Built Environment

Designing, creating, managing and quantifying the sustainable Built Environment.

Head of Subject

Inji Kenawy
Head of Built Environment

Built Environment


The Built Environment Subject Group is dedicated to fostering excellence in education, research, and industry engagement within the field of built environment disciplines. Comprising dedicated academics, experienced practitioners, and enthusiastic students, our group is committed to excellence in education and advancing knowledge in various disciplines within the built environment sector. With a diverse range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, we provide our students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in their chosen fields.

Our programmes are designed to foster creativity, critical thinking, and practical problem-solving abilities. Through innovative teaching methods and robust academic support, we strive to provide our students with a comprehensive understanding of the built environment and equip them with the necessary skills to excel in their future careers. In addition to our academic programmes, our group is actively engaged in cutting-edge research that addresses real-world challenges and contributes to the advancement of the built environment sector. Our research projects span various areas, including sustainable design, digital construction technologies, timber engineering, smart cities, net Zero, building performance analysis, as well as, structural, environmental, hydraulic, geotechnical and transportation engineering. As a group, we strive to ensure that our research and teaching are centered on making the best use of available resources whilst embracing cutting-edge digital technologies. This is exemplified by our esteem in the design of sustainable buildings and cities, as well as, our cllaboration with world leaders in digital technologies such as Trimble.

We are proud of our strong industry links and collaborations, which provide valuable opportunities for students to gain practical experience through internships, placements, and industry projects. By working closely with industry partners, we ensure that our programmes remain relevant and responsive to the evolving needs of the built environment profession. By collaborating on projects, hosting events, and providing consultancy services, we bridge the gap between academia and practice, fostering knowledge exchange and driving innovation. Overall, our Subject Group is dedicated to positively impacting the built environment profession, both locally and globally, through excellence in education, research, and industry collaboration.

Research Themes 

The Built Environment subject group at Edinburgh Napier delivers world-class research in Sustainability, Architecture, surveying, and Civil Engineering. The latest UK national research assessment, REF2021 ranked Edinburgh Napier 2nd best Scottish Modern University in UoA12 (Engineering) and UoA13 (Architecture, Built Environment and Planning). Our research in these fields was found to be wide-ranging and showed extensive evidence of interdisciplinary and international collaboration.

Architectural Technology

Our Architectural Technology research focuses on transforming innovative design concepts into sustainable, functional buildings and structures, enhancing their robustness and durability. We are also committed to responding to climate change and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by developing design solutions that minimise environmental impact, promote energy efficiency, and contribute to sustainable development.

Civil Engineering

The profession of Civil Engineering covers a number of research disciplines with academics being particularly active in the fields of structural, environmental, hydraulic, geotechnical and transportation engineering.  

Sustainable Construction

With world renowned expertise in the field of Timber Engineering and the design of Smart Cities, we are at the forefront of ensuring that the built environment of today can continue to function without impacting on future generations.

Research Centres/Groups

Research Centres

TRI: Transport Research Innovation Centre (TRI) is growing as transport policy, technology, the built environment, and health issues are all critically related to current political agendas, especially Climate Change. Find out more here

CEDAR: The Centre for Mind, Creativity and Environment Research (CEDAR) is an interdisciplinary centre that addresses how humans adapt creatively and cognitively flexibly in a fast-changing world for sustained productivity and how environments (buildings, infrastructure, software, machines) can adapt in response to urgent need for a resilient infrastructure. Find out more here

Research Groups

  • Digital Built Environment
  • EcoVision: Innovations for Sustainable Future
  • Geomechanics Micro-to-Macro (GM2M)
  • Off-site and modern methods of construction
  • Real Estate and Facilities Management (REFM)
  • Scottish Energy Group
  • Wood science and technology

Sample of Research and KTP Projects

Research Projects

  • Task validation for end-to-end Automated Passenger Service (APS) user journeys, Prof. Achille Fonzone, £235,613, Department for Transport, 2024.
  • BE-ZERO: Digital Twin Micro-Credentials Programmes for Built Environment Sector Towards Net-Zero Future, Dr. Inji Kenawy, £49,999, British Council, 2024.
  • Ikerbs Phase 4 Trials for Inclusive Suitability of kerbs in a number of key city environments, Prof. Pat Langdon, £52,461, Mott Macdonald Group Limited, 2023.
  • Phase 2: Digital Transformation Of The Building Standards System, Dr. Andrew Livingstone, £29,702.02, BE-ST, 2023.
  • Statistical and machine learning approaches for the characterisation of soils, Dr. Daniel Barreto, £57,000, Royal Academy of Engineering, 2023.
  • Timber Development UK – Knowledge Library Support, Prof. Robert Hairstans, £230,106, Timber Development UK Limited, 2022.
  • Augmented Virtual Reality Enhanced Building Information Modelling Technology for Bamboo-Timber Grid-shells, Prof. Johnson Zhang, £165,579, Construction Industry Council of Hong Kong, 2022.
  • Development of net-zero homes using digital twinned building performance analysis, Prof. John Currie, £60000, Energy Technology Partnership, Scottish Government, 2021.
  • SHELTER: Sustainable Homes Enabling the Long-Term Empowerment of Refugees. Dr. Bernardino D’Amico, £314, 324, Royal Academy of Engineering, 2020.
  • An Autonomous Bus Service from Park & Ride Across Forth Bridge to Edinburgh Park Train & Tram Interchange, Prof. Achille Fonzone, £185,176.05, Innovate UK, 2019.

KTP Projects

  • Building Information Modelling (BIM) Implementation in SMEs, in partnership with CSY Architects,  Dr. Suha Jaradat, £173,647, 2022.  
  • Stoane Lighting KTP, in collaboration with Mike Stoane Lighting Ltd, Prof. Francesco Pomponi/ Dr. Bernardino D’Amico, £170,688,2022.

Our Degree Programmes