University of Oxford Biochemistry building

ARCC news for December 2014

ARCC network news & events

New additions to the ARCC network blog

The ARCC network’s first guest contribution to its blog comes from Simon Elam of the Research Council UK Centre for Energy Epidemiology. Simon talks about the energy data-sharing issues he has encountered, and how he is trying to find solutions. Simon’s team have launched a survey on data and energy demand research, so if you work in this area, please read the blog and take a look at the survey.

Closer to home, the ARCC network’s project manager, Roger Street, has been reflecting on infrastructure interdependencies: what that means, and how research and the infrastructure communities are working to find solutions to some of the challenges.

Project news & events

National Infrastructure Plan and the need to tackle interdependencies

Interdependencies work from the Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC) research featured in a blog for the excellent ‘The Conversation’. Jim Watson (UK Energy Research Centre) and Ralitsa Hiteva (University of Sussex) reflected on the Government’s new National Infrastructure Plan, and reasons for working towards a national infrastructure which is truly strategic and joined-up.

Interdependencies case studies published

The International Centre for Infrastructure Futures (ICIF) research project recently published an Interdependency Planning and Management Framework (and click on Interdependency Planning and Management Framework) and three in-depth case studies on infrastructure interdependence (Northern Line Extension, Lower Thames Crossing and HS2). This work was commissioned by Infrastructure UK and the reports can be downloaded at the ICIF website.

Governing the links between energy and water sectors

Early this month, ITRC and a number of other institutions, organised a one-day event looking at the governance of links between energy and water sector infrastructure. Tweets from the day were been compiled to give a flavour of the presentations and discussion which focused on interdependencies between the two sectors and possible initiatives to better manage them in the future.

Other news

Parliamentary Committees looking at climate change and adaptation issues

A number of parliamentary committees are looking at areas of interest to ARCC projects and researchers.

The House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee are inviting evidence on the future challenges in energy and climate change policy with a deadline of 15 December.

The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee heard evidence on climate change adaptation and buildings on 10 December, with witnesses including the TCPA and Public Health England.  Discussion covered adaptation of buildings and the health risks associated with, for example, over-heating. Furthermore, the House of Lords Committee on Science and Technology has also heard from a number of witnesses, including Prof. Kevin Anderson of the RESNET (Resilient Electricity Networks) project, on the subject of the resilience of the electricity network to climate change. Videos of these two sessions are online, and pdfs of the transcripts should be made available in due course.

Environmental Risks to Infrastructure Innovation Programme (ERIIP) co-ordination role – call for tender/launch event

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has issued a call for tender for the programme co-ordination role for the new Environmental Risks to Infrastructure Innovation Programme (ERIIP). NERC is seeking an individual or team to support and co-ordinate the delivery of ERIIP, with particular emphasis on facilitating the engagement of industry with the research community. The contract will be for 3 years. Deadline for submission 11.00 on 14 January 2015.

The Environmental Risks to Infrastructure Innovation Programme has been formally launched, with an event in London on 10 December. For more details of ERIIP and the initial projects being funded, go to the NERC website (pdf, 80 KB).

Regulators publish findings on cross-sector infrastructure interactions

The UK Regulators Network (UKRN) has published the findings of its evidence review into the interactions that take place when new infrastructure meets existing infrastructure. Cross sector infrastructure interactions: next steps (pdf, 270 KB) describes: the importance of understanding these interactions, initial findings, some of the economic impacts; and outlines next steps.

Adapting buildings to climate change

Innovate UK (formerly known as the Technology Strategy Board), has published a new report on adapting buildings to climate change. Based on evidence from Innovate’s Design for Future Climate programme The business case for adapting buildings to climate change: Niche or mainstream? (pdf, 2.2 MB) is aimed at those working in building design, construction and associated policy and regulatory areas.

An achievable vision of the railways?

John Dora and John Beckford, both independent consultants in the transport sector, recently presented their thoughts about a future railway system at a Transport Systems Catapult event. Those ideas are explored more fully in a paper they have co-written – Reimagining the Railway – which is now available online. The paper opens with a vision of an effective, passenger-friendly railway system. It then sets out critique of our (Great Britain) current railway system, before considering how we might move between the current state and their vision of the (not too distant) future. John Dora is a member of the ARCC network Advisory Group.

Human nature remains a barrier to change

A recent newspaper article highlights the challenges of moving to lower-carbon travel for even a sympathetic cohort of commuters.


People, Protection and Parameters: comparing flooding in the UK and the Netherlands

13 January 2015, London

This evening lecture at the Museum of London will compare the reasons for the different approaches adopted in the UK and in the Netherlands. The event is free to attend.

Construction sector resilience workshop

28 January 2015, Lincoln

This free, half-day workshop, organised by Climate East Midlands, is aimed at businesses in the construction sector and includes presentations that will offer support and guidance for companies looking to increase their resilience to severe weather and climate change. Limited places are available, so booking is essential.