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Other energy research themes



Computer models and scenarios for low-carbon futures highlight the large economic and technical potential for CO2 emissions reductions from buildings. This includes new buildings, renovations of existing buildings, installation of energy systems in buildings, and the use and management of buildings. The real energy use in buildings is seldom monitored and analysed but, where it has been, there is a large and persistent design-performance gap: building energy use is typically much higher than is assumed by designers, builders and building owners.

The construction industry has an influence on three inter-related parts of buildings as energy systems: the physical reality of buildings; the energy systems installed in them; and the decision-making processes of construction projects.

This research theme investigates the future role of the construction industry in building and maintaining genuinely low-carbon buildings, working closely with professions, craft-based trades, product supply chains, and training organisations. It seeks to learn lessons from innovators in these sectors, and contribute ideas for increasing the scale and robustness of low-energy construction work in the future. The work is intended to be relevant to strategic debates on low-carbon buildings for industry and policy as well as academic research.

Current Projects


Governance of Low-carbon Innovation in Domestic Energy Retrofits (GLIDER)

GLIDER investigates the institutional context and patterns of decision-making among construction firms in the market for Repair, Maintenance and Improvement (RMI) of homes. These firms, along with their supply chains and training bodies, are uniquely placed to reach and influence retrofit projects at scale.

Recent Projects

  • Funding: ESRC Impact Acceleration Fund
  • 2015 - 2016
  • Led by:

Skills, Knowledge, Innovation and Learning Loops for Sustainable Energy Training (SKILLSET)

Working with the Oxfordshire Construction Training Group and the Scottish Qualifications Authority, this collaborative project has led to the development and accreditation of new ‘Ecobuilder’ training qualifications related to various aspects of sustainable construction.

  • Funding: EPSRC Impact Acceleration Fund
  • 2013 - 2014
  • Led by:

Build Up Skills UK

Build Up Skills UK (BUSUK) was a landmark piece of training and skills research to map the areas of growth and investment for the entire UK construction and energy efficiency workforce in the built environment. LCF worked with four of the UK’s Sector Skills Councils to develop an Energy Efficiency skills strategy for the construction industry.

Building expertise: A 'system of professions' approach to low-carbon housing refurbishment

This project explored the role of the building professions in the UK and France in delivering a comprehensive low carbon refurbishment of existing housing stock. This included looking at how different professions reacted to the threats and opportunities implied by low carbon refurbishment.

Projects Archive

Full list of archived energy projects.