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EPSRC Reference: EP/C008030/1
Title: Metrics, Models and Toolkits for Whole Life Sustainable Urban Development
Principal Investigator: Horner, Professor RMW
Other Investigators:
Hardcastle, Professor C Bebbington, Professor J Taylor, Professor P
Bristow, Professor AL Price, Professor A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr H Castillo Dr M El-Haram Dr JS Walton
Project Partners:
AEC 3 Bank of Scotland Best Foot Forward
Building and Social Housing Foundation Constructing Excellence Davis Langdon
DEFRA Designing Out Crime Association Eclipse Research Consultants
European Construction Institute Faber Maunsell Ltd H L M Architects Ltd
Home Ltd Scottish Enterprise Glasgow Sustainable Scotland Network
Department: Civil Engineering
Organisation: University of Dundee
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 May 2005 Ends: 31 October 2009 Value (£): 1,276,306
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Urban & Land Management
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Sustainable development has been defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Groups of homes, factories shops and offices, and the transport, supply and disposal systems that serve them are major contributors to the lack of sustainability from which today's world suffers. One of the problems is that currently we have no way of measuring sustainability because it's such a complex concept, involving economic, environmental and social issues. But if we can't measure sustainability, how can we tell how sustainable an urban development is, or whether one design is better than another? How do we compare the aesthetic damage caused by poor architecture or insensitive transport routes with the lower costs that are often associated with them? How do we compare the social benefits of a more expensive housing scheme that provides an environment which leads to increased employment opportunities with a cheaper one that does not? A comprehensive literature survey has shown that although there are 700 tools which purport to assess at least one aspect of sustainability, none is capable of assessing all three aspects at the same time.This research will find a way of assessing simultaneously the economic, environmental and social issues which contribute to the sustainability of urban developments. At its heart lies the development of an Integrated Sustainability Assessment Toolkit (ISAT) which will allow key decision-makers to identify, prioritise and express in a common measure all the relevant issues for all the stakeholders in any given situation. It will identify those tools which are relevant to the decision-maker's needs, and where there are gaps, develop new ones. The outputs from the different tools will pass through a conversion unit which will allow us to combine the outputs into a single, common measure. The ISAT will be capable of working at any level of detail, from components of buildings through to complete urban developments, and throughout the whole life cycle from inception to eventual demolition or re-use.The project is divided into 13 work packages. The five core packages are:1. developing the ISAT;2. capturing and quantifying stakeholder values; 3. urban development sustainability accounting; 4. assessment for environmentally equitable urban developments; and5. assessing the effect of urban developments on social capital.The eight plus packages are: 1. knowledge in an assessment context;2. investigation of the barriers and incentives to sustainability assessment; 3. the quest for a common measure; 4. measuring and reporting a project's contribution to an organisation's sustainability performance; 5. developing predictive tools to measure the impact of urban developments on crime and perceptions of security;6. integration of risk management into the ISAT framework; 7. communication and training; and8. ISAT demonstration. It brings together a team of four academic and four industrially-based research organisations providing the necessary broad range of expertise. It is supported by 16 collaborating industrial organisations and will take 36 man years of effort spread over four years.
Key Findings
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Project URL: http://www.sue-mot.org
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.dundee.ac.uk