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Research interests

Tristan is a lecturer in climate resilience; his research is in the area of building physics, investigating the effects of climate change on the built environment, the origin and manipulation of the heat island effect, the adaptation building designs and increasing the resilience of the built environment to climatic change.

Tristan is a building physicist who specialises in the effects of climate change on the built environment. He received an MPhys in Physics in 2004 and completed a PhD in experimental low-temperature solid-state physics in 2008 (both from the University of Exeter).

After completing his PhD, he joined the Centre for Energy and the Environment at the University of Exeter as a research fellow in climate change adaptation. His research focused on the creation of future weather for building simulation, thermal modelling of different buildings and designing adaptation strategies looking at impacts on energy usage, comfort levels, human health and productivity under different projections of climate change.

Tristan received the CIBSE Napier Shaw Medal in 2012 for his part in the creation of probabilistic future weather years using the outputs of UKCP09 as part of the EPSRC-funded PROMETHEUS project.


For a building to be considered truly sustainable it has to be sustainable over its entire life cycle, not just for a few years after construction; however, optimising architecture and construction for a particular location and climate presents problems when we consider anthropogenic climate change. Thus far this particular aspect of sustainability has gone largely unexplored resulting in the construction of low carbon buildings, which may function in the short-term but fail in the longer-term. Tristan’s research is concerned with how we can improve our buildings to maintain performance over their whole life in the face of a changing climate and how we can adapt urban areas to become resilient to the impacts of climate change.

Current research projects include:

  • UMBRELLA: Business model innovation for high-performance buildings supported by whole life optimisation (EU FP7).

Willing to supervise PhD

Interested in supervising students studying:

  • Zero carbon design
  • Life cycle optimisation of building design
  • Climate change resilience of buildings and urban areas
  • The urban heat island

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Tristan Kershaw is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 4 Similar Profiles
Climate change Engineering & Materials Science
building Social Sciences
climate change Earth & Environmental Sciences
climate Earth & Environmental Sciences
weather Earth & Environmental Sciences
heat island Earth & Environmental Sciences
energy Social Sciences
cooling Earth & Environmental Sciences

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Projects 2014 2020


Kershaw, T.

European Commission


Project: EU Commission

Energy efficiency
Sustainable development
Energy utilization

Research Output 2007 2019

Can Passivhaus save the planet? Probably not

Shawa, B., Kershaw, T. & Natarajan, S., 11 Jun 2019, 6th Annual LoLo Conference for Early Career Researchers: Building Energy Resilience. Loughborough University

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

Modern Building Design: Evidencing changes in engineering and design practice

Kershaw, T., 11 Dec 2019, Modern Building Design. The Crowood Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)
2 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)

A socio-mathematical approach to exploring conflicts between energy retrofit and perceived heritage character

Okutan, R. S., Kershaw, T., Herrera Fernandez, M. & Coley, D., 15 Jun 2018, In : Building and Environment. 138, p. 11-20 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
energy saving
Energy conservation
29 Citations (Scopus)
157 Downloads (Pure)

A Review of Current and Future Weather Data for Building Simulation

Herrera, M., Natarajan, S., Coley, D., Kershaw, T., Ramallo Gonzalez, A. P., Eames, M., Fosas, D. & Wood, M., 1 Sep 2017, In : Building Services Engineering Research & Technology. 38, 5, p. 602-627 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Climate change
Hot Temperature


Creation of Hot Summer Years and Evaluation of Overheating Risk at a High Spatial Resolution under a Changing Climate

Author: Liu, C., 3 Nov 2017

Supervisor: Coley, D. (Supervisor), Kershaw, T. (Supervisor) & Natarajan, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD