Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable (Built) Environments (UPRISE)

THINKlab facility presentation

Globally, the urban built environment is becoming the predominate form for living and working. UPRISE is a multi-disciplinary research centre that looks to identify, articulate and address the challenges that cities present in the 21st century. UPRISE works across a range of subject areas to identify how we might design, deliver and experience cities differently, considering issues that impact at both the local and global level. This work covers hard technical work, such as our work in BIM, simulation, smart and connected homes and energy, to wider questions of how we create a resilient city in the face of climate change. New ideas and approaches require new skills from industry; we work with construction companies to look at new modes of delivery and support the development of the professions to meet these new requirements. UPRISE reflects the complexity of the questions that are posed for the urban built environment. 

UPRISE works with industry, local and national government and the third sector – recognising for research to have impact it must be driven by collaboration with all stakeholders to improve wellbeing for citizens, ensuring that cities can meet current and future needs. We work locally within Salford and Greater Manchester, as well as globally, providing a hub for shared ideas. Our specialist research centres are problem led and work with academics both within and outside the University to help shape our future cities.


Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable (Built) Environments (UPRISE)

Dr Ian Goodhead
Research Centre Director

University of Salford
Maxwell Building
Salford Crescent
M5 4WT

Research Groups

Applied Buildings and Energy Research Group

Applied Buildings and Energy Research Group (ABERG) is focused on establishing an evidence base to better understand and address the issues of energy consumption in buildings. The team covers a wide range of disciplines including building performance, electrical engineering, construction management, design  and social sciences.

ABERG is also the home of the unique Salford Energy House. This is a full-sized two bedroom terraced house built inside an environmental chamber that can replicate almost any weather conditions. This amazing test facility is fully furnished and packed with a vast array of sensors that can monitor a  wide  range of variables throughout the house and chamber.

The ABERG team is multidisciplinary because real world problems cannot be solved from one perspective alone. ABERG members are drawn from across the university and this brings together academics with specialisms in psychology, engineering, computing and construction management.
ABERG is committed to supporting the development of effective solutions and works closely with industry and communities. This results in a wide variety of partners including product manufacturers, installers, social housing providers, local authorities, academics and policymakers.  These  partnerships are an essential aspect of understanding the problems, shaping research and embedding solutions in practice.

Core Principle and Aims of the Research Group

The core principle of the Applied Buildings and Energy Research Group is to fulfil the need for an inter-disciplinary, evidence-led research team to support the delivery of a reduction in the end use energy demand of buildings. 

This principle leads to of the following key aims:

  • Support the development of effective data collection and monitoring approaches to assess the energy performance of buildings.    
  • Collect evidence in regards to the performance of buildings in terms of their fabric and systems performance.    
  • Collect evidence in regards to the influence of human behaviours and the impact on adoption of building improvements and the influence on end use energy demand.    
  • Collect evidence in regards to the implementation of sustainable building refurbishment.    
  • Work with relevant stakeholders to develop practical solutions to improve the performance of buildings as driven by the evidence.


Professor William Swan
Maxwell Building, Room 422 

+44 (0)161 295 2585
+44 (0)7876 580189

Dr Richard Fitton
Cockroft Building, Room G16A

+44 (0)161 295 6804

Disaster Resilience

The Centre for Disaster Resilience is a multi-disciplinary centre committed to improving the ability of countries and communities to plan for, and recover from, natural and man-made disasters and disruptive events caused by hazards. We are very much forward looking, and our aim is to be a global leader in built environment research and education that develops societal resilience to disasters and disruptive events caused by hazards.

More information about Disaster Resilience research at the University of Salford.


Professor Bingunath Ingirige
+44 (0)161 295 3216

University of Salford
Maxwell Building, Room 411
M5 4WT

Digital Built Environment

The Digital Built Environment research group is led by Professor Jason Underwood. The built environment is significantly being shaped and evolving amidst a digital revolution driven by the currency of information. As part of the Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable (Built) Environments (UPRISE) research centre, the research group has a particular focus on enhancing the development, transformation and management of the built environment through digital innovation and technologies; encompassing the combinatory aspects associated with people, process, technology and information.

More information about Digital Built Environment research at the University of Salford.


Professor Jason Underwood
+44 (0)161 295 6290

University of Salford
Maxwell Building, Room 404
M5 4WT

Education and Learning in the Built Environment

As our cities and society are being shaped around us with new internal and external spaces, the nature of learning and developing the knowledge of those who design and build such spaces is changing too. New demands are being made of professionals, through new technologies, and the trend indicates that fewer people are entering the industry.

The Education and Learning in the Built Environment Research Group has been established to consider the wider issues for built environment professionals, from young people thinking of entering the industry, to the life-long learning for people throughout their careers. We are concerned with understanding and applying innovation in the learning and development of people who are delivering the current and future built environment.

The Education & Learning in the Built Environment (ELBE) research group is led by Dr Mark Shelbourn. The main key themes are;

  • Career pathways for the built environment
  • Improving the student learning and experience
  • Life-long learning of professionals

We are outward facing and look to work with partners in education, local government, professional institutions and industry to ensure we have people to meet the industry’s future needs.


Dr Mark Shelbourn
+44 (0)161 295 8191


The Infrastructure Research Theme brings together an interdisciplinary team to develop collaborative research with our industrial partners to support the delivery and maintenance of infrastructure, with a particular emphasis on road, rail and housing.

The two broad aims are to achieve greater efficiency from the existing infrastructure, and provide novel solutions for new construction.

  • Housing (Value management, lean integrated, and regulation, aging society, energy efficiency, renewable materials and energy)
  • Highways (Road asset management, road economics, road development and strategic planning, road maintenance and operation, safety and reliability analysis of highway bridges, road administration, the development of long-term prediction relationships, data collection and analysis methods, data integrity and information quality)
  • Railways (development and application of more rational and sustainable safety, risk, reliability and decision-making techniques. Development of the advanced procedures for minimising risks by improved design aspects, construction and maintenance strategies based on safety and reliability assessment. Development of decision support tools for maintenance, renewal, system and asset management

More information about Infrastructure research at the University of Salford.


Professor Min An
+44 (0)161 295 6294

University of Salford
Maxwell Building, Room 400
M5 4WT

Smart Urban Futures

The Smart Urban Futures Research Group has been formed to draw together academic expertise at the University of Salford which is at the interface between the physical design, construction, functioning and development of urban spaces; and the lives, health, behaviour and movement of humans  who exist within cities.

The group complements existing cutting edge research in the School of the Built Environment on construction, energy and digital innovation in cities; by seeking to understand the key questions underpinning the development of cities as equitable, prosperous and liveable spaces for all, and how citizens, individually and collectively will shape this development.

Rapid urbanisation, a global phenomenon which has sparked significant debate, will have a significant impact on our changing society. At the same time, hypermobility and the increasing integration of technology into all areas of urban life feed these changes in a way which requires a depth of  original and multidisciplinary academic thought on how we should plan, design and evaluate urban living. Research into the future of cities therefore is of utmost importance.

The aims of the Smart Urban Futures Research Group are to:

  • Explore and understand contemporary and future factors underpinning climate-change resilient cities  
  • Apply our research to industry, communities and issues surrounding urban liveability  
  • Provide a platform and space to bring key debates surrounding future cities to the forefront of academic thinking, in the form of symposia, seminars and events  
  • Promote interdisciplinarity in research on the built environment integrating the social sciences into current research approaches  

Our scope is equally focused regionally on Greater Manchester and globally; reflecting our commitment to produce real research impact on our neighbouring communities; whilst simultaneously providing academic leadership in the built environment to cities across the world. In particular the new Industrial Strategy and the 17 United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals align to many of the issues on which we are focused.

More information about Smart Urban Futures research at the University of Salford.


Professor Hisham Elkadi
+44 161 295 6807

Our Impact

UPRISE is focused on driving change within our cities to improve wellbeing, drive productivity within the industry and create resource efficient, resilient and liveable places. Our external focus ranges from engaging with issues around skills and the professions, to large scale questions such as the future of cities in the context of climate change. This requires us to be outward facing, and work with industry, governmental and third sector bodies to co-create new solutions for our cities. Supporting real change requires us to be able to work with a wide range of stakeholders, jointly sharing and creating knowledge, as well as being part of the activity that makes those ideas a reality.

Working with external partners

We have long established relationships with industry partners, ranging from network relationships to long term partnerships supported by high value commercial research. We have two commercially focused research facilities, the Salford Energy House and THINKlab, that have undertaken large scale commercial and research projects for companies such as Saint Gobain, Siemens, Honeywell and Network Rail. Our research groups link directly with industry partners in the field of BIM, energy systems, construction delivery, construction products, and architecture. Using approaches such as iCASE and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, we look to have long term, research focused relationships.

We work closely with local and national government; locally we have presence on a number of Greater Manchester working groups, such as the Low Carbon Hub and the new Housing Strategy Group. We have provided technical support around subjects such as buildings and energy, offsite manufacture, and BIM. Nationally, we support the BIM Task Group, the regulatory model for energy assessment of homes and have undertaken research for BEIS.