Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit

Building at Highland Housing Expo, analysed by MEARU


The Mackintosh Environmental Architecture Research Unit (MEARU) was established in 1986 within the Mackintosh School of Architecture. MEARU undertakes strategic and applied research into a wide range of aspects of sustainable environmental design, responding to a growing commitment to user-centred, low energy, eco-sensitive architecture in the context of increasing global concerns.

In recent years, MEARU has widened its portfolio of expertise to include: health and wellbeing in buildings; indoor air quality; energy efficient refurbishment; and building performance evaluation - with a particular emphasis on housing.
The team at MEARU includes practising architects, building services engineers and academic researchers all with a particular passion for low energy buildings and healthy indoor environments. The core members are currently:

Janice Foster 
Rosalie Menon 
Dr Filbert Musau 

MEARU provides sustainable environmental design and assessment services, independently and through (funded) collaborative research and knowledge exchange opportunities. Ongoing and previous projects include the following services:

  • Undertake building performance evaluation including durational monitoring of CO2, humidity and temperature to assess indoor air quality and building performance.
  • Undertake qualitative assessment through questionnaires, surveys and interviews with building users as part of post occupancy evaluation.
  • Provide energy efficiency advice both on the upgrading of existing housing stock and on proposed new build construction. Advise on energy auditing of housing via SAP calculations and NHER rating certification.
  • Advise on options for renewable energy production and technical innovations into in new and existing buildings.
  • Provide strategies in the design of comfortable and healthy indoor environments.
  • Advise on day lighting and passive solar design strategies to improve both energy efficiency and health and well being.
  • Provide building thermography assessment to identify building defects impacting thermal performance.

MEARU has a range of specialist equipment to support our work, including: durational CO2, humidity and temperature sensors with radio controlled data loggers; hand-held monitoring devices to take instantaneous CO2, humidity and temperature readings; co-heating test equipment to assess the heat loss; heat flux meters to measure in-situ U values; thermographic camera; sound level meters; lux level meters; power flow hood to measure air flow rate from mechanical ventilation systems; VOC sensor kit to detect air borne particulates and formaldehydes.