Cardiff School of Art & Design>Staff>Dr John Richard Littlewood

Dr John Richard Littlewood BSc (hons) PhD FHEA ACIAT

t: 02920 416676

Specialist Subject Areas

Architectural Science & Technology; Building Performance Evaluation; Building Diagnostics and Surveying; Building Fire Performance – the Safety Gap; Biodiversity & Organic Food Production; Building Services Engineering; Environmental Design, Construction and Operation of Buildings; Housing; Sustainable & Resilient Buildings; Sustainable Energy & Water.


ISO18436 PCN Level I (General) Accredited and Level II (Civil Engineering) Accredited Infra-Red Thermography, British Institute of Non Destructive Testing (2014).
Domestic Air Tightness Testing Accredited, British Institute of Non Destructive Testing (2014).
Domestic Air Tightness Testing Qualified, Building Science Research Information Association (2012).
ISO18436 PCN Level I Thermographer, Certified – InfraRed Training Centre, Flir (2011).
PhD: A study of the design and thermal performance of two storey earth sheltered houses (2001).
BSc (Hons) First in Building Surveying (1996)


John trained as a Building Surveyor before specialising as an Architectural Technologist with a bias in Environmental Sustainability, and also Building and Systems Performance Evaluation. He has 24 years’ experience in academia and industry. John has worked with numerous housing charities, housing associations, Universities and also one of Europe’s leading Design and Engineering consultancies: BDP, in Sustainable Consultancy. John graduated from his bachelor’s degree (1996) and PhD (2001) at the University of South Wales, where he worked as a Lecturer from 1997, Post-Doc Research Fellow from 2001 and Lecturer/Senior Lecturer from 2003 to 2006. John’s research contributed to the Advanced Materials Research Unit and he provided lecturing to a number of Built Environment programmes including Architectural Technology. John was part of the team that established Wales’ first CIAT Accredited Architectural Technology degree and also the first CIBSE Accredited BEng Building Services Engineering degree and masters programmes. In late 2006, John moved to the University of the West England as Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, where he taught on both the Building Surveying programmes and also the Architectural Technology and Design degree. John joined Cardiff Metropolitan in 2007, as a Senior Lecturer in Architectural Design & Technology.

John has published over 90 peer reviewed outputs, and in 2017, John is co-editor of three special issue Journals, to be published in 2017 and 2018:
i). Building Services Engineering Research & Technology;
ii). Engineering Sustainability and
iii). The International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation - 'Smart Strategies' for Resilient Building Adaptation and Retrofit'.

John’s first book Smart Energy Control Systems for Sustainable Buildings' was published in June 2017, co-edited with Dr Catalina Spataru of the UCL Energy Institute (, Professor Robert Howlett of KES International ( and Professor Lakhmi C. Jain of Bournemouth University. John has co-authored the eighth book chapter with John Cosgrove who is undertaking a Professional Doctorate in Engineering in the school due for completion in 2017:

John is CSAD’s Professional Doctorate Coordinator and created the first pathway in the school of this programme in 2009: Ecological Building Practices (D.EBP). In 2010 and 2016, John contributed to the redesign, five year review and revalidation of the Professional Doctorate programme. In 2016, John led the creation of a new pathway in Engineering (D.Eng) coordinated by CSAD, with contributions from CSM and PDR. In addition, John led the revamp of the D.EBP into the Sustainable Built Environment pathway (D.SBE), and contributed to the development of one of five pathways in Professional Practice (D.Prof). John welcomes applications from practioners interested to pursue any of these three Professional Doctorate pathways:

John founded (in 2009) and Heads the Ecological Built Environment Research & Enterprise (EBERE) group ( as a mechanism to develop and promote research, enterprise, learning and teaching in the sustainable architecture & built environment fields, where none existed before at Cardiff Met – before he joined in 2007. EBERE is a recognised research theme in CSAD and the Welsh Institute for Research in Art & Design and John has led/is leading research and enterprise projects funded by the EPSRC, InnovateUK, KESS1 and KESS2 – ESF, ERDF, Building Contractors, Bridgend Council, University grants, Coastal Housing Group: and other housing associations. EBERE brings together research in a wide area including: assessment of energy and resource use in the built environment; building fabric and system performance assessment; fire performance – the safety gap; evaluation of occupancy and user behaviour in buildings; optimised design and construction manufacturing and solutions for resilient and sustainable housing; and also heritage building information modelling in Wales.

John works closely with Professor George Karani (, John Counsell, Nick Evans, Anthony Whyman, Dr Mahmood Alam and Paul Wilgeroth in EBERE. In addition, John collaborates with Professor Andrew Geens of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers, Professor Chris Gorse of the Leeds Sustainability Institute, Professor Steve Goodhew of the University of Plymouth, and Assistant Professor Alfonso Capozolli of the Politecnico di Torino, Italy.

John has been active with the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) since the early 2000s and is part of the Welsh branch. He has been a member of a number of national CIAT committees, including the Research Committee. John is active in various international conferences founding and Chairing tracks and sessions including the Biodiversity and the Built Environment track at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors COBRA conference in 2009 and 2010. Since 2011 John has chaired numerous invited and general tracks in Sustainable Buildings, and Monitoring Environmental Performance at the Sustainability and Energy in Buildings (SEB) International Conference (SEB’11, SEB’12, SEB’13, SEB’14, SEB’15, SEB16, SEB17. John has Chaired the SEB14 and is Chairing the SEB17 conferences: and

Current research

John is an applied researcher with an entrepreneurial approach. In addition to heading EBERE (see above) John is a member of the Wales Institute of Research in Art & Design (WIRAD) and a member of Community Housing Cymru’s ( Energy Group, Fire Safety Group and Technical Services Forum. Over the years his research and enterprise interests have merged and become diverse. John leads projects for industry, often securing grants and funding to address operational and strategic business challenges that tend to be inter-disciplinary in their nature. He also designs and supervises PhDs & Professional Doctorates in areas such as Benchmarking Food-Production & Novel Beehives; Assessing the Thermal Performance in New Low Carbon Dwellings & Retrofitted Deprived Dwellings; Novel Heating & Cooling Systems for Buildings, such as building integrated earth tubes and micro-biomass; Rammed earth and Straw-bale Construction; Mapping and Reducing Energy Use in Manufacturing Medical Devices; and Developing Water Mitigation and Reuse Strategies for Irrigating Commercial Buildings in the Middle East. His core interests lie in Optimising the Design, Construction & Operation of new and existing Housing; Diagnostic Monitoring and Testing of Performance in Buildings and impacts upon Occupant health, energy use and comfort; Fire Performance in Buildings – the Safety Gap; and Sustainable Buildings and Resources.

A common theme in them all is a desire to place people, their homes and communities at the heart of research, aimed at creating ‘real world’ impact, for a sustainable and resilient future.

Principal Publications, Exhibitions and Awards

View Dr Littlewood’s papers and publications on Cardiff Metropolitan University’s DSpace repository.

Selected Journal Articles, Book Chapters & Patents (recent and ‘in press’)

• Littlewood J., Spataru C. & Howlett B., Jain, L.C. 2017. Smart Energy Control Systems for Sustainable Buildings. Springer, Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies series. Vol 67. March. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-52076-6.

• LITTLEWOOD, J, R. ALAM, M. GOODHEW, S. 2017. A new methodology for the selective measurement of building performance and safety. Energy Procedia Journal. Vol. tbc, February, pp. TBC.

• LITTLEWOOD, J, R. SMALLWOOD, I. One year temperature and heat pump performance for a micro-community of low carbon dwellings, in Wales, UK. Energy Procedia Journal. Vol. tbc, February, pp. TBC.

• Cosgrove J., Littlewood J, & Wilgeroth P., 2017. "Development of a Framework of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Identify Reductions in Energy Consumption in a Medical Devices Production Facility", International Journal of Ambient Energy (IJAE), Taylor & Francis. January. pp, 1-12.

• Gorse, C. Brooke-Peat, M. Booth, C. Crosse, J. Erkoreka, A. Fitton, R. Fletcher, M. Goodhew, S. Gledson, B. Fylan, F. Glew, D. Johnston, D. Littlewood, J. R. Meuleman, J. Miles-Shenton, M. Parker, J. Pomponi, J. Scott, L. Thomas, F. 2017. Building Performance Evaluation. Chartered Institute of Builders, Epsom, UK. (inpress).

• Cosgrove J., Littlewood J. & Wilgeroth P. 2017. Development of a holistic method to analyse the consumption of energy and technical services in manufacturing facilities, Chapter Nine. In: 'Smart Energy Control Systems for Sustainable Buildings'. Editors: Littlewood J., Spataru C. & Howlett B., ISSN: 2190-3018, Vol 67. Springer, Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies series. March.

• Seguela, G. Littlewood, J. R. Karani, G. 2017. Onsite food waste processing as an opportunity to conserve water in a medical facility case study, Abu Dhabi. Energy Procedia Journal. Vol. tbc, February, pp. TBC.

• LITTLEWOOD, J, R. SMALLWOOD, I. 2016. In-construction tests show rapid smoke spread across dwellings.  Journal of Engineering Sustainability. 23 May.

• ATKINSON, J. LITTLEWOOD, J, R. GEENS, A, J. KARANI. 2016. Relieving fuel poverty in Wales with external wall insulation. Journal of Engineering Sustainability. April 2016.

• Cosgrove J., Rivas Duarte M. J., Littlewood J & Wilgeroth P. 2016. "An Energy Mapping Methodology for reducing CO2 emissions from Manufacturing Operations", Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture. September.

• MARAIS, P. LITTLEWOOD, J, R. KARANI. 2015. The use of polymer stabilised earth foundations for rammed earth construction. Energy Procedia Journal. Volume 83, December 2015, Pages 464–473.

• ATKINSON, J. LITTLEWOOD, J. R. KARANI. G. GEENS, A, J. 2015. Did ARBED I save energy in Wales? deprived dwellings. Energy Procedia, December, pp. 444-453.

• LITTLEWOOD, J. R. DAVIES, G, J. SMALLWOORD, I. 2014. Energy and Environmental Performance of the Abertridwr Community – First Winter Season. Energy Procedia, Volume 62, December, Pages 532–542.

• Hammoudi, A. Karani, G. Littlewood, J, R. 2014. Road traffic accidents amongst drivers in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Journal of Traffic Logistics & Engineering. Vol 2. Pp 7-12.

• NOORAEI, M. LITTLEWOOD, J. R. EVANS, N. I. 2013. Feedback from occupants in ‘as designed’ low-carbon apartments, a case study in Swansea, UK. Energy Procedia, Volume 42 – Elsevier, November 2013, pp. 446-456.

• LITTLEWOOD, J, R. 2013. Chapter Four – Assessing and monitoring the thermal performance of dwellings, Chapter Four. In: Architectural Technology: Research & Practice. Editor: EMMITT, S. Wiley Blackwell, Oxford, UK.

• HOPPER, J.; LITTLEWOOD, J.; GEENS, A.; KARANI, G., COUNSELL, J. AND THOMAS, A. 2012. Assessing retrofitted external wall insulation using infrared thermography. Structural Survey. 30 (3), pp.245 – 266.

Selected Conference Papers / Presentations (recent)

• Cosgrove J., Doyle F., O'Neill M., Littlewood J. & Wilgeroth P., 2016. A methodology for verified energy savings in manufacturing facilities through changes in operational behaviour. International Conference on Energy Efficiency in Industry, European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ECEEE). Berlin, Germany. September. Cited at:

• Seguela, G. Littlewood, J. R. Karani, G. 2016. A study to assess the suitability of soil improvements for reducing the use of potable water for irrigation in a semi-arid climate medical facility case study, Abu Dhabi. 5th International Eco Summit, Ecological Sustainability, Engineering Change, 29 August- 1 September 2016 Montpellier, France.

• Gorse. C. Littlewood, J.R. Goodhew, S. Miles-Shenton, D. Farmer, D. Glew, D. Thomas, F. 2016. Building quality: Consequences of failure to seal infiltration and exfiltration pathways through the fabric. International SEEDS Conference 2016: Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society. 14-15 September 2016, Leeds, UK.

• Alhazim, M. Littlewood, J, R. Canavan, K. Carey, P. 2015. Responses of Kuwaiti Government dwellings occupants regarding their perception, preferences and behaviours in their current dwelling. Published in the proceedings of the AEI Conference 2015, March 24-27, 2015, Milwaukee, Wisconsin [2015].

• BUTLER. T. J. LITTLEWOOD, J. R. GEENS, A. J. 2014. Earth Tube Systems: Tempering Fresh Air in a Canadian Climate. Paper presented as a poster at – CIBSE/ASHRAE Technical Symposium, Dublin, Ireland, 3-4 April 2014. Cited at:

•  Hammoudi, A. Karani, G. and Littlewood, J. 2013. Causes of traffic accidents among pedestrians in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Proc. 2nd International Conference on Computational Techniques and Artificial Intelligence (ICCTAI'2013), Eds. March 17-18, 2013 Dubai (UAE), pp 207-211.

•  LITTLEWOOD, J. R. TOLEDO, L. 2012. Knowledge 'place' map of Swansea – The Urban Village Project. Paper presented and published in the proceedings for The Production of Place 2012 International Conference, University of East London, UK; 8th to 9th December 2012. Cited at:

• HOPPER, J. LITTLEWOOD, J, R. GEENS, A, J. FOX, C. COUNSELL, J. A. THOMAS, A. 2012. Developing monitoring protocols for dwellings undergoing low carbon retrofit solutions, Wales, UK. Paper presented and published in the conference proceedings for the Retrofit 2012 Conference, 24-26 January 2012, University of Salford, Salford, UK. Cited at:

• LITTLEWOOD, J, R. TAYLOR, T. DAVIES, G. JOHN. D. How to minimise space heating to dwellings in Wales, UK through the use of exhaust air source heat pumps: results of a post-occupancy monitoring study in Bargoed, UK. Paper accepted to be presented as a poster and published in the proceedings for the World Sustainable Building Conference SB11 Helsinki, 18-21st October 2011, Finnish Association of Civil Engineers, Helsinki, Finland.

LITTLEWOOD, J. R. TAYLOR. T. GOODHEW. S. EVANS. N. I. COUNSELL. J. A. M. WHYMAN. A. WILGEROTH. P. 2011. Development of a thermography protocol for the in-construction testing of the thermal performance of low carbon dwellings. Paper presented as a poster and published in the proceedings of the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers Technical Symposium, 6-7 September 2011, Demontford University, Leicester, UK.

• HATHERLEY, S. LITTLEWOOD, J, R. COUNSELL, J. A. GEENS, A, J. SINNETT, N. An exploration of the challenges facing developers of affordable dwellings following low carbon and ecological principles, in rural locations in Wales, UK. Paper accepted to be presented as an oral presentation and published in the proceedings for the World Sustainable Building Conference SB11 Helsinki, 18-21st October 2011, Finnish Association of Civil Engineers, Helsinki, Finland, pp. forthcoming.


Best general conference track: Sustainable Buildings, Mediterranean Green Energy Forum (MGEF13), and 5th Sustainability and Energy in Buildings International Conference Fez, Morocco, June 2013.

Best invited conference track: Assessment and monitoring the environmental performance of buildings, 4th Sustainability and Energy in Buildings International Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, September 2012;

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors prize. Building Surveying (1996)

Selected Enterprise and Grant Awards

• Upper Llynfi Valley Feasibility Study in collaboration with SPECIFIC, Swansea University, and Bridgend Council (+18 other partners), £8.25K;
• KESS2 PhD Scholarship with Prof G Karani, Dr Jo Atkinson, ESF / Being Greener Melin Homes, £54.6K, 2016;
• Cardiff Metropolitan University Research Innovation Award (Level II), in collaboration with Wales and the West Housing Association Linc-Cymru Housing Association, and Leeds Sustainability Institute, £72K, 2016.
• Cardiff Metropolitan University Research Enterprise Investment Fund, in collaboration with Coastal Housing Group and the University of Plymouth, £114k, 2015.
• Short KTP with Morganstone Building Contractors (in collaboration with Coastal Housing Group) InnovateUK/Welsh Government £73K, 2015;
• Short KTP with Greenhill Building Contractors (in collaboration Melin Homes) Welsh Government £50K, 2013;
• Technology Strategy Board / United Welsh Housing Association – Building Performance Evaluation, £60K, 2012;
• Reverse SIP with Geoff Pettifor, £3K, 2011;
• HEFCU Donation Top-Up – £14K, 2011;
• Coastal Housing Group Donation – £28K, 2010;
• KESS PhD Scholarship with Prof A. Geens, ESF / Coastal Housing Group, £54.6K, 2010;
• KESS PhD Scholarship with Prof A. Geens & J. Counsell, ESF/ Pembrokeshire Housing Association, £54.6K 2010;
• ERDF / Coastal Housing Group with Evans, Counsell, Low Carbon Built Environment, led by Cardiff University, £279K of £34Million, 2010.
• KESS PhD Scholarship with Prof A. Geens & J. Counsell (ESF / Coastal Housing Group, £54.6K, 2009);
• KESS PhD Scholarship with Prof A. Geens & J. Counsell (ESF/ United Welsh Housing Association, £54.6K 2009);
• Double Associate KTP with Prof. Brooksbank and Evans, National Botanic Garden of Wales, TSB/WG, £257K, 2009;
• UWIC Capital Bids, £7.5K, 2008;
• EPSRC research grant, led by University of Salford – £175K of £2.5Million, 2008.

University of the West of England
• Classic two year KTP with Two Rivers Housing Association, Forest of Dean £78K, 2007, Lead Supervisor working with Academic Lead;
• Building Design Partnership, – £10K, 2006.

University of South Wales (formerly University of Glamorgan)
• Pontypridd Parish Council, – £5K, 2005.
• Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists – PhD Scholarship, £1K, 2004.
• EPSRC CASE Award for a PhD Scholarship – £56K, 2004.
• Highbury Builders Collective, – £13K, 204.
• Science and Research Initiative Fund, £21K, 2002.
• RAE Equipment Fund, £30K, 2002;
• Capital Equipment Fund, £15K, 1999.
• Ecology Building Society, £2K, 1997.

Doctoral Supervision

Simon Hatherley – An examination of development models for low innovative low carbon ecological dwellings for rural areas of Wales.
Trevor Butler – A study to investigate the potential of earth tube systems to provide an energy efficient method of cooling buildings.
Naimi Ali – A study to investigate pollution of coastal marine life in Qatar.
Paul Marais – A study to develop a Rammed Earth housing standard for South Africa.
Geraldine Seguela – A study to develop a holistic ecological model for medical facilities in Abu Dhabi.
Jon Moorhouse – Developing strategies for wider stock housing retrofit using an analysis of survey databases that reflects field observations from retrofit prototype monitoring schemes.
John Cosgrove – Mapping energy use in a manufacturing facility in Ireland.
Christina Hirst – developing a legal and financial model for renewable facilities as investment assets.
Kevin Rentz – Frank Lloyd Wright and Ecological Design in the 21stCentury.
Mohammad Alhazim – Developing a design guide for Kuwaiti Government dwellings.
KESS2 PhD scholar to commence April 2017 - An evaluation of retrofit measures on residential typologies in Wales, and assessing impacts upon energy performance, and occupant fuel poverty, health and wellbeing and thermal comfort

Mr David L Hood – Optimising biomass energy systems of less than one Megawatt (2016 – MprofPrac Ecological Building Practices).
Dr. Jo Atkinson – Evaluating external wall insulation (2015).
Dr. Abdullah Hammoudi – A Study to benchmark and investigate strategies to reduce road traffic collisions and casualties in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (2014).
Dr Jim Carfrae – The Moisture Performance of Straw Bale Construction in a Temperate Maritime Climate (2011).
Dr Robin Cook – A study of allotments and small land plots benchmarking for: vegetable food crop production (2006).