Professor Darren Robinson
PhD CEng FIBPSA
School of Architecture
Chair in Architectural and Urban Sciences
Director of Research
+44 114 2220 308
Full contact details
School of Architecture
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.
- Generalized models to predict the lower heating value (LHV) of municipal solid waste (MSW). Energy.
- Enhanced EnHub : dynamic simulation of housing stock energy systems. Journal of Building Performance Simulation, 13(5), 516-531. View this article in WRRO
- Using unsupervised learning to partition 3D city scenes for distributed building energy microsimulation. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science. View this article in WRRO
- Life cycle assessment of municipal solid waste management in Nottingham, England: Past and future perspectives. Journal of Cleaner Production, 251. View this article in WRRO
- Future improvements on performance of an EU landfill directive driven municipal solid waste management for a city in England. Waste Management, 102, 452-463. View this article in WRRO
- Framework for emulation and uncertainty quantification of a stochastic building performance simulator. Applied Energy, 258. View this article in WRRO
- Modelling Urban Housing Stocks for Building Energy Simulation using CityGML EnergyADE. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 8(4). View this article in WRRO
- Entropy and its Application to Urban Systems. Entropy, 21(1). View this article in WRRO
- Predicting residential building age from map data. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. View this article in WRRO
- Three pillars of sustainability: in search of conceptual origins. Sustainability Science. View this article in WRRO
- On the multi-agent stochastic simulation of occupants in buildings. Journal of Building Performance Simulation, 11(5), 604-621. View this article in WRRO
- An open-source simulation platform to support the formulation of housing stock decarbonisation strategies. Energy and Buildings, 172, 459-477. View this article in WRRO
- Integrating slacks-based measure of efficiency and super-efficiency in data envelopment analysis. Omega. View this article in WRRO
- Corrigendum to “Living with an autonomous spatiotemporal home heating system: Exploration of the user experiences (UX) through a longitudinal technology intervention-based mixed-methods approach” [Appl. Ergon. 65 (2017) 286–308]. Applied Ergonomics, 69, 47-47.
- A novel spatiotemporal home heating controller design: System emulation and field testing. Building and Environment, 135, 10-30. View this article in WRRO
- Automated classification metrics for energy modelling of residential buildings in the UK with open algorithms. Environment and planning. B, Planning & design. View this article in WRRO
- Living with an autonomous spatiotemporal home heating system: Exploration of the user experiences (UX) through a longitudinal technology intervention-based mixed-methods approach. Applied Ergonomics, 65, 286-308. View this article in WRRO
- A review and critique of UK housing stock energy models, modelling approaches and data sources. Energy and Buildings, 151, 66-80. View this article in WRRO
- A generalised model of electrical energy demand from small household appliances. Energy and Buildings, 135, 350-366. View this article in WRRO
- Assessing uncertainty in housing stock infiltration rates and associated heat loss: English and UK case studies. Building and Environment, 92, 644-656. View this article in WRRO
- A bottom-up stochastic model to predict building occupants' time-dependent activities. Building and Environment, 60, 254-264.
- Verification of stochastic models of window opening behaviour for residential buildings. Journal of Building Performance Simulation, 5(1), 55-74.
- Modelling Occupants' Presence and Behaviour – Part II. Journal of Building Performance Simulation, 5(1), 1-3.
- The impact of occupants' behaviour on building energy demand. Journal of Building Performance Simulation, 4(4), 323-338.
- Modelling Occupants' Presence and Behaviour – Part I. Journal of Building Performance Simulation, 4(4), 301-302.
- On the unification of thermal perception and adaptive actions. Building and Environment, 45(11), 2440-2457.
- A comparison of global optimization algorithms with standard benchmark functions and real-world applications using EnergyPlus. Journal of Building Performance Simulation, 3(2), 103-120.
- Adaptive actions on shading devices in response to local visual stimuli. Journal of Building Performance Simulation, 3(2), 135-153.
- Optimisation of building form for solar energy utilisation using constrained evolutionary algorithms. Energy and Buildings, 42(6), 807-814.
- Optimisation of buildings’ solar irradiation availability. Solar Energy, 84(4), 596-603.
- Interactions with window openings by office occupants. Building and Environment, 44(12), 2378-2395.
- A hybrid CMA-ES and HDE optimisation algorithm with application to solar energy potential. Applied Soft Computing, 9(2), 738-745.
- On the behaviour and adaptation of office occupants. Building and Environment, 43(12), 2163-2177.
- Model to predict overheating risk based on an electrical capacitor analogy. Energy and Buildings, 40(7), 1240-1245.
- A generalised stochastic model for the simulation of occupant presence. Energy and Buildings, 40(2), 83-98.
- An integrated adaptive model for overheating risk prediction. Journal of Building Performance Simulation, 1(1), 43-55.
- SUNtool – A new modelling paradigm for simulating and optimising urban sustainability. Solar Energy, 81(9), 1196-1211.
- A simplified thermal model to support analysis of urban resource flows. Energy and Buildings, 39(4), 445-453.
- Urban morphology and indicators of radiation availability. Solar Energy, 80(12), 1643-1648.
- Internal illumination prediction based on a simplified radiosity algorithm. Solar Energy, 80(3), 260-267.
- A simplified radiosity algorithm for general urban radiation exchange. Building Services Engineering Research and Technology, 26(4), 271-284.
- Solar radiation modelling in the urban context. Solar Energy, 77(3), 295-309.
- IBPSA Project 1: BIM/GIS and Modelica framework for building and community energy system design and operation – ongoing developments, lessons learned and challenges. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 323, 012114-012114.
- On the Reliable Generation of 3D City Models from Open Data. Urban Science, 4(4), 47-47.
- Uncertainty assessment of building performance simulation, Urban Energy Systems for Low-Carbon Cities (pp. 257-287). Elsevier
- List of contributors, Urban Energy Systems for Low-Carbon Cities (pp. ix-x). Elsevier
Conference proceedings papers
- Distributed building energy simulation with the hla. Simulation Series, Vol. 2019-July
- Variability of human behaviour in outdoor public spaces, associated with the thermal environment. Proceedings of 33rd PLEA International Conference: Design to Thrive, PLEA 2017, Vol. 1 (pp 1328-1335)
- Thermodynamic entropy as an indicator for urban sustainability?. Procedia Engineering, Vol. 198 (pp 802-812). Shanghai, China, 5 September 2016 - 9 September 2016. View this article in WRRO
- Evaluation and re-training of two window opening models using an independent dataset. Healthy Buildings Europe 2017
- QUALITATIVE SCREENING METHOD FOR IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF UNCERTAIN BUILDING GEOMETRY ON THERMAL ENERGY DEMAND PREDICTIONS. ISPRS - International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, Vol. XLII-2/W2 (pp 127-134) View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Emulation-based Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analysis of a multi-zone dwelling. IBPSA-England Building Simulation and Optimization 2020
- Research group
- People, Environments and Performance Research Group
- Multiscale simulation 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
- 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.
- 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).