Urquhart Castle near Loch Ness

Architecture Architectural design & conservation

The Architectural Design & Conservation Research Unit (ADCRU) deals with the challenges of properly conserving built heritage while allowing changes to adapt it to contemporary uses. We also deal with the design of new buildings which contribute to the conservation of our environment, learning from traditional strategies and the latest technological innovations.

Our research aims to provide the necessary knowledge, methodologies and approaches to conceive and deliver conservation design projects and new buildings which will have a positive impact on people’s sense of identity, well-being and the environment.

Our research

ADCRU promotes research-informed practice and practice-informed research. It was established in 2013 by Dr Cristina Gonzalez-Longo together with the MSc in Architectural Design for the Conservation of Built Heritage (MSc ADCoBH). Cristina is a Chartered Architect in the UK and Spain and RIBA Specialist Conservation Architect, with over 20 years’ experience. After graduating at the Technical University of Madrid (ETSAM), she spent three years in Rome with a scholarship from the Italian government to study architectural conservation at the Specialisation School of the University of ‘La Sapienza’. She was the project architect and resident architect of Queensberry House (part of the new Scottish Parliament Building, RIBA Stirling Prize) and designed Bowbridge Primary School in Newark (RICS Sustainability Award).

Our research focuses on a variety of subjects inlcluding; theory of conservation, architectural design, architectural history, survey & investigations, construction & construction history, structural and environmental design in conservation.

Key research areas

Architectural Stratification & Complex Architectural Conservation Projects

The research unravels the complexities of buildings and relating conservation projects to improve current design and conservation methodologies.

Environmental Design of New buildings

We promote an integrated research between old and new buildings, as we see the present as a continuum of the past and consider conservation in a wider environmental sense.

Architectural conservation theory

ADCRU researches the development of the discipline over the centuries, both internationally and locally and proposes new developments.

Architecture, assessment & conservation of 17th and 18th century architecture in Scotland

We investigate the design, methodologies, materials and techniques employed in order to disseminate good conservation practice.

Digital applications needs & new methodologies for architectural conservation

ADCRU considers all the stages of the architectural conservation project, from the early investigation and assessment of historic buildings to the creation and dissemination of architectural knowledge.

To learn more about ADCRU, download the Architectural Design & Conservation Research Unit Booklet.

Our team

Our research involves working jointly with public and private sector professionals and academics, both locally and internationally.

Academic Leader

Collaborating academics

PhD students

  • Noemi Giovelli

Topic: New Conservation and Consolidation Methods for Sandstone to Avoid Replacement

Topic: Innovative Technologies for Architectural Conservation

Topic: Achieving Indoor Comfort, Air Quality and Energy Efficiency in High-Rise Residential Buildings

Topic: Historic Buildings in UK (Modernist, Victorian, Georgian): a Study Qualifying the Health Benefits Inherent in their Architecture

  •  Bowen Qiu

Topic: The Application of Image Processing to the Survey, Assessment and Monitoring of Historic Buildings

Topic: Conserving 17th - 18th century Stone Built Heritage in Scotland: Materials and Techniques

Topic: Building Skills for Conserving 17th - 18th Century Scottish Built Heritage: the Initial Assessment of Timber Roof Structures

Research grants & projects

· The Application of Image Processing to the Survey, Assessment and Monitoring of Historic Buildings.

Funded by: Bridging The Gap (BTG), University of Strathclyde

· Historic Environmental Scotland: Building skills for conserving 17th - 18th centuries Scottish built heritage: timber roofs and masonry.

Funded byHistoric Environmental Scotland

· Architectural Conservation Theory, Architectural Stratification and Complex Architectural Conservation projects; Low Energy Design and Healthy Buildings.

Funded by: Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK

Selected Publications

  • Gonzalez-Longo, C. (2020) The Temple of Venus and Rome and Santa Francesca Romana at the Roman Forum: Preservation and Transformation. Academic Monographs Routledge Research in Architecture, Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group. (In preparation, contract signed).
  • González-Longo, C (2017). “Design Well on the Old: Architectural Conservation as a Solution for the Environmental, Social and Economic Challenges of the 21st Century”. The Times Scotland.
  • Mohd Sahabuddin, M. F. B., Gonzalez-Longo, C. & Howieson, S. (2019). “Achieving health and comfort in high-rise residential buildings by using dynamic-hybrid air permeable ceiling (DHAPC)”, in American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
  • Mohd Sahabuddin, M. F. B. & Gonzalez-Longo, C. (2019). “Balancing comfort and indoor air quality in high-riser buildings for social housing in Kuala Lumpur: from regulations to construction”, in Proceedings of the 51th AiCARR International Conference, Venice.
  • Mohd Sahabuddin, M. F. & Gonzalez-Longo, C. (2018). “Assessing the indoor comfort and carbon dioxide concentration in high-rise residential buildings in Kuala Lumpur: the people’s housing programme.” Invited paper for the CIBSE Technical Symposium: Stretching the Envelope.
  • Mohd Sahabuddin, M. F. B. & Gonzalez-Longo, C. (2017). “Natural ventilation potential in Kuala Lumpur: assumptions, realities and future”. PLEA 2017: 33rd International Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture.
  • Mohd Sahabuddin, M. F. B., González-Longo, C. (2015). Traditional Values and Their Adaptation in Social Housing Design–Towards a New Typology and Establishment of ‘Airhouse’ Standard in Malaysia’. International Journal of Architectural Research: ArchNet-IJAR 9 (2).
  •  González-Longo, C. (2015). “Can Architectural Conservation be Mainstream?” ICOMOS Scientific Symposium, Florence.
  •  Gonzalez-Longo, C. (2019). “Robert Mylne and the first baroque mural monument in Greyfriars Kirkyard, 1675”, in Jupp, P. & Grainger, H. (eds.) “Death in Scotland: Chapters from the Twelfth to the Twenty-First Century”, Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, Oxford.
  • Gonzalez-Longo, C. (2019). “The architectural innovations of Mr James Smith of Whitehill (c.1645-1731) within the European context”, in Lowrey, J., Humm, L. & Mackechnie, A. (eds.). “The Architecture of Scotland 1660-1750”. Edinburgh University Press.
  • Gonzalez Manich, C., Gonzalez-Longo, C. and Monari, F. (2017). “La fábrica de piedra durante los siglos XVII y XVIII en Escocia: estudio preliminar”, in X Congreso Nacional y II Congreso Internacional Hispanoamericano de Historia de la Construcción.
  • Serafini, A., Riggio, M. and Gonzalez-Longo, C. (2016). “A Database for the Assessment and Analysis of Historic Timber Roof Structures”. International Wood Products Journal.
  • Serafini A. and González-Longo, C. (2016). “17C and 18C timber roof structures in Scotland: design, pathologies and conservation”, SAHC 2016, Leuven.
  • Serafini, A. and González-Longo, C. (2015). “The Design and Construction Techniques of eighteenth-century Timber Roofs in Scotland: Glasgow Trades Hall and Tweeddale House in Edinburgh”, 5th International Congress on Construction History, Chicago.
  • González Manich, C., Kelman, T., Coutts, F, Qiu, B, Murray, P., González-Longo, C. and Marshall, S. (2016). “Exploring the use of image processing to survey and quantitatively assess historic buildings”, SAHC 2016, Leuven

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