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Ana Costa supervises 2 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

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Dr Ana Costa

Senior Lecturer in Architecture

Ana Costa

The LICA Building



Tel: +44 1524 594847

Research overview

I am an educator, researcher, chartered architect and certified Passivhaus Designer, fostering the creation of dynamic links and knowledge exchange between academia and industry. My research focuses on accelerating material reuse in construction, reducing whole life carbon and enabling a circular economy. Complementary, I am an expert on teaching and learning spaces, with several projects, consultancy and publications developed in the area.


Hello! My name is Ana Rute Costa and I’m a Portuguese architect. I studied architecture in Porto, on an inspiring building designed by Alvaro Siza Vieira. I worked as an architect as freelancer and in different practices. I value the impact of place in architecture and how architecture can improve our life quality and create a perfect harmony between body, mind, and space.

As an architect and Passivhaus designer, my work has been internationally recognized (Mies van der Rohe Award 2015 & ECOLA Award 2015). I have designed, lead, managed and coordinated architectural projects (public and private clients) of different scales, with several different environmental demands and stages of the design process. Currently designing my little Passivhaus!

As an architectural educator, I like to stimulate students’ creativity and critical thinking, ultimately enabling them to be resilient and problem-solving professionals. I’m always willing to improve my teaching practices, learning from you and empowering you to be better architects than me!

My current research focused on Material Reuse and Materials Passports to enable circular economy solutions in construction. Complementary, I am interested in the design of learning and teaching spaces and how architecture can enhance our learning experience.

When I’m not working, I like to spend time with my family (I’m a mother of three), I like to cycle, run, row, sew, bake and I am an aspiring illustrator.

I see the world as a big house that we all need to look after; together we can make a change and contribute to a better built environment.

Research Interests

I am interested in understanding how architecture can respond to current societal and environmental challenges and take users perspectives into consideration. I led the ‘Accelerating Material Re-use in Construction’ project funded by AHRC. My research focus lies on enabling a circular economy in the construction sector through materials reuse and material passports. My current research focuses on material reuse and prioritize deconstruction over demolition and design for disassembly (End of life design).

I am also an educational researcher with a strong specialism in Learning and Teaching spaces. My research focuses on analysing the impact of the built environment in teaching and learning through ethnographic and visual research methods. I am interested in research how architecture and design can foster better learning and teaching spaces and improve learning outcomes.

Current Teaching

As Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Architecture I oversee the course delivery and I ensure content consistency across different modules and years. I am the year three leader and I convene the year 3 Architectural Design modules and the Integrated Technology and Professional Studies Modules. Complementary, I lead the Architecture Summer School, a full week of workshops, activities delivered by the end of the academic year. This is a great opportunity to bring everyone together, promote peer learning opportunities and have fun! I am also the coordinator of the TEA talks, a series of informal talks from our School of Architecture on the theme of Technology, the Environment, and the role of Architecture, now and in the future. You can watch the previous talks on our YouTube channel.

Current Research

In 2024, I have co-authored the Materials Passports: Accelerating Material Reuse in Construction policy paper. The purpose of this paper is to enable the widespread adoption of materials passports to support a circular economy. We provide a suit of guidance and templates to facilitate the immediate and comprehensive adoption of materials passporting across Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry. Following this work, I am currently involved on a series of research projects to implement material passports at different contexts and scales and analyse how to improve current practices.

As a specialist in Teaching and Learning Environments, I published an edited book with Professor Rachel Cooper about Design for Education for Routledge and several publications about home and school learning environments.

External Roles

Honorary PGR Supervisor - University of Liverpool

External Roles

External Examiner at the University of Salford

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