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Dr Zaid Alwan

Senior Lecturer

Department: Architecture and Built Environment

Dr Zaid Alwan, a Senior Lecturer  who has the academic and commercial expertise   in Low Carbon Design Sustainable construction. He is a ember of academic staff in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Engineering and Environment, Northumbria University, UK.  

Prior to his academic career, Dr Alwan worked in the commercial sector as a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and Low Carbon Assessor for both domestic and commercial buildings, working within multidisciplinary teams to optimise and deliver low carbon buildings. This cemented his belief that the vital issue of embodied energy was not fully recognised in low carbon building design and the future proofing of buildings. In 2016, based upon six journal papers and five conference papers as primary author, he completed a part-time doctorate by publication entitled ‘Building Performance Evaluation and BIM’.  In doing so, he relied upon detailed knowledge in whole energy systems and integration into BIM platforms, and developed a keen interest in steering a subject of worldwide importance from a largely professional domain towards greater recognition as an area meriting academic exploration.


Dr Alwan is currently supervising two doctoral students – one as main supervisor - and has acted as an external PhD examiner at different . He is an active member of BIM Academy, an industry-academia collaboration which enables technology development in the construction sector. His role in the Academy has been as a specialist in low energy developments, BIM and Building Performance, and he has been involved in organising workshops and mentoring for various industry partners, and taking Part in CPD development for the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. He is also an active member of the BIM Academic Forum, ( a UK-wide university network that aims to  bring BIM approaches to higher education curricula.

Dr Alwan has rapidly developed a strong academic expert profile, and has acted as an academic reviewer for various high impact journals and conferences, covering academic papers, reviews and invited speeches, and chairing sessions at international conferences. More recently, he has been invited to join the scientific committee of the International SEEDS (Sustainable, Ecological, Engineering and Design for Society) conference, hosted by Leeds Beckett University.

Zaid Alwan

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Embodied Carbon as a Material Selection Criterion: Insights from Sri Lankan Construction Sector, Nawarathna, A., Siriwardana, M., Alwan, Z. 18 Feb 2021, In: Sustainability
  • Embodied carbon in commercial office buildings: Lessons learned from Sri Lanka, Nawarathna, A., Alwan, Z., Gledson, B., Fernando, N. 1 Oct 2021, In: Journal of Building Engineering
  • Framework for parametric assessment of operational and embodied energy impacts utilising BIM, Alwan, Z., Nawarathna, A., Ayman, R., Zhu, M., Elghazi, Y. 1 Oct 2021, In: Journal of Building Engineering
  • A conceptual methodology for estimating embodied carbon emissions of buildings in Sri Lanka, Ranathungage, A., Alwan, Z., Gledson, B., Fernando, N. 2020, Sustainability in energy and buildings, Singapore, Springer
  • BIM for sustainable project delivery: review paper and future development areas., Mohamed, R., Alwan, Z., McIntyre, L. 2 Jan 2020, In: Architectural Science Review
  • Assessing Building Performance in Residential Buildings using BIM and Sensor Data, Rogage, K., Clear, A., Alwan, Z., Lawrence, T., Kelly, G. 24 Sep 2019, In: International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation
  • Estimating Embodied Carbon Emissions of Buildings in Developing Countries: A Case Study from Sri Lanka, Ranathungage, A., Alwan, Z., Fernando, N., Gledson, B. 6 Sep 2018, 4th Annual Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society (SEEDS) Conference
  • Factors Motivating the Adoption of BIM-based Sustainability Analysis, Ayman, R., Alwan, Z., McIntyre, L. 7 Sep 2018, 4th Annual Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society (SEEDS) Conference
  • Reasons for the Slow Uptake of Embodied Carbon Estimation in the Sri Lankan Building Sector, Ranathungage, A., Fernando, N., Alwan, Z. 11 Feb 2018, In: International Journal of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • External Wall Insulation (EWI): Engaging social tenants in energy efficiency retrofitting in the North East of England, Lilley, S., Davidson, G., Alwan, Z. 1 Nov 2017, In: Buildings

Professional Activity

PGR Supervision

  • Rana Mohamed Incorporating Sustainability Aspects and BIM technologies within Digital Plan of Work to Improve Green Project Workflow Start Date: 01/10/2017


  • Engineering BSc (Hons) June 30 1996
  • MSc Clean Technology Engineering 1997
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2001

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