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Researchers and expertise

Dr Stephen Pretlove
Steve Pretlove

Dr Stephen Pretlove is Associate Professor of Architectural Science and Technology in the Department of Architecture and Landscape at Kingston University, and the Director of ArchiLab. He has a background and education in construction engineering, architecture and environmental studies. His academic interests include sustainable and environmental architecture, natural and artificial lighting, building acoustics and occupant comfort, with a particular emphasis on indoor environments and their impact on the health of building occupants.

For the last eight years Stephen’s research and enterprise activity has focused on the development of sustainable expertise in practice, through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) with local architectural, construction and property companies. A completed two-year KTP project with Clive Chapman Architects led to the development of an in-house sustainability consultancy and was judged as ‘outstanding’ by the UK Government (Technology Strategy Board). A more substantial KTP project, with mspace Ltd, followed this, which investigated, holistically, the design, construction and occupation of domestic and commercial property, and the impact that these have on the procurement and management of sustainable buildings. A third KTP project, with Clive Chapman Architects and a number of Registered Providers of social housing, focuses on the development of a novel, holistic system integrating the design, construction and operation of genuinely sustainable, lifelong, low carbon buildings.

Stephen has published his work widely in peer-reviewed journals, at international conferences and in books and has won awards for his research. His work has received international media coverage through the medium of print, radio, television and the internet by organisations including the BBC, Channel 4 and National Geographic.

For Stephen’s biography, research expertise, professional activity and publications, view Stephen’s staff profile.

Andrew Alford

Andrew Alford
Andrew has an undergraduate degree in Residential Property (BSc) and a postgraduate degree in Building Surveying (MSc) from Kingston University. During the course of his studies Andrew developed a keen interest in sustainable design and construction from an ecological, social and economic standpoint, and looked closely at the policies and legislative tools being used to govern sustainable development. Understanding the importance of design cohesion and the integration of information on the procurement of a sustainable built environment, he focused his masters thesis on the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in construction. Andrew went on to work in the public sector as a local authority building control officer, where he augmented his learning with a practical understanding of construction processes. This also gave him an opportunity to witness first-hand the effectiveness of sustainability policies at the implementation phase.

Andrew has recently embarked upon a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership between Kingston University and Clive Chapman Architects, a local practice based in Twickenham. His role within the practice is as a Sustainability Consultant, ensuring the practice is up to date on policy matters, both local and national; consulting on the sustainable design of schemes; and carrying out project sustainability assessments such as BREEAM, for proposed schemes.

As part of the partnership he is also looking at existing buildings for several clients, in the context of soft landings, post occupancy evaluation and reducing the performance gap. It is a widely discussed point that buildings seldom perform as efficiently as they are designed to, and is the result of design omissions, incomplete data assumptions, poor commissioning and lack of occupant engagement. It is difficult to address the first two factors when dealing with existing buildings; however it is possible to review and address commissioning issues within the building services and also look at occupant usage and user guidance. By investigating these areas and developing best practices to embed within CCA, Andrew hopes to provide a strong platform for change within the firm as well as presenting research to inform wider change within the industry.

Hafiz Nur Silay Emir
Hafiz Nur Silay Emir

Silay has a background in landscape architecture and completed her undergraduate education at Akdeniz University in Turkey. After graduating, she was awarded a Turkish Government scholarship for funding to complete a masters degree in interior architecture at Middlesex University and to fund a full-time PhD at Kingston University London, which she started in October 2015. This funding will support her intention to return to Turkey as an academic at the end of her PhD. Silay’s PhD research focuses on the application of sustainable design principles to existing education buildings. Her research aims to make a contribution to the use of school buildings as a learning tool for sustainability education, promoting sustainability and the improvement of existing school buildings by increasing comfort conditions, decreasing energy use, offering a healthy indoor environment, and supporting education with sustainable architecture. Her research interests are in sustainable architecture, low carbon school buildings used for sustainable education, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and the use of adaptable sustainable features in existing school architecture.

She has practice experience in landscape architecture in Antalya, Turkey and in London.

Dawn Purves
Dawn Purves

After studying architecture at the University of Humberside School of Architecture and receiving a postgraduate certificate in architectural practice, Dawn went on to study landscape architecture at the University of Sheffield and then sustainable placemaking and urban design at the University of Kingston, receiving the Turley Associates prize for best masters project for planning and placemaking for her final project and thesis. This training has enabled Dawn to develop a design language for the production of high quality urban environments that fulfill client briefs, utilise new technological advances and are constructed sustainably. She has worked in multi-disciplinary practices throughout the UK for nearly 20 years, gaining wide-ranging experience in all aspects of landscape architecture; from the preliminary feasibility stages, through detailed design and construction detailing to implementation on site. She is keen to extend her knowledge further, particularly in creating sustainable places, and is currently working towards a PhD in climate change adaption.

Rain gardens within the wider scope of climate change neighbourhoods offer the opportunity for citizens to work with nature and participate in the way water is managed in our towns and cities. By considering wider aspects of sustainability, sustainable development and environmental policies, Dawn’s research seeks to uncover whether changes in environmental policies, away from incentivisation and taxation to more morally-based policies, coupled with improved engagement methodologies, support for social learning by building upon existing knowledge frameworks and increased citizen participation, would shift our perceptions towards low impact sustainable urban drainage (LISUD) as an alternative sustainable approach to climate change adaptation and increased community resilience.

Dawn believes that continued learning and imparting of knowledge is key to maintaining a strong landscape profession, and so is a registered mentor with the Landscape Institute (LI), successfully taking candidates through the Pathway to Chartership. Additionally, she is a committee member of the Eastern Branch of the Landscape Institute (EEBLI), a member and of the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA) and sub-group Planning and Climate Change Coalition (PCCC), a member of the Citizen Science Association (CSA), and as well as being a member of Transition Cambridge (TC) has recently formed a sub-group of Transition Cambridge entitled “Learning to Stay Dry” which aspires to develop a narrative around flooding and foster community flood resilience.

John Clarke
John Clarke

John’s research interests are in sustainability related to the built environment, education and behaviour change. John has worked on a number of low environmental impact buildings used for environmental education and has taught in schools, colleges and universities.

John has a masters degree in renewable energy and architecture from the University of Nottingham and a postgraduate certificate in education from the University of Greenwich. He completed his PhD entitled ‘Sustainable Buildings: Sustainable Behaviour?’ at Kingston University in 2013. This work focused on how sustainable buildings, through their design, construction, operation and use, not only impact on the natural environment but also on the sustainable practices and behaviours of key stakeholders.

Since gaining his PhD John has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Brighton, developing retrofit and low carbon technology solutions to mitigate climate change, and as a home energy advisor for a major housing association, identifying energy efficiency opportunities and alleviating fuel poverty. John hopes his continuing work in this field will contribute to the long-term sustainability of the built environment.

James Ritson
James Ritson

James Ritson is an architecturally-trained building conservator specialising in sustainability and recording of the historic built environment. He is currently the programme leader for MSc building surveying at the University College of Estate Management. James was previously a senior lecturer in sustainability of the existing built environment at Kingston University, teaching on the building surveying and historic building conservation courses.

James previously worked at MBP Architects and Carden and Godfrey Architects, on a variety of projects, including the Palace of Westminster, Beverly Minster and many smaller commercial and residential schemes.

He is a member two ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) scientific committees  the UK National Scientific Committee on Digital Technology and the International Scientific Committee on Energy and Sustainability. He was made a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society in 2010 for his work on sustainability of the built environment. He has published widely on sustainability, health and conservation issues and his main research interests are sustainability of the existing built environment and the recording of existing buildings.

James is currently enrolled as a part-time PhD student at Kingston University, under the supervision of Dr Pretlove, examining the sustainable refurbishment of suburban historic dwellings. James has presented early findings in this work at a variety of national and international forums.

Sidonie Kade
Sidonie Kade

Sidonie Kade studied architecture at the Technical University of Munich (Germany). After graduating, she worked in an architectural practice in Munich, and was the KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnership) associate of the first developmental project linking ArchiLab with Clive Chapman Architects (CCA) in Twickenham, London.

This project helped develop the in-house expertise of CCA in environmental and sustainable design, and Sidonie continued to be employed to lead this area at CCA once the project was completed. The direct exchange of theory and practical experience, as well as the environmental design process, has offered new architectural perspectives for Sidonie. The KTP project formed the basis of her masters degree dissertation, which was supervised by Dr Pretlove and assessed the most appropriate ways in which to tackle climate change through the energy performance of new residential dwellings in the UK. Sidonie also continued her career as architect with CCA, improving her skills in designing and implementing buildings.

Since 2014, Sidonie has been working at Crossboundaries in Beijing, China. As senior architect, Sidonie manages and leads a design team of 25, designs buildings ranging from 2,000 to 200,000 m2 including retail, cultural buildings, offices and school campuses. She also participates in architectural competitions and think-tank forums addressing future building design.

Sidonie maintains links with ArchiLab and collaborates on various practice and research-related work including the production of joint research publications.