Confirmed Speakers

Dr. Michelle Addington, Dean & Henry M. Rockwell Chair, The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture

Bio: Michelle Addington is Dean of The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, where she holds the Henry M. Rockwell Chair in Architecture.  Formerly, she served as Gerald Hines Chair in Sustainable Architectural Design at the Yale University School of Architecture and was jointly appointed as a Professor at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  Prior to teaching at Yale, she taught at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, the Technical University of Munich, Temple University and Philadelphia University.

Originally educated as a mechanical/nuclear engineer, Addington worked for several years as an engineer at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and for E.I DuPont de Nemours before she studied architecture.  Her teaching, research, and professional work span across these disciplines with the overarching objective of determining strategic intersections between the optimal domains of physical phenomena with the practical domains of spatial, geo-political, economic, and cultural systems.  Her books, chapters, essays, journal papers, and articles address topics ranging from fluid mechanics to the History of Technology to smart materials, and she has consulted on projects as diverse as the Sistine Chapel and Amazon rain forest.

Addington received a B.S.M.E. from Tulane University, a B.Arch from Temple University, and M.Des.S. and Dr.Des degrees from Harvard University. She also holds an honorary M.A. from Yale University. In 2009, she was selected as one of the country’s top ten faculty in architecture by Architect Magazine, and, in 2014, she was named as one of Connecticut’s “Women of Innovation.”

Dr. Jan Carmeliet, Professor, Chair of Building Physics, Department of Mechanical Engineering, ETH Zurich

Multiphysics Modeling of Materials, Assemblies, Buildings and Cities


Bio: Since June 2008, Jan Carmeliet is full professor at the Chair of Building Physics at the department of Mechanical Engineering at ETH Zürich and head of the Laboratory of Multiscale studies in Building Physics of EMPA (until 01.04.2017), Dübendorf (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology), Switzerland. Jan Carmeliet, graduated from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven) in Engineering Architecture, got his PhD in Civil Engineering at K.U.Leuven in 1992 and was postdoc a TU.Delft in 1993-1994. He has been Assistant (1998), Associate (2001) and Full professor (2004) at K.U.Leuven and part-time Professor at T.U.Eindhoven (2001-2008).

He was in 2007 on sabbatical leave at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and at Los Alamos Governmental Laboratories. His research resulted until now in more than 245 scientific journal papers. His research interests concern multiscale behaviour of porous and granular materials and their fluid interactions, heat-air-moisture flow in the urban environment and multi-energy decentralized systems at building and urban scale. Research is based on advanced computational modelling (atomistic, molecular dynamics, discrete elements, lattice Boltzmann, CFD, FEM, energy-hub) and advanced experimental techniques (X-ray and Neutron Tomography, …) and time-resolved imaging in wind and water tunnels (PIV, LIF).

He is research councillor of the National Science Foundation Switzerland, expert of the Commission of Technology and Innovation Switzerland (CTI/engineering), director of the graduate program ‘master integrated building systems’ at ETHZ, and member of the Board of Energy Science Centre ETH Zürich. He was member of the research commission of ETH Zürich and of the scientific commission of the CCEM (Centre of Competence Energy and Mobility). He is very active in the SCCER (Swiss competence centre energy research) FEEB&D (Future energy efficient buildings and districts) phase I (2014-2016) and phase II (2017-2020).

Dr. Patricia J. Culligan, Robert, A. W. and Christine S. Carlton Professor of Civil Engineering, Columbia University

Green Infrastructure and Urban Sustainability: Recent Advances and Future Challenges


Bio: Patricia J. Culligan is the Robert, A. W. and Christine S. Carlton Professor of Civil Engineering at Columbia University, where she served as the Founding Associate Director of Columbia University’s Data Science Institute and still serves as the Co-Director of the Earth Institute’s Urban Design Lab.

Dr. Culligan’s expertise lies in the field of geo-environmental engineering, with an emphasis on water resource management and issues related to urban and environmental sustainability. Her research group is currently active in investigating the opportunities for green infrastructure, social networks and advanced measurement & sensing technologies to improve the management of urban water, energy, and eco-system services in the face of rapid urbanization and climate change. She is one of the lead investigators of a $12 million research network sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop new models for urban infrastructure to make cities cleaner, healthier, and more enjoyable places to live.

Culligan has received numerous research and teaching awards for her academic contributions, including the National Science Foundation’s CAREER AWARD and Columbia University’s Presidential Teaching Award. She has also served on the Board of Governors of the Geo-Institute and the National Academies Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board, and has Chaired the National Academies Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering. She is the author or co-author of more than 150 technical articles. Culligan received her BSc from Leeds University, England and her MPhil and PhD from Cambridge University, England.

Dr. Richard deDear, Professor & Director of Architectural & Building Science & Technology, Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, University of Sydney

Dynamic Environment, Adaptive Thermal Comfort, and Natural/Hybrid Ventilation

Abstract: Since the invention of air conditioning over a 100 years ago a central research question has been to define the indoor environmental temperatures best suited for building occupants. The first scientific approach to this question was framed in terms of optimizing occupant thermal comfort, and the most elegant and useful solution is known as PMV/PPD, first presented by P.O. Fanger half a century ago. The Predicted Percentage Dissatisfied curve is usually given as a U function, symmetrical around a single optimum temperature for any given combination of any remaining comfort parameters. A clear inference of the function is that tight control over indoor temperatures reduce occupant dissatisfaction, and the only design strategy able to achieve it is HVAC applied to a sealed-facade architecture.

A rigorous scientific rebuttal of the “single temperature optimum” model of comfort came 30 years after PMV/PPD was first floated. Evidence from actual buildings demonstrated time and time again that occupants, when given the opportunity, were able to find comfort across a quite broad range of temperatures, depending on their thermal history and outdoor climatic setting. Known as the Adaptive Model, a clear implication is that passive design solutions are capable of delivering comfortable internal environments across a broad swathe of climate zones, throughout most if not all of the year.  The adaptive model of comfort rehabilitated natural ventilation as a valid and acceptable design strategy, either on its own, or in combination with part-time AC (mixed-mode ventilation). 

In recent decades, the “single temperature optimum” model has resurfaced, with its justification shifting away from thermal comfort towards cognitive performance. It is based on the 1908 Yerkes-Dodson Law that links human performance with the arousal of the performer via an inverted U function, with its protagonists within the building science community associating level of arousal with intensity of environmental thermal load. According to this inverted-U model, as interiors shift from cold towards neutral temperatures, the arousal of the performer increases, which in turn causes cognitive performance to improve. But after passing through the optimal ambient temperature (neutral), performance begins to wane. The implication of this inverted U model is clear- the only design strategy able to hold indoor temperatures close to the cognitive performance optimum is HVAC applied to sealed-facade architecture.

Beyond the building science domain, in disciplines such as psychology and ergonomics, the prevailing wisdom regarding temperature effects on cognitive performance is an extended-U rather than an inverted U function. Proposed by Hancock in the 1990s this model is also referred to as the Maximal Adaptability Model, the gist of which is that cognitive performance is relatively stable throughout the moderate temperature range, but it rapidly deteriorates at the boundaries of thermal acceptability where stress drains the performers’ attentional resources. The Extended-U Model has garnered broad acceptance across a range of disciplines with the notable exception of HVAC engineering and allied indoor environmental sciences. But the weight of research evidence tends to support the extended- rather than the inverted-U model, and it has been repeatedly confirmed in the authoritative literature reviews published outside the HVAC and indoor environmental sciences.

In this presentation, the single temperature optimum and adaptive arguments in both thermal comfort and cognitive performance arenas are reviewed. They are critically evaluated in relation to their applicability to HVAC, natural ventilation, and hybrid ventilation buildings. 

Bio: Over the last 35 years, Professor Richard de Dear has focused his research career on defining what occupants want and need from their built environments, and assessing the performance of buildings in terms of meeting those requirements. He is currently the most highly cited living researcher in the domain of thermal comfort, with over 250 peer-reviewed papers plus several monographs on the subject. Within that body of research it is his adaptive model of thermal comfort that’s had the greatest impact, not just on the research community but also on the design and operation of actual buildings. De Dear’s adaptive model underpins the American Society of Heating and the Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers’ thermal comfort standard, ASHRAE 55-2004, 2010, 2013, which in turn, informs several national thermal comfort standards around the world.

Dr. Yuguo Li, Professor, Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Hong Kong

The Physics in Natural Ventilation of Cities and Buildings


Bio: Yuguo Li is a Professor and the Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering, the University of Hong Kong. Li was a Principal Research Scientist and the team leader of indoor environments at CSIRO Australia prior to 2000 when he joined the University. He studied at Shanghai Jiaotong University, Tsinghua University Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.

His research interests are in building environment engineering. His current research topics include city climate, environment studies of infection and indoor air quality. His work led to the findings of the roles played by airflow in the 2003 Amoy Gardens SARS outbreak. He led and developed the 2009 WHO guidelines on natural ventilation. He has been leading two collaborative research grants in Hong Kong with one on ventilating a high-rise compact city and another on spread of virus in a large city. His work has also been supported by GRC GRF, RFCID, NSFC, WHO, Boeing and Microsoft. He was a guest/adjunct/visiting professor in Shanghai Jiaotong University, Aalborg University, Tianjin University, Technical University of Denmark, currently at Dalian University of Technology and Xi-An University of Architecture and Technology.

He currently also serves as President, Academy of Fellows of International Society of Indoor Air Quality (ISIAQ). He also serves as an Associate Editor of Indoor Air and in editorial board of Energy and Buildings, Buildings and Environment etc. He received the State Scientific and Technological Progress Award (SSTPA) (Second Prize) in 2010, Best Paper Awards of the Indoor Air in 2008 and 2011, the Rydberg Gold Medal of SCANVAC in 2014, Honorary Doctor Degree of Aalborg University in 2015 and the Inoue Memorial Award, SHASE, Japan in 2016. He was elected a Fellow of ASHRAE, ISIAQ, HKIE, and IMechE.

Dr. Vivian Loftness, FAIA LEEDAP Paul Mellon Chair in Architecture University Professor Carnegie Mellon University

Intelligent Buildings for Resiliency, Health and Productivity


Bio: Vivian Loftness, FAIA, LEEDAP, is an internationally renowned researcher, author and educator focused on environmental design and sustainability, climate and regionalism in architecture, and the integration of advanced building systems for health and productivity. In addition to eight book chapters and over 100 journal articles, she edited the Reference Encyclopedia Sustainable Built Environments, released by Springer Publishing in 2013.

At Carnegie Mellon University, Professor Loftness holds the Paul Mellon Chair in Architecture, is one of 35 University Professors, and served a decade as Head of the School of Architecture. With over 30 years of industry and government research funding, she is a key member of Carnegie Mellon’s leadership in sustainability research and education, and contributor to the ongoing development of the Intelligent Workplace – a living laboratory of commercial building innovations for performance.

She has served on over 25 Board of Directors including EPA’s NACEPT, DOE’s FEMAC, and the National USGBC and AIA COTE Boards. She has been a member of twelve National Academy of Science panels as well as the Academy’s Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment, and given three Congressional testimonies on sustainable design. Her work has influenced national policy and building projects, including the Adaptable Workplace Lab at the U.S. General Services Administration and the Laboratory for Cognition at Electricity de France.

In the past five years, Vivian has recognized as a LEED Fellow, a Senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council, and one of 13 Stars of Building Science by the Building Research Establishment in the UK. She received the Award of Distinction from AIA Pennsylvania, holds a National Educator Honor Award from the American Institute of Architecture Students, and a “Sacred Tree” Award from the US Green Building Council. Vivian Loftness has a Bachelors of Science and a Masters of Architecture from MIT.

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