Norwegian version

Sustainable Built Environment (SustainaBuilt)

This research group belongs to the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design. We research sustainable engineering solutions for the built environment.

Our areas of interest include: Decarbonising the built environment, including existing buildings.

In order to achieve the global goal of zero Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, the energy use for servicing buildings with heating, cooling, lightning, ventilation etc., must be reduced, and low-exergy solutions must be employed.

We take into account the whole life cycle of the building, including embodied energy and GHG emissions for materials and fittings.

Smart buildings have more optimal design and operation, with the help of digital technology (e.g. multi-parameter optimisation, data-driven methods for building automation, individual demand-control), to maintain human health and productivity whilst reducing GHG emissions.

Built environment is not just isolated buildings, but a holistic look at whole neighbourhoods.

Increased urbanisation poses special challenges related to human health and comfort, such as protecting inhabitants and facades from exposure to poor outdoor air quality, extreme precipitation causing moisture damage and flooding, and the heat-island effect exacerbated by climate change.

But urbanisation also opens up opportunities for community-scale solutions such as renewable energy district heating/cooling and smartgrids with energy storage. 

Read more about SustainaBUILT on the research group's website (

Heads of research group

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  • Members

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  • More about the research

    The backdrop for our research is UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, most notably

    • Sustainable cities and communities
    • Affordable and clean energy
    • Good health and well-being
    • Clean water and sanitation (e.g. Legionella-free water supply)
    • Responsible consumption and production (taking into account the whole life-cycle of the building and its materials)
    • Climate action
    • Industry, innovation and infrastructure

    To achieve the above goals requires a highly multidisciplinary. The research group integrates researchers with expertise within:

    • Applied engineering — Building physics, building services and controls engineering, renewable energy production, numerical modelling and optimisation (of buildings and their technical services), metrology (we emphasise empirical evidence-based research; our laboratory and field measurement facilities are described below), and meteorology (weather data).
    • Health science s— Indoor environment for human health, comfort and productivity, for example indoor microbiology, indoor & outdoor air quality, and sanitation for buildings and health institutions.

    We are active in research networks, externally funded research contracts, and integrate research into teaching at bachelor, master and PhD level. We publish high-impact research, and exploit OsloMet's attractive and central location for scientific meetings.

    Research facilities

    Laboratory facilities

    • Climate chamber: 16 m² indoor climate chamber adjacent to a chilled outdoor climate chamber. We have used these to test passive cooling systems (phase change, thermal mass), construction U-value measurements, measuring glazing condensation risk, data-driven controls development, etc.
    • Emission exposure chamber with activated carbon filter ventilation/recirculation.
    • Microbiology laboratory including incubation equipment, microscopes and fume hoods.
    • Building services laboratory fitted with an experimentation/teaching air-handling-unit and hydronic heating system.
    • We also share access to the mechanical workshop and makerspace at the faculty.

    Computing facilities

    We have experience with many numerical modelling applications including:

    • Building physics: WUFI (pro, bio), Therm, U-calc
    • Computational fluid dynamics: Star CCM+
    • Generic system numerical modelling tools: EES, Matlab Simulink
    • Renewable energy: PV-sys, and models integrated in...
    • Advanced building energy modelling: IDA-ICE, EnergyPlus, with GenOpt or MOBO for multi-objective optimisation
    • Development and use of low-order models for building energy modelling (e.g. SIMIEN, TEK-sjekk), and whole neighbourhoods (ZENsim)
    • BIM applications including Revit, MagiCAD, OneClick LCA
    • Machine learning / symbolic regression: Eureqa
    • Statistics: SPSS, R

    Field instrumentation

    • Airborne pollutants: Particle/aerosol counters (Lasair, P-trak, AeroTrak, DustTrak, LAS-X, also experimental), gas monitors (TVOC, NOx, CO, CO2 , Sarad RTM & Canary radon meters, Lumasense 12-channel photoacoustic multigas/tracer gas monitor), BM Dustdetector for surfaces, Contact plate aspirators (SAS Super, Aquaria Microflow)
    • Biometrics/personal exposure: SidePak Personal Aerosol Monitor, Niox Mino Airway Inflammation Monitor, Shimmer GSR sweat & activity loggers, 24-thermocouple suit
    • Microbiological: Spore counters
    • Multipurpose loggers: INTAB PC-loggers, Arduino-microcontrollers for special monitoring studies, GPS-logging
    • Thermal: (thermocouples, PMV-parameters, globe, MRT and radiation asymmetry), thermography cameras, IR thermometers (ExTec, Thermopoint, Elma)
    • Temperature & humidity: Digitron RH/temp logger, Brüel & Kjær chilled-mirror hygrometer, Almemo psychrometer, and numerous TinyTag combined temp/RH loggers
    • Acoustics: Handheld sound level meters (Brüel & Kjær, Cirrus, Elma)Actinic: Lux meter, REFO 3-angle reflectometer
    • Airflow: Anemometers (Swema bidirectional or omnidirectional hot wire with loggers), and balometers (VelociCalc, Accubalance, Kimo, Alnor), Prandtl tubes, in-duct flow-cross, Minessota blower door, Flow visualization (Smoke generation)
    • Fluid flow: Greyline Portaflowm ultrasonic, Tour Anderson cumpeterized balancing instrument
    • Digital manometers: DPM, Swema 3000
    • Electrical power: 3-phase net analyzers (Chauvin Arnoux, Fluke and Hoiki), handheld single-phase meters, and plug-in end-use energy loggers
  • Projects

    Ongoing externally-financed projects

    • Healthy Energy-Efficient Urban Home Ventilation
    • ‘Green HVAC’ – Holistic carbon-footprinting of building services

    Ongoing faculty-funded research

    • IEA EBC Annex 81

    Completed externally-financed projects

    • SvalVent. Cool and comfortable demand-controlled ventilation, with individual control, for low-energy cooling of office buildings.
    • BestVent. Best demand-controlled Ventilation strategies to maximise air quality in occupied spaces and minimise energy use in empty spaces. Postdoctoral position and master-thesis in collaboration with SINTEF Community.
    • EEsettlement. Embodied Energy, Costs and Traffic in Different Settlement Patterns. Postdoctoral position via SINTEF Community.
    • KL-Tre SMART. Evaluation of the thermal properties of cross-laminated timber (CLT). OsloMet laboratory will be used for measurements.
    • High Performance Computing (HPC) project "Explicit High-Fidelity numerical methods for compressible flows" funded by the Research Council of Norway.

    Completed faculty-financed projects

    • Mehrdad Rabani – PhD-thesis “Retrofitting of Norwegian Office Buildings towards Nearly Zero Energy-Technical, Environmental, and Economic Aspects”.
    • Alex G. Caceres – PhD-thesis “Promoting cost-optimal energy retrofits through improved energy labelling”.
    • Anders B. Nygaard – PhD-thesis “Exploring the built environment microbiomes of Norwegian kindergartens and nursing homes”.

    Read more about the projects (

  • PhD projects

    • Alex G. Caceres: Promoting cost-optimal energy retrofits through improved energy labeling.
    • Mehrdad Rabani: Retrofitting of Non-Residential Buildings towards Nearly Zero Energy-Technical Environmental, and Economic Aspects.
  • Collaboration

    Academic and research institutions in Norway

    • Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU), Department of Energy and Process Engineering and the Centre for Sports Facilities & Technology (SIAT), in Trondheim, Norway: PhD training, student projects, and coauthorship.
    • Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Faculty of Science and Technology, in Ås, Norway: Student project collaboration.
    • SINTEF Community, in Oslo, Norway: Collaboration on student projects, contract research, and postdoc positions.
    • National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI): Collaboration on indoor air quality research.
    • Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO): Undergraduate teaching collaboration.
    • Norwegian Institute for Public Health (Folkehelseinstituttet): Development of asthma in children.
    • Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU): Student support in research projects.
    • Norwegian Institute of Wood Technology (Treteknisk). Student projects and contract research.

    Academic and research institutions abroad

    • Aalborg University (AAU), department of Civil Engineering, in Aalborg, Denmark: Collaboration on undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.
    • Technical University of Denmark (DTU), department of Civil Engineering: Collaboration on postgraduate teaching, and coauthorship.
    • Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures (CBS) Fungal Biodiversity Centre, The Netherlands.
    • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), Greece: Student and staff exchange, research collaboration, coauthorship.

    Private and public sector organisations

    We have supervised projects in collaboration with many companies.


    • GK Inneklima AS
    • Veidekke AS
    • Oras AS
    • ÅF (Engineering AS, Reinertsen AS, Infrastruktur AS)
    • NCC AS
    • Randem & Hübert AS
    • Aker Solutions AS
    • Agathon Borgen AS
    • Vestfold Klima & Ventilasjon AS
    • Euromiljø AS
    • BSI AS (bought by Windowmaster AS)
    • Airtight AS
    • SAAS Prosjekt
    • KE Automasjon AS


    • Norconsult AS
    • Multiconsult AS
    • Erichsen & Horgen AS
    • Sweco AS
    • AF gruppen
    • Rambøll AS
    • COWI AS
    • Ingenia AS
    • Asplan Viak AS
    • WSP Engineering AS
    • Hjellnes Consult AS
    • ThermoConsult AS
    • Energima AS
    • OBOS prosjekt AS
    • OEC Consulting AS

    Property management

    • Thon Gruppen
    • Forsvarsbygg
    • Undervisningsbygg Oslo KF
    • Sykehusbygg HF
    • Oslo universitetssykehus HF (OUS)
    • Omsorgsbygg Oslo KF
    • Eiendomsspar AS
    • Avantor AS
    • Jernbaneverket


    • Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE)
    • Directorate for building quality (DiBK)
    • Asker municipality
    • Drammen municipality
    • Ringerike municipality
    • Nord-Trøndelag fylkeskommune

    Manufacturers and suppliers

    • IMI Hydronic AS
    • Uponor AS
    • Swegon AS
    • Systemair AS
    • Flexit AS
    • Camfil AS
    • SunNet AS
    • Spesialprodukter Sør AS
    • Munters AS
    • F-tech AS
    • Splitkon AS
    • Glava AS


    • Norwegian Energy and Environmental Engineering Association (NEMITEK AS)
    • Norwegian Heat Pump Association (NOVAP)
    • International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA)
    • Standard Norway
    • Ingénieurs sans frontiers
    • Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association (NAAF)
    • Fagrådet for våtrom (FFV)