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Climate based housing design adaptation: Challenges and opportunities (Advert reference: RDF20/EE/ABE/AHMED)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 24, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Globally, there have been increased efforts to understand how the built environment affects health outcomes and how more equitable health benefits can be achieved. While the total population is at health risk due to extreme weather, some are disproportionately vulnerable; including elderly.

According to the report issued by the UN in 2017, about the world’s population ageing, the Elderly (people who are 60 or more) are expected to be more than double by 2050, and three times by 2100. With the rapid ageing of the world’s population, the concept of Age-friendly cities and communities started to gain advocacy; communities to live in from cradle to grave.

This project aims to formulate a design model (Elderly-Friendly Home) based on the concept of "aging in place". This model encompasses the principles and guidelines that help the Built Environment community (Architects and Construction professionals) to create Elderly-friendly living environments that enable the Elderly to continue living in their current homes safely and independently, and maintain or improve their quality of life in a changing climate. There are standards such as lifetime homes and Part M building regulations in the UK, but they are rarely fully enforced and address areas such as disability and access rather than adaptability for aging populations.

The project entails:
• Understanding the role of modern construction methods in building adaptability and change.
• Participatory design sessions between design community experts and Elderly users.
• Role of sensor technology IOT in enhancing the living experience and enhancing the design process
• Ability to work autonomously and knowledge of research methods (e.g. Focus groups & Survey Design)
• Identification of the most appropriate materials for climate adaptation and aging population across the housing sector.

Suitable for someone with interest in Adaptability of Building design and a background in Architecture, Environment and Construction disciplines; other disciplines will also be considered.

This project is supervised by Dr Tarek Ahmed. The second supervisor will be Dr Zaid Alwan.

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF20/EE/ABE/AHMED) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020

Start Date: 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship is available to Home/EU/ Worldwide students where a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2019/20, this is £15,009 pa) and full fees.


Ahmed TMF, Rajagopalan P, Fuller R. Experimental Validation of Energy Model of a Day Procedure/surgery Centre, Journal of Building Engineering,2017;10:1-12.

Ahmed TMF, Rajagopalan P, Fuller R. A Classification of Healthcare Facilities: Toward the Development of Energy Performance Benchmarks for Day Surgery Centres in Australia. HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 2015;8:139-57.

Nawarathna, A., Alwan, Z., Gledson, B., & Fernando, N. (2020). A Conceptual Methodology for Estimating Embodied Carbon Emissions of Buildings in Sri Lanka. In Sustainability in Energy and Buildings (pp. 83-95).

Alwan, Z, Paul Jones, and Peter Holgate. "Strategic sustainable development in the UK construction industry, through the framework for strategic sustainable development, using Building Information Modelling." Journal of Cleaner Production 140 (2017): 349-358.

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