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Health and Well-being Requirements within Green Buildings (Advert Reference: RDF22/EE/ABE/ILHANJONES)

   Faculty of Engineering and Environment

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  Dr Bahriye Ilhan Jones, Dr Zaid Alwan  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The AEC (Architecture, Construction and Engineering) industry, shaped by the socio-economic conditions of a country, is no longer focused on providing a single product (e.g., a building or a physical infrastructure). The increasing demand for, and tendency towards, a performance-based approach on the one hand, and ever more worrying sustainability concerns on the other, are forcing the industry towards more integrative solutions by creating additional roles to judge the components, value and impacts of the AEC industry and built environment more thoroughly. The integrated approach should not be limited by production and use of the built environment but should extend to its impacts (positive and negative) on society and economy by including economic competitiveness, health and well-being, and social and economic inclusion, as well as environmental impacts. Achieving attractive, comfortable, accessible, usable and healthy indoor and outdoor environments in all facilities (not only the newly built ones but also considering the upgrade, renovation and rehabilitation of existing building stocks) is crucial for society especially after the recent pandemic.

The high demand in the use of Environmental Assessment Methods (EAM) -such as LEED, BREEAM, Green Star and others- shows the effort taken to produce more sustainable outcomes. However, the impact of well-being is not reflected in the EAM, which is only focused on technical aspects such as material use and energy profiling from a developer, not user, point of view.

The focus of this PhD research is to deliver new strategic innovative approaches to integrate health and well-being criteria within EAMs, which are currently under-represented in most green benchmarking tools. The project could cover both aspects of construction from new projects to retrofitting. It could, for example, involve process models, which integrate carbon use and daylight factors with movement levels and user satisfaction. The research will focus on developing and defining a benchmarking agenda for a new generation of tools that will influence thoughts and future direction of sustainability and health and well-being requirements within buildings. The work could include digital aspects, such as Building Information Modelling (BIM).

The contribution to the body of knowledge will be going beyond normal building regulations and financially measurable outcomes and addressing non-measurable factors such as Carbon, health, natural construction materials to address greater change in the AEC industry.

The Principal Supervisor for this project is Dr. Bahriye Ilhan Jones.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

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 or if they have previously been awarded a PhD.

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. RDF22/…) will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: 18 February 2022

Start Date: 1 October 2022

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff and students. We welcome applications from all members of the community.

Funding Notes

Each studentship supports a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2021/22 full-time study this is £15,609 per year) and full tuition fees. UK and international (including EU) candidates may apply.
Studentships are available for applicants who wish to study on a part-time basis over 5 years (0.6 FTE, stipend £9,365 per year and full tuition fees) in combination with work or personal responsibilities.
Please also read the full funding notes which include advice for international and part-time applicants.


Ilhan, B. and Yobas, B. (2019). Measuring construction for social, economic and environmental assessment. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 26(5), 746-765.
Ilhan, B. and Yaman, H. (2016). Green building assessment tool (GBAT) for integrated BIM based design decisions. Automation in Construction, 70, 26-37.
Alwan, Z., Jones, P. and Holgate, P. (2017). Strategic sustainable development in the UK
construction industry, through the framework for strategic sustainable development, using
Building Information Modelling. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140, 349-358.
Ayman, R., Alwan, Z. and McIntyre, L. (2020). BIM for sustainable project delivery: Review
paper and future development areas. Architectural Science Review, 63(1), 15-33.
Marzouk, M., Ayman, R., Alwan, Z. and Elshaboury, N. (2021). Green building system
integration into project delivery utilising BIM. Environment, Development and Sustainability,
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