About Sandy Halliday

Professor Sandy Halliday    MPhil MCIBSE CEng FWES MCIBSE HonFRIAS HonFRIBA

Director, Gaia Group Ltd, Scotland

Sandy is a chartered engineer and internationally respected author, thought leader and communicator with extensive experience of trans-disciplinary working in the field of sustainable buildings and places. She has been a researcher and educator in built environment issues and a sustainability adviser to the private, public and third sector since 1986.   Sandy’s ability to bridge gaps between sustainable architecture and engineering is recognised by Honorary Fellowships of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA, 2020) and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS, 2018) and Fellowship of the Women’s Engineering Society. In 2018 she was voted one of the Top 50 Women Engineers working in Sustainability in the UK by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES).

Sandy’s extensive research portfolio embraces the circular economy, building physics, energy systems, lighting & daylighting, solar air conditioning, innovative ventilation systems, low allergy housing, building cost, community engagement, indoor air quality for people with dementia, low impact materials, dynamic insulation, animal architecture, school design, urban ecology, building performance evaluation and the history of sustainable development ideas. Her experience in practice requires her to be at the forefront of understanding of contemporary issues and practice and informs her writing, teaching and capacity building. This expertise enables her to provide real time support for the design and procurement of numerous best-value, healthy, resource efficient buildings.

Sandy has significant teaching experience. As Visiting Professor of Engineering Design for Sustainable Development at the University of Strathclyde (2003-2008) she developed her own interdisciplinary CPD programme in Sustainable Design for built environment professionals into an undergraduate course. This became the highly acclaimed international monograph Sustainable Construction, 2nd Edition. She delivers  a course at the University of Strathclyde on Sustainable Construction and until 2019 was a Visiting Lecturer on the Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development Post Graduate Programme, Oslo International Summer School.

She has given evidence to the House of Lords on energy related issues and presented to the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on the Built Environment and to Scotland’s Climate Assembly on issues such as the Circular Economy, embodied energy, Fabric First, environmental design, Urban Ecology, sustainable housing and placemaking. She conceived and authored the RIAS Environmental Statement and conceived and developed the world-first RIAS Accreditation Scheme in Sustainable Design and delivered a fifteen-part UK-wide training course in sustainable design to a multi-professional cross-section of the UK construction industry in 2001 to 2014.

Sandy is  a member of Gaia International – a world-wide federation of architects, engineers and urban designers working in best practice sustainable design of the built environment; a Director and a past Chair of the Scottish Ecological Design Association – a built environment focussed charity; an active  past board member of the Children’s Parliament – a Scottish charity dedicated to the well-being of children;. a member of the Women’s Engineering Society Climate Emergency Group; a Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST) Innovation Champion.and a member of  the RIAS Working Group on Sustainability. She contributes a regularly thinkpiece to the RIAS quarterly magazine on sustainability.

Recent Activity

  • Thinkpiece: RIAS Quarterly – Creation is an evolutionary process – September 2022
  • Consultant: Gottstein Architects – A Net Zero Standard for Buildings  – August 2021
  • Lecture IHBC – A Short History of Good Ideas and their Design Impacts – June 2022
  • Thinkpiece: RIAS Quarterly – A Creation Story– June 2022
  • Thinkpiece: RIAS Quarterly – So the idealists were right, Utopia requires constraints
  • March 2022
  • Consultant Member: – ALDAS Air tightness Collective – March 2022 www.aldas.co.uk
  • Lecture: Architecture & Design Scotland – 20 Minute Rural Neighbourhoods? – March 2022
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9-acA7_5J0
  • Thinkpiece: RIAS Q – Islands: Constraints and Inventiveness March 2022
  • Lecture: SUAS – A Short History of Good Ideas – Feb 2022
  • Undergraduate Design Reviews – University of Strathclyde – Jan/ Feb 2022
  • Lecture: Build It Aberdeen Liberté, égalité, fraternité, ecologie Jan 2022
  • Thinkpiece: RIAS Q – Magic concrete, planes & glass, reusable eggs & other unicorns Jan 2022
  • Course Delivery: Sustainable Construction – University of Strathclyde – Year 1– Jan/ Feb 2022
    • (a) History of Ideas & Design Precedents
    • (b) Circular Economy & Embodied Stuff
    • (c) Appraisal Tools, Policy & Urban Ecology
  • Thinkpiece: RIAS Quarterly – An ineffective virus kills its host* – October 2021
  • Consultant: Gottstein Architects – Low Impact Logistix Buildings and Sites – October 2021
  • Consultant: Ryder Architects – All Things Sustainability Advisor –- Strategic Development and Advisory Role on Industrial, Commercial, Teaching, Housing, School and Hospitality Built Development November 2020 – September 2021
  • Presentation: Architects Declare Dublin – Liberté, égalité, fraternité, ecologie July 2021
  • Thinkpiece: RIAS Quarterly – Rural Architecture – Survival of the Fittest – July 2021
  • RIBA Future Architects Podcast: Architecture Beyond Climate Targets with Scott McAuley & Sumita Singha, 2021 https://open.spotify.com/episode/2rEGmhrq7LgLyFb6AAhxOo?si=d8a1e427b2624485
  • Thinkpiece: RIAS Quarterly – Liberté, égalité, fraternité, ecologie – March 2021
  • Presentation: Rural Housing Forum – Quality, Health & Well Being in Housing–– Feb 2021
  • Consultant: Grangegorman Campus Architectural Competition– February 2021
  • Course Delivery: University of Strathclyde – Year 1: Sustainable Construction– Feb/Mar 2021
  • Presentation: Scotland’s Climate Assembly – New Housing – January 2021
  • Thinkpiece: RIAS Quarterly – Eco-heroism – January 2021
  • Presentation: ICE Engineering Climate Change Breakfast:- Responding to Net Zero Nov 2020
  • Keynote: Build It Aberdeen Future Housing and the Circular Economy November 2020
  • Seminar: The Centre for Strategic Research & Development, Tblisi, Georgia – Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainable Construction Policy, Process and Cost Effectiveness November 2020
  • Research Contract: Zero Waste Scotland Resource Efficient Housing- 2020 Vision – October 2020 https://vimeo.com/483984642/425860213
  • Presentation: CSIC Prepare for COP 26 Made in Scotland October 2020


  • Presentation: Cross Party Group on Architecture & the Built Environment – Fabric First Sep 2020
  • Thinkpiece: RIAS Quarterly – What policies can help create built environments that are more socially accountable and less damaging to the environment? – September 2020
  • Finalist Team: Homes for 2030 with Outpost, Straw Works, EcoCocon, Milk / others July 2020 https://www.gov.uk/government/news/finalists-revealed-in-competition-to-find-homes-of-the-future
  • Thinkpiece: RIAS Quarterly – The Future of Housing and The Circular Economy July 2020
  • Article: SEDA Magazine – COP 20 Special: – Facts & Imaginings June 2020
  • Women’s Engineering Society Award – Top 50 Women in Engineering: Sustainability June 2020
  • Contributor: Climate Emergency Summit 4: Construction – A Provocation May 2020
  • Consultant: Dublin Architects – A Sustainability Strategy for Hospitality – March 2020
  • CPD Course: ECE Architects, London – Sustainable Construction – January 2020
  • Contributor: Climate Action Pioneers Convention – Stirling January 2020
  • Presentation: Waste Build – Amsterdam – Circular Construction – December 2019.
  • Keynote: Build It – No More Baby Steps! Aberdeen November 2019
  • Keynote: Howard Liddell Memorial Lecture 5: Is Scotland’s Housing Fit for Purpose? Nov 2019
  • Jury Member: The Environmental & SME categories of Georgia’s Responsible Business Awards, Meliora 2019. Part of “Georgia’s Civil Society Sustainability Initiative”.
  • Research Contract: With Edinburgh School of Architecture – Housing 2040: A Scotland Wide Housing Exhibition commissioned by Architecture & Design Scotland. April – Dec 2019
  • Presentation: RIAS Stirling Chapter Things to know about Sustainable Construction –Nov 2019
  • Presentation: Circular Economy in Construction – A business model & examples October 2019
  • Contributor: Air Quality & Dementia for Hammond Care publ 2020
  • Author: A Policy document on Ecological Buildings for Commonweal October 2019
  • Keynote Speaker: The Legacy of Ian McHarg & the Genesis of Urban Ecology, Glasgow Landscape Institute, October 2019
  • Keynote Speaker: Oslo Green Capital Livke og Liv Examples of Exemplar European Housing and Workshop Leader: Can we deal with Climate and be happy? Oslo, October 2019

Selection of Publications – Books & Research Reports

  • Halliday S.P 2018  Sustainable Construction 2nd Edition Routledge


  • Contributor and Consultant to Atkins R., 2017, 100 Sustainable Scottish Buildings. SEDA
  • Halliday S.P & Atkins R., 2016 Sustainability Guide to the RIBA Plan of Work 2013. RIBA Pubs


Thomson. K, Halliday. S, et al. (2016) Air quality & health for people with dementia. Stirling DSDC

  • Halliday S.P., 2014 Monitoring of Plummerswood Passive House TSB


  • Ed E.Kay et al. 2014 Children and Young People’s Participation & Its Transformative Potential – Contributor – Transforming the Urban Environment: The EcoCity Project Palgrave Macmillan
  • Halliday S.P 2010 Creating Sustainable Communities and Buildings Fife Council


  • Halliday S.P., 2009 Energy Efficiency & Indoor Air Quality in Traditional Buildings

www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/gaia-research-report-indoor-air-quality-and- energy-efficiency-in-traditonal-buildings.pdf

  • Halliday S.P ., 2009 Daylighting for Sports Halls – 2nd Edition Sportscotland
  • Halliday S.P 2009 Sustainable Community Projects Big Lottery Fund
  • Halliday S.P 2008  Sustainable Construction Butterworth – Heinmann
  • Halliday S.P 2008 Underfloor Heating  Sportscotland
  • Halliday S.P ., Liddell H.L., Gilbert J., 2008 Design for toxic chemical reduction in buildings SE seda2.org/dfcrb/
  • Halliday S.P 2007, The Green Guide to the Architects Job Book, 2nd Edition RIBA Publication,
  • Contributor to – DFES Design of Sustainable Schools – Case Studies –2006 TSO
  • Halliday S.P 2005 Affordable Low Allergy Housing Gaia Research  ISBN 1-904-680-18-6
  • Halliday S.P., et al., 2005 Design & Construction of Sustainable Schools, 2 vol, Scottish Executive
  • Halliday S.P & Stevenson F., 2004 Sustainable Construction & The Regulatory Framework – Summary ISBN 1-904-680-16-X
  • Halliday S.P 2004 A Clients Guide to Sustainable Private Housing/ Social Housing / Offices/ Schools – Drafts for development Gaia Research   ISBN 1-904680-10-0
  • Halliday S.P 2003 Solar Air Conditioning – Technical Assistance and Demonstration Feasibility Guidance Note and Design CD Gaia Research  ISBN 0-953312-61-5
  • Halliday S.P 2003 Anarchi: Animal Architecture Gaia Research ISBN 1-904680-00-3
  • Halliday S.P 2000 The Green Guide to the Architects Job Book, RIBA Publications
  • Halliday S.P & Pemberton G., 2000, Sustainable Rural Housing Scottish Executive
  • Morrison C., & Halliday S.P., 2000 Working with participation – EcoCity – a model for children’s participation in the planning & regeneration of their local environment – Children in Scotland.
  • Halliday S.P 1999 Environmental Building Design –Outstanding Principal Needs Gaia Research
  • Halliday S.P 1998 Dynamic Insulation– Past Present Future Gaia Research ISBN 0-953312-62-3
  • Halliday S.P 1997 Review of the UK Passive Solar Programme – Non-Domestic Buildings ETSU
  • Halliday S.P., & Venebles R.K., 1996 A Clients Guide to Greener Construction, CIRIA.
    • Halliday S.P., & Smerdon T.K., 1996 Sustainable Housing BSRIA
    • Halliday S.P., 1995, Feedback Case Studies, BSRIA
    • Halliday S.P., 1995, Future National Initiatives in Sustainable Construction, BSRIA
    • Halliday S.P., 1994, The Environmental Code of Practice for Buildings & their Services, BSRIA
    • Halliday S.P., Venables R., 1994 A Clients Guide to Greener Construction, CIRIA
    • Halliday S.P., 1992 Building Services and Environmental Issues BSRIA
  • Halliday S.P., 1992 Recycling of Industrial Waste, BSRIA


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