Special Issues

We will use this page to provide information about forthcoming BRI Special Issues. For a full list of previous Special Issues, please click here

Forthcoming BRI special issues (2018)


Energy performance gaps: promises, people, practices

Guest editors: Kirsten Gram-Hanssen and Susse Georg

This special issue investigates the ways in which the actions and interactions of different users affect building energy performance.  Just who is the user, depends upon where in the life cycle of a building you focus. Users are, thus, broadly understood as the architectural, engineering, construction and facilities management professionals as well as the occupants of domestic as well as non-domestic buildings, all of whom have creative capabilities in complying with and circumventing attempts to improve building energy performance. Their practices are not static but change in expected and unexpected ways to produce new understandings, aspirations and new ways of doing things. However, rather than adopting an a priori aspirational or sceptical position on whether or not the performance gap can be closed, this special issue seeks to deepen our understanding of how design, construction and occupant practices can lead to, maintain or perhaps even close the ‘gap’ in the calculated and actual energy performance of buildings.


Feedback in energy demand reduction

Guest editors: Sam Staddon and Kathryn Buchanan

Given the key role of energy demand management within the huge challenge to transition to a fair and affordable low carbon society, this special issue examines key questions:

  • Is feedback an effective tool for reducing energy consumption?
  • How can feedback be designed and delivered to optimize its efficacy?
  • What are the theoretical mechanisms underpinning (effective) feedback?
  • What is the potential role and value of energy feedback in future energy transitions?
  • What constitutes a ‘successful’ energy feedback policy?


Environmental Performance of Buildings:

Festschrift for Raymond J. Cole

Guest editor: Ian Cooper

This special issue is offered as a festschrift to celebrate the distinguished research career of Raymond J. Cole. It contains papers by Cole’s colleagues and by others who have worked with and been inspired by him, or who have further developed his ideas. The special issue illustrates both the range of his research interests and how, following his example, researchers are seeking to integrate the social sciences and humanities with building science. Six themes emerge:

  • modelling building performance
  • environmental assessment methods and tools – originally for building performance but subsequently at larger scales
  • the Green Building Challenge
  • shifting from green to regenerative approaches to building design
  • moving from passive building occupants to active inhabitants
  • the effects of change, technology, culture and values.


Urban form, density & microclimate

Guest editors: Rohinton Emmanuel and Koen Steemers

This special issue will explore the interdependencies between the built form at the neighbourhood scale, density and the microclimate.  The papers in this special issue address the specific microclimate challenges created and posed by urban form in medium and high density settings.  While higher densities are generally have been assumed to be more sustainable, this needs further examination as it can be framed too narrowly.  There are ventilation, regulated energy loads and air pollution penalties associated with such urban form and significant differences exist between the impacts from low-rise and high-rise with similar density.  Whilst there is a significant body of research on both building energy use (building physics) and the influence of building and urban form on the background climate conditions (urban physics), these two disciplines often remain separate. This special issue explores the interdependencies between the two at all scales (macro to micro in both vertical and horizontal dimensions).