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Department of Architecture



Dr Minna Sunikka-Blank is a registered architect and Senior Lecturer at the Department of Architecture in Cambridge. Her research looks at energy infrastructure, gender and household practices in the context of slum rehabilitation in India. Dr Sunikka-Blank is part of Behaviour and Building Performance (BBP) research group and Global Energy Nexus in Urban Settlements (GENUS) research network and she has worked on urban regeneration and environmental impact assessment in Finland, the Netherlands and Japan. Dr Sunikka-Blank is leading AHRC GCRF 'Filming Energy' Research Network (202-21) that uses short documentary films as a method to understand domestic practices and energy demand in low income housing in Mumbai and Cape Town. Her work was presented in BBCArts 'Animated Thinking' series showing how today’s slums in India and how the transition to high-rise flats has adversely and radically affected the lives of women. Dr Sunikka-Blank is a Director of Studies and Fellow in Architecture in Churchill College.


Key publications: 


Sunikka-Blank, M., Galvin, R. (2021) Single parents in cold homes in Europe: How intersecting personal and national characteristics drive up the numbers of these vulnerable households, Energy Policy (150).

Debnath, R., Bardhan, R., Darby, S., Mohaddes, K., Sunikka-Blank, M., Villaça Coelho, A.C., Isa, A. (2021) Words against injustices: A deep narrative analysis of energy cultures in poverty of Abuja, Mumbai and Rio de Janeiro, Energy Research and Social Science (72).

Mokhles, S., Sunikka-Blank, M. (2021) “I'm always home” Social infrastructure and women’s personal mobility patterns in informal settlements in Iran, Gender, Place and Culture.

Sunikka-Blank, M., Bardhan, R., Schupp, J., Prabhu, J., & Penz, F., 2020, Films as source of everyday life and energy use : A case of Indian cinema. Energy Research & Social Science69(January), 101655.

Debnath,  R.; Simoes, G.M.F.; Bardhan, R.; Leder, S.M.; Lamberts, R.; Sunikka-Blank, M., 2020, Energy Justice in Slum Rehabilitation Housing: An Empirical Exploration of Built Environment Effects on Socio-Cultural Energy Demand. Sustainability, 12, 3027.

Khaldi, Y.M., Sunikka-Blank, M., 2020, 'Governing renewable energy transition in conflict contexts: investigating the institutional context in Palestine’. Energy Transitions (73),

Khalid, R., Sunikka-Blank, M., 2020, 'Housing and household practices: Practice-based sustainability interventions for low-energy houses in Lahore, Pakistan'. Energy for Sustainable Development (54): 148-163.

Bardhan, R., Sunikka-Blank, M., Nasra Haque, A., 2019, Sentiment analysis as tool for gender mainstreaming in slum rehabilitation housing management in Mumbai, India, Habitat International (92),

Debnath, R., Bardhan, R., Sunikka-Blank, M., 2019, How does slum rehabilitation influence appliance ownership? A structural model of non-income drivers. Energy Policy (132): 418-428

Sunikka-Blank, M., 2019, Why are women always cold? Gendered realities of energy injustice. In Galvin, R.: Inequality and energy: How extremes of wealth and poverty in high income countries affect CO2 emissions and access to energy use. Elsevier.

Debnath, R., Bardhan, R., & Sunikka-Blank, M., 2019, Discomfort and distress in slum rehabilitation housing- Investigating a rebound phenomenon using a backcasting approach, Habitat International (87): 75-90,

Sunikka-Blank, M., Bardhan, R., Haque, A.N., 2018, Gender, domestic energy and design of inclusive low-income habitats: A case of slum rehabilitation housing in India. Energy Research & Social Science (49): 53-67.

Khalid, R., Sunikka-Blank, M., 2018, Evolving houses, demanding practices: A case of rising electricity consumption of the middle class in Pakistan. Build. Environ. 143, 293–305.

Galvin R., Sunikka-Blank, M., 2018, Economic inequality and household energy consumption in high-income countries: A challenge for social science based energy research. Ecological Economics 153(November): 78–88.

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.

Gillich A., Sunikka-Blank M., Ford A., 2017, Designing an ‘optimal’ domestic retrofit programme, Building Research & Information, DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2017.1368235. 

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 dwellingsEnergy 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 UKEuropean 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 policyEnvironmental 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 opportunitiesBuilding 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 renewalBuilding 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 stockEnvironment and Planning B, 32 (1), pp. 21-31.