University of Oxford Biochemistry building

ARCC news for July 2016

Hello to our ARCC network members…

I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight that you are part of an expanding EPSRC-funded knowledge exchange network, with over 750 of you subscribed to this newsletter, as well as 640 Twitter followers.

It has been a big month for the ARCC network and its parent group UKCIP; we are pleased to launch our own research report Lessons from coordinating a knowledge exchange network (full version, pdf, 3.6 MB, June 2016).

We were challenged by EPSRC to unravel what it is that makes our network successful in bringing together research, policy and practice communities.

With the support of Ian Cooper from Eclipse Consultants, and through discussions with network stakeholders and researchers, we’ve explored the challenges associated with knowledge exchange and the lessons learnt through the network. We’ve pulled together evidence on what it is about the ARCC network that works, particularly our ability to moderate the balance between forms of engagement, and being aware of the variety of absorptive capacity across the network. Our newsletter was particularly mentioned for its ‘almost portal’ approach to providing the latest from across the ARCC network.

Ian has written a blog to introduce this piece of work; I encourage you all to enjoy the read, and, as always, please let us know if you have feedback, research milestones or industry events.

Roger B Street, Principal Investigator

ARCC network news

Adaptation and resilience in the built environment: informing future research council investments

28 September

This EPSRC event, facilitated by the ARCC network, will identify emerging challenges and priorities in the built environment research area with a view to informing future funding investments.

The focus will be on research related to buildings (domestic and non-domestic, urban, suburban and rural) and their interactions with the surrounding curtilage, form, supporting services and environment.

To register your interest in attending this event, please complete our brief expression of interest form.

Energy system resilience in a changing climate

Following the release of two Living with Environmental Change policy and practice notes from ARCC projects (released last month), our own Phil Sivell introduces this work in the context of the recent release of the Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA)…

ARCC Knowledge exchange ECR skills development workshop – engaging stakeholders to achieve impact

12–13 October, York

Early career researchers are invited to register for a two-day workshop to strengthen the skills needed to develop effective approaches to engaging and working with stakeholders. This event is for ECRs working on projects funded by EPSRC and focused on adaptation and resilience in the built environment and infrastructure sectors. With input from knowledge exchange experts within the ARCC network and other invited experts, this will be an opportunity to learn about the approaches, skills and qualities that help enhance the value to users of research outputs. There is no charge for participating, but registration is essential and places are limited to 25.

UK Construction Week

18–20 October 2016, Birmingham

ARCC are coordinating a showcase of leading EPSRC-funded research in the construction area at this event. We are pleased to announce this includes the Materials4Life self-healing cement research project from universities of Cardiff, Bath and Cambridge, and building performance research from Oxford Brookes’ Institute for Sustainable Development. Watch this space for more event announcements!

Don’t forget to book your passes for UK Construction Week.

Save the date: ARCC/CIBSE/IET Breathe easy – engineering air quality solutions now

21 October 2016, Birmingham

Pollution and poor air quality, particularly in urban areas, is an increasing concern for local authorities, health and public services, and the public alike. This is clearly set out in the Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution report, published in February by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College Paediatrics and Child Health, which has been the inspiration behind partnering to devise this conference.

This conference will highlight both the problems and the practical engineering and policy solutions which may be applied now to address UK air quality challenges and opportunities, with emphasis on practical actionable advice, relevant and recent case studies and signposting to information resources and proven solutions.

How SME’s respond and recover from flood events

EPSRC have funded a number of flood related research projects given its priority to the UK research, policy and practice communities. ARCC was recently involved in the dissemination of project tools and other outputs at the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Network. This included the SESAME project which aims to understand and model and impacts of flooding on the UK’s SMEs, plus the knock on effects on the wider economy. SESAME aimed to find ways of encouraging businesses to be better prepared in the future, and you can find out more by visiting their website.

ARCC So what? guides

These are available on our website for practitioners to understand the latest built environment research, we have ones specifically on the impacts of indoor air quality and overheating, including in social housing, and also the influence of occupant behaviour.

We cover a range of other built environment and infrastructure topics in these guides, so please visit the ARCC website for more information, or researchers can get in contact to work with us to increase the accessibility of research.

Other news

Britain needs infrastructure ready for climate change – before it’s too late

Richard Dawson from Newcastle University writes for The Conversation about the hidden infrastructure impacts of flooding as identified in the recently released CCRA evidence report.  This highlights how, across the UK, the country’s infrastructure – services such as energy, transport and sanitation that are essential for modern society – is already experiencing significant impacts from severe weather related to climate change.

Top ten global cities for green buildings

With a global energy use of 40%, the built environment has a significant role to play in the world of sustainable development. Buildings also hold the most potential for energy savings, with appropriately designed green buildings capable of using approximately 40% less energy and 30% less water than standard buildings the same size.

Corporate strategy firm Solidiance has prepared a white paper for information purposes only(pdf, 8.6 MB)

Is Britain really equipped to cope with global warming?

In an interesting article from The Guardian, the country’s threat of catastrophic flooding is explored in the context of The Great Tide of 1953…

“Even as ice melts, seas surge, coastlines retreat, insurance premiums rise and the rain falls and falls and falls, we have grown numb to the dread statistics: 2 or 4 degreesC – who cares? It’s all catastrophic. Today, the baby-boomer’s vision of future skies busy with flying cars seems appallingly naive.”


Heath effects of modern airtight construction

21 September 2016, Glasgow

Are you interested in indoor air quality? Health? Sustainability and the built environment?  This Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded network aims to provide a platform for discussion and collaboration while facilitating knowledge exchange to the built environment professionals. Register your interest to participate.

European Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA)

5–9 June 2017, Glasgow

Call open for abstracts and sessions!

Glasgow will be hosting ECCA 2017 Our Climate Ready Future – this is the chance for researchers, policy makers and practitioners to present their latest work to the diverse and broad-reaching adaptation community.


7–9 March 2017, London

The organisers of Ecobuild 2017 are calling for your thoughts on what sustainability means for the built environment in order to to shape the conference programme for 2017. Share your thoughts via their website.

Calls for funding & expressions of interest

Design Fellowship – Healthier Cities

Closing 5 September 2016

The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 is offering a two-year fellowship in design to think of practical ways in which citizens can be encouraged to lead healthier lives, including healthier homes; more sensible ways of working – at home, in public places or in the workplace; an emphasis on health as well as healthcare at the level of policy-making;  links between urban planning and public health; design for prevention of non-communicable diseases; design and obesity (obesity being ‘the new smoking’); cities and the ageing population.

Evidence centre on UK Housing, due 11 October 2016

The ESRC, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Arts and Humanities Research Council are inviting collaborative applications to establish an evidence centre for UK housing. The centre will focus on connectivity, accessibility and integration of evidence, and joining up different stakeholders and sectors to provide recommendations for housing policy and practice.