UCL Home

Mohammed Bakkali

Research subject

Thesis title: Developing a Climate-Responsive Urbatecture combining land use, street canyons and building forms in an integrated, multi-scaled approach reducing energy demand and GHG emissions, improving comfort and health in London and the UK

Primary supervisor: Professor Mike Davies
Secondary supervisor: Professor Philip Steadman
Sponsor: EPSRC
Starting date: 27 September 2010
Projected completion date: September 2014-15

Our understanding of how weather varies across London and how the city’s microclimates will intensify heat, cold and air pollution in the future is incomplete. There is a pressing need to target priority areas of the city and to promote design guidance on climate change mitigation strategies. As a result of the improving accuracy of local weather data in London, an opportunity is emerging for designers of the built environment to measure the impact of their designs on local urban climate. Urbatecture refers to a medium-scale incorporating urban design and building scales. Working at this scale could reduce inaccuracies in weather and energy predictions, help to develop inter-linkages between assessment tools, and measure the net impact of the urban environment on the local urban climate. My research focuses on developing a climate-responsive design framework tailored to the early design stages from buildings to neighbourhoods. This will create tools for masterplanning as well as the design of individual buildings, making use of climate-responsive built form indicators and modelling tools. The framework will highlight key features of the urban environment that affect local urban climate by interlinking land use, street canyons and building forms and assessing them in a multi-scaled approach. This is necessary because building regulations alone cannot provide for all aspects of the environmental design process especially those that take place at city and neighbourhood scales. Such a framework could be used to update planning policies, design guidance, environmental assessment methods and modelling tools to be more climate-responsive and to support existing building regulations.


I am currently an EPSRC funded PhD candidate in Environmental Design & Engineering at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL and an ‘Entente Cordiale’ scholar. I have an academic and professional background in the fields of architecture, urban design and town-planning.

As a climate & building energy modeller and built form analyst, my principal research interest is in developing a multi-scaled approach to the local urban climate. It brings together neighbourhood to building scales with the goal of developing climate-responsive design guidance and modelling tools. This research will contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and will promote energy savings, public health and comfort in the urban environment.

Publications and other work