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Climate change and the development of built asset adaptation strategies

School of Engineering and the Built Environment

About the Project

Research Group: Built Environment Research Group, Global Sustainability Institute

Proposed supervisory team: Prof Keith Jones (), Prof Aled Jones ()

Theme: Sustainability

Summary of the research project:

Two recently completed research projects undertaken by Professor Jones have questioned the ability of the current (forecasting) approach to built asset management to effectively accommodate adaptation to climate change as part of built asset management life-cycle. Professor Jones has suggested an alternative approach based on back-casting as more appropriate to address the sustainability and climate change agendas. In essence, back-casting requires future needs (in this case of a building) to be established (20-25 years) and then an intervention journey to be planned, with short and medium term targets, that identify maintenance and refurbishment actions that are required to achieve the future position. This project will examine the above and develop and test a range of tools that facilities managers can use to develop built asset adaptation strategies. In particular the project will:

• Examine the relationship between climate change projections and built asset impacts and develop models (physical, technical, economic, social) that can be used to predict future needs.

• Develop building life-cycle scenarios/tools that allow intervention journeys to be planned.

• Test the life-cycle scenarios/tools using interim targets and milestones for a range of built asset types.

The project will use an Action Research approach in which a small number of commercial partners will provide access to their (or their clients) buildings and employees to develop and test the new built asset adaptation strategy. The project will involve extensive fieldwork but will not require specialist equipment above that currently available within the Faculty.

Where you’ll study: Chelmsford


This project is self-funded. Details of studentships for which funding is available are selected by a competitive process and are advertised on our jobs website as they become available.

Next steps:

If you wish to be considered for this project, we strongly advise you contact the proposed supervisory team. You will also need to formally apply for our Built Environment PhD. In the section of the application form entitled ’Outline research proposal’, please quote the above title and include a research proposal.

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