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Teesside University research helping to transform construction industry

27 July 2020 @TeessideUni


Pioneering research by a Teesside University team is helping to ensure people are at the heart of future social housing design and manufacture.

The innovative research project will help to spearhead a step change in social housing design and construction by making houses more human centric design, affordable and efficient by helping to deliver design and energy efficient solutions for people in social housing.

Professor Nashwan Dawood, Associate Dean (Research & Innovation) in Teesside University’s School of Computing, Engineering & Design Technologies, has led the project which will help to make social housing occupants an integral part of the design process, in terms of gathering needs and requirements of the occupiers.

Professor Dawood said: 'By systematically integrating user experience (UX) values and value creators of home use and energy systems with design parameters, the project addresses user needs and requirements, making those people an integral part of future social housing design and manufacture.'

To identify design values and value creators, the research team has conducted semi-structured interviews with architects and social housing providers, along with in excess of 220 online surveys with occupiers. The analysis revealed sharp differences between the occupiers and the housing providers and architects.

Professor Dawood said: 'This has to be rectified and occupiers’ needs should be prevalent in design. Among values which occupiers scored highly were pride, adaptability, safety and sustainability in house design.'

The project addresses user needs and requirements, making those people an integral part of future social housing design and manufacture.

Professor Nashwan Dawood

An important aim of the research is to encourage home builders to embed user experience factors into their initial design processes.

Professor Dawood, who is a specialist in project construction management and the digitalisation of construction processes, is working alongside fellow Teesside University academic, Professor Paul van Schaik, whose research expertise includes human-computer interaction, technology acceptance and e-health.

The research team has also involved the University’s Dr Sergio Rodriguez, Dr Huda Dawood, Dr Joao Patacs and Atif Hafeez, along with Gabriele Faulhaber and Dr Anthony Woolcock, from Energy Systems Catapult. Funding of £100,000 was secured from the Economic and Social Research Council for a nine month project.

Professor Dawood added: 'The research project will help industry to overcome innovation barriers in moving to a greater use of a digital platform manufacturing approach and integrated energy technology approaches when delivering new buildings and infrastructure.

'This project supports the objectives of the Government’s Transforming Construction Challenge, which aims to transform the construction sector to create safe and efficient builds using the latest manufacturing techniques.'