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Open Access research that is exploring the innovative potential of sustainable design solutions in architecture and urban planning...

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Research activity at Architecture explores a wide variety of significant research areas within architecture and the built environment. Among these is the better exploitation of innovative construction technologies and ICT to optimise 'total building performance', as well as reduce waste and environmental impact. Sustainable architectural and urban design is an important component of this. To this end, the Cluster for Research in Design and Sustainability (CRiDS) focuses its research energies towards developing resilient responses to the social, environmental and economic challenges associated with urbanism and cities, in both the developed and developing world.

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Towards the integration of sustainable infrastructure into the existing built environment

Dimitrijevic, Branka (2013) Towards the integration of sustainable infrastructure into the existing built environment. Spatium, 2013 (29). pp. 30-36.

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The construction sector in the United Kingdom is dominated by small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) which have less than 250 employees and usually do not have research capacities to develop a range of low carbon innovations applicable in the construction sector. Various European and national funding programmes have addressed this problem by providing funding for research collaboration between universities and SMEs. The paper provides a selection of the outputs of academic/industry research, undertaken by seven Scottish universities through the project CIC Start Online from September 2009 until February 2013, related to low carbon planning, building design, technologies, construction, refurbishment and performance. The studies either contributed to the further development of existing products or processes, or tested new products or processes, often developed for a specific project with a potential for application in future projects. Online dissemination of the project outcomes has assisted in attracting membership across Scotland, the United Kingdom and internationally. Along with the low carbon building products and technologies, new low carbon infrastructure is being planned and developed in order to provide connections and services for energy generation from renewables, energy storage and decentralised distribution, water management (harvesting, saving and reuse), waste management (reduction, reuse and to-energy), transport (electric vehicles, cycling and walking) and information communication technology (ICT) for monitoring and managing infrastructure systems. The second part of the paper outlines how innovations for integration of sustainable infrastructure into the existing built environment will be supported through the follow-on joint project of nine Scottish universities, named Mainstreaming Innovation.