Tackling the challenges low-carbon living
CRESR

Sustainability

Our work on sustainability is wide-ranging. We seek to understand the dynamics of responses to climate change, and routinely collaborate with industry-leading consultants and leading academics to address the complex needs of our client organisations.

We conduct research around the following themes.

Housing and the home

We have conducted leading UK studies into fuel poverty and the response of government bodies to this issue. Our work has included evaluations of the Warm Front Scheme and Decent Homes programmes.

We bring together technical expertise – working with our partners in the Materials and Engineering Research Institute – to address fuel poverty with a detailed understanding of behavioural responses to housing improvements. We are currently exploring the experiences of residents living in eco-homes.

Place

Our research shows the importance of place-based approaches to sustainability, and helps organisations to evaluate their practical responses.

Our work includes studies on district heat networks, neighbourhood level housing improvements and the mainstreaming of sustainability in economic development programmes.

Coordinating responses to climate change

We have shown the challenges faced by local, regional and national organisations in coordinating responses to climate change.

Our work includes studies into the use of sustainability as cross-cutting themes in EU programmes, through to the role of environmental partnerships at local and regional levels.

Valuation of environmental benefits

We have undertaken research for organisations such as DEFRA and Groundwork into the valuation of environmental benefits and the economic benefits from environmental improvements.

Search our work


Landmark Art and Community Resilience

Project Director: Aimee Ambrose
Project Duration: 2013

The use of 'landmark' sculptures as a means of commemorating and regenerating communities is an established practice. Anthony Gormley's 'Angel of the North' and Damien Hirst's 'Verity' are prominent examples. There are also many lesser known examples around the country. However, little is known about how they impact on their host communities. A key aim of the research was to compare the intended and actual impacts of a number of landmark sculpture projects in relation to a range of social, educational, physical and health variables in order to learn lessons for future projects of this nature, such as the Man of Steel- a large icon planned to commemorate traditional industries in the Sheffield City Region. The project brought together experts in materials science & engineering, education, inclusion, social work, planning and regeneration from around the University.


Switched on Communities: Collective Switching for a Brighter Future?

Project Director: Jan Gilbertson
Project Duration: 2013

Collective switching is a relatively new phenomenon in the UK. Community switching initiatives have the potential to enhance individual and community resilience by empowering consumers and communities to respond to increasing fuel bills through partnership for community action and possibly future sustainable behaviour. The aim of this project was to explore collective switching as an emerging community consumer movement.


Groundwork Quality Assessment and Impact Evaluation Framework

Project Director: Dr Tony Gore
Project Duration: 2011-2012

This project involves providing assistance to the Groundwork federation in its efforts to improve its impact evaluation processes and methods. The work includes the development of a quality assurance and impact evaluation framework which builds on existing processes and procedures, plus support in piloting it in selected Trusts. The framework incorporates qualitative (attitudinal and perceptual) elements that can underpin a wider ‘social return on investment’ approach, as well as quantitative valuation of net outputs as a means of assessing added value and cost effectiveness.


EFTEC Evidence Assessment

Project Director: Dr Tony Gore
Project Duration: 2012-2013

This study involves a review and assessment of evidence on the extent to which green infrastructure improvement acts as a catalyst for economic growth. The results from this review will feed into green infrastructure policy for economic growth in the UK and will advise on further work in this area. This project was a joint venture with eftec.


User perspectives in low energy housing

Project Director: Aimee Ambrose
Project Duration: 2012-2013

The project ran from March 2012 to March 2013 and used video to capture the realities of living in an eco-home.  Through three case studies of recent low energy housing developments located in Nottingham, Rotherham and Manchester/Salford we worked with residents to understand the benefits, pitfalls and daily challenges of living in a low energy home. We wanted residents to be able to tell their own story about low energy life in their own words and allowed them to guide the researchers and film crew around their homes explaining things like why they lived there, where they had lived in the past and how their current home compared to previous properties, what they liked about their home and what they found more challenging. Watch the three videos to find out what residents thought of their homes. A short summary video is also available which pulls together key insights from across the three films.


Staff undertaking research include

Aimee Ambrose Jan Gilbertson Dr Will Eadson Dr Tony Gore

Get in touch

For further information please contact Aimee Ambrose at a.ambrose@shu.ac.uk or call 0114 225 6297.

Key clients

Amber Valley Borough Council
Birmingham City Council
Business and trade associations
Community Energy England
Consumer Council for Water
Consumer Council for Water
DEFRA
Department for Communities and Local Government
Department for Work and Pensions
Derby City Council
Derbyshire County Council
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
Durham County Council
Eaga Charitable Trust
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Furness Enterprise Ltd
Government Office for Science (BIS)
Groundwork UK
Humber and Wolds Rural Community Council
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Labour Party
Lambeth Council
Leicester and Leicestershire Local Enterprise Partnership
Local authorities
Local enterprise partnerships
National Lottery Community Fund
National Lottery Heritage Fund
National Trust
Royal College of General Practitioners
Small Business Service
Tesco
The Higher Education Innovation Fund
United Utilities
Welsh Assembly Government
White Rose Collaboration Fund project
Wigan Council
Wigan Council
Zero Carbon Yorkshire
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