Dr Marina Topouzi


Research Groups

Dr Marina Topouzi

Researcher in Lower Carbon Futures


Marina Topouzi is an interdisciplinary researcher with the Lower Carbon Futures group at the ECI, with a strong background in building energy use and demand. Her main research interests concern the 'building/user' system, focussing on the factors that affect buildings' energy performance. She is interested in the impact of user behaviour on energy in the built environment and in particular in why and how complex social, non-technical and technical factors are interrelated. Marina's research interest areas include:

  • Relationships between low/zero carbon buildings (refurbished and new) and their occupants;
  • The 'performance gap' between intended/modelled design and actual performance of the built environment;
  • Thermal comfort, built environment and energy use;
  • Building performance monitoring and post-occupancy evaluation combining innovative tools and techniques;
  • Flexibility (or inflexibility) of household everyday activities, practices and routines on electricity demand.

Current Research

  • Governance of Low-carbon Innovation in Domestic Energy Retrofits (GLIDER), explores the institutional context and patterns of decision-making among construction firms in the market for Repair, Maintenance and Improvement (RMI) of homes. Leading WP1 that investigates retrofit process risks of low-carbon housing stock renovation and identifies procedures to avoid or minimize risks in a retrofit process to increase quality assurance between design and implementation stages.
  • RealValue project (Realising Value from Electricity Markets with Local Smart Electric Thermal Storage Technology), is using domestic storage heating in Ireland, Germany and Latvia to benefit households and electricity markets by demonstrating how small scale energy storage systems, within people’s homes (e.g. Smart Electric Thermal Storage Systems ‘SETS’) can provide benefits to the whole electricity supply chain, from generation and distribution, through to wholesale markets and suppliers and ultimately to the end consumer. Working on customer engagement, data analysis and understanding of the socio-economic and technical implications of Smart Electric Thermal Storage heating.
  • CNTUR (Collecting New Time Use Resources Energy-24), an interdisciplinary programme based at the Centre for Time Use Research (CTUR) in the Oxford University. Leading the design and analysis of the data collection using multidisciplinary methodological approaches and tools, and visualising data on electricity consumption, physical activity and time use in households.


Marina holds an undergraduate degree in architecture, having studied in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki School of Architecture and Universita degli Studi di Firenze. She has an MSc. in Energy Efficient and Sustainable Buildings from Oxford Brookes University and a DPhil from Oxford University ('Occupants' interaction with the UK's low-carbon retrofitted homes and its impact on energy use').

She joined the ECI in 2009, since then she worked in collaborative projects as research associate in the EVALOC community project at Oxford Brookes University and as research assistant in analysing and evaluating energy data of a heat pump trial at Oxford University. Prior to starting academic research on energy efficiency and buildings, she worked since 2000 as a professional architect in a wide range of projects for the public and the private sector.


  • Topouzi, M., Grunewald, P., Gershuny, J. and Harms, T. (2016) Everyday household practices and electricity use: Early findings from a mixed-method approach to assign demand flexibility. BEHAVE, 4thEuropean Conference on Behaviour and Energy Efficiency, Coimbra, 8-9 September 2016.
  • Janda, K.B. and Topouzi, M. (2015) Telling tales: using stories to remake energy policy. Building Research and Information, 43(4): 516-533.
  • Topouzi, M. (2015) Occupants' interaction with low-carbon retrofitted homes and its impact on energy use. Unpublished DPhil, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford.
  • Topouzi, M. (2015) Deep low-carbon refurbishment challenge: what hasn't worked as designed? Proceedings of ECEEE European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Summer Study. 1–6 June 2015, Presqu'île de Giens, France.


  • Topouzi, M. (2013) Low-carbon refurbishments: How passive or active are technologies, users and their interaction. Proceedings of ECEEE European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Summer Study. 3-8 June 2013, Presqu'île de Giens, France.

  • Janda, K.B. and Topouzi, M. (2013) Closing the loop: using hero stories and learning stories to remake energy policy. Proceedings of ECEEE European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Summer Study. 3-8 June 2013, Presqu'île de Giens, France


  • Topouzi, M. (2012) From design to implementation: Conceptual framework in understanding occupants' interaction with the technical change in low-carbon retrofits. Proceedings of the Energy Efficiency & Behaviour conference, 20-21 Sept 2012, Helsinki.


  • Topouzi, M. (2011) Understanding occupants' interaction with the technical change in low-carbon retrofits: a methodological and conceptual framework. Proceedings of the ECEEE European Council for Energy Efficient Economy, Summer Study 2011, Hyeres, France.


  • Topouzi, M. (2010) The effect of 'default user' inputs in modelling tools and methods in energy use. Proceedings of Passive and Low Energy Architecture - PLEA, Brussels..


  • Topouzi M. (2005), Triestexpo 2006, 'The mysterious island'. Architektonika themata=Architecture in Greece, Annual Review, No 39/2005, p.71.