Professor Alice Moncaster

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About me

My research seeks to radically improve the environmental sustainability and resilience of the built environment to climate change, working with national and international partners from multiple disciplines and retaining a close link with practitioners and industry.  

Brief CV: engineering degree from Cambridge; a decade in the construction industry working on civils infrastructure and later structural building projects; researcher in the Earthquake Engineering Research Centre at Bristol University; EPSRC-funded PhD at the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA; research post and then lectureship at the University of Cambridge as part of the Centre for Sustainable Development; Director and Deputy Director of masters programme ‘Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment’ (IDBErun jointly by Depts of Engineering and Architecture at Cambridge; Director of Studies for Engineering, and Fellow of Newnham College; on moving to the Open University, created the OU's first Built Environment research cluster; first University Lead for Sustainability for the Open Societal Challenges research programme; now Professor of Sustainable Construction and co-Director of CABER at UWE. 

Area of expertise

My major focus for many years has been on the life cycle assessment and embodied impacts of buildings and urban environments, applying the principles of the circular economy to the built environment, and retrofitting existing buildings, including heritage buildings. A growing interest is in resilience and adaptation for future climates, including reducing risks from changing climates such as flooding and over-heating, the potential benefits of nature based solutions (NBS) in an urban environment, and improving urban air quality. As well as technical research, I explore the socio-technical practices and processes of design and construction and urban planning, how and why decisions are made in building projects, and the role of community engagement in effective approaches to sustainability and resilience. I also have an ongoing interest in the importance of equality and inclusivity, both within the construction sector, and for the impacts of construction on different communities.


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