Redesigning Education

The evolution of environmental design and engineering

The Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering is a world leader in the field of environmental design and engineering. It is a position that is built on a long history of pioneering work in an increasingly important discipline.

Although the Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE) at The Bartlett was formalised in 2014, the subject was first introduced at The Bartlett over 65 years ago. Based on this impressive past, described in this short history, it is no wonder that the institute has gone from strength to strength.

It was named by the Royal Academy of Engineering as a Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design. We have won an unprecedented three platform grants. We now own one of the most sophisticated Lighting Simulators in the UK, based at Here East in Queen Elizabeth Park in East London. Alongside the simulator we have a 24 sq m environmental chamber, two full weather stations, data loggers capable of recording temperature, relative humidity, illuminance and further sensor inputs such as CO2 levels, and much more.

When Professor Llewelyn Davies began this story, he advocated multidisciplinary training and bringing both art and social sciences into architectural education. Multidisciplinary research and teaching remain the foundation upon which the IEDE’s teaching and research are structured on today. The department has a team of around 50 academics and researchers innovating in environmental design and engineering, tackling the big issues that inform the built environment today: health, productivity, climate change and energy use.


Richard Llewelyn-Davies joins The Bartlett

Following the 1958 Bartlett student revolt against their traditionalist Beaux Arts teaching Prof Richard Llewelyn Davies was appointed as Head of School in 1960. He sought to radically change architectural study, bringing together science and art and advocating a multidisciplinary training regime, a pillar upon which our postgraduate study at UCL IEDE rests today.


Ralph Hopkinson is appointed as first Chair in Environmental Design and Engineering

This signified the School’s movement from the Beaux Arts tradition to a boarder conception of architectural study that incorporated environmental and human factors, training a future generation of architects and building engineers to deal with increasingly complex building systems and social demands.


Richard Llewelyn-Daviesplanning practise works on the design of Milton Keynes


Ralph Hopkinson receives RIBA Honorary Fellowship for establishing lighting as a core architectural skill


Wates House opens, housing state of the art EDE equipment

A physical manifestation The Bartlett’s new direction, Wates House opened. New state-of-the-art acoustic and lighting laboratories were home in the building including a wind tunnel, thermal chamber and artificial sky.


MSc in Environmental Design and Engineering launched

The appointment of John Musgrove as Professor of Environmental Design and Engineering saw the introduction of a cross-disciplinary programme aimed at training a new generation of professionals to bridge the gap between the high-quality research being conducted into building performance, and the actual design and construction of buildings being erected at the time.


MSc in Light and Lighting launched


Pat O’Sullivan is appointed as Haden-Pilkington Professor of EDE and Head of School at The Bartlett School of Architecture, Building, Environmental Design and Planning


The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies is founded 

The Bartlett School of Graduate Studies was home to Environmental Design and Engineering, and Light and Lighting programmes, among others. When it was dissolved 22 years later, the School had graduated more than 6,000 Master’s degrees and nearly 300 PhDs during its lifetime.

MSc in Facility and Environment Management launched


EDE Alumna May Cassar establishes the Centre for Sustainable Heritage

The centre sought to bring innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of heritage, from buildings, collections and sites to oral histories and memories. The centre became UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage in 2014 and joins IEDE in The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources.


First EPSRC Platform Grant awarded for Complex Built Environment Systems project

Established a multidisciplinary Complex Built Environment Systems group from 2006-2011 to research three main objectives: 1) How to design, maintain and operate the built environment while minimising the emissions of greenhouse gases 2) How to adapt the environment, fabric and services of existing and new buildings to climate change 3) How to improve the environment in and around buildings to provide better health, comfort, security and productivity.


Alumnus Tadj Oreszczyn establishes UCL Energy Institute

The UCL Energy Institute delivers world-leading learning, research and policy support on the challenges of climate change and energy security.


Second EPSRC Platform Grant awarded for The Unintended Consequences of Decarbonising the Built Environment

This established a strategic programme of research to transform the understanding of the system-level effects of climate change policies alongside sister Institutes at The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources between 2011-2016.


EDE was named by the Royal Academy of Engineering as a Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design


The UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering is established


Historic third EPSRC Platform Grant for Built Environment Systems Thinking

No other group has ever recieved three platform grants before. The third grant helped develop a new strategic programme of research aimed at informing the scientific understanding of the systemic nature of a sustainable built environment.

MSc in Health Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings and MEng Engineering and Architectural Design established


IEDE expands to new research and teaching facilities at Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. MSc in Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering established


Environmental Design and Engineering at COP26

Our researchers contributed to COP26 discussions highlighting the role of the built environment in tackling climate change. Contributions to The Bartlett’s Together for Climate Action Campaign highlight the role of Environmental Design and Engineering principles in achieving Net Zero.


Sustainable Built Environments, Energy and Resources BSc/Meng

In 2023 we will launch our new undergraduate degree, connecting environmental design and engineering principles with the interdisciplinary study of our sister institute, The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources.


Prof Dejan Mumovic

Director, Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE), and Professor of Building Performance Analysis, Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources

Ramon Mendoza

Alumnus: MSc Environmental Design and Engineering

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