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Term time schedule

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm

Closed for lunch 12pm - 1pm each day

Closed all day Saturday and Sunday and bank holidays

Visit the School

The Project Support Centre is located in the School of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of Westminster.

Visit the School of Architecture and the Built Environment

Retrofit insights: perspectives for an emerging industry

Posted on: 14 December 2012
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Between May 2011 and July 2012, the UCL Energy Institute (UCL-Energy), working in partnership with the Institute for Sustainability, undertook a post-occupancy evaluation study on a sample of the projects funded by the Technology Strategy Board’s Retrofit for the Future (Rt4F) programme in London. The core aim of the programme was to reduce the carbon emissions of existing homes by a minimum of 80% while providing affordable warmth for the occupants. The intention of this report is to use learning and insights from this analysis to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the construction industry to prepare for emerging business opportunities in retrofit.

Based on a series of interviews and feedback sessions with project teams, the Retrofit project team perspectives summary guides identify lessons learned during projects covering: These include:

perceived occupant experience 

 retrofit delivery

 retrofit strategies

mechanical and electrical systems integration

The Occupant-centred retrofit: engagement and communication guide  summarises the findings from the post occupancy evaluation interviews with retrofit occupants. Detailed analyses will also be made available on the Institute’s website. A separate guide, Best practice guidance for successful SME engagementalso released by the Institute for Sustainability and Action Sustainability, in association with Lend Lease, provides best practice guidance for large organisations looking to diversify their supply chain by engaging with SMEs.

Finally, the Institute’s updated Buildings opportunities for business: Low carbon domestic retrofit guides, reflecting the latest developments on Government incentive schemes including the Green Deal, are also being made available hereThe guides, written by leading academic and industry experts, provide practical and commercially focused advice and best practice to both trades and professions.

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Towering ambitions: transforming high rise housing into sustainable homes

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The Green Alliance has published a report which examines how sustainable living in high rise housing can be realised. It concludes that people who live in tower blocks are missing out on the chance to make energy savings and live greener lifestyles. Green policies, like those encouraging energy and water saving, more sustainable transport and recycling, are mostly designed with individual, street level properties in mind, so high rise residents can’t take full advantage of them. To address this, the report makes recommendations for what various actors, from national and local government to landlords and residents themselves, can do to make the most of existing policy to enable tower block living to become more sustainable.  Alongside the report the Green Alliance has published a toolkit, A better place to live: a toolkit for high rise green living,  which aims to help high rise residents take actions to make their homes better, greener places to live. Additional resources, as well as tips for residents on how to bring people together and how to use meetings to come up with a plan of action, can be found here.

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Exploring construction industrialization in China: The status quo and the challenges

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Construction industrialization is considered as a feasible tool to support the Chinese construction industry to achieve sustainable development in the current process of rapid urbanization. However, few studies have investigated whether large-scale construction industrialization is possible and what are the obstacles. This report therefore aims to review the historical development and status quo of construction industrialization in China. Content analysis was adopted to examine relevant governmental documents, as well as researches on construction industrialization, prefabrication and off-site production in China. It is found that construction industrialization once developed rapidly from 1950s to 1990s while it remains at a relatively low level as compared to traditional building construction approach at present. Although the research project focuses on China, the research methods and conclusions would be a good reference for similar studies in other countries and regions.

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The future of airline distribution: A look ahead to 2017

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published an independent study identifying major trends that are transforming the travel distribution landscape.

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Inbound business tourism

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The December 2012 issue of Visit Britain’s Foresight newsletter analyses statistics on inbound business travel to Britain.

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Heat, air and moisture transfer terminology: Parameters and concepts

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Commission W040 – Heat and Moisture Transfer in Buildings is one of the oldest groups of the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB) and was officially created in 1969.  This publication compiles the heat, air and moisture transfer terminology existing in books, standards and other reference documents. A small introduction is provided in Chapter 1 summarises the Commission’s activities since its formation in 1969. Chapter 2 indicates the guidelines for the use of this document. In Chapter 3 both parameters and concepts are presented, their definition according to the literature and the symbol(s) and unit(s) that are commonly used to describe it. Finally, Chapter 4 lists all the reference documents that were taken into consideration to develop this document.

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Rethinking everyday mobility: Results and lessons learned from the CIVITAS ELAN project

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CIVITAS ELAN has published the scientific results of the project in a 372-page handbook. The first part of the book includes texts dealing with the social circumstances of changing urban mobility and consequently with changing urban traffic systems and traffic policies. The second part presents some of the most successful methodological solutions that were used to analyse the changing and ever new forms of mobility. In the more extensive third part, new techniques, technologies, solutions, approaches and products are presented, which contribute to more efficient and environmentally friendly city traffic. The book concludes with the reflections of the project’s scientific coordinator about the cooperation in the RTD part of the project. It contains proposals, which shall contribute to a better understanding of the project’s achievements and stimulate further discussions on the objectives of the CIVITAS Initiative.

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RICS Housing Market Forecast 2013

Posted on: 14 December 2012
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According to the Housing Market Forecast report for 2013 pubkished by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, house prices in the UK will see an increase of 2% over the course of next year while the cost of renting a home should rise by around 4%. Although challenging times are still ahead for the nation’s economy, the report forecasts that 2013 may see some slight improvements and this will be reflected in the housing market.

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Analysis of fires in buildings of timber framed construction, England, 2009-10 to 2011-12

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This analysis focuses on the amount of heat and flame damage in building fires identified as being timber framed, compared with fires in buildings recorded as not being of special construction.

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Transport for everyone: an action plan to improve accessibility for all

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This accessibility action plan identifies the Department for Transport’s priorities for improving disabled people’s experience of public transport by building on the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Department is planning to implement in the next spending review period and beyond.

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