Professor Marialena Nikolopoulou

Programme Director: MSc Architecture and the Sustainable Environment
Director of Research


Professor of Sustainable Architecture, Marialena Nikolopoulou was educated as an architectural engineer and specialised in environmental design. After a short period in consultancy, she returned to the University of Cambridge for her PhD.

Before joining Kent in 2011, where she founded the Centre for Architecture and Sustainable environment, she worked at the University of Bath, where she founded the EDEn Research Unit and the Centre for Renewable Energy Sources in Greece, where she developed and co-ordinated the EU-funded project, ‘RUROS’ on urban comfort.

Her research interests concentrate on environmental performance of buildings and urban spaces, thermal comfort, along with occupant perception and use of space.

Marialena has an international profile and is frequently invited as a speaker at conferences and workshops around the world. She has received awards from diverse bodies, including the 2001 prestigious Human Biometeorology Scientific Award from the International Society of Biometeorology and the PLEA 2000 and 2009 awards.  Her research has been funded by the EU, EPSRC, AHRC, TSB, HLF, RIBA, UK Science Bridges, WIMEK from The Netherlands as well as local government.

External Responsibilities

  • Panel Member for evaluation of R&D in the built environment in Estonia, Estonian Research Council (2017)
  • Standing Review Board Member of Humanities and Social Sciences Panel of Research Grants Council, Hong Kong (from 2015)
  • Steering Committee of CIBSE Environmental Design Guide A (from 2015)
  • Panel Member of the 2014 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2014) for Hong Kong, University Grants Committee
  • Panel Member for the Hellenic Quality Assurance and Accreditation Agency for Higher Education (HQA) in Greece for the Evaluation of Architectural Engineering, Democritus University (2013)
  • Member of the EPSRC Peer Review College (from 2012)
  • Member of the DCLG Behavioural Research Network (2011-2013)
  • Peer reviews for EPSRC, MRC, EU Framework Programmes, research councils of Netherlands, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus, Welsh Government, Israel, Qatar and Hong-Kong.

Research Interests

  • EPSRC “Urban albedo computation in high latitude locations: an experimental approach” with the universities of Brunel and Loughborough (2017-2020)
  • WIMEK Visiting Research Fellow, Wageningen Institute for Environment and Climate Research (2017-18)
  • AHRC Cultural Engagement Fund “Sensory Navigation in the Canterbury Journey” with Canterbury Cathedral (2016)
  • Heritage Lottery Funds via Thanet District Council “Exemplar Climate Change Project, for the sustainable refurbishment and extensive monitoring of a heritage townhouse in Dalby Square, Margate” (2015-2018)
  • Tianjin University Innovation Base, Ministry of Education of China “Low-carbon city and architecture” Innovation Base Introducing International Talents (2012-2017).
  • EPSRC “Digital Economy: Communities and Culture Network+” with the universities of Leeds, Sussex and Aberdeen (2012-2016)
  • E-iNet “Develop performance specifications for climate change adaptation strategies for the architectural brief and a detailed monitoring protocol for the monitoring and evaluation of the refurbished heritage townhouse in Margate” with Daedalus Environmental (2015)
  • AHRC Creative Exchange Lab (via Lancaster University) “Paths of Desire” (2015)
  • EPSRC “Mapping the lived experience of food bank clients and volunteers” Scoping study funded by the “Communities and Culture Network+” (2013-2014)
  • AHRC Communities, Cultures, Environments and Sustainability pilot “Eco-cultural production in a Changing World” (2013)
  • TSB "Building Performance Evaluation of the Jarman School of Arts" (2012-2014) with Hawkins/Brown architects and Arup M&E builders
  • EPSRC "Digital Economy: Communities and Culture Network+" (2012-2015), with the Universities of Leeds, Sussex and Aberdeen
  • EPSRC "Shades of Grey – Towards a Science of Interventions for Eliciting and Detecting Notable Behaviours" (2010-2013), with the Universities of Swansea, UCL, Bath, Essex, Leeds Metropolitan, UEL, Arts London, Nottingham and York
  • EPSRC "Integration of active and passive indoor thermal environment control systems to minimise the carbon footprint of airport buildings" (2009-2012), with the Universities of Brunel, City, Loughborough and De Montford
  • EPSRC "Coincident Probabilistic climate change weather data for a Sustainable built Environment" (2008-2011), with the Universities of Manchester, Sheffield, Bath, Herriot Watt and Northumbria
  • GWR "Developing low energy contemporary buildings for hot arid regions" Great Western Research co-funded by the South-West Regional Development Agency and Hoare Lea (2008-2011), with the Universities of Bath and UWE
  • EU URBAN-NET "The potential impact of climate change on heat stress in different building structures and cities across Europe" (2008-2009) with the Universities of Gothenburg and Freiburg
  • SET2 partnership "Personal perception of air pollution in the urban environment" UK-US Collaboration programme (2008) with the University of California San Diego
  • University of Bath "Monitoring comfort conditions in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering" (2008-2010)
  • External advisor to the project funded by FAPESP the Research Support Foundation for the State of São Paulo, Brazil "Thermal comfort in public open spaces: a methodology for medium cities in São Paulo State" (2007-2009)
  • British Academy Overseas Conference Grant (2007)
  • University of Bath Studentship "Outdoor thermal comfort in the hot dry climate" (2006-2009)
  • EURONETRES: "European Network on Education and Training in Renewable Energy Sources", UNESCO, Regional Bureau for Science in Europe (ROSTE). Working group "Solar Passive Systems for Sustainable Architecture" (2005-2007)
  • EU FP5 Steering Committee of the GREENCLUSTER network – European Network for the Green in the Urban Environment (2002-2005)
  • EU FP5 Project co-ordinator and overall PI: "RUROS: Rediscovering the Urban Realm and Open Spaces" (2001-2004), 12 teams across Europe


Module Code Module Title Information
AR597 Dissertation (BA Architecture) Tutor
AR829 Monitoring and Modelling of Environmental Performance Tutor
AR830 Sustainable Design Project Tutor
AR899 Dissertation (MSc Architecture and Sustainable Environment) Tutor



Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository


  • Pantavou, K. et al. (2018). Thermal sensation and climate: a comparison of UTCI and PET thresholds in different climates. International Journal of Biometeorololgy [Online] 62:1695-1708. Available at:
  • Adekunle, T. and Nikolopoulou, M. (2018). Post-occupancy evaluation on people's perception of comfort, adaptation and seasonal performance of sustainable housing: a case study of three prefabricated structural timber housing developments. Intelligent Buildings International [Online]. Available at:
  • Chatzipoulka, C. et al. (2018). Sky view factor as predictor of solar availability on building façades. Solar Energy [Online] 170:1026-1038. Available at:
  • Aljawabra, F. and Nikolopoulou, M. (2018). Thermal comfort in urban spaces: a cross-cultural study in the hot arid climate. International Journal of Biometeorology [Online]. Available at:
  • Chatzipoulka, C. and Nikolopoulou, M. (2018). Urban Geometry, SVF and Insolation of Open Spaces: the case of London and Paris. Building Research & Information [Online] 46:881-898. Available at:
  • Tseliou, A., Tsiros, I. and Nikolopoulou, M. (2017). Seasonal differences in thermal sensation in the outdoor urban environment of Mediterranean climates – The example of Athens, Greece. International Journal of Biometeorololgy [Online]. Available at:
  • Kotopouleas, A. and Nikolopoulou, M. (2017). Evaluation of comfort conditions in airport terminal buildings. Building and Environment [Online] 130:162-178. Available at:
  • Adekunle, T. and Nikolopoulou, M. (2016). Thermal comfort summertime temperatures and overheating in prefabricated timber housing. Building and Environment [Online] 103:21-35. Available at:
  • Kotopouleas, A. and Nikolopoulou, M. (2016). Thermal comfort conditions in airport terminals: Indoor or transition spaces? Building and Environment 99:184-199.
  • Hirashima, S., de Assis, E. and Nikolopoulou, M. (2016). Daytime thermal comfort in urban spaces: A field study in Brazil. Building and Environment [Online] 107:245-253. Available at:
  • Christina, C., Raphaël, C. and Marialena, N. (2016). Urban geometry and solar availability on façades and ground of real urban forms: using London as a case study. Solar Energy [Online] 138:53-66. Available at:
  • Kotopouleas, A. and Nikolopoulou, M. (2016). Thermal comfort conditions in airport terminals: Indoor or transition spaces? Building and Environment [Online] 99:184-199. Available at:
  • Queiroz da Silveira Hirashimaa, S., Sad de Assisb, E. and Nikolopoulou, M. (2016). Dataset on daytime outdoor thermal comfort for Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Data in Brief [Online] 9:530-535. Available at:
  • Nikolopoulou, M., Martin, K. and Dalton, B. (2015). Shaping pedestrian movement through playful interventions in security planning: what do field surveys suggest? Journal of Urban Design [Online]:1-21. Available at:

Book section

  • Nikolopoulou, M. (2011). Urban Open Spaces and Adaptation to Climate Change. in: Richter, M. and Weiland, U. eds. Applied Urban Ecology: A Global Framework. Blackwell. Available at:


  • Adekunle, T. and Nikolopoulou, M. (2016). Evaluation of Prefabricated Structural Timber Housing. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing. Available at:

Conference or workshop item

  • Nikolopoulou, M., Kotopouleas, A. and Lykoudis, S. (2018). From indoors to outdoors and in-transition; thermal comfort across different operation contexts. in: 10th Windsor Conference: Rethinking Comfort.. Available at:
  • Chatzipoulka, C., Nikolopoulou, M. and Watkins, R. (2015). The impact of urban geometry on the radiant environment in outdoor spaces. in: ICUC9 9th International Conference on Urban Climate.. Available at:
  • Watkins, R. et al. (2015). The Performance of Natural Ventilation In A Dance Studio – Lessons From Tracer Gas Measurements And Control Integration. in: 31st International PLEA Conference, Passive Low Energy Architecture.
  • Kotopouleas, A. and Nikolopoulou, M. (2014). Understanding Thermal Comfort Conditions in Airport Terminal Buildings. in: NCEUB. Available at:
Showing 20 of 27 total publications in KAR. [See all in KAR]