Dr David Kelly

Dr David Kelly
David specialises in the operation of water supply and drainage systems for buildings. His recent work investigates the impact of climate change and adaptation solutions on rainwater collection system performance.

Research profile 

David’s research has focused on the enhancement of rainwater collection system design for climate change resilience. He also works on the measurement of rainwater runoff from buildings for local flood risk assessment.

A further area of research is the investigation of the formation and transport of bioaerosols within, and from, the building drainage system, together with the development of monitoring systems to control transmission risk.

David also works on water conservation and efficiency issues. His recent work has begun to evaluate user behaviour and attitudes on water conservation measures and their impact on consumption.

David is coordinator of the Grad School for the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design.


David has worked on a number of high profile research council and industry-funded projects including “Transient identification of the location of defective water seal traps within building drainage and vent systems”; “Pressure transient suppression and alleviation in super high rise building drainage systems”; and “Bioaerosol cross-transmission evaluation of a building drainage system.”

David’s work on the enhancement of rainwater collection system design for climate change resilience stemmed from the EPSRC-funded project “Design of water networks using probabilistic prediction”. Findings from this project informed the Government’s APPG Report, Living with Water.


David teaches the course “Climate Change, Sustainability, and Adaptation” at post-graduate level and “Building Services Technology” at under-graduate level.

Student’s projects 

David’s specialist research area offers students a novel insight into the field of water supply and drainage for buildings. Some of the projects they have undertaken include:

“The implementation of sustainable drainage systems within Edinburgh in response to increased flood risk due to climate change”

“Water Efficiency: User awareness, behaviour and attitude”.