University of Oxford Biochemistry building

ARCC news for October 2015

ARCC network news

Financing infrastructure adaptation to climate change

29 October 2015, Glasgow

Projects looking to adapt infrastructure to the impacts of a changing climate need new finance mechanisms. This event will discuss recent findings on improving access to alternative finance mechanisms and how to maximise the contribution of adaptation actions to the local economy.

Building on collaborative work between the University of Leeds, Adaptation Scotland, ClimateXchange and the ARCC network, the event is aimed at those responsible for strategic planning, financing of community, built environment and infrastructure projects and those developing adaptation and resilience plans. More information and registration.

Future delivery of energy in a changing climate: risks and solutions

12 November 2015, London

This ARCC network science-policy/practice briefing will consider the latest evidence on the impacts of climate change on energy generation, infrastructure and energy demand and potential adaptation strategies. Findings from a suite of EPSRC-funded research projects looking at climate-associated risks across the energy sector, and methods, tools and solutions that could be used to respond to these risks, will be presented and their implications for policymakers and practitioners discussed. For more information, contact Phil Sivell, ARCC network.

Early career researchers – new skills development workshop, enhancing pathways to impact

20 & 21 January 2016, Oxford

Identifying the potential impact of research and understanding how to achieve this impact are key skills needed by researchers when developing proposals. Early career researchers (ECRs) are invited to this workshop focusing on improving the skills needed to plan and develop pathways to impact. With input from EPSRC and other experts, this will be an opportunity to learn about the approaches and qualities that help demonstrate the potential impact of your research.

This event is for ECRs working on EPSRC-funded projects with a focus on adaptation and resilience in the built environment and infrastructure sectors. There is no charge for participating, but registration is essential and places are limited to 25.

Feeling good in public spaces – dialogue series and call for research

Working with the Feeling Good Foundation, this series of dialogues will examine how people’s senses can be affected by the design of public spaces and building frontages and the implications for current methods of urban place-making. The events will facilitate dialogue and knowledge-sharing between interested practitioners and researchers and cover a range of topics:

Back to basics: human physiology, psychology and place-making

18 November, Welcome Trust, London. Email to register your interest.

Smellscapes & soundscapes

The first call is for research findings that explore the impact of urban form on auditory and olfactory senses, or on the impacts of climate change that could present future challenges for these sensory experiences. Call closes 16 November.

So what? guides – latest in the series

Energy efficiency retrofit is more effective & has health benefits if combined with grid decarbonisation & enhanced ventilation

Investigating the comparative impacts of dwelling-related CO2 reduction strategies in London and Milton Keynes, researchers from UCL devised a number of future scenarios with varying combinations of housing retrofit measures and degrees of energy supply decarbonisation. These were used to calculate possible end-user energy demand, indoor pollutant exposures and health impacts at each location. They found that in both locations, the direction of health impacts, whether negative or positive overall, are dependent on the use of enhanced ventilation strategies in conjunction with energy efficiency measures. Without this CO2 reductions are made at the expense of human health.

Project news

Infrastructure business models, valuation and innovation for local delivery (iBUILD) project – next stakeholder event

4 November 2015, Birmingham

iBUILD team members will present their latest work on energy efficiency retrofit in buildings, financing infrastructure adaptation, and local governance and devolution. There will also be invited presentations from Birmingham City Council on transport and connectivity, and international perspectives on future infrastructure challenges for metropolitan regions.

Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC) – evidence and outputs

Final outcomes and impacts from the 5-year ITRC project looking at the future of national infrastructure were presented by the research team with contributions from a range of key stakeholders. See their film for a visual summary of the project outcomes.

ESRC evidence briefings

Two new briefings from the Economic and Social Research Council highlight key findings and the policy implications from the International Centre for Infrastructure Futures (ICIF) and Infrastructure business models, valuation and innovation for local delivery (iBUILD) research projects.

Unexpected outcome from energy retrofit? Future Cities Catapult would like to hear from you

The Future Cities Catapult is looking for any examples of where changes to heating or energy systems in social/council housing have not delivered the expected outcomes, due to occupants not using the technology correctly or an otherwise unforeseen risk. Researchers are asked to submit examples to Fin Kelly by Friday 23 October.

Other news

Using game theory to address modern resource management problems

Interlinked factors such as including population growth, affluence, poverty and climate change are causing a strain on the planet’s resources. The Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment’s recent report suggests game theory, the mathematical study of competition and cooperation, can offer insights for planning and supporting recognised methods such as scenario analysis, robust decision-making and integrated assessment modelling.

National Infrastructure Commission

The UK government have created a National Infrastructure Commission to enable long-term strategic decision-making to build effective and efficient infrastructure for the UK. The four-point plan will change the way vital infrastructure projects are planned, determined and funded.

Black outs not likely despite doom & gloom in the news

An interesting new report from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) finds that headlines warning of UK-wide black outs due to energy supply failure and low capacity are unfounded.

Projections of future flood risk in the UK – report for the ASC

The Adaptation Sub-Committee (ASC) commissioned research to consider projections of future flood risk for the UK to inform the next Climate Change Risk Assessment. The research finds that significant additional investment and adaptation action is needed to counter the projected increase in UK flood risk under a 2°C rise in global mean temperatures, with a 4°C rise making current coastal defences highly vulnerable and costly to maintain.

Funding & calls

Urban Living Partnership – pilot phase open

All seven Research Councils and Innovate UK have created the Urban Living Partnership, which is opening a call for proposals in the area of city research. This is the first, diagnostic phase for which city consortia can apply for one of five pilot grants. Closing date: 21 January 2016 at 16.00

District heating: Delivering affordable and sustainable energy

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is inviting proposals to better understand how housing associations are managing the development and delivery of district and communal heating schemes, the extent to which these are meeting economic and sustainability goals and to identify recommendations for how policy and practice could be improved to support such schemes. Closing date: 4 November 2015

BR&I special issues

Overheating in buildings – call for abstracts

A BR&I special issue will highlight emerging research and compare international variations in responses to building overheating. It will consider the problem in existing and new buildings from many angles: theory and practice; policy; actions and their consequences. Call closes 16 November 2015

Closing the policy gaps: from formulation to outcomes

This recent special issue examining the disparities between policy intentions and actual outcomes, and the role and use of evidence, is now free to view until end November 2015.

How can the indoor built environment help to reduce sedentary behaviour and promote physical activity?

Another special issue that is open access until the end of November focuses on increasing movement around indoor spaces, particularly for older people and in schools.


Futureproofing infrastructure in the face of climate change

19 November 2015, CIRIA, London

Considering the effects of climate change and impacts of extreme weather on infrastructure. See the CIRIA website for further details.

Climate Just training & development programme

Multiple dates from 2 November 2015

A Climate UK and Climate Ready series of webinars and two-level training events for public service providers.

Climate resilient communities conference

28 January 2016, Innovation Birmingham

Further details and booking


Really useful map of UK #energy generation mix from @CarbonBrief |

Interesting: London tube strike could make people’s journeys more efficient | @UrbDemogrphics via @OxfordSmartCity

New blog from @SustHomes – increasing evidence of link between highly insulated homes & asthma |

Simple self-build estate from the 1980s – lessons we could use for social housing today? | @guardianeco

Interesting #buildupon initiative to improve existing buildings across Europe | @WorldGBC_Europe

Major UK infrastructure projects threatened by skills shortage | @CNplus

London Underground trials recycling energy from train brakes | @globalconreview