skip to primary navigationskip to content

Dr. Minna Sunikka-Blank MSc Arch, PhD

Dr. Minna Sunikka-Blank, MSc Arch, PhD

University Senior Lecturer

Churchill College (Fellow)

Director of Studies for Churchill College

Office Phone: 01223 760126


Dr Minna Sunikka-Blank is a registered architect and a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Architecture. Her research focuses on thermal retrofit policies and energy use behaviour. This includes quantitative impact assessment of specific policy instruments such as the German Energy Saving Regulations (EnEV), the Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), the gap between estimated and actual energy use (the prebound effect) and exploring the reasons behind it. Her research addresses potential conflict between energy efficiency and preservation of architectural features and she has written on the aesthetics of sustainable building. Her current research looks at the application of social science methods on domestic energy use and gender as an overlooked factor in domestic energy improvements. Before coming to Cambridge, Dr Sunikka-Blank worked on urban renewal projects and policy studies in Finland and in the Netherlands. She received her doctorate in Delft and took up her position in Cambridge in 2006. She has written five books on policies. Dr Sunikka-Blank is a Director of Studies and Fellow in Architecture at Churchill College.

Research Interests

  • energy use behaviour (prebound effect)
  • thermal retrofit policies
  • gender and energy use
  • aesthetics of sustainable architecture

Key Publications

Khalid, R., Sunikka-Blank, M., 2017, Homely social practices, uncanny electricity demands: Class, culture and material dynamics in Pakistan, Energy Research & Social Science, 34, 122-131.

Sunikka-Blank, M., Galvin, R., Behar, C., 2017, Harnessing class, taste and gender for more effective energy policies, Building Research and Information, DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2017.1356129.

Galvin, R., Sunikka-Blank, M., 2017, Ten questions concerning sustainable domestic thermal retrofit policy research, Building and Environment, 118, 377-388.

Galvin R., Sunikka-Blank, M., 2016, Schatzkian Practice Theory and Energy Consumption Research: Time for some Philosophical Spring Cleaning? Energy Research & Social Science, 22: 63–68.

Gillich, A., Sunikka-Blank, M., Ford, A., 2016, Lessons for the UK Green Deal from the US BBN, Building Research and Information, DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2016.1159500

Galvin, R., Sunikka-Blank, M., 2016, Quantification of (p)rebound Effects in Retrofit Policies – Why does it Matter? Energy, 95, 415-424.

Sunikka-Blank, M., Galvin, R., 2015, Irrational homeowners? How aesthetics and heritage values influence thermal retrofit decisions in the United Kingdom, Energy Research and Social Science, 11(2015), 97-108.

Galvin, R., Sunikka-Blank, M., 2014, The UK homeowner-retrofitter as an innovator in a socio-technical system, Energy Policy, 74, 655-662.

Galvin, R., Sunikka-Blank, M., 2014, Disaggregating the causes of falling consumption of domestic heating energy in Germany, Energy Efficiency, DOI 10.1007/s12053-014-9259-5.

Galvin R., Sunikka-Blank M., 2013, Economic Viability in Thermal Retrofit Policies: Learning from Ten Years of Experience in Germany, Energy Policy, 54, pp. 343-351.

Galvin R., Sunikka-Blank M., 2013, A Critical Appraisal of Germany's Thermal Retrofit Policy: Turning Down the Heat. Springer-Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg/New York (ISBN-10: 1447153669, ISBN-13: 978-1447153665).

Sunikka-Blank, M., Galvin, R., 2012, Prebound effect, the gap between performance and the actual consumption, Building Research and Information, 40(3), pp. 260-273. []

Galvin, R., Sunikka-Blank, M., 2012, Including fuel price elasticity of demand in net present value and payback time calculations of thermal retrofits: case study of German dwellings, Energy and Buildings, 50, pp. 219-228.

Sunikka-Blank, M., Chen, J., Dantsiou, D., Britnell, J., 2012, Improving energy efficiency of social housing areas – a case study of a retrofit achieving an ’A’ energy performance rating in the UK, European Planning Studies , 20(1), pp. 133-147.

Sunikka-Blank, M., 2011, The concept and aesthetics of sustainable building in Japan, in: Lee, S. (ed.) Aesthetics of Sustainable Architecture, Rotterdam (010 Publishers), pp.186-197.

Sunikka-Blank, M., Iwafune, Y., 2011, Sustainable building in Japan - observations on a market transformation policy, Environmental Policy and Governance, 21, pp. 351-363.

Sunikka-Blank, M., Lombardi, P. Huovila, P., 2010, The potential of e-participation in sustainable development evaluation ─ evidence from case studies, in: C.G. Reddick (ed.) Politics, Democracy and E-Government: Participation and Service Delivery, Hershley (IGI Global).

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.

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

Sunikka, M., 2008, Comparative view, in ICS (ed.), Housing and the Environment, London (ICS).

Itard, L., Meijer, F., Vrins, E., Hoiting, H., Fawcett, W., Sunikka, M., 2008, Building renovation and modernisation in Europe: state of the art review, Amsterdam (IOS Press).

Sunikka, M., Klinckenberg, F., 2007, Better buildings through energy efficiency: A roadmap for Europe, Brussels (Eurima).

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

Sunikka, M., 2006, Energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies in urban renewal, Building Research and information, 34 (6), pp. 521-533.

Beerepoot, M., Sunikka M., 2005, The contribution of the EC energy certificate in improving sustainability of the housing stock, Environment and Planning B, 32 (1), pp. 21-31.