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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

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Kershaw, T.

European Commission


Project: EU Commission

  • Research Output

    A review of the Impact of Blue Space on the Urban Microclimate

    Ampatzidis, P. & Kershaw, T., 30 Apr 2020, In : Science of the Total Environment.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    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)

    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
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    31 Downloads (Pure)


    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