Skip to content

Toggle service links

You are here

  1. Home
  2. Dr Alice Moncaster

Dr Alice Moncaster

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Senior Lecturer in General Engineering
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Engineering & Innovation
  • alice.moncaster

Professional biography

I am a Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering & Innovation at the Open University, and a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge. 

Following a first degree from Cambridge I worked for ten years in industry as a civil and structural engineer, before returning to academia in 2008.

I am committed to supporting women, BAME and other under-represented groups in engineering and the built environment.  

Research interests

My research seeks to radically improve the environmental sustainability of the processes of construction, and of its product, the built environment.  My projects are often closely involved with industry partners.  Particular areas include life cycle analysis and embodied impacts of buildings, integration of renewable energy technologies, low carbon building materials, applying the principles of circular economy in construction, and retrofitting existing buildings.

As well as purely technical research, I use social science theories and methodologies to understand the socio-technical practices and processes of design and construction, such as how decisions are made, how they are affected (often obliquely) by policy and regulation, and how social value is or could be incorporated.  

I am currently the UK expert on the International Energy Agency Annex 72, on Assessing Life Cycle Related Environmental Impacts Caused by Buildings.  I am the principal supervisor for three PhD students at Cambridge: Hannah Baker (EPSRC, 2015-18) who is looking at multi-criteria decision-making in brownfield development and comparing the UK with the Netherlands and Australia, Wei Zhou (Cambridge Trusts/China, 2016-19), who is modelling energy consumption in the built environment and the impact of policy instruments in China, and Juan Canavera-Herrera (Cambridge Trusts/Colombia, 2016-19), who is researching adaptation to climate-change induced flooding for road infrastructure in Bogotá, Colombia.

I welcome approaches by potential PhD students in my research areas, any questions or comments about my research and publications, and discussions with industry partners about potential co-funding opportunities.

Teaching interests

I am part of the module teams for first level (T194) and second level (T272) modules in general engineering.

Impact and engagement

Recent public and industry impact and engagement (please also see 'Other' under the Publications tag):

On embodied carbon and energy of buildings:

  • Academic Principal Investigator on team developing a new Professional Statement (mandatory code of practice) on 'Whole life carbon assessment for the built environment', RICS (Nov 2017)   

  • With Francesco Pomponi and Catherine De Wolf, edited a book on 'Embodied Carbon in Buildings: Measurement, Management & Mitigation', Springer, (Feb 2018) 

On women in engineering and the built environment:

  • With Carol Morris I am currently guest-editing a special issue of the International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology on 'Gender and Intersectionalities in Engineering'.
  • With Martha Dillon and the Equilibrium Network (equilibrium-network.com), wrote an article in The Conversation in January 2018 on 'How gender equality can help fix the construction industry'.  This has been re-published online numerous times, and will be published in the magazine for the European Women in Construction & Engineering Awards, 2018 in May. 

Publications

Why method matters: temporal, spatial and physical variations in LCA and their impact on choice of structural system (2018-08-15)
Moncaster, A. M.; Pomponi, F.; Symons, K. E. and Guthrie, P. M.
Energy and Buildings, 173 (pp. 389-398)
Furthering embodied carbon assessment in practice: results of an industry-academia collaborative research project (2018-05-15)
Pomponi, Francesco; Moncaster, Alice and De Wolf, Catherine
Energy and Buildings, 167 (pp. 177-186)
Design and construction strategies for reducing embodied impacts from buildings – Case study analysis (2018-05-01)
Malmqvist, Tove; Nehasilova, Maria; Moncaster, Alice; Birgisdottir, Harpa; Nygaard Rasmussen, Freja and Potting, Jose
Energy and Buildings, 166 (pp. 35-47)
Analysing methodological choices in calculations of embodied energy and GHG emissions from buildings (2018-01-01)
Rasmussen, Freja Nygaard; Malmqvist, Tove; Moncaster, Alice; Wiberg, Aoife Houlihan and Birgisdóttir, Harpa
Energy and Buildings, 158 (pp. 1487-1498)
Scrutinising embodied carbon in buildings: The next performance gap made manifest (2018-01)
Pomponi, Francesco and Moncaster, Alice
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 81(2) (pp. 2431-2442)
BS 8001 and the Built Environment: a Review and Critique (2018)
Pomponi, Francesco and Moncaster, Alice
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability ((Early Access))
Arguments for a Co-production Approach to Community Flood Protection (2018)
Fitton, Sarah L. and Moncaster, Alice M.
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability ((Early Access))
Inclusion of on-site renewables in design-stage building life cycle assessments (2017-10)
Galpin, C. and Moncaster, A.
Energy Procedia, 134 (pp. 452-461)
IEA EBC Annex 57 ‘Evaluation of Embodied Energy and CO2eq for Building Construction' (2017-08-24)
Birgisdottir, H.; Moncaster, A.; Houlihan Wiberg, A.; Chae, C.; Yokoyama, K.; Balouktsi, M.; Seo, S.; Oka, T.; Lützkendorf, T. and Malmqvist, T.
Energy and Buildings, 154 (pp. 72-80)
Decision-making for the demolition or adaptation of buildings (2017-08)
Baker, Hannah; Moncaster, Alice and Al Tabbaa, Abur
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Forensic Engineering, 170(3) (pp. 144-156)
Measuring embodied carbon dioxide equivalent of buildings: A review and critique of current industry practice (2017-04-01)
De Wolf, Catherine; Pomponi, Francesco and Moncaster, Alice
Energy and Buildings, 140 (pp. 68-80)
Circular economy for the built environment: A research framework (2017-02-01)
Pomponi, Francesco and Moncaster, Alice
Journal of Cleaner Production, 143 (pp. 710-718)
A Method to Facilitate Uncertainty Analysis in LCAs of Buildings (2017)
Pomponi, Francesco; D'Amico, Bernardino and Moncaster, Alice M.
Energies, 10, Article 524(4)
Embodied carbon mitigation and reduction in the built environment: what does the evidence say? (2016-10-01)
Pomponi, Francesco and Moncaster, Alice
Journal of Environmental Management, 181 (pp. 687-700)
Investigating the social value of the Ripon rivers flood alleviation scheme (2016)
Fitton, S. L.; Moncaster, A. and Guthrie, P.
Journal of Flood Risk Management, 9(4) (pp. 370-378)
Financing energy efficiency measures in buildings - a new method of appraisal (2015-06-22)
Finnegan, Stephen; dos-Santos, Joseph David; Chow, David H. C.; Yan, Qu O. and Moncaster, Alice
International Journal of Sustainable Building Technology and Urban Development, 6(2) (pp. 62-70)
Improved embodied energy and carbon accounting: recommendations for industry and policy (2015-03)
Gavotsis, E. and Moncaster, A.
Athens Journal of Technology & Engineering, 2(1) (pp. 9-23)
Pathways to Low Carbon Building: Reflection on the Special Issue (2015)
Moncaster, Alice
Buildings, 5(3) (pp. 751-758)
Policies and outcomes for UK sustainable schools (2015)
Moncaster, A. M. and Simmons, P.
Building Research and Information, 43(4) (pp. 452-464)
Investigating the perspectives of social value for a flood alleviation scheme (2014)
Fitton, Sarah Louise; Moncaster, Alice and Guthrie, Peter
Athens Journal of Social Sciences, 1(4) (pp. 247-260)
Stand-alone calculation tools are not the answer to embodied carbon assessment (2014)
Ariyaratne, Chamindika I. and Moncaster, Alice M.
Energy Procedia, 62 (pp. 150-159)
A method and tool for ‘cradle to grave’ embodied energy and carbon impacts of UK buildings in compliance with the new TC350 standards (2013-11)
Moncaster, A. M. and Symons, K. E.
Energy and Buildings, 66 (pp. 514-523)
A Comparative Review of existing data and methodologies for calculating embodied energy and carbon of buildings (2012)
Moncaster, A. M. and Song, J-Y.
International Journal of Sustainable Building Technology and Urban Development, 3(1)
Knowledge exchange between academia and industry (2010-09)
Moncaster, A.; Hinds, D.; Cruickshank, H.; Guthrie, P.; Crishna, N.; Baker, K.; Beckman, K. and Jowitt, P. W.
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability, 163(3) (pp. 167-174)
Embodied Carbon Measurement, Mitigation and Management Within Europe, Drawing on a Cross-Case Analysis of 60 Building Case Studies (2018-03-02)
Moncaster, Alice; Birgisdottir, Harpa; Malmqvist, Tove; Nygaard Rasmussen, Freja; Houlihan Wiberg, Aoife and Soulti, Eleni
In: Pomponi, Francesco; De Wolf, Catherine and Moncaster, Alice eds. Embodied Carbon in Buildings: Measurement, Management, and Mitigation (pp. 443-462)
ISBN : 978-3-319-72795-0 | Publisher : Springer
Adaptation and Demolition in a Masterplan Context (2018-02-16)
Baker, Hannah and Moncaster, Alice
In: Wilkinson, Sara J. and Remøy, Hilde eds. Building Urban Resilience through Change of Use (pp. 57-81)
ISBN : 9781119231424 | Publisher : John Wiley & Sons
Circular Economy Research in the Built Environment: A Theoretical Contribution (2017)
Pomponi, Francesco and Moncaster, Alice
In: Dastbaz, Mohammad; Gorse, Chris and Moncaster, Alice eds. Building Information Modelling, Building Performance, Design and Smart Construction (pp. 31-44)
ISBN : 978-3-319-50345-5 | Publisher : Springer | Published : Cham
Embodied Carbon in Buildings: Measurement, Management, and Mitigation (2018-03-02)
Pomponi, Francesco; De Wolf, Catherine and Moncaster, Alice eds.
ISBN : 978-3-319-72795-0 | Publisher : Springer
Building Information Modelling, High Performance Design and Smart Construction (2017)
Dastbaz, Mohammad; Gorse, Chris and Moncaster, Alice eds.
ISBN : 978-3-319-50345-5 | Publisher : Springer
Bringing pupils into building energy performance: School design, construction and operation (2017-07-05)
Pomponi, Francesco; Medina Campos, Liliana; Moncaster, Alice and Smith, Sean
In : PLEA 2017: Passive and Low Energy Architecture (3-5 Jul 2017, Edinburgh)
Demolition and adaptation at the CB1 development, Cambridge (2017-07-01)
Baker, Hannah and Moncaster, Alice
In : 24th Annual Conference of the the European Real Estate Society (28 Jun - 1 Jul, Delft, Netherlands)
Bio inspired design: when sun and wind are there to help (2017-06-16)
Pomponi, F.; Medina Campos, L. and Moncaster, A. M.
In : 23rd International Sustainable Development Research Society Conference (14-16 Jun, Bogotá, Colombia)
Inclusion of on-site renewables in design-stage building life cycle assessments (2017)
Galpin, S. and Moncaster, A.
In : 9th International Conference on Sustainability in Energy and Buildings SEB-17 (5-7 Jul 2017, Crete, Greece)
The Role Of Stakeholders In Masterplan Regeneration Decisions (2017)
Baker, H. E. and Moncaster, A.
In : World Sustainable Built Environment Conference (5-7 Jun 2017, Hong Kong)
Shortcomings of LCA current practice: the risk of mean values (2016-05)
Pomponi, Francesco; Piroozfar, Poorang A.E. and Moncaster, Alice
In : Industrial Ecology and Green Transformation ISIE America 2016 (25-27 May 2016, Bogata, Colombia)
Circular Economy Research in the Built Environment: A Theoretical Contribution (2016)
Pomponi, Francesco and Moncaster, Alice
In : International Conference on Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society (14-15 Sep 2016, Leeds Beckett University, UK)
Reducing Embodied Carbon in the Built Environment: A Research Agenda (2016)
Pomponi, F and Moncaster, Alice
In : International Conference on Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society (14-15 Sep 2016, Leeds Beckett University, UK)
Benefits and challenges of visualising embodied and whole life carbon of buildings (2016)
Pomponi, F. and Moncaster, A.
In : International Conference on Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society (14-15 Sep 2016, Leeds Beckett University, UK)
Comparative energy and comfort analysis of façade passive strategies in the Mediterranean region (2016)
Mifsud, Lara; Pomponi, Francesco and Moncaster, Alice M.
In : Engineering Transparency, Glasstech (20-23 Sep 2016, Dusseldorf, Germany) (pp. 161-174)
Double Skin Façades: Life Cycle Study of a Versatile Technology for the Sustainable Refurbishment of Non-domestic Buildings (2016)
Pomponi, F. and Moncaster, A.
In : Central Europe towards Sustainable Building (20-22 Jun 2016, Prague) (pp. 261-268)
The cultural dimension of industrial ecology education: success story of a sustainable integrated curriculum in Chia, Columbia (2016)
Pomponi, F.; Medina Campos, L. and Moncaster, A.
In : Industrial Ecology and Green Transformation ISIE America 2016 (25-27 May 2016)
Buildings for the biosphere (and their indoors for the technosphere) - A circular economy view for the construction industry (2016)
Pomponi, Francesco and Moncaster, Alice
In : Industrial Ecology and Green Transformation ISIE America 2016 (25-27 May 2016, Bogata, Colombia)
Implementing Whole Life Carbon in Buildings (2016)
De Wolf, Catherine; Pomponi, Francesco and Moncaster, Alice
In : Industrial Ecology and Green Transformation ISIE America 2016 (25-27 May 2016, Bogata, Colombia)
The social value of flood infrastructure design (2014-07-29)
Fitton, Sarah L. and Moncaster, Alice
In : 4th Annual International Conference on Urban Studies & Planning (9-12 Jun 2014, Athens, Greece)
Design strategies for low embodied energy and greenhouse gases in buildings: analyses of the IEA Annex 57 case studies (2014)
Malmqvist, T.; Birgisdottir, H.; Houlihan-Wiberg, A.; Moncaster, A.; Brown, N.; John, V.; Passer, A.; Potting, J. and Soulti, E.
In : World Sustainable Building Conference WSB14 (28-30 Oct 2014, Barcelona)
Practical limitations in Embodied Energy and Carbon measurements, and how to address them: a UK case study (2014)
Gavotsis, Efstratios and Moncaster, Alice
In : World Sustainable Building Conference WSB14 (28-30 Oct 2014, Barcelona)
UK experience of the use of timber as a low embodied carbon structural material (2014)
Soulti, Eleni and Moncaster, Alice
In : World Sustainable Building Conference (WSB14) (28-30 Oct 2014, Barcelona)
Flood alleviation design: adopting a social perspective (2014)
Fitton, Sarah L.; Moncaster, Alice and Guthrie, Peter
In : 6th International Conference on Flood Management “Floods in a changing Environment” (ICFM6) (16-18 Sep 2014, São Paulo, Brazil)
Industry and policy recommendations for the improvement of embodied energy and carbon accounting, based on a study during construction stage (2014)
Gavotsis, Efstratios and Moncaster, Alice
In : 4th Annual International Conference on Architecture (7-10 Jul 2014, Athens, Greece)
Retrofitting solid wall buildings: energy and carbon costs and savings (2013)
Moncaster, Alice; Soulti, Eleni; Mubarak, Ghada and Symons, Katie
In : SB13 Graz - Sustainable Buildings - Construction Products and Technologies (25-28 Sep 2013, Graz, Austria) (pp. 95-101)
An Application of the CEN/TC350 standards to an Energy and Carbon LCA of timber used in construction, and the effect of end-of-life scenarios (2013)
Symons, Katie; Moncaster, Alice and Symons, Digby
In : Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society (ALCAS) conference (15-18 Jul 2013, Sydney, Australia)
The impact of procurement processes on the sustainability of school buildings (2013)
Moncaster, Alice
In : Proceedings of Sustainable Building SB13 (24-26 Apr 2013, Munich, Germany)
How much do we spend to save? Calculating the embodied carbon costs of retrofit (2012)
Sahagun, Daniela and Moncaster, Alice
In : Retrofit 2012 (24-26 Jan 2012, Salford, Manchester)
A comparative review of existing data and methodologies for calculating embodied energy and carbon of buildings (2011)
Moncaster, Alice and Song, Ji-Young
In : World Sustainable Building Conference WSB11 (18-21 Oct 2011, Helsinki, Finland)
How gender equality can help fix the construction industry (2018-01-25)
Moncaster, Alice and Dillon, Martha
The Conversation
Women, Boards and the UK Built Environment: Investigating the business case for improved gender diversity on the boards of built environment firms (2017-11)
Dillon, Martha and Moncaster, Alice
Equilibrium Network
Evaluation of Embodied Energy and CO2eq for Building Construction (Annex 57). Subtask 4: Case Studies and Recommendations for the Reduction of Embodied Energy and Embodied Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Buildings (2016-11)
Birgisdottir, Harpa; Houlihan Wiberg, Aoife; Malmqvist, Tove; Moncaster, Alice and Nygaard Rasmussen, Freja
International Energy Agency EBC
Strategies for Reducing Embodied Energy and Embodied GHG Emissions. Guideline for Designers and Consultants - Part 2. IEA EBC Annex 57. (2016-09)
Birgisdottir, Harpa; Houlihan Wiberg, Aoife; Malmqvist, Tove; Moncaster, Alice and Nygaard Rasmussen, Freja
Institute for Building Environment and Energy Conservation
Evaluation of Embodied Energy and GHG Emissions for Building Construction (Annex 57). Case studies demonstrating Embodied Energy and Embodied Greenhouse Gas Emissions in buildings (2016)
Birgisdottir, Harpa; Houlihan Wiberg, Aoife; Malmqvist, Tove; Moncaster, Alice and Nygaard Rasmussen, Freja
International Energy Agency EBC

Meet our Academics

Head and shoulders of male OU academic

In addition to teaching on Open University modules our academics are engaged in ground breaking research that benefits individuals and society.

Request your prospectus

Request a prospectus icon

Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.

Request prospectus

Are you already an OU student?

Go to StudentHome