Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment
Smart and sustainable campus usage
Most students will recognise it: you arrive on campus in the morning, park your bike and then spend quite some time looking for a suitable study place for the day. But what is the difference between simply a busy day and buildings that are truly too small to accommodate everyone? That is an essential question for real estate managers of university campuses. PhD student Bart Valks investigated how so-called Smart Campus Tools can offer solutions.
Health care buildings are not always healthy enough for staff
Nursing staff are much less enthusiastic about the conditions in hospitals than the patients who are treated in them, concludes the PhD research by AnneMarie Eijkelenboom. This is often due to a mismatch between a building’s design and its users.
Urban leftover spaces benefit from an open-ended design
Urban leftover spaces, without a clear sign of function and value can bring great benefits for the city, complementing to formal urban spaces. As “urban interstices”, their unique potential lies in an indeterminacy that opens to spontaneous social-ecological processes, observes Sitong Luo in her doctoral research. Residents have little control over planned urban public spaces, while that is very different in residual areas. This indeterminacy also lets us reconsider the role of design.
Concrete examples: a new start for used concrete
Concrete has been one of the most widely used construction materials in the world for decades. Despite this, concrete rubble is recycled in only very small amounts worldwide even though sand and gravel are becoming increasingly scarce and their exploitation is damaging to nature. As part of a European research project, students and staff from the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment have come up with a range of ideas on what you can make using recycled concrete.
What is the coolest tree?
On a hot, windless day, a leafy neighbourhood may feel 10 to 15°C cooler than an urban area that is more exposed to the sun. Trees thus play a key role in preventing heat stress and the design of climate-proof and healthier cities. “Although we already understand a great deal about the performance of tree species in the built environment, there is very little empirical knowledge about their cooling capacity.”, says researcher Lotte Dijkstra.