Resource Efficiency in the Built Environment


Research within the school considers the use of resources within the built environment including energy, materials and land and seeks to develop solutions and policies in support of changing to more efficient models of use. Further, this theme addresses research in building performance, material performance, energy use and sustainable development, including systems of regulation, procurement and delivery of the built environment.

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  • ‌PI: Dr Elizabeth Shotton
  • Funding: Department of Agriculture, Forestry and the Marine

Previous models of carbon storage in forest ecosystems and harvested wood products have developed independently, as have data on biomass and economic measures of the forest resource-based industry in Ireland. Lacking is a coherent picture of the interaction and interdependence of these various sectors.

The CASWOOD model will merge these data streams and supplement with data on the reuse of wood resources to provide a holistic profile of the current position of carbon storage, biomass potential and the impact of the cascade effect. This will be used to test hypothetical changes to the product stream to establish the parameters influencing the environmental and economic optimisation of forest and forest-based products in Ireland.

  • ‌Web:
  • PI: Professor Zorica Nedovi?-Budi?, Dr. Karen Foley, Dr. Marcus Collier, Dr. Louise Dunne
  • Funding: EU FP7 Framework

TURAS [Transitioning towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability] is a research and demonstration project that is devising transition strategies for building and stimulating urban resilience in Europe. TURAS is structurally unique as a research project consisting of academics, local authorities and small businesses, working in 11 European cities to develop strategies for sustainable urban design, planning and management.

TURAS has developed numerous innovations, and several that are in the prototype stage, such as the Green Living Room and Reusing Dublin, both of which will be rolled out internationally. For videos of the School activities see the recent TURAS work involving students from Landscape Architecture and Planning.

  • ‌Web:
  • A part of the TURAS project.
  • PI: Professor Zorica Nedovi?-Budi?, Dr. Karen Foley, Philip Crowe, Aoife Corcoran
  • Funding: EU FP7

Reusing Dublin facilitates a participatory civic survey process that raises awareness and knowledge of underused spaces while engaging citizens with their place and one another. The application is based on an evolving map recording spaces that are not used at all, are only partly in use or that could accommodate additional uses such as energy creation or growing plants for biodiversity.

Spaces are identified through existing databases, student projects and crowd-sourcing, drawing on the dispersed and often tacit knowledge within communities. Users of Reusing Dublin can discover and share information on spaces and highlight errors. The application aims to empower citizens to identify opportunities and self-organise, build adaptive capacity to change in an uncertain future, and promote the efficient use of resources.