Richard Laing Profile 2
Title: Professor
First Name: Richard
Surname: Laing
Position: Professor of Built Environment Visualisation
Telephone: +44 (0)1224 263716

Key Duties and Responsibilities

Research Coordinator in Architecture and Built Environment

Academic Background

Research Coordinator and senior member of the IDEAS Research Institute.

Since 1999 Prof Laing has led a number of research commissions, including 'Streetscapes' (Scottish Enterprise), 'Greenspace' (ECFP5, Scottish lead) and 'Urban Connections (Aberdeen City Growth). These projects provided techniques for assessing human responses to virtual built environments. In addition, he has recently led research and development projects for the Department of Health and the ESF, as well as participating as a co-investigator on work supported by the ESRC.

Prof Laing has extensive experience of research concerning holistic value assessment in the built environment, including studies on design evaluation, the use of computer games technology in design, building conservation and innovative housing. His research concerning design evaluation has made a significant and innovative use of 3D virtual models to present various designs and environmental scenarios. The research has produced over 50 outputs, including work in international journals and at conference.

Recent papers have appeared in leading journals including Environment and Planning B, Design Studies and the Journal of Building Appraisal.

Prof. Laing regularly peer reviews articles for journals and conferences, including Land Use Studies, Automation in Construction, Environment and Planning B, Interacting with Computers, the RICS research paper series, and the BuiltViz (co-chair), Electronic and Visual Arts (EVA London), Information Visualisation and ASCAAD conferences. In addition he has acted as a referee for the EPSRC.

Research Interests

  • Built environment visualisation
  • Built heritage conservation
  • Sustainable urban design
  • Building Information Modelling


  • Joint PI (with Professor David Gray), CARE-North, with funding as part of a consortium through Interreg IVB/ERDF.
  • PI, R&D Catalyst Award: Doocots of Aberdeenshire, with funding through and RGU administered SEEKIT grant.
  • Co-investigator, Understanding future environments, with funding from the ESRC.
  • PI, Urban Connections, with funding from Aberdeen City Council (City Growth Fund).
  • RGU PI, Greenspace EC 5th Framework Project.
  • PI, Selection of Hospital Finishes, with funding from the Department of Health.
  • Various projects with the Masonry Conservation Research Group
  • PI, Streetscapes, with funding from Scottish Enterprise. The Robert Gordon University and The Macauley Land Use Research Institute (MLURI).
  • Research Fellow, EPSRC/DETR "LINK" project titled, "Overcoming client and market resistance to pre-fabrication and standardisation in housing"

Professional Body Membership


Key Publications

  1. Laing, R., Leon, M., Mahdjoubi, L. and J. Scott (2014) Integrating Rapid 3D Data Collection Techniques to Support BIM Design Decision Making, Procedia Environmental Sciences, 22, 120-130. Link:
  2. Tait, E. and Laing, R. (2014) Community engagement and participation with 3D cultural heritage visualisations', Working Papers of the Communities & Culture Network+, 3(April), available online. Link:
  3. Tait, E., Laing, R. and D. Gray (2014) Governance and policy challenges of implementing urban low-carbon transport initiatives, Local Economy, 29(1-2).
  4. Leon, M., Laing, R., Malins, J. and H. Salman (2014) Development and Testing of a Design Protocol for Computer Mediated Multidisciplinary Collaboration during the Concept Stages with Application to the Built Environment, Procedia Environmental Sciences, 22, 108-119. Link:
  5. Salman, H. And R. Laing (2014) The impact of Computer Aided Architectural Design programs on conceptual design in an educational context, Design Studies, accepted for publication.
  6. Laing, R. (2013) Towards more sustainable built environments, In, Dimitrijevic, B. (ed) Innovations for sustainable building design and refurbishment in Scotland, Springer, pp 11-18.
  7. Leon, M and R. Laing (2013) Cloud and Computer Mediated Collaboration in the Early Architectural Design Stages - ?A study of early design stage collaboration related to BIM and the Cloud, in, Proceedings of 2013 IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science, UWE Bristol.
  8. Scott, J., Laing, R. and Hogg, G. (2013) Built heritage digitization: opportunities afforded by emerging cloud based applications, in, Proceedings of 2013 IEEE International Conference on Cloud Computing Technology and Science, UWE Bristol. 
  9. Mahdjoubi, L., Moobela, C. and R. Laing (2013) Providing real-estate services through the integration of 3D laser scanning and building information modelling, Computers in Industry.
    Laing, R., Bennadji, A. and D. Gray (2013) Traffic control and CO2 reduction: utilisation of virtual modelling within University estates master planning, International Journal of E-Planning Research, 2(1), 43-57.
  10. Zaman, Q.M.M. and Laing, R. (2013) Sustainable Approach to Regenerating Residential Form and Density: Case in Dhaka, Urban Studies Research, Article ID(783792), 12 pages.
    Laing, R. (2013) How to save a theatre: The Orpheum, Vancouver, Structural Survey: Journal of Building Pathology and Refurbishment, 31(5).
  11. Wilson, G., Kishk, M. and R. Laing (2013) Identifying Sustainability Requirements in the Refurbishment of Hospitals: The Built Estate, Models of Care, and the Challenge of Adaptation Planning, Journal of Public Health Frontier (PHF), 2(2), 114-121.
  12. Laing, R. and J. Scott (2013) Virtual juxtapositioning of architecture from the Scottish diaspora, Journal of the Constructed Environment, 3(2), 1-12. Online.
  13. Tait, E., Laing, R. and Gray, D. (2013) Transferability of Carbon Reduction Initiatives between local governments. Local Economy, under review.
  14. Salman, H. and Laing, R. (2013) What characterises the continuity of a CAAD based design protocol study?, submitted to Automation in Construction, under review.
  15. Mantle, E.J. and R. Laing (2013) Processing of high definition scan data for use within building conservation practice, Journal of Building Survey, Appraisal and Valuation, 1(4), 345-358.
  16. Laing, R., Tait, E. and D. Gray (2012) Public engagement and participation in sustainable transport issues, in, Proceedings of RICS COBRA, Las Vegas, September 11-13. 
  17. Laing, R., Buda, G. Devaney, S. and D. Roberts (2011) Built environment higher education in Scotland: pressures, challenges and change in uncertain times, CEBE Transactions, 8 (1), 41-59.
  18. Laing, R and J. Scott (2011) Remnants of Scottish stone architecture in Nova Scotia, International Journal of Heritage Studies, 17(5), 478-496.
  19. Laing, R., Buda, G. Devaney, S. and D. Roberts (2011) Built environment higher education in Scotland: pressures, challenges and change in uncertain times, CEBE Transactions, 8 (1), 41-59.
  20. Hosseini, J.F. and R. Laing (2011) The role of plant clinics in sustainability of urban green spaces in Tehran, International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 18(2), 128-133. 
  21. Laing, R. and J. Scott (2011) 3D high-definition scanning: Data recording and virtual modelling of the built heritage, Journal of Building Appraisal, 6(3-4), 201-211.
  22. Conniff, A., Craig, T., Laing, R. and Galan-Diaz, C. (2010) A comparison of active navigation and passive observation of desktop models of future built environments, Design Studies 31(5) 419-438
  23. Harty, J. and R. Laing (2010) Handbook of Research on Building Information Modeling and Construction Informatics: Concepts and Technologies. In: J. Underwood and U. Isikdag, eds, First edn. Hersey, New York, USA: Information Science Reference (an imprint of IGI Global), pp. 546?560.
  24. Laing, R, Davies, A-M, Miller, D, Conniff, A, Scott, S and J. Morrice (2009) The application of visual environmental economics in the study of public preference and urban greenspace, Environment and Planning B, 36(May) 
  25. Brown, N, Laing, R and J. Scott (2009) The doocots of Aberdeenshire: an application of 3D scanning technology in the built heritage, Journal of Building Appraisal, 4, 247-254