Dr Alan Coday

Director of Professional Doctorate Programmes; Principal Lecturer; MSc Course Leader; Departmental Research Coordinator and Unit16 REF Convenor

Faculty:Faculty of Science and Engineering

School:Engineering and the Built Environment

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Built environment

Research Supervision:Yes

Alan is a materials scientist and building surveyor specialising in heritage buildings. His experience has led to successful European research and completion of PhDs and Professional Doctorates featuring sustainability in the built environment.



With a background at the Ove Arup Partnership and the Building Research Establishment, Alan’s focus on materials science and building surveying has led to successful research optimising the sustainable use of materials and construction-related management techniques. Beyond his leadership of BSc, MSc, PhD and DProfs, Alan led our Faculty’s involvement in the €2.5m FP7 funded Echo2Eco project coordinating experts in acoustics, computer simulation, thermal comfort, laser processing and polymer formulation and manufacture.

Alan was also the convenor for our department’s first ever successful submission to HEFCE’s Research Excellence Framework in 2014, achieving the judgement that 8% of the department's research is world leading in the field of architecture, planning and the built environment.

Research interests

  • Materials science in heritage buildings
  • The conservation of buildings
  • Surveying and recording materials in buildings
  • The role of building preservation trusts in building conservation
  • Acoustic attenuation through the use of thin film absorbers
  • Facilities management of heritage buildings
  • Facilities management for sustainable golf courses
  • Practice-based learning: the intermediary between teaching, learning and professionalism
  • Energy conservation v building conservation
  • Building conservation v nature conservation

Areas of research supervision

  • Materials science in the context of heritage buildings
  • The philosophy of vernacular buildings
  • Energy management in public heritage buildings
  • The optimisation of sustainability and playing quality for golf green management
  • The interaction between tree roots and buildings
  • Academic progression and professional membership
  • The interface between the design process and the construction process
  • Construction contract partnering in the public sector
  • Materials science and finite element analysis of premature failure of hip resurfacing

Find out more about our Professional Doctorate in Science and Technology and Engineering and the Built Environment PhD including our exciting PhD project opportunities.


  • Course Leader: MSc Conservation of Buildings
  • Module Leader: Building Surveying


  • PhD Wood Science
  • PGCertHE
  • BSc (Hons) Building Surveying, first class
  • BSc (Hons) Forestry & Wood Science

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Fellow, the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (FIMMM)
  • Fellow, the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • UK-APT, Association of Building Preservation Trusts (East Anglia Regional Chairman Sitting on the UK-APT National Committee)
  • Mid Essex Historic Building Buildings Trust (Trustee)
  • Delegate of the English Heritage Heritage Environment Forum (Eastern Region)
  • Consultancy Services to GoReport® in developing iPad-based portable surveying technology (see www.goreport.com)

Selected recent publications

Brown, S., Coday, A. & Frame, I., 2016. Managing golf greens: aligning golf green quality with resource inputs. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ufug.2016.06.012.

Akande, O.K., Odeleye, D., Coday, A. and Bescos, C.J., 2015. Energy Performance and Improvement Potentials for Selected Heritage Building Adaptation in England. http://dx.doi.org/10.9734/bjecc/2015/19791British Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 5(3), pp189-201.

Akande, O.K., Odeleye, D., and Coday, A. 2014. Energy Efficiency For Sustainable Reuse Of Public Heritage Buildings: The Case For Research. International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning, 9(2), pp.237-250. http://dx.doi.org/10.2495/sdp-v9-n2-237-250 .

Mitchell, A.C., Frame, C.I., Coday, A.E., Hoxley, M., 2011. A Conceptual Framework of the Interface between the Design and Construction Processes. Engineering. Construction and Architectural Management, 18(3), March 2011. Emerald UK.

Coday, A.E., and Hoxley, M., 2008. Proceedings COBRA 2008: The Portable Test Equipment being used by Building Surveyors. Structural Survey, 2001, 19(4), pp.173-184.

Bonfield, P.W., Coday, A.E. and Mundy, J.S. Sustainable Construction: the Role for Timber and Wood-Based Products. BRE Commercial in Confidence DETR report.

Bonfield, P.W., Coday, A.E. and Mundy, J.S. Opportunities for Substituting Non-Renewable Materials with Timber and Wood-Based Products in Construction. BRE Commercial in Confidence DETR report.

Hardwoods for Joinery and Construction – Technical Assessment Methods. Building Research Establishment Digest 431 Part 1. Principal author.

Hardwoods for Joinery and Construction – Test Results and Recommendations. Building Research Establishment Digest 431 Part 2. Principal author.

Hardwoods for Joinery and Construction – Test Results and Recommendations. Building Research Establishment Digest 431 Part 3. Principal author.

Hardwoods for Joinery and Construction – Test Results and Recommendations. Building Research Establishment Digest 431 Part 4. Principal author.

The Strength Properties of Timber: 1997 Supplement. Building Research Establishment supplement describing the strength properties of 12 current supplies of commercial timbers. Principal author.

Timber Drying Manual. Pratt G.H., 3rd Edition edited by Coday, A.E., Maun, K. An update of the previous edition including current commercial species and relevant drying schedules. Principal author of amendments. BRE Report 1997.

Handbook of Hardwoods: 1997 Supplement. Coday, A.E. and Maun, K., 1997.  A supplement including information upon 12 current supplies of commercial hardwoods. Principal author – Building Research Establishment Report.

Identification of Hardwoods – a Microscope Key. Coday, A.E., Maun, K., 1997.  An update of FPRL Bulletin 46. Building Research Establishment report. Principal author of amendments.

Hardwoods for Construction and Joinery – Current and Future sources of Supply. Coday, A.E., 1996.  Building Research Establishment Digest 417. Principal researcher and author.

Recent presentations and conferences

Brown, S. Coday, A.E., Frame, C.I, 2016 Managing Golf Greens: Aligning Golf Green Quality with Resource inputs. Paper presented at the European Turfgrass Society 5th ETS 2016 Conference in Albufeira, Portugal, 8-10 June 2016

Akande, O.K., Odeleye, D., Coday, A. & Jimenez-Bescos, C. Energy Use Reduction for Sustainable Reuse of Public Heritage Buildings: The Stakeholders' Perspectives.

2nd International conference on Preservation, Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Historical Buildings and Structures. REHAB 2015 July 22 - 24, Porto, Portugal. REHAB 2015 Best Sustainability Paper Award.  REHAB2015 Overall Best Paper Award.

Crabtree, P., Frame, I., and Coday, A., 2010. Work-Based Learning for the Built Environment. RICS COBRA conference, September 2010.

Gale, K., Frame, I., Wynn, P., Coday, A., and Lam, T., 2010. Performance Improvement within Construction Frameworks. RICS COBRA conference, September 2010.

Coday, A.E., 2010. Portable Technology for Building Surveyors – Love, Lethargy or Liability? RICS COBRA conference, September 2010.