Building Resilience and Environment

BEAM research in Building Resilience and Environment focuses on four broad areas:

  • Energy, Efficiency, and Performance
  • Geotechnical and Eco-Engineering
  • Environment Impact Assessment
  • Water Quality and Waste Water Treatment

For more information on projects relating to Building Resilience and Environment contact Prof. Ole Pahl.

Recent Projects, Publications, and Partnerships

Energy Poverty and Energy Transitions Handbook 

Dr Geoffrey Wood and Dr Keith Baker have just signed a contract for the handbook Energy Poverty and Energy Transitions to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2022. The handbook will be co-edited with Dr Ron Mould, Energy and Sustainability Officer at Edinburgh City Council and a recent PhD Graduate of the Centre.

The handbook will bring together experts from around the globe to provide an interdisciplinary, authoritative and comprehensive investigation of energy poverty through the lens of energy transition, and to advance critical thinking and research in this area. The aim of the handbook is to collect research, thinking and experience/practice in Energy Poverty, Energy Transitions and related areas that captures a range of topics, issues, approaches, theories, methodologies and perspectives with a truly global reach, including case studies from around the world. The handbook would be the first dedicated handbook on energy poverty and energy transitions and related areas. In summary, our aim is to capture as diverse a range of relevant topics as possible in a single handbook.

Energy Poverty and Energy Transitions will be one of the opening titles for Palgrave Macmillan's major new handbook series Palgrave Studies in Energy Transitions, designed and led by Dr Geoffrey Wood as Series Editor.

If you are interested in contributing a chapter to the handbook, please do get in contact with Dr Geoffrey Wood ( or Dr Keith Baker ( .

The Speird Project

The Scottish Government’s statistics now show that rural households spend more on energy to heat their homes than urban equivalents. However, research conducted by the project team using data from households in Renfrewshire has found this ‘energy spend gap’ is more significant than those statistics suggest, whilst other research has shown that influences on the energy spend of rural households are also highly multi-faceted. The Speird Project validates and significantly expands on these findings across five areas of Scotland. The findings provide new evidence on the extent and segmentation of fuel poverty in Scotland – uncovering the ‘hidden geographies’ of fuel poverty across rural areas and the islands.

SDGs addressed: SDG 1: No poverty; SDG7: Affordable and clean energy; SDG 10: Reduced inequalities; SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities; SDG12: Responsible consumption and production.

SDG 17 Partnerships: Eaga Charitable Trust; Energy Action Scotland; Lochalsh and Sky Housing Association; ALIenergy; SCARF; Orkney Islands Council; Highlands Council.

Click here to link to Eaga Charitable Trust page for The Speird Project.

ECOMED: Soil and Water Bioengineering in the Mediterranean Ecoregion

Soil and water bioengineering is a technical and scientific discipline that combines technology and biology, making use of plants and plant communities for protecting soil and infrastructures, and contributes to landscape development. It matches the technical factors (protection and stabilisation), with the ecological (eco-systemic restoration), landscape (improve the landscape integration) and socioeconomic factors (more efficient and source of employment). The aim of ECOMED is to generate a sector-specific theoretical and practical syllabus essential for the specialisation process of the Mediterranean soil and water bioengineering sector. Also, to jointly develop a long term interaction scheme among the stakeholders of the soil and water bioengineering sector and to deliver a training courses programme technology enhanced in “Soil and water bioengineering, Hazard Assessment and Techniques Selection in Mediterranean Environment”. This new syllabus will be generated during the implementation of the long term strategy of the proposal “Specialisation process for the soil and water bioengineering sector in the Mediterranean environment (ECOMED)”.

SDGs addressed: SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG 14: Life below water; SDG 15: Life on land.

SDG 17 Partnerships: Universidad Politécnica de Madrid; Istituto Tecnico Costruzioni Ambiente e Territorio “B. Tallini” Formia; Universidad de Évora; Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology; ─░stanbul üniversitesi-Cerrahpa┼ča; Inrae; JemmBuild; Sangalli Paisaje; EcoSalix; Naturalea; Astrolabe; GEING.

Click here to link to the ECOMED website, for more information.

Independent Hydrology Audit

The recent flooding in the North East of Scotland has highlighted issues around climate change due to significant changes in duration, severity and volume of precipitation events. The Planning (PA) and Flood Authorities (FA) often do not have the capacity or resources to review and check the accuracy and robustness of the SUD schemes nor the calculations submitted by developers. This study demonstrates the development and application of an Independent Hydrology Audit (IHA) service aimed at auditing and reviewing ‘in principle’ planning applications from the aspect of flooding risk to the wider community the development is located within. The output of this service is to establish a more accurate representation of surface water impact from developments through the use of adequate green/blue infrastructure, provide a greater assurance to the communities at risk of flooding, and help the PA and FA meet their statutory obligations at the initial stage of planning.

SDGs addressed: 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation; SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure; SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities.

SDG 17 Partnerships: Stonehaven and District Community Council

Click here to link to the paper “Development of an independent hydrology audit methodology to support flood risk assessment in the planning process in Scotland”, for more information.

Recent PhD/MPhil projects

Project Title