Skip to content


Centre for Sustainable Construction and Retrofit

Unit(s) of assessment: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning

Research theme: Sustainable Futures

School: School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment


Net-zero by 2050 presents a huge challenge to the construction sector, which accounts for up to 50% of carbon emissions. An absence of skills, knowledge and expertise threaten to derail plans to retrofit the current building stock. This Centre will build on and enhance the existing activity with the School. Sustainability in the built environment has been a research strength of ADBE and we have a strong reputation in housing retrofit.

Our ‘Scale-up Retrofit 2050’ whitepaper report called for a nationwide programme to boost the energy efficiency of existing homes through deep retrofit. The REMOURBAN project demonstrated the benefits of deep retrofits and was showcased as part of the UK Built Environment Virtual Pavilion during COP26. It was followed by a ‘scaling-up deep retrofit for social landlords’ pilot project, funded by the Energy Saving Trust and ongoing collaboration with ARC Partnership and Nottingham County Council.

Our vision is to develop solutions, skills and support locally and nationally to enable a low carbon transition within the built environment sector.

Core approaches and themes

CSCR is a unique centre that aims to both explore the applied research question of how the built environment sector transitions to a low carbon future alongside practically addressing the retrofit skills gap via the creation of new courses and providing consultancy support for business. It has three approaches:

The research stream will build research capacity and impact in retrofit and low carbon construction to explore the practical and policy related questions related to the decarbonisation of the built environment.

Themes include:

  • Socio-technical challenges and opportunities for scaling up retrofit solutions 
  • Improved understanding of the skills gap and barriers for SMEs
  • Addressing the challenge of heritage and conservation buildings
  • Improved understanding and calculating of life cycle assessments and net zero
  • Circular economy
  • Smart cities, citizen engagement and urban planning

The skills stream will oversee and support the creation and delivery of courses to ensure we are a leading provider of low carbon construction and sustainability education.

See below for a list of qualifications and short courses we offer.

The knowledge exchange theme will support local organisations, especially SMEs, with individual and student consultancy and short courses to help individuals and organisations build knowledge, capacity and skills to be more sustainable.

Themes include:

  • Short microcredentials
  • Carbon literacy training
  • Consultancy for SMEs to help reduce their carbon footprints and management of their built environment

Short courses and professional development for construction, engineering and real estate industries

You might be just starting out and looking to enhance your CV or a professional exploring how continuing professional development (CPD) can support your career progression. Whatever your motivation, NTU is the place to come.


We offer a range of short courses that start throughout the year and are specifically designed to fit around work and other commitments. Daytime, evening and Saturday courses are available. Some offer credit, others a CPD certificate.

Explore our range of short courses and professional development opportunities.

Get in touch

If you have any questions please contact Richard Bull,

Follow us