Architecture, Built Environment and Planning

UoA C16 is located in the School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment within the College of Art, Design and the Built Environment.

UoA Coordinator: Professor Michael White

The Unit has made excellent progress on the foundations laid earlier during the RAE 2008 period. Bringing together academics from the subject areas of Architecture, Construction, Real Estate, Product Design and Civil Engineering, it has taken significant strides forward in redefining strategic approaches to research and its governance. This has been done by strengthening its research groupings and by involving research leaders in key strategic decision making. The key areas of strategic emphases are:

  • the strengthening of research groupings to define areas of excellent research
  • close collaboration with industry
  • national and international government bodies and enhancing the number and quality of research students.

Research Groups

There are four research groups that are broadly aligned with the subject areas of the School that contribute to UoA16 and they cut across and even extend beyond the College. The research groups are detailed below.

Architecture, Heritage and Global Difference (AHGD)

This group focuses on built heritage and the humanities based study of architecture, material culture and the built environment within a fast evolving context of simultaneous globalisation and heightened awareness of difference.

Innovative and Sustainable Built Environment Technologies (iSBET)

An internationally leading multidisciplinary engineering research group that helps to advance knowledge in the field of innovative and sustainable built environment technologies and management. Our work supports the economic competitiveness and improves quality of life with in the research areas of Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Green Buildings and Innovation in Design and Management.

The Innovative and Sustainable Built Environment Technologies (iSBET) research group investigates the technical, economic, management and application related performance of a range of sustainable and innovative technologies in the built environment field.

Our two key research areas are

  • Sustainable Technologies
  • District Heating

Lean Project Management (LMP)

The group focuses on step change improvement in the design, construction, maintenance and operation of the built environment by adapting Lean Production philosophies and technologies. Research is undertaken within the procurement and delivery of projects, programmes and portfolios of work specialising in the identification, development and utilisation of the very best of human creativity within effective and efficient collaborative systems.

The work of the Lean Project Management Research Group focuses on developing the new project production philosophy and methodologies for implementation across all project based sectors. These include all forms of construction and the production of other high value assets such as trains, satellites and ships, TV and film production, ICT systems and even aspects of medical treatment.

Within this overarching field of study are a number of sub-themes detailed below.

  • Strategic procurement for integrated production systems that build on 21 years of procurement research at NTU.
  • Design of new project production systems within specific contexts arising from 14 years of research in lean construction.
  • Deployment of human engagement systems that facilitate continual improvement at all levels of the production system.

Real Estate Economics, Investment and Development (REEID)

The Real Estate Economics Investment and Development (REEID) Research Group at NTU is an internationally recognised research group that undertakes world-class analyses of real estate markets and urban development.

Our areas of research interest include:

  • commercial real estate market analysis and forecasting
  • housing market analysis of house price trends, affordability, mortgage markets, the macroeconomy and housing markets
  • real estate financing mechanisms
  • international real estate
  • property, planning and public policy
  • spatial and regional analysis of property markets.

Impact Case Studies

The following Impact Case Studies are linked to this UoA:

Managing Heritage, Designing Futures: Heritage Documentation, Management and Master Planning in the Arab Gulf Countries

NTU is working with the Sultanate of Oman government to deliver a pioneering project to develop appropriate approaches to the sustainable documentation, management and renewal of 86 priority heritage sites of its 1,000-plus vernacular settlements.

The project, which covers 9 settlements including three World Heritage Sites, has helped Oman to develop a cohesive heritage strategy and instigated a thorough revision of their priority list. Five of the heritage sites are now fully recorded.

Developing from the Abu Dhabi pilot, a key part of the project is to build in local capacity and social engagement through the employment and training of young graduates in Oman. Stakeholders are engaged in the work through exhibitions, public lectures, workshops, press interviews (in Arabic and English) and heritage-related films.

Abu Dhabi

The award-winning architectural firm Austin Smith-Lord invited Bandyopadhyay to help analyse a monument of historical and political significance in Abu Dhabi in 2008-09. Bandyopadhyay's expertise in Gulf vernacular architecture and interpretive methods helped establish the architectural and socio-cultural values of the monument. It provided the basis for a sensitive proposal for the monument's re-use as a cultural heritage interpretation centre.


In 2010, the Omani Ministry of Heritage and Culture (MHC) identified a gap in the management of its heritage sites and the need for a partner to work on the cultural heritage sites at greatest risk. NTU's team was invited to partner the MHC as a result of its research and advisory record in the field.

Sustainable Technologies in the Built Environment

NTU is helping Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) manufacturers of building materials to create new, sustainable, higher-quality products with reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions to make the companies more competitive.

The impact comes through research that develops an SMEs critical understanding of complex manufacturing processes and advanced materials, and through its expertise in obtaining grants and external funding to develop and implement new products and processes for higher productivity. Examples in this case study from different SMEs include:

  • sustainable product design for low-carbon buildings
  • sustainable materials and design
  • sustainable energy.

The main academics involved in this research were Dr Amin Al-HabaibehDr Anton Ianakiev and Professor Daizhong Su.

Still need help?

Prof Michael White
+44 (0)115 848 2069