders from the private, public and voluntary sectors. To maximise the opportunities for co-production of outputs, the project is holding Stakeholder Partner days every six months. The first was held on 14 November, with a second scheduled for 2 April 2014. For more information about the event and iBUILD more broadly, please contact the programme manager Claire Walsh or visit the iBUILD website.

Project events

8. A Future Vision for the Coast – Adaptation and Resilience of Coastal Energy Supply (ARCoES) stakeholder event, 13 January 2014, Liner Hotel, Liverpool

The ARCoES project is holding an event for coastal stakeholders in north-west England. The event will aim to shape a long-term vision for the northwest coast. For information about the event, please contact Mary Dean. More details will be added to the ARCoES website shortly.

9. Britain’s Infrastructure for the 21st century – Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC), 14 January 2014, Institution of Civil Engineers, London

ITRC aims to provide information and tools for robust national infrastructure systems, and this briefing will present the first comprehensive results of its activities. Participants will be invited to discuss the results, challenge the researchers and to hear reactions from government and industry. Registration details are available from the ITRC website.

Other news

10. LWEC fellowships in sustainable and resilient infrastructure

EPSRC are looking to support postdoctoral and early career fellowships to understand how infrastructure systems need to evolve and respond to changing environmental and demographic conditions, to understand interdependencies and interconnections, and to ensure infrastructure remains resilient to cascading failures. Fellows are encouraged to work closely with LWEC partners, in particular DfT and DEFRA. More information is on the LWEC website.

11. Making the case for adaptation in the built environment

The Environment Agency/Climate Ready has commissioned a report – Guidance for making the case for climate change adaptation in the built environment – which has been published through the Modern Built Environment Knowledge Transfer Network. This short report is for planners, designers and others working in the built environment and aims to help them to make the case for climate change adaptation and also to create developments that are resilient to a changing climate.

12. National Infrastructure Plan and consultation document

The UK government has launched its new National Infrastructure Plan which includes details of investment in its top 40 priority projects. The plan is accompanied by a National Infrastructure Pipeline spreadsheet which provides a useful summary of proposed expenditure and of individual programmes and projects. Alongside this, DCLG has opened a consultation (closes on 24 January) on a review of the planning process for new nationally significant infrastructure.

13. New publication on overheating in buildings

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers has published a new technical memorandum on avoiding overheating in buildings. The publication is for those responsible for defining the indoor environment in buildings and draws on recent research into thermal comfort. CIBSE TM52, The limits of thermal comfort: avoiding overheating in European buildings is can be downloaded for free by CIBSE members while non-members can purchase either the download or the publication.