Title: Dr
First Name: Jonathan
Surname: Scott
Position: Course Leader
Telephone: +44 (0)1224 263710


  • Lecturer in Architectural Technology
  • Responsible for the studio delivery of the Architectural Technology course at the Robert Gordon University
  • Lecturer in Stage Built Environment
  • Integration of software based tools in education and as an aid to the decision making process

Education and Background

1993-95 HND Architectural Technology
1996-98 BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology (1st)
2000-04 PhD

Jonathan joined Robert Gordon University in 1992, completing an HND in Architectural Technology. He went on to complete a first class honours degree in the same subject, graduating in 1998. Except for a short stint in industry, Jonathan has worked in research and teaching for The Robert Gordon University on a variety of projects, developing his interests in the areas of environmental design, energy monitoring, life cycle analysis, social and occupancy evaluation. In addition, Jonathan is also interested, in a research and educational aspect, in CAD, surveying technologies and historic conservation.

Since 2000 Jonathan has undertaken a PhD (an EPSRC funded studentship), the title of which is “Optimising The Relationship Between Passive Solar Design Of New Housing And The Economics Of Construction and Land Value”, in the field of environmental design, creating a decision making tool for the selection of detached homes. He completed successfully in 2004, and he has since been employed as a Research Fellow at The Robert Gordon University.

PhD and Research Interests

Jonathan's PhD research proposed that using a balanced passive solar design, within a sustainable development, would enable current aesthetic and spatial approaches to housing to take on an enhanced level of environmental acceptability. In northern latitudes, however, full year round passive solar design is compromised by the density of housing using current methods of housing development. The research developed a framework tool to determine, using passive solar as an exemplar, how this issue could be overcome.

Data was gathered on passive solar performance in real on-site scenarios, and an extensive database established. Information on the development of models, and past research on the topic, on room layouts, thermal mass sizing, orientation, site planning and site spacing/layouts was identified. The use of this information enables a means to environmentally assess entire developments holistically.

The research focused on the critical planning stages of housing developments, and the adoption of passive solar techniques in providing low-energy, comfortable homes.

The PhD was completed in 2004. Since then a number of publications have been made in journals and conferences in relation to the findings. Jonathan remains an active researcher in the field of environmental design, and in particular Passive Solar Design, who finds the research valuable in terms of research as well as within education.

Performance Evaluation and WLC

The focus of research into environmental design has been on the unique or special. There has been little attempt to adopt basic principles of environmental design into the mass housing market. In contrast, the standard norm is to build housing with many of the same attributes regardless of local tradition. Working on case studies designed by Professor Gokay Deveci, Jonathan has evaluated the performance on these buildings, and others, using the following methodology:

The life-cycle will detail the cost-effectiveness of a ‘pilot scheme’ home, by comparison with a ‘standard scheme’ construction, from inception through to eventual demolition.

Environment and use monitoring will establish the effectiveness of a pilot scheme concept over a standard scheme. A performance evaluation will include the following: internal air and radiant temperatures over the period of one year; internal humidity over same period; water temperature analysis; air infiltration test; survey using infra-red thermography; material testing.

The POE would establish the basic effectiveness of the design and provide useful feedback to the client, designers and researchers, which could then enable further optimisation of the housing design.

Community participation is used as there is a general feeling of mistrust and a reluctance to adopt new approaches by the public. It is important to reassure homeowners and neighbours, and to ensure they are satisfied that the design will benefit the local area.

Architectural Audit Aberdeen – Market Street

The Architectural Audit has been ongoing for a number of years. It involved the recording and analysis of historic environments of national and local importance. The basic concept is how to interpret historic buildings not as individual addresses or plots but as entire streetscapes. This information then can be used to investigate the changes to individual buildings, such as signage or window replacement, and how this affects the street holistically. The audit has now investigated conservation areas in Aberdeen, Inverness, Nairn, Dingwall and Cromarty, of which Jonathan has been involved with Aberdeen, Inverness and Cromarty Audits.

The main aim is to record historic environments and conservation areas as streetscapes and to analyse the effects of changes to the built environment within these locations. This is done through a photographic and measured survey – which is converted into CAD streetscapes. The value of measuring and recording existing structures in the ever changing built environment is incredibly important, as signified by the losses (with very little records) of many town centres of signature buildings through the middle of the 20th century.

The output from these audits is a booklet combining drawn, textual and photographic evidence of the Conservation Areas in all of these towns and cities.

HD Scanning

Jonathan has been trained in the use of the latest surveying tool - the HD Scanner, used in research and education at the university. With a high degree of accuracy, this product can render ‘space’ immediately into 3d, represented by ‘point clouds’ – individual points in 3d space. The point cloud is coloured by ‘intensity’, and initially this is enough to give a very good impression of texture and simple colours. Used in combination with images, the point clouds can make a good representation of, for example, a building facade with its many colours.

Current Activities

Consultancy Work:

  • Performance Evaluation of Housing
  • Masonry Conservation/Stone Cleaning


  • Architectural Audit of Aberdeen Phase 2
  • HD Scanning of Doocots and Others
  • Energy performance of existing buildings
  • HD Scanning of Derelict/disused or reused buildings.