Faculty of Engineering

Image of Yan Zhu

Yan Zhu

Assistant Professor in Architecture and Urban Design, Faculty of Engineering


  • workRoom B2a Paton House, Department of Architecture and Built Environment
    University Park
    NG7 2RD
  • work0115 95 14875


Dr Yan Zhu is a member of the Environment, People and Design (ePaD) Research Group.

Expertise Summary

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

Teaching Summary

Architecture and Urban Design Studio; Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design.

Research Summary

Environmental performance (wind, insolation, overshadowing, etc) is one of the essential elements of sustainable urban development. Urban designers should integrate the environmental design into… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

Environmental performance (wind, insolation, overshadowing, etc) is one of the essential elements of sustainable urban development. Urban designers should integrate the environmental design into urban design process, to create not only a vibrant and vitalizing urban environment but also comfortable public spaces to the users. Strong wind and inappropriate insolation will make the open spaces uncomfortable and consequently would be not used by the public widely. Fully understanding of the relationship and connection between physical urban forms and urban environmental performance is the key of creating this pleasing urban environment. The massing and forms of the constructions would affect the solar penetration, shading amount and wind direction/velocity. These factors would be decisive for the comfort level of the local urban environment. How to create successful urban forms in terms of both aesthetics and environmental performance is a challenge for urban designers.

Quantitative computer design tools can help designers to involve environmental design in very early design process. Through the computer simulation, designers can fully evaluate and examine the impacts of wind environment, solar insolation, and overshadowing on the development, and consequently propose a reliable prediction of the environmental performance of design. This enables designers to link urban form design and environmental performance evaluation easily and jointly consider these two factors in real time through the design process. This working practice ensures the best delivery of our urban design solution with sustainability in terms of not only social, culture and economy, but also the natural and built environment. The research of how to use the computer tools, when designers should use it, and how to interpret the assessment, is very important to urban designers and urban design practices.

Future Research

Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

  • SHAO, Y., HEATH, T. and ZHU, Y., 2016. VFer: A Computational Economic Estimating System for Vertical Farms International Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Information Systems. 7(2), 2 (In Press.)
  • ZHU, Y. and HEATH, T., 2012. Technologies in urban design practice: integrating environmental design considerations. In: ERCOSKUN, O.Y., ed., Green and ecological technologies for urban planning: creating smart cities Information Science Reference. 133-152
  • HEATH, T., ZHU, Y. and SHAO, Y., 2012. Vertical farm: a high-rise solution to feeding the city? In: Proceedings of the CTBUH 9th World Congress: Asia ascending : age of the sustainable skyscraper city. 440-446
  • ZHU, Y., HEATH, T. and MA, C.-Y., 2012. Can computational simulation inform place making?: interconnection between design prediction and user‟s behaviour In: Designing Place - International Urban Design Conference. n/a
  • ZHU, Y. and HEATH, T., 2012. From China to UK: thoughts on architectural practice and education Urban Environment Design. 064, 169
  • HEATH, T., ZHU, Y. and TANG, Y., 2010. Eco-Urbanism: towards sustainable city living In: International Symposium on Eco-Urbanism, Shanghai Expo, China. 10
  • HEATH, T., TANG, Y. and ZHU, Y., 2010. The Revitalization and Conservation of 19th Century Historic Industrial Quarters In: 2nd International Symposium on Architecture Heritage Preservation and Sustainable Development, Tianjin, China. 18-24
  • YANG, J. and ZHU, Y., 2010. What do the ancient Chinese teach us? - A case study of Chinese courtyard house on sustainable architectural design. In: IN LIRA, S and AMOEDA, R. & PINHEIRO, C., eds., Heritage 2010 - Heritage and Sustainable Development Green Lines Institute for Sustainable Development. 671-682
  • CHESHMEHZANGI, A and ZHU, Y. & LI, B., 2010. Integrated Design Approach - Urban Design for Sustainability In: 5th International Conference on Responsive Manufacturing ICRM2010.

Faculty of Engineering

The University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Contacts: Please see our 'Contact us' page