ACCESS - Advancing Capacity for Climate  and Environment Social Science
ACCESS - Advancing Capacity for Climate  and Environment Social Science
Back to the Expert Database

Dr Maria Gabriela Zapata-Lancaster

Last modified: February 19, 2024
ACCESS Network

Senior Lecturer
Cardiff University


The sector(s) I work in: Academic

Professional qualifications:

PhD in Architecture

MSc Building Technology





About the organisation(s) I've worked for

Organisation name:

Cardiff University

About my experience and expertise

Personal statement:

My research investigates the sustainability of buildings, indoor environmental quality, energy use in buildings and net zero buildings. I use monitoring techniques, architectural science and social science theories/methods to investigate the nexus between what people do and the performance and sustainability of buildings. I work in domestic sector, offices and educational buildings; in design and operational stages. I’ve undertaken research through observation, ethnography, interviews, questionnaires, focus groups. I am developing research with primary schools to coproduce research with monitoring data of building performance and codesign child led citizen science learning resources with/for children to experiment with building data.

Key topic areas of research or interest:

I am architecture researcher with expertise on on sustainable buildings, indoor environment quality, thermal comfort, net zero, sustainable living in buildings and built environments.
I use social science theories (practice theory) and social science methods (qualitative: interviews, ethnography, observation, focus groups and qualitative: questionnaires). I use monitoring techniques to measure building performance and sustainability.

Collaboration opportunities:

I am interested to collaborate in the topic of sustainable (living in) buildings considering various practices and perspectives : designers’, occupants’, policy makers’, educators’. I’m interested in child-led or community led citizen science to explore and coproduce sustainable solutions to mitigate climate impact of buildings and built environments


Selected publications, complete list available at

Patel, H. and Zapata-Lancaster, M. 2023. Integrating views on building performance from different stakeholder groups. Journal of Corporate Real Estate

Zapata-Lancaster, M. G., Ionas, M., Toyinbo, O. and Smith, T. A. 2023. Carbon dioxide concentration levels and thermal comfort in primary school classrooms: what pupils and teachers do. Sustainability 15(6), article number: 4803. (10.3390/su15064803)

Fernández Goycoolea, J. P., Zapata-Lancaster, M. and Whitman, C. 2022. Operational emissions in prosuming dwellings: a study comparing different sources of grid CO2 intensity values in South Wales, UK. Energies 15(7), article number: 2349. (10.3390/en15072349)

Schweiker, M. et al. 2020. Evaluating assumptions of scales for subjective assessment of thermal environments – do laypersons perceive them the way, we researchers believe?. Energy and Buildings 211, article number: 109761. (10.1016/j.enbuild.2020.109761)

Zapata-Lancaster, G. 2020. Architects’ tactics to embed as-designed performance in the design process of low energy nondomestic buildings. Presented at: Sustainability in Energy and Buildings 2019, Budapest, Hungary, 4-5 July 2019 Presented at Littlewood, J. et al. eds.Sustainability in Energy and Buildings, Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, Vol. 163. Springer pp. 383-393., (10.1007/978-981-32-9868-2_33)

Zapata-Lancaster, M. 2019. Thermal comfort practices in non-domestic buildings within the organisational context. Facilities 38(1/2), pp. 114-131. (10.1108/F-01-2019-0010)

Skip to content