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Interdisciplinary Research Centre



Dr Minna Sunikka-Blank is a registered architect and a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Architecture. Before coming to Cambridge, she worked on Environmental Impact Assessment, urban renewal and comparative policy analysis in Finland and in the Netherlands and published several books and research articles on the subject. Her research focuses on improving policies for energy efficiency in the European housing stock and the aesthetics of sustainable architecture. She has a special interest in environmental timber structures. Dr Sunikka-Blank is a Director of Studies and Fellow in Architecture at Churchill College.


The research focuses on how national governments can improve their sustainable building policies so as to increase feasible, cost-efficient and legitimate carbon reductions in the housing stock. Sustainable building is often seen in the context of new construction and few policy measures manage to address the complexity of economic and implementation barriers of improving energy efficiency of the existing stock. The research touches the sensitive question of demolition: to what extent the existing housing stock should adapt to the environmental and economic requirements? What is the real cost of energy efficient refurbishment and what measures should the government use to support sustainable urban regeneration?


Key publications: 


Sunikka-Blank, M., 2011, The concept and aesthetics of sustainable building in Japan, in: Lee, S. (ed.) Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, Rotterdam (010 Publishers).

Sunikka-Blank, M., Chen, J., Dantsiou, D., Britnell, J., 2011, Sustainable Retrofit – understanding barriers to progress, community engagement and policy strategies for increase of take up by home owners and tenants, European Planning Studies.

Sunikka-Blank, M., Iwafune, Y., 2010, Sustainable building in Japan - observations on a market transformation policy, Environmental Policy and Governance.

McGilligan, C., Sunikka-Blank, M., Natarajan, S., 2009, Subsidy as an agent to enhance the effectiveness of the energy performance certificate, Energy Policy, 38 (3), pp. 1272-1287, doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2009.10.068.

Meijer, F., Itard, L., Sunikka-Blank, M., 2009, Comparing European residential building stocks: performance, renovation and policy opportunities, Building Research & Information, 37:5:533 -551.

Sunikka, M., 2006, Policies for improving energy efficiency of the existing housing stock, Amsterdam (IOS Press).


University Senior Lecturer
Dr. Minna  Sunikka-Blank

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