Course Director, Interdisciplinary Design for the Built Environment masters programme
Sebastian Macmillan trained as an architect at the University of Liverpool and completed his doctorate at the Royal College of Art, funded by the Science Research Council. After a decade in practice as an architect, he became a founding partner of Eclipse Research Consultants, an independent consultancy in the private sector undertaking strategic and applied research into the design, construction and operation of the built environment. He has been extensively involved in capturing and promoting best practice in relation to energy efficient building design and operation, and interdisciplinary teamwork. In addition to research investigations for various Government departments, he has been commissioned by organisations that include BRE, Action Energy, the Carbon Trust, Constructing Excellence, the Construction Research and Innovation Strategy Panel, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the Specialist Engineering Alliance, the Technology Strategy Board, and the Royal Institute of British Architects.
He joined the University in 1996 in a part-time capacity, winning and leading several research projects funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's 'Construction as a Manufacturing Process' and the Department for Trade and Industry's 'Integration in Design and Construction' programmes. Consequently he was seconded to EPSRC as Sector Programme Manager for Construction (1999-2001), and was later appointed as Consortium Manager for the £3m 4-year 'Carbon Reduction in Buildings' research project funded by EPSRC, NERC and the Carbon Trust (2004-2008). He is a regular referee for several peer-review journals and was a member of the 1996 and 2001 Research Assessment Exercise panels for Architecture & the Built Environment. He is a former chair of the Design Research Society, and chaired the RIBA Research & Innovation Committee from 2005 to 2012. In 2009, he undertook a major review of the construction sector in Abu Dhabi.
He is External Examiner for the Strategic Management of Projects MSc at UCL, External Advisor to the Zero Carbon Architecture MA at Birmingham City Univerisity, and Academic Advisor to the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at the Universiti of Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. He is a key European participant in an EU-funded project on Architecture and Sustainable Urban Development which brings together universities in Europe and the Ukraine to establish masters and PhD level modules based on international best practice.
He has been the Course Director for IDBE since 2006. He is a Senior Member of Wolfson College, and an Associate at Cambridge Architectural Research.
Dr Macmillan's research interests lie in the area of sustainability - both its environmental aspects such as low- and zero-carbon buildings and the new design and construction processes needed to deliver them; and also the potential of the built environment to support positive social outcomes such as productivity, health and well-being, and the added value to society of a well-designed built environment.
Books and booklets
2009 Sustainable buildings need integrated teams – the O’Neill Report, published by the Specialist Engineering Alliance, 33 pages. Launched in the House of Commons by Lord O’Neill, 17 March.
2009 With Alan Short, Alistair Fair, Peter Barrett, Adrian Cave and Patricia Sterry, Building Ecellence in the Arts: a guide for clients, pub. Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, 92 pages.
2006 The Value Handbook, pub. Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, 60 pages, ISBN 1 84633 012 2.
2004 Editor, Designing Better Buildings: quality and value in the built environment pub. Spon Press, 220 pages, ISBN 0 415 31526 3. Author of Chapter 1 Design as a generator of value. Includes 18 chapters by leading figures such as Jon Rouse, Sunand Prasad, Richard Feilden, Dickon Robinson, Michael Dickson. Foreword by Robin Nicholson.
2001 Editor, jointly with Robin Spence and Paul Kirby, Interdisciplinary Design in Practice, pub. Thomas Telford, 227 pages. ISBN 0 7277 3008 8. Three authored chapters: Chapter 12 (with Christopher French) Successful teamwork from day one: running an interdisciplinary design workshop; Chapter 13 Managing an interdisciplinary design team effectively; Chapter 14 (with John Steele) Towards an interdisciplinary design process.
1996 Editor, Environmental Management for Hotels: the industry guide to best practice, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 236 pages, ISBN 0 7506 2728 X.
1984 Editor, jointly with I. Cooper and J. Powell, Designing for Building Utilisation, pub. E. & F.N. Spon, ISBN 0 419 13470 0. Author of chapter on ‘Architects' design strategies; some justifications for current practice’.
Refereed Journal Articles
2013 With Florence Collier, Jennifer Hambling, Sam Kernaghan, Bora Kovacevic, Rebecca Miller, Aitana Payá Pérez, Elizabeth Richardson, ‘Tomorrow’s cities: a framework to assess urban resilience’, Urban Design and Planning, April 2014.
2010 ‘Architectural research and its enemies’, ARQ (Architectural Research Quarterly), vol 14, no 1, pp 11-16.
2008 With Joseph Lampel and Harry Scarborough, ‘Managing through projects in knowledge-based environments’ Special Issue Introduction by Guest Editors, Long Range Planning, vol 41, no 1, pp 7-16.
2006 ‘Chronicles of the revolution’, A review of the book Change in the Construction Industry: an account of the UK construction industry reform movement 1993-2003’ in Building Research & Information, vol 34, no 6, pp 600-603.
2006 ‘Added value of good design’, Building Research & Information, vol 34, no 3, pp 257-271.
2005 With Foley, J. ‘Patterns of interaction in construction team meetings’, CoDesign, vol 1, no 1, pp 19-37.
2002 ‘The right vision for construction R&D? Responding to the Fairclough Report’, Building Research and Information, vol 30 no 5, pp 328-333.
2001 With Simon Austin, John Steele, Paul Kirby and Robin Spence, ‘Mapping the conceptual design activity of interdisciplinary teams’, Design Studies, vol 22 no 3 pp 211-232.
2001 With Simon Austin, John Steele, Paul Kirby and Robin Spence, 'Development and verification of a generic framework for conceptual design’, Design Studies, vol 22 no 2 pp 161-191.
2001 ‘How does innovation link to research? A review of Building Innovation: complex constructs in a changing world’ by David Gann, Building Research and Information, vol 29, no 3, pp 250-252.
2000 Michael Busseri and Jason Palmer, 'Improving teamwork: the effect of self-assessment on construction design teams', Design Studies, vol 21, pp 223-238. [Written by two Research Assistants under supervision.]
1983 With I. Cooper and J. Powell, ‘Information for Designers’, Design Studies, vol 5, no 2, pp 113-120.
1981 ‘Architectural designers' values and the evaluation of their designs’, Design Studies, vol 2, no 3, pp 131-137.
1981 ‘Empirical and theoretical studies of design judgement: a review’, Design Studies, vol 2, no 1, pp 19-26.
Conference papers and invited presentations
2013 With Pavni Sahni Kohli ‘Exploring critical success factors in multi-organisational interdisciplinary construction projects’, paper to CIB World Building Conference 2013, Brisbane, 6-9 May 2013.
2013 Great Australian Dream: the impact of household aspirations on spatial planning in Sydney, paper to CIB World Building Conference 2013, Brisbane, 6-9 May 2013.
2008 'The influence of building design on scholarly performance – the perceptions of stakeholders in 20 new UK primary schools', paper to Architecture and Behaviour Conference, Monte Verita, Ascona, 14-15 April 2008.
2005 With Zulkiflee Abdul Samad, ‘The valuation of intangibles: explored through primary school design’ paper to CIB W096 Architectural Management, Special meeting on ‘Designing value: new directions in architectural management’ Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark, November 2005.
2004 With Zulkiflee Abdul Samad, Improving design quality and value in the built environment through knowledge of intangibles, paper to International Engineering Management Conference (IEMC) 2004, Singapore, October 2004.
2004 With Zulkiflee Abdul Samad, The underlying real estate value of intangibles in the built environment, paper to International Real Estate Research Symposium (IRERS) 2004, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 2004.
2001 With Simon Austin, John Steele, Paul Kirby and Robin Spence, ‘Identifying and managing iteration within the early stages of the building design process’, Proceedings of International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), Glasgow, August 2001, pp 123-130.
2000 With John Steele, Simon Austin, Paul Kirby, Robin Spence, ‘One step forward and three back: a study of the patterns of interdisciplinary conceptual design’. Proceedings of the Design Research Conference 2000, Coventry, UK, September 2000.
1999 With J. Steele, P. Kirby, R.Spence. and S Austin, ‘Using training workshops to map interdisciplinary team working’. Proceedings of Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers National Conference 1999. Harrogate, UK. Pages 38-49, September 1999.
1999 With J Steele, S Austin, P Kirby and R Spence, ‘Interdisciplinary interaction during conceptual design’, pages 297-305, volume 1, Proceedings of the 15th Annual Conference of ARCOM (the Association for Research in Construction Management), Liverpool John Moores University, September 1999. Published by ARCOM, Department of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading. ISBN 0-9534161-2-7. 2 volumes. Edited by Will Hughes.
1999 With J Steele, S Austin, R Spence and P Kirby, ‘Mapping the early stages of the design process’, pages 1175-1178, volume 2, Proceedings of ICED 99 (the 12th International Conference on Engineering Design), Munich, August 1999. Published by Technische Universitat Munchen, ISBN 3-922979-53-X. 3 volumes. Edited by U. Lindemann, H. Birkhofer, H. Meerkamm and S. Vajna.
1996 With David Curtis, ‘The Energy Design Advice Scheme - enlarging the role of the profession’, Proceedings of CIBSE/ASHRAE (Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Airconditioning Engineers) Joint National Conference, Harrogate, 30 Sept - 2 Oct 1996, volume 1, pages 361-365, ISBN 0 900953 74 8.
1994 With David Curtis, ‘The Energy Design Advice Scheme - the first two years’, Proceedings of the First International Conference on Buildings and the Environment, Organised by Task Group 8 (Environmental Assessment of Buildings) of CIB (Conseil International du Batiment), BRE, Watford, 16-20 May 1994.
1993 With David Bloomfield and Ian Cooper, ‘Environmental Performance Modelling in practice - the pros and cons’, paper to CIBSE National Conference, Manchester, 1993.
1991 With L Shorrock, J Clark, and G Moore, ‘BREDEM-8, a monthly calculation method for energy use in dwellings: testing and development’, paper to BEP (Building Environmental Performance) '91, proceedings published by Building Environmental Performance Analysis Club.
Professional and technical press articles
2007 ‘All for one: collaboration is the key to good design’ RIBA Journal, March 2007, vol 114, no 3, pp 72-75.
2005 ‘Valuable lessons: workshops put a price on intangibles' RIBA Journal, September 2005, vol 112, no. 9, Practice Supplement page X.
2005 ‘Professor Bruce Archer, Mechanical engineer who established design as an academic discipline’, obituary, The Independent, 20 May 2005, p 52-53.
1998 With N Baker and M Buckley, ‘Educational Environments’, Architects’ Journal, vol 207, no 8, pp 53-54, 26 February 1998.
Best practice publications and case studies
2007 Environmental Sustainability: design guidance note, Sport England.
2007 With David Adamson, Tony Pollington, Kevin Thomas, The business case for integrated collaborated working, Constructing Excellence.
2004 Partnering workshops to promote teamwork in the construction of Oakfields Primary School, Wickford, Essex: a case study, Constructing Excellence.
2004 Effective Teamwork – a good practice guide for the construction industry, Constructing Excellence.
2003 CHP in hotels – a guide for owners and managers, Good Practice Guide 384, Action Energy.
2000 The design team’s guide to environmentally smart buildings – energy efficient options for new and refurbished offices, Good Practice Guide 287, Energy Efficiency Best Practice programme.
2000 Document management at the Royal Opera House, IT Construction Forum Case Study IT029, Department for Trade and Industry.
2000 Exchanging CAD drawings with consultants and contractors in the United States and Ireland, IT Construction Forum Case Study IT030, Department for Trade and Industry.
2000 Exchanging design information via the internet, IT Construction Forum Case Study IT031, Department for Trade and Industry.
2000 Installing a new network, operating system, and CAD software in an architects’ office, IT Construction Forum Case Study, IT032, Department for Trade and Industry.
2000 Sharing CAD data among the design team on a construction project, IT Construction Forum Case Study IT034, Department for Trade and Industry.
1999 Energy efficient refurbishment of schools – the achievements of Bolton Council, Good Practice Case Study 381, Energy Efficiency Best Practice programme.
1998 Effective management of energy in sports centres - Kirklees Metropolitan Council, Good Practice Case Study 360, Energy Efficiency Best Practice programme.
1997 Energy efficient refurbishment of hotels and guesthouses - a guide for proprietors and managers, Good Practice Guide 205, Energy Efficiency Best Practice programme, 16-page guide.
1996 Energy efficiency action pack - for retail premises, Good Practice Guide 190, Energy Efficiency Best Practice programme, 12-page guide with eight loose-leaf inserts.
1995 Protect our environment - save energy, a guide to managing energy in hotels, four-page guide with 6 posters, published by BRECSU on behalf of the DoE and the SAVE programme of DGXVII of the European Commission.
1995 The Derwentwater Hotel, Keswick, UK, Good Practice Case Study 297, Energy Efficiency Office Best Practice programme.
1995 The Munich Park Hilton Hotel, Germany, Good Practice Case Study 296, Energy Efficiency Office Best Practice programme.
1994 Energy efficient house design - exploiting solar energy, Good Practice Guide 73, Energy Efficiency Office Best Practice programme.
1993 Energy Efficiency in Hotels - a guide for owners and managers, Energy Consumption Guide 36, Energy Efficiency Office Best Practice programme.