About us

Our research

Research into sustainability at the University of Reading has impact across all areas of the sustainability agendaWith a history of world-class research across construction management, real estate and planning, climate change and innovative design, the University of Reading is uniquely placed to address the challenges of sustainability. The "sustainability in the built environment" research portfolio draws together a multi-disciplinary team of experts from across the University.

Working on six key research clusters relating to sustainability within the built environment, we are able to combine the knowledge and expertise from internationally recognised centres of teaching and research including:

  • School of Construction Management and Engineering - an internationally recognised school for teaching and research in the built environment, with expertise in sustainable technologies and transition management.
  • The Walker Institute for Climate Research - delivering world-leading research in climate system science.
  • Technologies for Sustainable Built Environments Centre - the University's Industrial Doctorate centre, which works with industry to respond to the environmental challenges of sustainability and climate change.
  • Real Estate & Planning - with particular expertise in planning and policy implications, REP is rated as the top real estate centre in Europe by the Urban Land Institute.
  • Design Innovation Research Centre - exploring how innovative materials and techniques can be used to improve the built environment and improve sustainability through advanced modelling.
  • Centre for Mathematics of Human Behaviour - analysing how the modern advances in today's digital world are impacting on human behaviour and reshaping society's norms.

The portfolio also leverages the expertise of the University's departments of Soil Science, Systems Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Meteorology and Psychology in order to address the needs of communities, business and government. Our research aims to be applicable from the neighbourhood scale to the mega-cities of the future, impacting the policy, products and behaviour of today and tomorrow.

Our estate

The University of Reading's parkland campus has won several awards for sustainabilityAt the University of Reading, connecting our research with our estate is critical for demonstrating our commitment to sustainability. Our Clean and Green team within Estates and Facilities follow the principles of our Environmental Policy. As a result of the hard work of the team:

  • The University is working towards a 35% carbon footprint reduction by the 2015/16 academic year (compared with a 2008/9 baseline.) A 10% reduction was achieved in the first year alone and many further reductions have been identified in a Carbon Management Plan and are awaiting deployment.
  • We have successfully reached our target of recycling half our waste, and plan waste management for new builds at the design stage.
  • In the new halls development, almost all of the old Childs Hall building material was recycled.
  • Henley Business School and Hopkins Life Science laboratory achieved "Very Good" BREEAM certification levels.
  • Our water is largely supplied by our on-site borehole. This can produce 24m3 water per hour and has a lower carbon footprint than mains water.
  • A water management plan has been developed, with the aim of reducing water use by 10% in the 2012/13 academic year.
  • We have ethically invested in our energy supplier, taking 100% green and renewable electricity.
  • We have been awarded an EcoCampus Gold award and are working towards the Platinum award and ISO 14001 certification

Estates and Facilities are working closely with other departments around the University to promote sustainability. Of particular note is the Carbon Brainprint project. This contributed to a 'highly commended' award at the Green Gown Awards through close collaboration between the School of Construction Management & Engineering and Estates & Facilities to demonstrate behavioural change of occupants within intelligent buildings.

Estates and Facilities regularly work with both undergraduate and post graduate students to support dissertations and theses. Estates and Facilities are currently working with Construction Management, Psychology, Economics and Environmental Science students, in projects ranging from water efficiency to behavioural economics.

For more information on the University's on-going commitment to creating a sustainable campus, visit the Clean and Green website.

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