PhD Programme


PhD Arch

Photo: Colourbox

PhD Architecture

PhD Architecture

PhD Architecture is a doctoral programme providing further education and academic specialisation to candidates with master level education. The PhD programme can be suitable for those who are aiming for a career in higher education or research, or for positions in the business sector or public administration. In recent years, the business sector has grown to appreciate the specialisation provided through the PhD programme. As a result, an increasing number of NTNU's PhD Candidates are able to get work in the business sector or public administration.

The PhD programme has a nominal length of study of three years, and consists of a training programme and a research programme. The PhD programme should:

- provide training in and experience from scientific work and methodology,
- be internationally oriented,
- be an integrated part of the research activities in each academic community,
- provide a foundation for leading work in business, administration, education and research.

Defended theses:

Defended theses:



Giedre Jarulaitiene

From left: Professor at NTNU, Eir Ragna Grytli (supervisor), Professor at the University of Oulu, Anu Soikkeli (opponent), candidate Giedre Jarulaitiene, Professor Branko Mitrović (opponent/administrator), City Inspector Mette Bye (opponent) and associate professor Lisbeth Sauarlia (supervisor). Photo: Ole Tolstad/NTNU

Giedre Jarulaitiene defended her thesis 20 January 2020:

"Modus Operandi in Opus Operatum.
The shaping of historical wooden towns by traditional workmanship."

The aim of this thesis was to analyse the phenomenon of traditional workmanship and its role in urban conservation throughout history and in recent times by focusing on the main case of Røros in Norway, and by comparing it with two supplementary cases of urban conservation: Kokkola in Finland and Trakai in Lithuania. Besides the multinational case studies, the research also took a multidisciplinary (socio-historical, architectural and socio-anthropological) approach in order to show how the concept of “traditional workmanship” was used as the legitimizing instrument in the practice of heritage conservation and how this concept evolved over time, by including differing or even contrary content that, in turn, resulted in varying architectural and urban physical expressions after practical actions of heritage conservation were taken.

This research sought to improve the body of knowledge about urban conservation in practice, by tracing and describing active processes of conservation projects. Hereby, the use of traditional workmanship was analysed through the levels of urban, architectural conservation, and by highlighting the detailed woodworking. One actual ongoing conservation project was investigated in each of the chosen urban conservation areas by using qualitative research methods, while the quantitative analysis mapped diverse social structures within three historical wooden towns. The comparative study of urban conservation performances was conducted by applying and verifying Pierre Bourdieu’s theoretical framework.

Finally, a hypothesis was tested that national fields of heritage conservation developed demand for traditional workmanship by creating supply, i.e. by establishing the subfields of traditional workmanship. The highlighted varying statuses of subfields of traditional workmanship in different space and time dimensions enabled the disclosure of the level of dependency of the subfield of restricted cultural production on the field of heritage conservation and vice versa, and therewith allowed the assessment of the actual role of traditional workmanship in urban conservation of wooden historical towns.



Albogasto John Pangamawe Ng'asi

From left: Associate Professor Shuaib Lwasa, candidate Albogasto John Pangamawe Ng'asi, Professor Morten Bøås, Professor emeritus Hans Narve Skotte and Prodean Professor Rolee Aranya.

Albogasto John Pangamawe Ng'asi defended his doctoral thesis 29 November 2019:

"A QUEST FOR CONTINUITY FOR PEACE AND PROSPERITY: Post-war land and property claims and disputes in northern Uganda - The case of the Acholi group in Amuru sub-county" 

Land is one of the few valuable resources in post-conflict rural communities which support return, reconstruction and early recovery. As such, reinstating land claims to returnees makes a significant contribution to the renewal and sustenance of their livelihoods. This research focuses on Amuru sub-county, Northern Uganda as a case to examine how perceptions and attitudes emerging from the Acholi’s prolonged displacement in camps affected their return and recovery. It addresses the impacts these perceptions have had on land and property claims and associated disputes.
The research adopts a grounded theoretical approach to data collection and a matrix as an analytical tool. Pragmatic symbolic interactionism is used in understanding and interpreting actors’ perceived truth and actions. The analysis accepts that displaced individuals’ perceptions emanating from forced dislocation and dispossession are real in relation to influencing land claims and associated disputes. Furthermore, this research uses existing theories and discourses that can offer a basis for studying forced displacement that is associated with land claims related to: 1) ancient concepts of territory, land and property relating to current trends and practice; and 2) development and reconstruction discourses.
To conduct this research, qualitative interviews and observation, focus group discussion, documentary evidence and archives, textbooks and journal articles were utilised. The collected information formed a matrix for data analysis and case presentation.
The research findings show that perceptions and attitudes developed during displacement affected the process of land claims and associated disputes. These issues include: threats to women’s rights to land, monetisation of the local economy, changes in traditional values and practices, emergence of land markets, and participation and consultation. While it is vital for government and international donors to facilitate the restitution of land and property to returnees, the restitution alone is insufficient without strengthening land tenure security. This research shows that the formalisation of land tenure is key to providing security of ownership and investment, though it remains controversial and costly to implement. The research argues that simple forms of rights formalisation are necessary in order to either retain customary rights through a legal approach or transfer rights to land into a modern freehold system.
KEYWORDS: the Acholi group/ forced displacement/ land claims/ disputes and conflicts/ Bretton Woods/ socio-economic changes/ displacement camps/ post-war return

Raymond Michael Pritchard

From left: Professor Tor Medalen, candidate Raymond Michael Pritchard and Professor Yngve Frøyen. Photo: Ole Tolstad/NTNU

Raymond Michael Pritchard defended his doctoral thesis on 9 August 2019:

"The influence on urban transport infrastructure on bicycle route and mode choice"

The prioritisation of bicycle-friendly infrastructure is now on the agenda of many policymakers seeking to capitalise on the advantages of cycling for transport. This thesis focusses upon how the improved availability, quality, and connectivity of infrastructure suitable for cycling can influence cycling behaviour at the city and neighbourhood level.

Two key elements are necessary to understand the local-scale impact of bicycle infrastructure: the decision to bicycle in preference of other transport modes and the choice of route on the transport network. This thesis first addresses bicycle mode and route choice independently of each other before analysing the interaction between these elements in the context of bicycle infrastructure interventions.

This article-based thesis is comprised of five separate research papers: four empirical studies and a literature review. Three of the empirical cases are based in the Norwegian city of Trondheim and the fourth is based in Oslo. Paper I concerns the modal shift of employees following a workplace relocation. Papers II and III are focused on bicycle route choice – firstly as a review of methods and then in connection with student route preferences. The two final papers, Papers IV and V integrate both mode and route choice elements for the detailed analysis of neighbourhood scale effects resulting from the installation of bicycle lanes in Trondheim and Oslo respectively.

The research uses a mixed methods approach, with a focus on empirical data to address the objectives of the thesis. Before and after travel surveys, web-based maps and GPS are the main means of data collection. Comparative analyses are performed using a Geographic Information System (GIS).

Findings suggest that the decision to bicycle is to a significant extent determined by trip and spatial characteristics of the destination (Paper I). Route substitution is witnessed in both intervention studies (Papers IV and V), whilst significant changes (p < .05) in the modal share of cyclists is only witnessed in one (Paper IV), suggesting that it is mostly changes of route rather than mode that contribute to an individual intervention street’s change in bicycle volumes.

Bicycle-specific infrastructure appears to be generally valued by all types of road users, however, the evidence suggests that public transport users and pedestrians are more willing to change their mode of transport assuming the only changes made are to the bicycle infrastructure (Papers I and IV). This suggests that much of the increase in the use of new bicycle infrastructure is the result of a reduction in the use of other sustainable transport modes. Many of the benefits associated with increased cycling are the result of reduced private car use, but for this to be achieved, it appears that initiatives beneficial for cyclists alone are insufficient.

The means by which different transport infrastructure attributes can be researched and are valued by users are discussed by Papers II and III respectively. Paper II is a systematic review summarising the means through which revealed preference bicycle route choice data can be collected whilst Paper III evaluates four different Bicycle Level of Service (BLOS) methods for determining bicycle route choice. The latter study reveals that empirically founded BLOS methods with the most explanatory infrastructural attributes correspond best with actual route choices of university students, with the Bicycle Compatibility Index having the best match.

Developing an understanding of the impacts of bicycle infrastructure can assist the prioritisation of limited city budgets towards the promotion of sustainable mobility behaviour. This research attempts to advance the state of the art for bicycle route choice research whilst also addressing the decision to bicycle for transportation purposes.

Martin Braathen

From left: Branko Mitrovic, Eir Grytli, Simon Sadler, Martin Braathen, Christina Pech, Dag Nilsen and Thordis Arrhenius. Photo: Anne Jørgensen Bruland/NTNU

Martin Braathen successfully defended his thesis at NTNU, Department of Architecture and Technology, 25 June 2019:

Debates on Open Form and Marxist-Leninism in Norway around 1970"

Supervisors: Branko Mitrović og Thordis Arrhenius

The thesis begins with the observation of a radical, political impulse appearing in the architectural debate in Norway in 1970, expressed by the movements of Open Form and Marxist-Leninist architects. Compared to the preceding modernist critique of the 1960s, this radical-political shift was stronger in its rhetoric, more dismissive of its opponents, and more radical in its political argumentation.

The thesis studies how this shift manifested in fierce debate in Norwegian architecture magazines and how it addressed, and was in turn fueled by, a changing professional reality, where the role of the postwar architect-specialist was threatened from several sides. The intersection of architecture and society became the crux of a new form of systemic critique that explored how architecture was organized both as intellectual and productive work in society.  


Mari Oline Giske Stendebakken successfully defended her doctoral thesis 19 June 2019: (in Norwegian only)

”Kulturminner og analyse. Vurdering av vernede bygninger innenfor kulturminnevern, arkitektur og offentlig investeringsanalyse”

Analyse av vernede bygninger utføres innenfor flere fag, slik som kulturminnevern, arkitektur og offentlig investeringsanalyse, og på vesensforskjellig vis. De fagfeltene som er involvert i vernede bygninger og ideelt sett skal samarbeide, har vidt forskjellige perspektiver og varierende grad av bevissthet rundt vernede bygninger og verdiene disse besitter.

Avhandlingens mest kritiske funn er empiriske data som viser at offentlig investeringsanalyse i dag har manglende diskusjon av både nytte og kostnad forbundet med vernede bygninger. Slik analyse har manglende diskusjon av vernede bygningers verdi og potensiale for bruk, og av følgekostnader for fraflyttede vernede bygninger ved diskusjon av nybyggalternativ. Manglende diskusjon av kulturminneverdier og kostnadene forbundet med dem er viktige funn, fordi offentlig investeringsanalyse veileder politikeres beslutninger ved valg av konsept. Avhandlingens konklusjon er at offentlig investeringsanalyse vedrørende vernede bygninger vil kunne tjene på å vektlegge kulturminner og inkludere andre fagperspektiver i analysen av vernede bygninger, fordi det kan gi et mer komplett bilde for beslutningstager. Samtidig kan arkitektur og kulturminnevern få større politisk gjennomslag gjennom å engasjere seg i offentlig investeringsanalyse i større grad. 

Dave Collins

David Collins defended his doctoral thesis with great success 23 May 2019 at NTNU:

Green Leasing:
A Study of the Barriers and Drivers for Green Leased Offices in Norway

This thesis discusses Green Leasing in office buildings, and the drivers and barriers associated with its development and implementation, with a particular research focus on Norway.
The research for this project was funded by NTNU, more specifically the Centre for Real Estate and Facilities Management at the Department of Architecture and Planning in the Faculty of Architecture and Design.

The aim of this thesis was to explore Green Leasing and related topics (such as Green Leases) in the context of their potential (both currently and prospectively) in the context of the built environment.
This project is a three-phase study using mixed methods and is for the most part exploratory, containing a combination of interviews, a survey and literature research.
The end objective was to better understand the state of current research and terminological penetration, the drivers and barriers for the development of Green Leasing in offices, as well as the current situation and future possibilities for facilities management in this context.

The results of these studies are presented in the thesis as well as the attachment of eight articles, seven of which have undergone full peer review and acceptance for publication in their respective journal or conference at the time of this thesis publication.

Savis Gohari

From left: Professor Tore Haugen (NTNU), Professor Carmel Lindkvist (NTNU), phd Savis Gohari, dr. ing Einar Leknes (Norwegian Research Centre AS) and Professor Alexandra den Heijer (Delft university of Technology). Photo: Ole Tolstad/NTNU

Savis Gohari defended her doctoral thesis on 5 April 2019 at NTNU:

"Governance in the planning and decition-making process. The co-location case of university campuses in Trondheim, Norway (2000-2013)"

The co-location of NTNU campuses in Trondheim has involved many different and contrasting political interests and power relations that has undermined the process of decision-making and planning for more than 20 years. The essence of this thesis was distilled from the general assumption that network governance, which is based on the negotiation and collaboration rationality, can overcome the limitations of anarchic market exchange and top-down planning and decision-making.

The main research question has been ‘how the governance structure and process have influenced campus development in Trondheim from 2000 to 2013’. The thesis tried to empirically address the complex, non-linear and multi-layered processes of NTNU’s co-location case, using and integrating different theoretical-analytical models, including ‘structural-functionalism’ and ‘rounds model of decision-making’ to explain and illuminate why the co-location was stopped in 2006 and thereafter approved in 2013. The thesis represents an embedded single case study, which looked at three levels of governance: understructure and superstructure, referring to ‘university governance’, and middle structure or ‘urban governance’. Accordingly, the research objective was to analyze ‘governance structures’, i.e. the way actors stand in a network and interact with each other across levels, together with ‘governance processes’, i.e. the interrelation between actors’ attributes (such as interests, resource, power and roles) at different levels and rounds of decision-making.

The thesis conclude that in order to understand complex, unpredictable and non-linear planning and decision-making processes, one should go beyond legal and formal frameworks, investigating the political structure underpinning the informal functioning of governance in terms of different actors’ roles, interests, resources and power. Thus, exploring governance requires political, cultural and periodic review. A longitudinal perspective can help to unfold the chain of events and processes, which can provide a better understanding about the reality of the case. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of a governance model, the thesis recommended identifying governance structure, operational efficiencies and ways of remedying its deficiencies in interaction with governance functions and processes.

Raphaëlle Stewart

Raphaëlle Stewart defended her doctoral thesis on 20 March 2019:

"Integration of Sustainability Approaches in Companies: An Exploration of Narratives and Internal Organizational Functioning”

Intensively discussed in the international scene, as illustrated with the Sustainable Development Goals launched by the United Nations, sustainable development and sustainability have been well established as central topics for our societies. Recent scientific work urges to reduce environmental sustainability pressures so that Earth’s life-supporting functions can be maintained, and economies and societies nested in the Earth system can keep thriving. The role of companies in supporting the transition towards sustainable societies has been emphasized by researchers, policy-makers and companies themselves. In this context, companies increasingly develop their own sustainability approaches. Sustainability approaches can take various forms such as environmental management, sustainable supply chain management, and cleaner production. In this PhD project, a product life cycle perspective was taken, which relates to viewing companies as the major providers of goods and services (hereafter referred to as “products”), with their embedded life cycles, in our economies. The decisions made during the product development activities have typically been considered to determine a large share of products’ environmental sustainability impacts along their life cycle. Hence, companies have a key role to play through the development and delivery of products, which is the focus of ecodesign research. Sustainability approaches can be researched on different layers, ranging from internal organizational functioning, over operational sustainability practices and companies’ narratives, to functioning of the overall business ecosystem. In this PhD project, sustainability approaches from a product life cycle perspective were researched based on two different layers of sustainability approaches, namely company narratives and internal organizational functioning.

Together, the two tracks of this PhD project had in common to allow “getting closer to companies”- to the companies’ understanding of how to best present their sustainability efforts, and to the companies’ internal organizational functioning, respectively. This PhD research provides complementary insights on how to strengthen the integration of sustainability approaches in industry, from a product life cycle perspective. The first track identified the need for an increased use of life cycle thinking in companies’ narratives for critical analyses and reflections about existing product life cycle systems, and the environmental sustainability challenges they are associated with. The second track paved the way for further testing of the analytical and practical value of the four-lens view of organizations to investigate and support ecodesign integration in companies, with a broad horizon of what internal organizational functioning entails. These two tracks were conducted independently to a great extent, and opportunities for their cross-linking are outlined for future research.

Disputas Mejlænder-Larsen

From left: Professor Timo Hartmann at TU Berlin (opponent), assoc. professor Anne Live Vaagsaar at BI (opponent), candidate Øystein Mejlænder-Larsen, Håkon Sannum at Multiconsult and Professor Geir K. Hansen at NTNU (opponent/administrator).

On 14 March 2019, Øystein Mejlænder-Larsen defended his doctoral thesis:

”Use of project execution models and BIM in oil and gas projects: Searching for relevant improvements for construction”

The oil and gas industry is characterized by large and complex projects and has invested heavily in the development of new technology. Project execution models (PEM) have been introduced as a structured way of executing multidisciplinary work processes through all project phases. Building information modeling (BIM) is utilized in the coordination of complex projects and is part of the work processes defined in a PEM. This has been the basis for the first research question: How are PEM and BIM utilized in major oil and gas projects in the cases studied? The trend towards larger and more complex projects in the construction industry means that actors in the construction industry would benefit from acquiring knowledge and learning from the oil and gas industry. This has been the basis for the second research question: How can experiences from the cases studied be relevant for improvements in construction projects?

A case study research method is used. Data is collected through interviews, document studies and observations. The data is analyzed using the stepwise-deductive-inductive (SDI) method. The cases are offshore projects in the oil and gas industry through three ongoing projects ‒ the topsides of the Eldfisk, Edvard Grieg and Johan Sverdrup offshore platforms.

From left: Professor Tore Brandstveit Haugen at NTNU, candidate Øystein Mejlænder-Larsen, Professor Ole Jonny Klakegg (supervisor) at NTNU, senior advisor Anita Moum at tegn3, and Håkon  Sannum at Multiconsult. Photo: Ole Tolstad/NTNU.



Xu Dongming

Xu Dongming defended on the 16 November 2018, the doctoral thesis:

“A Multi-Perspective Observation of Site Museums. Case study of Archaeological Site Museums in China, with Norwegian Example as Reference”

Based on the documentation and analysis of anthropological fieldwork carried out from 2009 to 2015 on three selected site museum cases, this dissertation focuses on the phenomenon of installation management in Chinese site museums placed in the context of high-paced social transformation and modernization, with a Norwegian example as reference. It begins with a brief history of the formation of Chinese and Norwegian conservation institutions. Thereafter, it proposes and tests a social communication pattern of site museum management in China, explored via the origin and definition of ‘site museum,’ by revisiting some related essential conservation principles. Finally, it provides an assessment framework composed of the authenticity, integrity, and continuity concepts which build upon the fundamental issues of site museums. 

The Daming Palace National Heritage Park and Han Yangling Museum in Xi’an, specifically the archaeological exhibition hall for the Outer Burial Pits of Yangling Imperial Cemetery of Han Dynasty, are taken as the study cases in China for the field investigation and further exploration. Meanwhile, the Hedmark Museum, an archaeological site museum in Norway, acts as the reference example for the fieldwork and research. Methodologically, this involves a multi-perspective approach which combines historical, anthropological, archaeological, and architectural studies on site museums. The methods of social anthropology are employed as the scientific tools in the fieldwork through semi-structured interviews and participant observation. Particularly, the interview documentation concentrates on the reflection of the different participants including museum staff, archaeologists, architects, civil engineers, contractors, and conservation officers who represent different institutions participating in the related site museum projects. A critical analysis of the cases helps clarify the basic principles of site museum construction and may also be useful for similar practices in other countries. Together, the collected interview notes provide valuable insights into the role of archaeological site museums in the operation of cultural heritage management and enhancement. Sixteen informants from different professional fields were interviewed. These interviews provide valuable documentation as oral history records that can draw an overall picture of the Chinese and Norwegian cases. Particularly, many of the interviewees, as professionals in different relevant fields of museums and architectural conservation, express their different thoughts and ideas on the practice of architectural conservation in China and Norway, meriting this study as a baseline for future research.

Dag Nilsen, Professor, Department of Architecture and Technology, NTNU
Branko Mitrović, Professor, Department of Architecture and Technology, NTNU

Maria Eggertsen Teder

Maria Eggertsen Teder defended her doctoral thesis 1. november 2018:

“From outsideness to insideness - placemaking in public space”

This thesis originates from observations made in practice, giving rise to a curiosity about the conditions that encourage, or discourage, people to interact with public environments. It investigates the concept of placemaking with the aim of defining what placemaking means to architects and urban designers in theory and practice. It points at possibilities and consequences of the approach, and for whom. Placemaking is the simultaneous building of physical objects and relationships; relationships between people, and relationships between people and places. The theoretical core of the thesis strives to enrich the view on the built environment by adding the perspective of lifeworlds to the urban planning discourse. Five key concepts are used to describe this transformation process: place attachment, place outsideness, place insideness, involvement, and cocreation. 

Putting place attachment and co-creation on the conscious, professional agenda of architects and urban planners is the main message from this research. Furthermore, clarifying the possible effects of placemaking on individual well-being as well as on the physical qualities of a place is central in this work. In order to work with placemaking, professional actors (including municipalities) have to become clear about in which of Carmona’s phases they are willing to let others contribute, and then find the appropriate working methods for this to happen.

Markus Schwai, Professor, Department of Architecture and Planning, NTNU
Eli Støa, Professor, Department of Architecture and Planning, NTNU

Mari Anna Chatarina Skogland

From left: Professor at NTNU,Tore Brandstveit Haugen (opponent/administrator), Professor Siri H. Blakstad at SINTEF (supervisor), candidate Mari Anna Chatarina Skogland, Professor Suvi Nenonen at Tampere University of Technology (opponent), Alexi Marmot at UCL (opponent) and Geir K. Hansen at NTNU (supervisor). Photo: Ole Tolstad/NTNU

Mari Anna Chatarina Skoglund defended her thesis on 30 May 2018: 

”Integrated Workplace Concepts and Organisational Change”

This doctoral thesis investigates the use of Integrated Workplace Concepts (IWCs) as a strategic tool to affect organisational change and development. Previous research has illustrated how spatial environments with great effectiveness may be used to influence and change a wide variety of organisational aspects. Inconsistent and conflicting findings, however, raise the need for creating a deeper understanding of the effects of such spatial change initiatives. The focus in this research is therefore built on a constructivist and more precisely a sociomaterial perspective. Special attention is therefore given to how IWCs are strategically used by the organisation and further understood or ‘translated’ as the new concept is implemented.

Through a literature review and three case studies, it has been investigated how these strategic efforts unfold in different organisational contexts.

The main focus is placed on whether the concept function as intended – succeed in achieving the intended ends – or whether unintended outcomes have challenged the strategic change efforts. Special attention is given to studying how underlying issues such as; conflicts of interests, work patterns, cultural and departmental differences, organisational hierarchies and the like are influential in the execution of spatial change management strategies. 

Geir K. Hansen (Prof.) og Siri H. Blakstad (Prof.) from NTNU.

Fabio Alberto Hernandez-Palacio

Fabio Alberto Hernandez-Palacio Defended his doctoral thesis 10 April 2018, at NTNU:

"Urban Densification and the Sustainable City in Norway: A Study of Drivers and Barriers"

This article-based doctoral thesis addresses the following question: What are the main drivers and barriers of urban densification as planning strategy in the quest for more sustainable cities in Norway?

The research uses a mixed-method approach to explore specific aspects of the densification process. One such aspect is the practicability of making denser the sprawling Norwegian cities, and the effects that such gains in density imply for transport, one of the most significant aspects of sustainability. Another aspect investigated is the issue of social acceptability using land prices as a proxy. The analysis, based on a hedonic pricing model for Trondheim, indicates a tendency towards higher prices of dwellings per square metre in denser locations, although some aspects of density seem to produce a contrary effect. The research also delivers a systemic overview of the actors and factors shaping urban development. This analysis applies a multilevel-perspective approach used in sustainability transition studies to study the main factors and actors behind urban densification in Trondheim. Resulting data indicate that despite a strong emphasis in planning towards sustainability, practices behind urban development have not changed much. 

As an answer to the main question posed above, the main drivers and barriers of urban densification in Norway are as follows. The environmental: Global environmental concerns have driven the adoption of national and local policies towards greater efficiency in the use of natural resources and a decrease in pollution. Urban densification is regarded as an important means to achieve these targets. The most important environmental barrier is the pre-existence of a scattered urban layout, fragmented in the rugged Norwegian geography, which makes it difficult to increase urban density and make substantial gains from recent changes in policy. The social: Demographic changes have facilitated the application of densification policies but entrenched social values, such as freedom of choice, make it difficult to apply restrictive measures, such as urban containment or car-usage restrictions. The economic: Changes towards a knowledge-based economy imply multiple benefits from larger, more intense urban environments; but given the pre-existence of a large sprawled urban form, the sunk investments in infrastructure make it difficult to accelerate urban changes towards denser urban environments. The institutional: The discourse on sustainability has gained strength at almost all institutional levels. However, to a large extent legal frameworks and procedural traditions remain unchanged.

Shorab Gheibi

Shorab Gheibi succesfullt defended his thesis on 12 February 2018:

"Impact of faults and Fractures in Geomechanics of Reservoir Pressurization:
A numerical Approach"

The importance of geomechanical modeling has risen due to the increase in the concerns about the possible seismic activities and leakage problems due to the reactivation of faults/fracture in the reservoir-caprock system during fluid injection, especially in very large scale CO2 sequestration projects. Global warming and its consequences from one side and the geomechanical risks associated with CO2 storage from the other side have forced the geomechanics research community to study every possible source of these risks and the associated advanced methods of investigation. Throughout this thesis work, it was attempted to investigate the geomechanics of fluid injection problem from several prospective using Modified Discrete Element Method (MDEM). Stress path evolution and the likelihood of fault/joint reactivation during reservoir pressurization were investigated. Stress path is perturbed in the presence of faults due to the elastic shear deformation of faults. This perturbation can destabilize some parts of the system in the reservoir-caprock interface region. Effect of parameters such as fault shear stiffness, Poisson’s ratio, and reservoir aspect ratio were studied on the quantity of the stress path perturbation. Stress path hysteresis was also investigated in the thesis. A reduction in the stress path was observed due to damages occurred during reservoir depletion in the reservoir flanks. The stress path hysteresis implies a less stable fluid injection into depleted oil and gas reservoirs. New developments in MDEM were presented in the thesis. A Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM) based methodology was developed. By this methodology, MDEM can calculate stress intensity factors, KI and KII using the contact forces of particles. It is able to be used in complex boundary condition and geometrical configuration such as curved and interacting multiple cracks with acceptable accuracy. The methodology has been also used in reservoir scale to study the rupture likelihood of faults and fracture. Mode I and II Stress Intensity Path (SIP) coefficients were introduced in the thesis as the change of stress intensity factor per change of reservoir pore pressure. SIPs can be used to investigate the likelihood of faults rupture growth in the reservoir-caprock system. Using SIPs for a given fault, some relationships were proposed to find the critical overpressure to prevent propagation of reactivated fault/fractures in mode I and II. The elastic-softening Crack Band mesh size independent model was also embedded into MDEM. The code is now able to model nonlinear behavior of quasi-brittle materials including and excluding preexisting cracks based on fracture energy.


Cristian Roberto Valle Kinloch

From left: Opponent/administrator Tore Brandstveit Haugen (Prof.), Cristian Roberto Valle Kinloch og opponent Per Anker Jensen (Prof). In front: Opponent Kathryn Janda (phd) and supervisor Antje Junghans (Prof.)

8 February, 2018, Cristian Roberto Valle Kinloch defended his doctoral thesis at NTNU:

”The Facility Management and Building User Interaction in the delivery of Energy Management Services:
Theoretical approach and practical applications for facilities managers on non-residential buildings

The built environment is accredited for a significant portion of global energy consumption (40%) and generation of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions (36%). Reducing the amount of energy used during the service life of buildings is paramount towards reducing the sector´s energy and carbon footprint. Strategies that include the adoption of passive design building concepts and the introduction of energy efficient technologies are essential to supporting energy efficiency goals. 

However, mounting evidence indicates that buildings designed for low energy use can often perform much worse than their design intentions, an issue commonly referred to as the energy performance gap (EPG). How people choose to use or interact with buildings is widely regarded as one of the most significant factors influencing this performance gap. Energy strategies that aim to reduce energy use by modifying the energy-behaviour of building occupants are increasingly gaining attention. Facility managers can play a strategic role in leading organizational change towards building a sustainable workforce

Vegard Knotten

From left: Petra Bosch-Sijtsema, Professor, PhD, Chalmers University of Technology, Gøteborg, candidate Vegard Knotten, Lena Bygballe, Associate Professor, PhD, BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo and Tore Brandstveit Haugen, Professor,, Fakulty of Architecture and design, NTNU. Photo: Geir K. Hansen/NTNU

Vegard Knotten defended his doctoral thesis 6 February 2018, at NTNU:

«Building design management in the early stages».

(Norwegian only)

Målet med oppgaven har vært å si noe om hvordan prosjekteringsledelse i tidligfase av byggeprosjekter bør håndteres. BAE-næringen står overfor mange endringer, og de tidlige fasene av byggeprosjekter regnes som de mest krevende og utfordrende å lede. Hvilke utfordringer finnes i tidlig fase av prosjekter, hva er suksesskriteriene for prosjekteringsledelse - og hva kan prosjekteringsledelse lære fra offhore engineering og skipsdesign? Dette er spørsmål som Vegard Knotten stiller i avhandlingen.

Knotten konkluderer med at prosjekteringsledelse må forstås ut ifra sin kontekst. Avhandlingen forslår et generisk rammeverk for håndtering av prosjekteringsledelse i tidlig fase. Prosjekteringsledelsen bør forfølge suksesskriteriene og proaktivt håndtere utfordringer, og på grunnlaget av nøye vurderinger av prosjektet foreslå en strategi for gjennomføring av prosjekteringsledelsen.

Veiledere for avhandlingen har vært professor Geir K. Hansen, Fakultet for arkitektur og design, NTNU, og førsteamanuensis Ola Lædre, Fakultet for ingeniørvitenskap, NTNU

Sakkyndig komite (bildet)
Petra Bosch-Sijtsema, professor, PhD, Chalmers University of Technology, Gøteborg
Lena Bygballe, førsteamanuensis, PhD, BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo
Tore Brandstveit Haugen, professor,, Fakultet for arkitektur og design, NTNU

Vegard Knotten har vært næringslivs-ph.d., finansiert av Veidekke og NFR. Avhandlingen er en del av et tverrfaglig forskningsprosjekt med fokus på Integrert metodikk for prosjekteringsledelse. Prosjektet er et samarbeid med NTNU og UiA samt forskjellige industripartnere fra offshore-, skipsbygging- og byggebransjen.



Defenses list

Hallgrim Hjelmbrekke defended his doctoral theses at NTNU 3 November 2017:

“Aligning AEC Projects with Corporate Strategy. Project Governance as a Mean for Strategic Effect”. 

Geir K. Hansen, Professor, Department of Architecture and Planning, NTNU
Ola Lædre, Ass. Professor, Institutt for building and environment, NTNU

In the thesis Hallgrim Hjelmbrekke raise the main question concerning how Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) projects can be better aligned to business strategies from an owner perspective.

In general, any investment in a new project is made in order to solve a problem, to change something into a more preferable situation and, in the end, to harvest the benefits. According international research, projects in general tends not to deliver the intended benefits. This seems also to be valid in the Norwegian AEC-industry. Characteristics of projects are of a lack of productivity, budget overruns, defects on the final products and dissatisfied users generating a tail of legal proceedings. Together, these factors indicate that the projects´ intended value for users and benefits for the owner frequently gets lost along the way in construction project processes. 

The intuitive understanding of these challenges, guiding the research presented, has been that all of those involved, including owners/clients, project suppliers and users, appear to lack what the author denominates as a holistic approach to their business activities.

The main findings and conclusion of this thesis are:
The discrepancy between the general needs of the organization and the projects carried out to improve performance consists mainly of a lack of project objectives grounded in general strategy, a lack of alignment between clients and suppliers, a lack of understanding of success (project management success vs. project success), and a lack of project strategy definition.

The research reveals a poor comprehension of the business context of projects within architectural and engineering companies. Implications for improved practice: Architecture and engineering companies need to create and deliver value, and a good starting point is to work more intensively with the client’s business objectives and to understand the causal relationship between design and the client’s benefits. More research should focus on the preparatory project management practices – e.g. the strategic approach to project success.

Scientific assessment committee:
Aaron Shenhar, Professor, Diamond Leadership Institute, USA
Kalle Kähkönen, Professor, Tampere University of Technology, Finland
Siri Hunnes Blakstad, Professor II, Department of Architecture and Planning, NTNU

Tore Brandstveit Haugen, Professor, Department of Architecture and Planning, NTNU

Hallgrim Hjelmbrekke's PhD was funded by the Norwegian Research Council and Rambøll as.

Ketil Bråthen

Ketil Bråthen defended his doctoral thesis 15 September 2017 at NTNU:

"Implementing BIM for enhanced inter-organizational collaboration in building projects"

Dr. Anita Moum, Sintef, 
Professor Tore Haugen, NTNU
Dr. Anne Inga Hilsen, FAFO

Fernanda Acre Pacheco

Fernanda Acre Pacheco defended her doctoral thesis 20 April 2017 at NTNU:

"Spatial quality assessment for energy-efficiency renovation of dwellings"

Spatial quality is the perception of the quality of the physical space. The user perceives spatial quality through the relationships between physical elements. The interface between walls, ceilings, doors, windows and columns, as well as inside and outside spaces under different (day) light conditions all define spatial quality. This PhD research thesis proposes a spatial quality definition, and a measurable and objective assessment framework to evaluate and predict the impact of energy efficiency renovation of dwellings on spatial quality. 

The definition and assessment are based on four spatial quality determinants:

(1) views, (2) internal spatiality and spatial arrangements, (3) the transition between public and private spaces, and (4) perceived density, built and human densities. These spatial quality determinants are developed during the PhD research, based on a literature study on the quality of life in the urban environment, spatiality and spatial perception, energy efficiency renovation of dwellings, and a study of seven actual dwelling renovation cases. The prime reasons why this research has focused on spatial quality are the lack of a clear spatial quality definition on the building scale in the literature, and the sometimes unintended but always unmeasured impact of energy efficiency renovation of dwellings on spatial quality.

Climate change and the urge for sustainability have led the building industry into a radical re-thinking of how they construct new buildings and renovate existing ones. Energy efficiency renovation of dwellings is an opportunity to increase people’s well-being in a dwelling, rather than just improving its technical energy performance. The positive link between the renovation and benefits to people’s everyday life has the potential to increase end users’ acceptance and building owners’ willingness for renovation. The spatial quality definition and assessment developed in this PhD research are intended to strengthen the understanding of the quality of physical spaces in dwellings. The assessment can help to evaluate and predict the effect of energy efficiency renovation on spatial quality in dwellings. It can also help design teams to include spatial quality in energy efficiency renovation, and explore the potential of the renovation to improve the spatial quality in dwellings.

This PhD work has two contributions and two main findings. The first contribution is the spatial quality definition for dwellings. The second contribution is the assessment framework. The first main finding of the research is that energy efficiency renovation affects spatial quality in dwellings, and that the renovation can improve spatial quality, not only energy performance. The effects can be positive, for example, if there are new openings in the facade, or negative if the changes in the plan result in excessively deep rooms in relation to the size of the windows. The second main finding follows from the literature study on the renovation of dwellings, on spatial quality related issues, and from the study of the renovation cases. In order to improve spatial quality in energy efficiency renovation, increased spatial quality may be planned at an early stage of the renovation process together with the increased energy performance.

Johan Mattson

Johan Mattson defended his doctoral thesis on 26 January at NTNU:

"The impact of microclimate on biodeterioration of wood in historic buildings"

Bygningsmaterialer i historiske bygninger kan gjennom en langvarig eksponering for ulike klimatiske og mikroklimatiske forhold utsettes for en gradvis nedbrytning av biologiske skadegjørere. Denne studien viser at avgjørende faktorer i forskjellige tilfeller av biologisk nedbrytning i stor grad er temperatur og fuktighet på et mikroklimatisk nivå, helt ned til noen få centimeter rundt vedcellene i treverket. 

Ved bygningsundersøkelser av historiske bygninger kan man ønske seg en god tilgang til historisk informasjon om konstruksjoner, materialer, tidligere bruk, eksponering og eventuelle skader.

Dessverre er slik informasjon sjelden tilgjengelig. Fordi både muggsopp, råtesopp og treskadeinsekter har spesielle krav til økologiske forhold, er etablerte skader et resultat av tidligere langtidseksponering av fukt- og temperaturforhold. Identifikasjon av forekommende arter kan dermed gi avgjørende innsikt om skader. Hvis man kan tolke skadene i henhold til disse forholdene, kan man forstå årsakene til skadeutvikling og dermed også forebygge ytterligere skadeutvikling. Min erfaring er at forutsetningen for biologisk nedbrytning av treverk er universell. Takket være dette kan man i prinsippet vurdere skader fra polområdene til tropene på den samme måten.

De mikroklimatiske forholdene og aktivitet av ulike biologiske skadegjørere har vært undersøkt på fire ulike steder i Norge: Bryggen i Bergen, Lærdalsøyri/Otternes, Røros og Svalbard i forbindelse med ulike prosjekter i løpet av en 20 års periode. Målet med disse studiene har vært å avklare hvordan mikroklimaet påvirker sopp- og insektskader i verneverdige bygninger og trekonstruksjoner – både med hensyn til de faktiske skader og de praktiske konsekvenser skader forårsaker. Fokus har vært på de to mest avgjørende fysiske faktorene for biologiske skadegjørere, temperatur og fuktighet. 

Denne avhandlingen beskriver hvordan mikroklimaet påvirker biologisk nedbrygning av treverk i historiske bygninger. Det er en forhåpning om at disse resultatene og erfaringene bidrar til å forbedre denne kunnskapen i ulike fagmiljøer.



Claudia Trinidad Paredes Moscoso

Claudia Trinidad Paredes Moscoso forsvarte sin doktoravhandling den 29. februar, 2016:

"Daylighting and Architectural Quality: Aesthetic Perception of Daylit Indoor Environments"

The present thesis concerns the field of daylighting in architecture. In particular, this thesis examines the topic of the aesthetic perception of daylit indoor environments.
Most daylighting studies seem to use photometrical measurements to describe the light in a space. Moreover, most studies seem to focus on comparing metrics to establish an adequate illumination for optimal visual and task performance.

However, lighting considerations should go further than merely visual and task performance guidelines; good lighting should also contribute to the aesthetic perception of any environment. This is an important distinction to establish: a room with enough light for performing tasks can be described as an ‘adequately illuminated room’, whereas a room that also provides a pleasant visual environment can be considered a ‘well-lit room’. Yet little literature investigating the aesthetic quality of architectural spaces lit by daylight can be found.

Therefore, the present study seeks to explore how different daylighting designs affect the aesthetic perception of indoor built environments. The fields of architecture and daylighting are taken as starting points. In addition, the aesthetic perception of environments entails studies of environmental psychology, e.g. environmental aesthetics and measurement of environmental perception. Daylight and aesthetic quality are thus terms of paramount importance in the present research. In the scope of the work presented here, two types of daylighting design have been considered in the study: windows as the most basic daylight collectors in buildings (primary daylighting design), and daylighting systems as advanced measures to collect and distribute daylight deeper in interiors (advanced daylighting design).

To examine the aesthetic quality of an architectural space, nine aesthetic attributes were selected:
Pleasantness, Excitement, Order, Complexity, Legibility, Coherence, Spaciousness, Openness, and Spatial Definition.

Veronika Zaikina

24. mai 2016, forsvarte Veronika Zaikina sin doktoravhandling:

Luminance-based metrics of countour, shape and detail distinctness of day-lit 3D objects"

Light modelling is a small but important part of the lighting quality concept. It determines not only the capability of the eye to detect any objects in a space but also its ability to discriminate contours, shapes and details, the most important visual characteristics of any object. These are essential and significant indicators that allow a person to analyse and ascertain another person’s state of health, the freshness of food, the mood of the interlocutor and many other key characteristics of visual environments. Thus, light modelling is an essential aspect important in various architectural spaces, from museums to hospitals to offices.

To date, few studies have been dedicated to light modelling. Some basic knowledge has been achieved from studies on pedestrian visibility and road lighting. However, few investigations have been performed in day-lit interiors. Thus, the light modelling topic remains underestimated and insufficiently studied.

To address this gap, the present research aims to develop the concept of light modelling of real 3D objects in day-lit environments. The author will propose the metrics of contour, shape and details distinctness of the examined units as the most critical aspects of light modelling. Based on the idea that light and colour are mentally inseparable in the human perception of visual environments, it is of great importance to create experimental conditions that provide both of these principal concepts (light and colour). The high dynamic range (HDR) imaging technique will be used as part of the experimental research methodology, giving reliable, analysable, numerical data obtained from luminance maps.

Three experiments and their outcomes form the basis of this dissertation. Work on this dissertation began with general research questions regarding studies of chromatic interiors using HDR images, examining the possible effect of achromatic and chromatic colours and colour combinations on the perception of room illumination (Experiment 1). The focus then turned to the development of the appropriate luminance-based metrics of real 3D achromatic and chromatic objects placed in a room illuminated by daylight (Experiment 2). These metrics were then verified in a real room study and repeated through computer simulation (Experiment 3).

The results obtained from these experiments indicate that majority of the proposed luminance-based metrics correlate very well with subjective assessments that deem contour, shape and details to be distinguishable in different degrees. The metrics also indicate considerable variations among 3D objects with different luminance and chromatic contrasts. These luminance-based metrics outperformed currently used modelling index and cylindrical illuminance metrics. Furthermore, these luminance-based metrics can be used both in real architectural spaces and computer simulations.

Considering these advantages, the author of this dissertation proposes that luminance-based metrics should be recommended for practical use to ensure light modelling; specifically, to better guarantee the distinctness of objects’ contours, shapes and details. The metrics have some limitations dictated by existing experimental conditions and therefore require further testing if they are to be made universally applicable. These will be further discussed in the present dissertation, as will some proposals for possible future research.

Takeshi Ihara

Takeshi Ihara defended his doctoral thesis 1 June, 2016:

"Effective energy solutions using facade materials with highly reflective coatings and aerogel granulate glazing systems"

We are facing an urgent problem of reducing carbon dioxide emissions in order to
mitigate climate change. The building sector is a main source of carbon dioxide
emissions. This thesis is trying to contribute to the creation of solutions for this problem
by investigating the application of relatively new building materials, particularly highly
reflective coatings and aerogel granulate glazing facades.

Facades have an important role to play in controlling indoor climate and thus building
energy use. This thesis investigated which facade properties have an impact on reducing
heating and cooling energy demands in a common building type (office building) in
Tokyo, Japan. It was shown that walls with high reflectance and windows with low heat
gain and low heat transmittance can contribute to achieving energy efficient buildings. In
this regard, highly reflective coatings and aerogel granulate glazing systems can make an
important difference. These materials are therefore able to serve as an energy solution.
Highly reflective coatings and aerogel granulate glazing systems are still new products in
the building field. This thesis therefore experimentally provided information concerning
their durability.

Clara Good

Clara Good defended her doctoral thesis 28 June, 2016:

"Photovoltaic-thermal systems for zero emission residential buildings"

This thesis concerns the use of solar energy in energy efficient buildings. More precisely, the topic is photovoltaic-thermal (PV/T) solar energy systems, and how these can be used to provide renewable energy in zero emission buildings. PV/T modules are a hybrid between photovoltaic (PV) modules and solar thermal collectors, and therefore generate electricity and thermal energy simultaneously. The objective of the thesis was to investigate the potential of PV/T systems to minimize the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of a residential building.

The main research method in this thesis has been simulation of solar energy systems in buildings. Using simulations, PV/T systems have been compared to other solar energy systems with separate PV modules and solar thermal collectors. The simulation studies were performed in the simulation programs Polysun and PVsyst, and were based on commercial solar energy products available on the current market. The use of heat pumps, air-source and ground-source, in combination with solar energy systems was also studied.

Two case buildings, the ZEB residential concept and the Living Lab, have been used in the simulation studies. The buildings are two of the pilot buildings of the Norwegian Research Centre for Zero Emission Buildings (the ZEB Centre). Both buildings are single family residential buildings located in Central or Southern Norway, and are designed to meet the Norwegian passive house requirements.

The embodied emissions of the solar energy systems were determined using elements of life cycle assessments (LCA). A review of previous research found few studies of the environmental impact of PV/T modules, especially using industrially produced modules. The embodied emissions of such a PV/T module was therefore determined in this thesis, based on a combination of data from databases and information from module producers. The embodied emissions of the case buildings and the other solar energy systems studied were determined using a combination of databases and previously published research in the ZEB Centre.

The results show that PV/T systems can be a good renewable energy solution for energy efficient buildings, but that their performance is highly dependent on how the system is designed and what control strategies are used. The simulations showed that the systems with PV/T modules typically had higher primary output per unit area than the systems with separate PV modules and solar energy collectors, but that this also depended on how the solar energy systems were designed. However, due to a higher use of electricity to run e.g. circulation pumps, the energy balance of the whole building was not improved compared to systems with separate solar technologies.

Magnar Berge

Magnar Berge defended his thesis on 13 December 2016 at the Department og Architectural Design, History and Technology, NTNU.



Nora Johanne Klungseth

On 28 October 2015, Nora Johanne Klungseth defended her doctoral thesis at NTNU:

"Cleaning services in local authorities"

This thesis discusses cleaning services in local authorities and is a response to calls for new knowledge on public facility management (FM). The research was financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development (KRD). The aim is to describe and explore cleaning in order to provide new knowledge which may contribute to developing and improving FM in local authorities. The research undertaken was based on a descriptive and exploratory mixed-method approach consisting of a thorough literature review, a national survey and two case studies. The outcomes are presented in this thesis, including its attachments; it includes additional references and analysis of what is presented in the five peer-reviewed publications which are attached. On the whole, the thesis provides an enhanced understanding of cleaning services’ organisation and practice in local authorities from the 1800s to the present decade.

The focus of the research is on Norwegian local authorities. In addition, empirical experiences from the United Kingdom (UK) have been collected, along with knowledge from international research. Three research questions (RQs) were formulated to research the objective of studying the organisation and practice of cleaning in local authorities. These three RQs enabled 1) an overview of cleaning-related research knowledge in a Norwegian context covering a time period of 200 years, 2) a quantitative and national overview of organisational models used for cleaning services in Norwegian local authorities from the 1990s onwards and 3) qualitative and local insights into the organisation and practice of cleaning services in two local authorities as of 2010–2011. These local insights provide examples of how cleaning services can be organised and practiced in local authorities, and should thus not be regarded as examples of how cleaning services should be organised and practiced. The examples include strategic, tactical and operational insights. The most detailed level of research includes observations of cleaners at work.

Pranita Shrestha

Pranita Shrestha defended her doctoral thesis 7 August 2015:

"Insights into (in)formal land delivery processes -adopting a relational perspective to understand the formation and development of three squatter settlements within Kathmandu, Nepal"

The term informal land delivery processes or simplistically referred to as ‘squatting’ are not new terms, they have been in existence for a long time; however very little in – depth research have been done to understanding exactly how they function – the relationship between the institutions (rules and social norms) and actors involved. Most studies on informal settlements have traditionally centered on how to deal with the “housing problem” in developing countries. The main strategy of this research not centred on how to deal with the “housing problem” but rather (re)search reasons responsible for the existence of this problem in the first place. 
Hence, rather than explaining (limited to looking at the ends), this research aims at describing the means – the causes and the social mechanisms through which urban poverty persists, especially those that fall beyond narrow income – consumption concerns, or individual entitlements mediated by legal and market systems (Mosse, 2010; Gore, 1993; Kabeer, 1994; Green and Hulme, 2005). The main focus therefore is to understand the process of formation and development of three specific squatter settlements in the context of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, one of the least developed countries in South Asia. 
The research takes Marx’s ontology and his conception of method within a relational perspective as a starting point in order to address core issues of inequalities following the path of Burgess (1977; 1997; etc) and other neo Marxists. 
Network analysis is used as a primary basis for understanding the relationship between elements (which in this case are households) that form the totality (squatter settlements). Furthermore, concept of relational social capital is also used to analyze the positions and structures within this totality. 
The research adopts a qualitative, case study method where the three specific squatter settlements are the main case study areas and households are the embedded units of analysis (i.e. the cases). Out of 53 squatter settlements within Kathmandu Valley, three case study areas are selected for this research. In terms of the main unit of analysis – the households, a number of diverse cases from each of the different category of households within the owners and renter/tenants were selected. 
The empirical data for this research was generated over a period of approximately 8 months divided into three main research fieldwork phases. 
This PhD thesis is based on four main Appended Articles, each compiled at the end of three subsequent research fieldwork phases. 
This research is based on three main theoretical perspectives each discussed in the four main articles:

  • informal land delivery processes (Articles I and II)
  • social capital (Article III)  
  • governance/planning in the global south (insurgent planning practices) (Articles IV)

Yu Wang

Yu Wang defended her doctoral thesis 22 June 2015 at NTNU:

"How Do We Rebuild a Disaster damaged Heritage Settlement: A study of the Post- Earthquake Reconstruction of the Village of Taoping.
A Traditional Qiang Settlement in Sichuan China"

This research is about post-disaster reconstruction of culture heritage settlements, not
as an activity but conceptually, by addressing the question of how do we preserve a
heritage settlement damaged by disaster? Underpinning that issue is a case study of
Taoping Qiang Village. Taoping is a Qiang Minority’s traditional settlement which
went through a post-earthquake reconstruction from 2008 to 2011 in Sichuan, China.
In my thesis heritage settlement is understood as “lived-in cultural heritage
settlements”. The “lived-in” situation refers to heritage settlements which suspends
the natural coherence between inhabitants and dwellings. This coherence refers to
settlements renovate and maintenance according to their needs and wills of their
inhabitants. Which in turn are driven by their livelihoods, social practices and living
habitus etc. “Lived-in” heritage illustrates a state in which the protected old dwellings
host a present-day mode of living. “Lived-in” heritage also displays the coexistence of
habitation and conservation. Furthermore it implies a complicated relationship
between those two actives.
To rebuild a heritage settlement after disaster is not only to rescue the damaged
historical buildings but also to reestablish the homes of the inhabitants. This research
is built on that recognition and regards the local community as a key player in the
reconstruction of heritage settlements. To understand possible behavior and reaction
of the community to the reconstruction we need to know its social context. Hence my
research employs “modernity” and “citizenship” in order to set up a “reference frame”.
The extent of modernity and state of citizenship substantially impact the underlying
attitude and reactions of the community.

Steinar Grynning

22. mai 2015, forsvarte Steinar Grynning sin doktoravhandling:

"Transparent facades in low energy office buildings. Numerical simulations and experimental studies"

Windows are a key component in the building envelope. They are often, thought of as energy drains and something associated with excessive energy demands in a building. However, in order to assess the energy performance of a window, several factors must be addressed. The most important issues to consider are energy losses due to heat transmission through windows, energy gains from solar radiation as well as transmitted visible light and the influence on artificial lighting demands. Factors like thermal and visual comfort in buildings are additional factors that need to be assessed and addressed. Existing work that has been carried out within this field of topic lacks in addressing two major factors that are important in the context of this thesis:

  • Buildings situated in cold climates.
  • Buildings with highly insulated envelopes.

Thus, the need for further research with these aspects in mind emerges and performance
assessments of the glazed elements by themselves as well as in combination with shading systems have been carried out. Focus has been on both the thermal and optical performance of systems, and systems performance assessments for whole buildings. The objective of this thesis has been to investigate the performance of windows and various window solutions in the context of low- or zero-energy buildings situated in a cold climate. Both state-of-the-art solutions as well as more theoretical studies of what today’s and tomorrow’s windows can look like are studied. Experimental research has been used in combination with numerical simulations to assess and characterize the performance of windows and solar shading devices. The component-level performance characteristics have been used as input to the analysis on the whole building scale for selected case studies. Likewise, the case study results have been used as a baseline for design criteria for components.



Thomas Haavi

On 14 September 2014, Thomas Haavi defended his doctoral thesis:

"Zero Emission Building Envelopes: The Effect of Insulation and Thermal Masson Greenhouse Gas Emissions"

In a sustainable world, the use of non-regenerating natural resources is in balance with what nature is able to provide in long term. Our way of living has resulted in enormous usage of resources, and it is time to change our attitude and regain the balance. In this context, the main focus the latest years have been global warming caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is therefore important to reduce the GHG-emissions from buildings, not only from the operational phase, but from the whole life cycle.

This thesis presents six papers, where the building envelope has been studied, with main focus on thermal insulation and thermal mass. The advanced products Vacuum Insulation Panels (VIPs) and Phase Change Materials (PCMs) have been given special attention. The basis for the work has been a single-family house with a lightweight wood frame construction, which is a common Norwegian building. The house has been studied at three different levels and in a life cycle perspective:

1. Component level, i.e. the thermal performance of insulation, thermal mass and studs which is part of wall/floor constructions.

2. System level, i.e. the thermal performance of wall/floor constructions.

3. Building level, i.e. the energy performance of the building.

4. Life cycle, i.e. greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) during the life cycle of the house.