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Sustainable Development of Rural Villages. The limits of thermal comfort and impacts of air movement and/or radiant heat exchange. Global warming at the extremes and impacts on the built environment and people.

  • 241 Citations
  • 9 h-Index
1983 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Google Scholar h-Index

13 Last updated 25 June 2020.


Professor Adrian Pitts joined the University of Huddersfield in 2012 where he is Professor of Sustainable Architecture. He leads the Sustainable Environments and Practice research group within CUDAS (the Centre for Urban Design, Architecture and Sustainability) which he also co-directs, in the Department of Architecture and 3D Design. He has taught environmental and energy efficient design, supervised numerous research projects and research students, and published widely over a period exceeding 25 years in three different Universities. Cross-disciplinary initiatives have characterised his academic career and he has been involved with many teaching and research activities spanning the fields of: architecture, engineering, planning, environment and landscape, policy and urban development.

His undergraduate studies were in the fields of energy studies and engineering (BSc Tech) from the University of Sheffield. He followed this with a PhD in the area of building environmental design involving an industrial collaborator and sponsor. This doctoral level research concerned air movement and energy flows in a complex industrial building with a view to optimisation of air conditioning systems and efficient environmental design. The knowledge and skills gained in the manipulation of environmental monitoring software and hardware led to subsequent employment within the energy group of a computer systems company.

He returned to the University of Sheffield to take up a lectureship in Building Science and later moved to the School of Architecture where his lecturing and teaching duties focused on energy efficiency, environmental design, and building services. He was Course Director for a group of masters’ level degrees during which period he increased substantially student numbers from the UK and around the world. His research and teaching interests grew over this period from being initially focused on buildings and building components to encompass the much larger scale of urban issues and planning. During this period he led and coordinated a number of multi-institutional projects funded by the European Union (EU) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

In 2007 he transferred to Sheffield Hallam University where he was awarded the title of Professor of Sustainable Architecture and played a leading management role alongside staff of other disciplines including geography and housing. He held a number of posts including Departmental Research and Scholarship Leader and was Course Leader for the MSc Technical Architecture. He was involved in a number of research projects including into energy consumption in dwellings and barriers to energy efficiency and take up of renewable energy technologies by social housing tenants. He also played a significant role in the cross-university Sustainability Group with involvement from all faculties and subject areas.

Adrian was appointed to the Head of Department of Architecture and 3D Design at the University of Huddersfield in 2012 with a brief to expand the research activity in the subject area. His role changed in 2015 to give greater emphasis on research in the environmental design and sustainability fields and expansion of involvement in other areas including Chairi of the University’s Education for Sustainable Development Forum for 3 years. 

One of the main thrusts of his current research concerns sustainability in China and specifically in rural and village areas. This research has been supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (Project title: Sustainable and Creative Villages Network; total value £60k, AHRC contribution £48k) and the Vernacular Architecture Group (Project title: Dwellings of Dai Ethnic Minority Villages, China; total value £8.5k). He is also involved with projects concerned with thermal comfort in warm climates and low energy design. He has held visiting Chair positions in different Chinese Universities.


Research Expertise and Interests

  • Smart and sustainable design for climate change
  • Sustainability of rural development in China 
  • Comfort and energy use in buildings
  • Energy efficient design and use of renewable energy in buildings/built environment
  • Integrated planning and design strategies to promote and encourage sustainability


Research Degree Supervision

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Research Expertise and Interests

  • Design of Buildings
  • How People Use Buildings
  • Sustainability
  • Environment Sustainability
  • Design Quality

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Research Output

Optimising Comfort in Rural Villages of SW China

Pitts, A., Gao, Y. & Le, V., 19 Apr 2020, Proceedings of 11th Windsor Conference on Thermal Comfort: Resilient Comfort. Roaf, S., Nicol, F. & Finlayson, W. (eds.). Oxford: Ecohouse Initiative Ltd, p. 693-709 17 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Open Access
  • Sustaining China's Villages: Making a Difference to Rural Village Regeneration

    Pitts, A., Gao, Y. & Chang, A. C-L., 13 Jan 2020

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

  • Urban Morphology and Outdoor Microclimate around the “Shophouse” Dwellings in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Dang, T. & Pitts, A., 1 Mar 2020, In : Buildings. 10, 3, 22 p., 40.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • A survey on electrical appliance use and energy consumption in Vietnamese households: Case study of Tuy Hoa city

    Le, V. & Pitts, A., 15 Aug 2019, In : Energy and Buildings. 197, p. 229-241 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)

    Diversity in Dwelling Design to Provide Comfortable Environments

    Pitts, A. & Gao, Y., 1 Nov 2019, Diversity and Mutualism - Excellent Works: The 4th "CSCEC Cup" Western "5+2" Biennial Exhibition of Environmental Art and Design. Chen, J. (ed.). China Architecture & Building Press, p. 314-315 2 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access
  • Activities

    35 Passive and Low Energy Architecture Conference: Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design

    Yun Gao (Participant) & Adrian Pitts (Participant)

    1 Sep 20203 Sep 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipating in a conference, workshop, ...

    Sustaining China's Villages

    Adrian Pitts (Organiser) & Yun Gao (Organiser)

    13 Jan 202025 Jan 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

    7th Symposium of Sustainable and Creative Villages Research Network - SW China

    Adrian Pitts (Organiser), Yun Gao (Organiser) & Ching-Lan Chang (Participant)

    22 Nov 201923 Nov 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

    Comparison of the Urban Villages in Kunming City of China and those in Hanoi City in Vietnam

    Yun Gao (Keynote speaker) & Adrian Pitts (Keynote speaker)

    22 Nov 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Sustainable Design of Dwellings in Rural Southwest China – Improving Environmental Conditions and Performance

    Adrian Pitts (Keynote speaker) & Yun Gao (Keynote speaker)

    15 Nov 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk