Architectural Science: Research

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Research areas

The Discipline’s research is supported by substantial research infrastructure, including acoustics and lighting laboratories, and with a new Indoor Environment Quality laboratory the first one in the Southern Hemisphere. These laboratories provide resources for a large repertoire of physical field measurements and analyses of environments, laboratory measurement of devices (e.g. light and sound sources) and materials, and laboratory-based simulations of environments for human experimental work.

The IEQ Lab is a unique facility in which researchers can examine how the key IEQ factors - temperature, humidity, air movement, ventilation rates, air quality, daylight, artificial lighting, sound and acoustics – all interact to determine comfort, productivity and health outcomes for occupants.

Find out more here.

Audio and Acoustics

Room acoustics: acoustical quality and qualities
Indoor soundscapes
Psychoacoustics, especially loudness and reverberance
Spatial hearing
Auditory display
Interactive virtual acoustics


Emerging lighting technologies not only have the potential to consume less energy than incumbent lighting products, but to change the very way light is conceptualized and used. Many of the characteristics of these new approaches to generating light are vastly different from traditional light sources and offer unprecedented flexibility in many respects, such as spectral output, spatial distribution of emitted light, temporal properties of the light, size and shape of luminaires, in-built intelligence, and how people interact with illumination. Lighting researchers are in the unique position to investigate how lighting should be, without being constrained by what it is.

Research Topics Include:

Novel light source spectra

Light controls and human interaction with illumination

Colour measurement and communication

Spatial distribution of light throughout architectural spaces

Novel approaches to luminaire design

Sustainable Design

Form and space making potential of sustainable design
History of climatic design in Australia
Simulation of building environmental performance
Evaluation of urban microclimates
Post-Occupancy Evaluation of indoor thermal comfort and air quality

IEQ Labs

Research Projects

  • Richard de Dear
    Field Survey of Residential Air Conditioning and Comfort in Australia
    ARC Discovery Project 2011-2013
  • Richard de Dear
    Occupant comfort in naturally ventilated and mixed-mode spaces within air-conditioned offices
    ARC Discovery Project 2009-2010
  • Richard Hyde, K. Yeang, L. Davies Yeang, N. Groehhout & F. Barram
    ARC Linkage Project 2008-2011
  • Richard Hyde with University of Queensland
    Towards novel biomimetic building materials: Evaluating aboriginal and western scientific knowledge of Spinifex grass
    ARC Discovery Project 2008-2012
  • Richard Hyde
    Towards a quality life model for sustainable housing in South East Queensland
    ARC Linkage Project 2008-2012
  • E. Schubert, D. Cabrera & G.E. McPherson
    Redefining Conceptions of Child and Adolescent Emotional Responses to Music using Time-series Analysis
    ARC Discovery Project 2010-2013
  • D. Cabrera Audio and Acoustics Research Program Exchange: University of Sydney
    McGill University Tohoku University Spatial Audio, Sound Quality and Multimodal Perception, University of Sydney
    International Program Development Fund 2009-2010

Research publications

Architectural Science Review

Architectural Science Review

Founded at the University of Sydney in 1958 by Professor Henry Cowan to promote continued professional development, Architectural Science Review presents a balanced collection of papers on a wide range of topics. From its first issue over 50 years ago, the journal documents professional interest in environmental issues grounded in the science of heat, light, and sound, contributing to this extensive field of knowledge by seeking papers from a broad geographical area. To find out more, visit the ASR sub-site.