Living Lab & Student Highlights

What is a Living Lab?

For a university, a Living Lab brings an opportunity for students, academic staff, professional staff and external bodies to collaborate on projects looking at real-life sustainability problems.

For Greenwich, this drive’s our commitment in embedding sustainability through knowledge, engagement, collaboration and innovation.  For staff and students it can provide valuable opportunities to build knowledge and develop employability skills.

Throughout the university experience a lot of the knowledge students gain can stay as theoretical.   By using our campuses as a tester site, we can help provide that professional experience, but through that testing also find ways on improving our environmental performance, save money and improve our natural habitats.  Whether it is a research-led campus design adapting to climate change, trialling new engagement methods, or improving well-being and biodiversity, we encourage staff and students from all Schools and Services across the University to get involved with the Living Lab.

Data Availability

We generate a lot data; from utility consumption and building layout to habitat and wildlife species identification.  By analysing data we can better understand our campuses and with it, improving the processes to deliver better environment performance (for example, helping us reduce our energy use through technical improvement or improving recycling rates through behavioural research).  Where possible and upon request, we will provide data to assist in project progression or showcase a university profile.

Outside Education

Our diverse campus is also available to use as a non-traditional classroom – for example the Avery Hill Community Edible Garden is available for academic staff and students to use teaching and learning environment. It can be used for a large number of taught disciplines using the learning opportunities it makes available. For information download this information  document.

Potential Projects

There is an unlimited set of possibilities, but if you needed some example areas of Living Lab projects:

  • Environmental Conservation: Learning the art of hedge-laying and their importance to the environment.
  • Marketing: Developing marketing plan for tap water to reduce consumption of single use water bottles.
  • Energy Management: Analysis and modelling of electricity and gas usage with degree days for campus buildings.
  • Transport: GIS mapping to understand staff and student commuting trends.
  • Waste:  Conducting waste audits to understand the challenges of segregating correctly.
  • Procurement:  Researching into the lifecycle of products, from design to end of use and how switches can occur.
  • Awareness:  Utilising the latest technology to promote positive change.

If you would like to get involved or have ideas as to how you’d like to utilise the research and teaching opportunities available at Greenwich email

Student Highlights

There have been some great innovations by our students over recent months and years. Here is a small collection of students and their work at Greenwich.

School of Design – Students studying animation have produced emotive and informative pieces around important topics including climate change and pollution.

Stockwell Street Building roof image is attributed to Cabinet Office and used under Creative Commons licence.

University of Greenwich Sustainability Blog