PhD Project Informing Architectural Design Processes in A Circular Economy The Quantification of Circular Construction

Technical University of Denmark, Denmark is offering PhD position in sustainable development. The funding allows successful candidate to work for 3 years. The deadline for applying is September 30, 2019.

DTU Civil Engineering is inviting applications for a 3-year PhD position starting 1 December 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter. The overall aim of the project is to inform and document the sustainability effect of circular construction in 3 main perspectives: reuse/mining of building materials, 'design for disassembly' and reuse of existing buildings. The main focus in the PhD project is on the latter.

Research in design processes informed by technical scientific knowledge has been performed at the department of civil engineering for a couple of decades. Making design decisions based on the best possible information is essential to achieving sustainable buildings as has been demonstrated through research in 'integrated design'.

During this PhD project, the main question is: How can we quantify the effect of different design strategies and processes in the framework of circular economy? Moreover, the project must evaluate how sustainable the results are compared to standard buildings?

This PhD project is both descriptive and prescriptive. It is descriptive in the sense that there will be a strong focus on finding, categorizing and assessing data (for instance in relation to material mining in cities).

There is a strong focus on being prescriptive due to a close collaboration with industry, which is part of this PhD - albeit it is not an industrial PhD. The operationality in real design processes is important when researching and developing methods for assessing solutions and processes of circular economy. The same goes for policies.

In this project quantification of sustainability should include the three common pillars of sustainability (i.e. environmental, economic, and social) as well as cultural sustainability. Thus, sustainability will be quantified using energy and indoor climate calculations as well as LCA and Life Cycle Costing (LCC). LCA and LCC have been considered to be labour- and time consuming, and thus mainly practiced in order to achieve a sustainability certification. However, this has been altered in a BIM setting by working with visual programming so material volumes from the digital model can be 'extracted' instantaneously and linked directly to LCA/LCC 'calculations'. This process is in principle already automatable now and can be turned into a consumer message, such as CO2 or cost savings. However the information must include also social and cultural qualities, which are to be qualities. Thus, the weighing of both qualitative and quantitative data is an essential aspect of this project.

Candidates should have a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree in civil engineering or architectural engineering. Further desirable qualifications are work experience in an academic context, excellence in BIM with a strong interest in visual programming, interest in and knowledge of LCA and LCC, material science, experience with design processes in architecture and design methodology. A good command of the English language, both spoken and written, is essential. The candidate is expected to be self-motivated and to publish the project results in international peer-reviewed journals.

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

Assessment of the applicants will be made by and interdisciplinary academic committee headed by main supervisor Lotte Bjerregaard Jensen.

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Lotte Bjerregaard Jensen.

Please submit your online application no later than 30 September 2019.

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file.

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master’s degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

DTU Civil Engineering develops and utilizes science and technical knowledge for the benefit of society through a sustainable development of construction and the built environment. As part of a strong university, the department provides research, study programmes, innovation and research-based consultancy of the highest quality in civil engineering. The Department develops new knowledge and solutions for the challenges facing the construction industry based on classic disciplines of building research, as well as the monitoring and decoding of physical phenomena,we combine theory and practice.

DTU Civil Engineering has a special role in researching, educating and developing new construction engineering solutions for Arctic settings, for the benefit of society in both Denmark and Greenland. The department has a scientific staff of about 80 persons, 60 PhD students, and a technical/administrative support staff of about 50 persons.

Deadline: September 30, 2019
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