University of Oxford Biochemistry building

ARCC news for March 2016

ARCC network news

Green Sky Thinking week, 25–29 April 2016

Green Sky Thinking Week is a week-long events programme which showcases sustainable design solutions for London’s built environment challenges, and generates better, and much-needed, collaboration across the built environment professions. Each event is expert-led, hosted by organisations foremost in the delivery of sustainable design.

ARCC has partnered with Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) and the London South Bank University Clarence Centre for Enterprise & Innovation to challenge industry and academia to collaborate to develop ideas for how green infrastructure could make offices healthier, more sustainable and climatically resilient.

Get involved

Share your research – call for Early Career Research posters to promote at the workshop to an audience of practitioners. If you have research relating to green infrastructure and indoor-outdoor air quality, building services / fabric design and / or associated wellbeing impacts, then please get in contact with Tanya Wilkins to coordinate submission of your A0 poster. Deadline for submissions is 8 April.

Green Infrastructure as a building services design challenge launch, briefing and technical talks, 25 April

We’re launching a design challenge to combine the multiple benefits of indoor plants to provide a building service. A productive design thinking workshop will include a building tour and briefing, rapid expert talks for inspiration and facilitated development of ideas.

Sensing the place – experiences and wayfinding in a changing climate, 27 April

An exploration of how design of the urban environment can affect our experiences and how we orientate ourselves within it. Join us to hear speakers describe the impact of urban design on how we sense, perceive and subsequently behave in an urban environment.

Improving health and well-being in the workplace with sensory gardens, 29 April

A seminar to disseminate evidence and encourage discussion on how sensory gardens can help reduce stress levels of office workers, refocus their attention, and improve their productivity.

Design challenge presentation and exhibition, 29 April

The shortlisted designs from the design challenge will be presented and will be followed by a public exhibition where the winning design will be announced.

Other news

New programme from ITRC, launch 23 May 2016

ARCC is pleased to announce that the Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC) has been awarded £5.3 million from EPSRC for another five years of research. The aim of the new programme MISTRAL (Multi-scale InfraSTRucture systems AnaLytics) is to develop and demonstrate a highly integrated analytics capability to inform strategic infrastructure decision making across scales, from local to global.

The MISTRAL programme and the recently published book The Future of National Infrastructure will be launched at the Institution of Civil Engineers on 23 May at 4–6pm followed by a drinks reception – please register to book a place.

Emerging Geographies of Infrastructure, 31 March 2016

For anyone who happens to be in San Francisco, the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex and the International Centre for Infrastructure Futures (ICIF) are holding an evening reception to discuss the emerging geographies of infrastructure: regulation, distributed decisions and innovation in governance.

The event builds upon several research sessions on infrastructure topics at the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting. Further information.

Blue-Green Cities, understanding the benefits

The Blue-Green Cities research team have spent the last three years creating methodologies and frameworks, conducting field and lab work, testing novel techniques, and developing models to evaluate the multiple flood risk benefits of Blue-Green Cities.

A main output is the development of a GIS Multiple Benefits Toolbox that can help practitioners understand the relevant dominant benefits, and spatial distribution of benefits, for SuDS/Blue-Green infrastructure schemes. This complements existing monetisation techniques.

This research is further described in a series of factsheets and a Key project outputs summary.

Latest blog from UKCIP on public awareness and difficult decisions

Following #Budget2016, UKCIP Deputy director Patrick Pringle doesn’t water down his thoughts on the strong action on sugary drinks, and how this compares to what needs to be done to keep the global temperature increase below 1.5˚C.

NERC invites the environmental science community to submit new ideas for strategic research

NERC is seeking ideas for priority research challenges for strategic research investment through either highlighted topics or strategic programme areas.

Ideas should be submitted by 9 May 2016Guidance is available to explain what they are looking for, how to submit ideas, and how NERC staff can help.

New reports

ESRC: The summer after the floods

Recent years’ floods have severely tested the technical, political and social infrastructure for flood management across large parts of the UK, and provided a unique opportunity to study in real-time the factors affecting flood preparedness.

The research project The summer after the floods explored the factors that enabled or inhibited flood preparedness as events unfolded in the aftermath of the 2013/14 winter floods – examining how businesses and communities recover after flooding and prepare for the threat of future floods.

Call for papers: Special issue – Risks to critical infrastructure from climate change, due 1 July 2016

The International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management’s special issue aims to examine the impact climate change has had and will have on critical infrastructure. High-quality submissions are welcomed, focusing on new risk assessments, theoretical and applied models, risk management strategies and communication of risks at local, national and international levels.

DECC & Defra departmental plans

Two critical annual plans with values of £5.3bn have been released from the central government agencies of DECC and Defra, including strategic direction on delivering an energy infrastructure fit for the 21st Century, and pushing for ambitious international action on climate change to safeguard our long-term economic and national security. The Defra plans include realising the economic potential of food and farming, nature and the countryside, champion the environment and provide security against floods, animal and plant diseases and other hazards.

Lords Select Committee on Built Environment: building better places

The National Policy for the Built Environment Committee today asserted the importance of delivering a better built environment and the need to meet demand for quantity or quality of houses needed. The Committee is concerned about the quality of new developments, and about the risk of housing delivery being prioritised at the expense of other elements of the built environment.


Climate Local webinar – the local authority business case for adaptation

30 March 2016

Join the last webinar of this financial year to hear from Emma Davies (Cambridge City Council) and Sylvie Allan (Climate Ready Support Service) on the cost and efficiency savings councils are making by taking preventative and adaptation measures across key services.

To register for the event, please contact for joining details: Mazvita Chari

CIWEM Annual Conference 2016

20–21 April 2016

The Chartered Institution for Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) theme for the 2016 CIWEM Annual Conference is 2015 Paris Climate Change Summit: Outcomes and Implications for the Water and Environment Sector. Book your place.


Warm = healthier – warm homes trial cuts GP visits by 60% @Buildpositive |

@EnvAgency study on positive impact of tree planting to reduce impacts of flooding… article from BBC’s @RHarrabin

Growth projections suggest 2 degree dangerous warming threshold could happen by 2030 – yikes… @guardianeco |

Missed our visual spectacle & texture of urban places seminar? See the presentations online! #FeelGoodSpaces |

Buildings Special issue – built environment impacts on health & wellbeing @MDPIOpenAccess |

Is tweeting about your work worth it? This UCL Professor certainly thinks so…

Researchers in danger of being muzzled on advising government @ret_ward @guardian |

The SuDS wheel of fortune! #sudsmakesense @hrwallingford @floodandcoast |