Professor Dr Alan Short

Subject: Sustainable Architecture

Department/institution: Department of Architecture

Contact details:

Research interests:

Professor Alan Short was a Senior Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge and also studied at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard. He has been the Professor of Architecture at the University of Cambridge since 2001. His work focuses on the design of sustainable buildings. He won the RIBA President’s Award for ‘Outstanding Professional Practice-located Research’ 2007 for the project ‘Design for the Warming Environment’ and the 2009 RIBA President’s Commendation for Outstanding University-located Research for my work on the resilience of the NHS Estate. 

Professor Short is a PR China Ministry of Education Distinguished Professor and was the 2014 George Collins Fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians and 2013-14 Geddes Fellow at the University of Edinburgh. He also designs buildings, one of very few architects in the UK deeply involved in Higher Education and Research, maintaining Short & Associates Architects as a vehicle for putting research concepts into practice.  

He is the Principle Investigator for the UK-China EPSRC/NSFC funded ‘Low Carbon Climate-Responsive Heating and Cooling of Cities’ (LoHCool) £800K, focussing on carbon reduction opportunities in mega-cities in China. He was the Principal Investigator for the EPSRC Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change project ‘Design and Delivery of Robust Hospital Environments in a Changing Climate’ DeDeRHECC (2009-13) £800K, and the NIHR funded  ‘Design Strategy for Low Energy Ventilation and Cooling of Health Buildings’ (2006-09) £265K. His research group has produced a film of its work on the NHS Estate, ‘Robust Hospitals in a Changing Climate’ at which won the tv/e Global Sustainability Film Award 2013 at BAFTA. He was appointed to administer and monitor the NHS Energy Efficiency Fund 2013-14 with the Professor of Sustainable Engineering Peter Guthrie, reporting to the Under Secretary of State for Health. 

He has an interest in the design of theatres and was PI for the AHRC funded (£350K) ‘Designing Dynamic Environments for the Performing Arts’ (DeDepa), an investigation into the design of contemporary Arts Council funded arts buildings. There is a book and a film of the findings, both titled ‘Geometry and Atmosphere’. The film is available to view here.

He authored the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) Guidance for Capital Arts Projects, Building Excellence for the Arts and designed the Contact Theatre in Manchester, the Garrick at Lichfield and the Lighthouse at Poole.

Select awards:

  • Winner of the first ‘High Architecture, Low Energy Award’ 1995
  • Green Building of the Year 1995
  • The Society of College, National and University Librarians (SCONUL) ‘Best Academic Library Award’ 1998-2003 and ‘Commendation’ 2008
  • CIBSE ‘Project of the Year’ in 2003 & 2004 
  • CIBSE Environmental Initiative of the Year 2006;
  • BDA 'Building of the Year 2001' and 'Best Public Building 2006' 
  • RIBA Awards in 1995, 2000, 2003 and 2006.
  • AHRC Antimicrobial Resistance Project Excising Infection in Surgical Environments [ExISE] 2017-19

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