The Living Lab

De Montfort University (DMU) is looking for researchers, experts and organisations in the field of renewable technologies to collaborate with the university’s ‘Living Lab’, a pioneering project to transform the campus’s Queens Building into a centre for sustainable excellence.

DMU has long been an advocate of sustainable development. In the early 1990s it built the award-winning, ‘green’ Queens Building, which, with its innovative natural ventilation and lighting, was featured in architectural books as a design for the future. 

Now DMU plans to take the Queens Building a stage further and transform it into a living example of sustainability and energy efficiency in modern buildings. Individuals and organisations are invited to join forces with DMU and bring their expertise to the project.

Sustainable design

DMU continues to invest and push boundaries in sustainability and research through one of the largest centres of advanced technology in any European university, the Institute for Energy and Sustainable Development (IESD) a leading interdisciplinary research centre.

The IESD propose to demonstrate ways of achieving significant carbon reductions in modern buildings through the refurbishment of the Queens Building, turning it into a Living Lab.

The aim of Living Lab is simple. Take an existing building and transform it into a living example of the sustainability and energy efficiency that can be achieved through research, creativity, investment and vision.


The Carbon Trust states that buildings constitute 40 per cent of UK carbon emissions. Making existing buildings more energy efficient is a vital factor in helping to reach Government targets for carbon reduction by 2050.



This innovative and challenging project aims to:

  1. Demonstrate how to achieve (and eventually surpass) Government carbon reduction targets in a cost-effective manner
  2. Showcase the latest technological approaches to building and energy management as well as innovative building user engagement
  3. Be a resource for teaching and research into sustainability for buildings, energy and behavioural changes
  4. Inspire, teach and live best practice for other public sector buildings in the UK
  5. Contribute to and shape future research and policy in the field of buildings, energy and sustainability
  6. Create positive energy building concepts for the purpose of research and development (i.e. producing and storing surplus renewable energy at certain times)
  7. Demonstrate best practice in innovative building user engagement.

The future  


The IESD is looking for researchers, institutions and organisations who want to create a sustainable future. Collaborate with the Living Lab by:

  • Developing joint research activities (such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships) and research facilities
  • Piloting and exploring novel technologies
  • Donating and investing, for the creation of a showcase building


To help the work of the Living Lab and to find out more about collaborative opportunities, please contact:

Dr Mark Lemon,
Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development 

T: + 44 (0)116 257 7977