Professor Darren Robinson


School of Architecture

Chair in Architectural and Urban Sciences

Director of Research

Darren Robinson
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+44 114 2220 308

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Professor Darren Robinson
School of Architecture
Arts Tower
Western Bank
S10 2TN

My main passion is for research that makes a difference. Much of my research is conducted at the interface between social physics (people), building physics (buildings) and urban physics (city): people – buildings – city.

This research is conducted at multiple scales: from the performance of individual buildings in their urban context and the how this performance is influenced by occupants; through the performance of entire complex urban systems and how their spatial and functional structures can be improved upon to maximise metabolic efficiency; to the performance of city, regional and national scale stocks of buildings and how these evolve over time.

Increasingly, I am interested in understanding how the implications on resource use of individuals, households, firms and institutions can be influenced (e.g. to invest in decarbonisation technologies, or to engage in more sustainable practices) and how this understanding can be embedded into predictive models.

In my spare time I am a keen triathlete, competing at standard (Olympic), middle (Half-Ironman) and long (Full Ironman) distances.

Research interests

My main research interests are in:

  • Statistical modelling of peoples’ presence, activities, comfort and behaviours.
  • Multi-agent stochastic simulation, integrating the statistical models of human behaviour with complementary representations of agents’ decisions (agent learning, belief-desire-intent, group decision making).
  • Modelling agents' (firms, households) investment decisions and changes in their resource-using (e.g. energy using) practices.
  • Solar radiation and daylight modelling in the urban context.
  • Urban energy simulation, in particular of buildings’ performance and the integration of buildings with smart heat and power grids.
  • Integrated modelling of the spatial structures and functioning of urban systems with a view to improving upon their metabolic efficiency.
  • Energy simulation of housing stocks at regional or national scale, and their temporal evolution, to inform decarbonisation policy.
  • Multiscale (urban, national, continental, global) integrated assessment modelling to support climate change policy. 

Journal articles


  • Robinson D (2019) Integrated resource flow modelling of the urban built environment, Building Performance Simulation for Design and Operation (pp. 659-695). Routledge RIS download Bibtex download
  • Wate P, Coors V, Iglesias M & Robinson D (2019) Uncertainty assessment of building performance simulation, Urban Energy Systems for Low-Carbon Cities (pp. 257-287). Elsevier RIS download Bibtex download
  • Agugiaro G, Álvarez de Uribarri PM, Cajot S, Coors V, Goy S, Iglesias M, Prieto MP, Robineau J-L, Robinson D, Rodrigues P , Sancho-Tomás A et al (2019) List of contributors, Urban Energy Systems for Low-Carbon Cities (pp. ix-x). Elsevier RIS download Bibtex download
  • Perez D & Robinson D (2012) Urban Energy Flow Modelling: A Data-Aware Approach, DIGITAL URBAN MODELING AND SIMULATION (pp. 200-220). RIS download Bibtex download

Conference proceedings papers

Research group
  • RCUK Innovation Fellowship in UK Housing Stock Decarbonisation (2018 – 21): £268k, ESRC [original applicant of Fellowship, now held by Dr Gustavo Sousa].
  • Unlocking the Potential of Model-Predictive Control in Non-domestic Building Energy Management (2016 – 19): £541k, EPSRC [CI]
  • Sustaining Urban Habitats: An Interdisciplinary Approach, Leverhulme Research Programme Grant (2015 – 20): £1.75m + £1.65M institutional support (£3.4M total) [PI].
  • Smart cities with sustainable energy systems, Marie Curie ITN (2014 – 17): €270k [CI].
  • InSMART— Integrative Smart City Planning, EC FP7 (2013 – 16): €320k [CI].
  • Innovative instruments for the planning and management of urban energy systems: Swiss Federal Office of Energy (2009 – 2011): 250 kCHF [CI]
  • An investigation of strategies leading to a 2kW city using a bottom-up model of urban metabolism: Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) (2009 – 2012): 480 kCHF. [PI]
  • Ecosystemic Modelling of Urban Metabolism Based on Modern Thermodynamics: SNSF (2005 – 2008): 500 kCHF [CI].
  • Multiscale Modelling of Building-Urban Interactions: SNSF (2005 – 08): 250 kCHF [CI].
  • Project SUNtool, Framework 5, European Commission (2003 – 2005): 1.94 M€ [PI].
Teaching interests
  • Principles of building physics
  • Multiscale simulation
Teaching activities

Module Convenor: Principles of building physics for sustainable design

Professional activities and memberships
Awards and external activities


  • 2020   Best Paper Award: Sustainability Science journal, 14, p681–695, 2019.
  • 2015   Elected Fellowship: International Building Performance Simulation Association
  • 2013   Sir Edmund Happold Senior Visiting Research Fellowship: University of Bath.
  • 2011   Best Paper Prize: 2010/11, J. Building Performance Simulation: 3(2) p135-153, 2010
  • 2010   Best Paper Award, Building and Environment Journal: 45(11), p2440- 2457, 2010.
  • 2009   Best Paper Award, Building and Environment Journal: 44(12), p2378-2395, 2009. Arup Prize, BS2009 paper on Simulation & Design. Visiting Professorship (2009 – 2011): Technical Research Centre of Finland.
  • 2007   CIBSE Napier-Shaw Medal for work in radiation modelling: BSER&T 26(3) p271-284.

External activities:

  • 2006-15   Member: Sustainable Towns Panel: French national research agency (ANR).
  • 2012-16    Member, then Co-Chair then Chair: Scientific Advisory Board: Joint Programming Initiative – Urban Europe.
  • 2015   Member: Mathematics, Physical Science and Technology Panel: Research Council of Norway (RCN).
  • 2016   Conference Co-Chair (with Karen Seto): Inaugural Urban Transitions Global Summit
  • 2016   Member: International Advisory Board, Efficacité Institute, France.
  • 2014-18   Member: Science and Technology of Construction and the Built Environment Panel: Research Flanders Foundation (FWO).
  • 2019-20   Chair: Science and Technology of Construction and the Built Environment Projects Panel: Research Flanders Foundation (FWO).
  • 2020   Member: Planning Panel: Research Council of Norway (RCN).