The world needs to build more than two billion new homes over the next 80 years


The global population is rising by 45 million each year. Edinburgh Napier University's Sean Smith examines what needs to happen for housing construction to keep pace with escalating demand...

Written by

Sean Smith

Director of the Institute for Sustainable Construction, Edinburgh Napier University - & contributor at PrimeResi

Sean Smith is Director of Institute for Sustainable Construction at Edinburgh Napier University He graduated with BSc First Class Honours in 1992 (Building Economics) and awarded Ph.D. in Building Acoustics from Heriot-Watt University in 1997. His research was funded by the EPSRC and the Defence Evaluation Research Agency. Invited post doctoral researcher at the Italian government and German government research laboratories in 1998-99. He joined the Building Performance Centre in 2001 and was RC UK Academic Fellow for 5 years. For eight years he was consultant with RMP Acoustics and in 2008 he was appointed as Professor of Construction Innovation. In 2010 he was appointed as Director of the Institute for Sustainable Construction and continues to lead many BPC research & knowledge transfer projects. He has worked abroad as a guest scientist in government research institutes in Canada (NRC), Italy (IENGF) and Germany (PTB). He has specialist expertise in product innovation, technical standards and sound insulation and winner of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize 2009 for his team’s applied research for “Innovation in housing delivering environmental benefit and quality of life”. He was joint co-Project Manager of the HBF Robust Standards Details Project and is a co-author of "Housing and Sound Insulation". He serves on the 2020 Climate Change sub-group for Energy, Infrastructure and Innovation and serves on the Built Environment sub group and is a founding member of Retrofit Scotland. Between 2009-2013 he was Chair of Cost Action TU0901 WG3, involving 32 countries assessing future sustainability standards and harmonisation relating to ISO 717. He is the co-inventor of 16 patented construction products which are manufactured in the UK and he led the Low Carbon Building Technologies Gateway project supporting SMEs with his research team in the development of 180 new products and systems. He is currently academic lead for the Advanced Construction theme part of the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre.

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