Inaugural lecture: Are buildings evil?

Professor David Coley, from the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, will be presenting his inaugural lecture titled ‘Are buildings evil’ on Wednesday 10 October (6.15pm in 2 East 3.1)

Professor Coley joined the University in autumn 2011 from the University of Exeter, and is heading up the EDEn (Energy and Design of Environments) group.

The group is at the cutting edge of research in design sustainability, natural processes and renewable energy, and attracts international funding due to its strong reputation.

Professor Coley’s inaugural lecture will address why so few buildings in the UK are built using the low-energy technologies we have developed.

He said: “The world's climate is changing and much of this is due to carbon emissions from our use of fossil fuels.

“The expected changes in climate will lead to even greater changes in weather, which in turn will result in major problems including famine and flooding for many of the poorest on the planet.

“As 40-60% of a developed nation's carbon emissions are from the the heating, cooling and lighting of buildings, this is clearly an issue the construction industry cannot ignore.’

Professor Coley will explore the impact of a variety of factors on the decisions made regarding energy and environmental impact by the construction industry.

He said: “The question is why so few buildings are developed using the green technologies we have. Are the costs too high, are construction companies lacking staff with relevant skills, or is it simply that we don’t care as much about those living an existence at the margins of what is possible than we do about what our buildings look like?”

Professor Coley has been at the centre of developing the UK’s first zero-carbon school, which uses PassivHaus theory and opened just outside Exeter in 2011. He has a wealth of first-hand experience in combining low-energy building design with usability, and a deep-rooted interest in developments that will be fit for purpose well into the future.

To attend this inaugural lecture, please contact Claire Hogg on ext 5394 for a free ticket.

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PassivHaus research leads to Britain's first zero-carbon school, March 2012

Professor passes as a PassivHaus design consultant, 2012

Professor David Coley joins the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, October 2011

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