Prof John R Littlewood


Prof John R Littlewood

SuRBE Lead
  • Senior Lecturer in Architectural Design & Technology   
  • CSAD Professional Doctorate Coordinator  DEngDProf (Art & Design), DSBE,
  • Chairman of Chartered Association of Building Engineers Wales Region
  • Chartered Building Engineer
  • Fellow of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • Member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
  • Affiliate Member of the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE)
  • Affiliate Member of the Chartered Association of Architectural Technologists (CIAT)
  • PhD– Building Performance Assessment for Zero Heating Dwellings, UK
  • BSc (Hons) with First – Building Surveying/RICS Prize
  • Level 1 Thermographer
  • Domestic Air Permeability Tester


In 2020, I have 26+ years’ experience in academia, industry, and also being seconded to various organisations. I have worked/continue to work in collaboration with industry in Wales, UK & Internationally since 1993; taking an entrepreneurial approach to problem solving. The central foci’s of my work are: housing at a single building level, to micro communities and estates; and collaboration with industry and stakeholders for societal quality of life and well-being.

My specialist subject areas are diverse crossing both qualitative and quantitative built environment, design, engineering & scientific disciplines. These include: Building Engineering, Science & Technology; Building Performance Assessment (slides 42-62); Building Fabric Diagnostics and Forensics; The Safety Gap – Fire Performance; Professional Practice Change Management; Post Occupancy Evaluation; Environmental Design, Construction and Operation of Buildings; Offsite Manufacturing of Modern Methods of Construction; Occupant Comfort, Quality of Life and Health & Wellbeing; Housing; Construction with Natural Materials; Sustainable & Resilient Buildings; the Energy:Water Nexus; and Urban & Organic Food Production.

From 1998 to 2005 I was part of the academic team that developed Wales’ first BEng/MEng & CIBSE Accredited Building Services Engineering programmes, and BSc & CIAT Accredited Architectural programme. In 2005 I joined University of the West England as Assistant Co-Director of the BSc Architectural Technology programme and also taught refurbishment and renewal on the BSc and PGDip in Building Surveying programmes.


I joined Cardiff Metropolitan University part-time in 2007, lecturing in Environmental Design to students on the BSc Architectural Design and Technology programme, and then full time in 2008, lecturing Research Methods. In 2008, I developed Cardiff School of Art & Design’s first Professional Doctorate pathway in Ecological Building Practices (eBP) , in collaboration with the Graduate School of the Environment at the Centre of Alternative Technology. The first graduate of the eBP pathway was in 2017, investigating small scale biomass CHP for the UK. I was part of the Cardiff Met academic staff team that re-designed the Professional Doctorate programme from 2015 with new pathways in Engineering and Sustainable Built Environment.

Since the re-validation in 2016, I have been the module leader/lecture in change management for organisational and professional practice innovation, for the first module on the Professional Doctorate. In 2018 and 2019 I was Director of Studies for Cardiff Met’s first and second DEng graduates. Latterly, Dr Seguela was one of the 2017 winners of the Emirates Green Building Council Sustainability Awards for her work in water recycling and associated energy, carbon and financial savings by not using potable water for Landscape Irrigation; and which led to the development of greenhouse gas metric.


By surbe927960347 / 29 June 2020

SEB20 Publication Manuscript

By surbe927960347 / 29 June 2020
Research Degree Experience

I lead on a number of Professional Doctorate pathways at Cardiff Metropolitan University, in Engineering, Professional Practice (Art & Design) and Sustainable Built Environment. In 2021 (July), I have supervised eleven research degrees to completion in diverse topics from food production, straw bale construction, reductions in road accidents, to evaluating retrofitted exterior wall insulation, and ecological new dwellings.

In 2021, I am supervising 18 doctorates (three due for completion in 2021) of which five are PhDs and thirteen are Professional Doctorates; and these projects are in collaboration with a range of government and industry partners from Archineers, Cardiff Living, Coastal Housing Group, Constructive Thinking Studio, Melin Homes, SPECIFIC, Stride Treglown, Wates Residential (Wales) Woodknowledge Wales, and WSP Canada. I have been external and internal examiner for 18 and one doctorate at University’s in Australia, France and in the UK. I have also Chaired one PhD Viva Voce.

Funding Grants

I have generated circa £3.2 Million of funding since 1997 at three Higher Education Institutions; from research council grants, EU and industry funding, InnovateUK, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, and consultancy.


I have authored/co-authored 145 peer reviewed published papers and book chapters, the latest from June 2020 documenting the energy:water nexus for irrigating landscapes; been Lead Editor on one book “Smart Energy Control Systems for Sustainable Buildings”; I am one of three Co-Editors for a new book series “Advances in Sustainability Science and Technology” launched in 2019, with a number of volumes being published in 2020. I have been Lead and Co-Editor for many international conference proceedings 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019. I am a reviewer for 12+ international conferences and journals, including Energy & Buildings, Fire Safety Journal, Energy Reports Journal , and Sustainability. Since 2010 I have undertaken numerous roles for the Sustainability in Energy and Buildings (SEB) International conference. In 2020,  2014, 2017, and 2019) I have been Conference General Chair, Chair of the Sustainable and Smart Buildings General Track, and Co-Chair of numerous invited tracks linking design to health; and also manufacturing.

More Information & Contact

Please find more information on my Cardiff Metropolitan University staff profile, author repository of publications and SuRBe group publications (note the statistics tab at the bottom of the page, where in July 2020 the publications that I have co-authored have the highest downloads in the group at circa 2256).

I welcome applicants to contact me who wish to pursue a research degree in any of my specialist areas illustrated above, here or discussed in my Orcid , Researchgate , or Scopus accounts. Or indeed have a particular R&D challenge to resolve, or seek assistance in applying for grant funding and wish to collaborate with a University. Please email me at


When I am not working, I can often be found on my urban allotment in Cardiff, where I follow a No Dig, Organic and Permaculture approach to growing vegetables, fruit, edible flowers and herbs. 2020 has thus far (July) been my best year yet for harvest, and has provided a welcome retreat for my own quality of life during the Covid19 pandemic. I also love home cooking and exploring new recipes from around the world, and the odd glass of summer water. Plus, to exercise I ride the largest framed Storck road bike available (I am just over two meters tall) and I also regularly walk my two whippets on the hills, mountains and coastlines of Wales and France’s regional parks. I am a Francophile, as my wife and partner of 29 years is French; and as Yorkshire born and bred (in a village where the letters ‘DB’ originate for the Aston Martin motor car) I am still trying to master the French language :).