Stars of Building Science: Who's in the running so far?
Fourteen top innovators and experts already competing to join virtual academy
Report from – Jo Smit
The first week of Building4change’s quest to find the Stars of Building Science has already attracted a flurry of nominations, ranging from leading lights in the USA to upcoming experts in the UK.
To remind you of the rules of this informal contest, we want you to name your Stars of Building Science. Your nominee may be an established name already familiar to many within the industry for their achievements, or they may be a rising star, making their mark in their chosen field. They may be working in a university or research organisation or a major multinational business; they may be a UK construction industry name, or perhaps even be innovating with a brand new technology in a start-up.
The competition is open to those involved in any aspect of the built environment and any discipline, in the UK or overseas. Our search is intended simply to recognise the achievements of all those who are promoting the very best in building science to improve the quality, sustainability and resilience of the built environment, and ultimately to make people’s lives better.
Below is a list of the people who have received nominations, and votes, so far. Each week we are featuring three of our nominees in depth alongside the full list. You are free to nominate a new star or vote for one of the people named here.
Voting will remain open for six more weeks, when we will announce the list of the top scorers, who together will form a virtual academy of scientific excellence. To vote, simply email your choice to: Building4change@bre.co.uk.
Focus on three nominees
Bill Bordass was a champion of post occupancy evaluation (POE) long before the term became part of today’s built environment lexicon. He worked on a string of building performance studies as a member of the Probe research project, which was backed by the UK government and CIBSE and ran from 1995 to 2002. He also co-authored the Usable Buildings Trust’s Soft Landings Framework, which eases a building’s transition to use and helps to tackle common problems identified by POE.
Bordass’ career has included developing the building services engineering team at RMJM in London, where he worked in client and design advice and research, monitoring and troubleshooting. He has run his own practice, William Bordass Associates, for several decades and continues to take responsibility for research and policy development at the Usable Buildings Trust. He still applies his expert knowledge in the technical and energy performance of buildings to aid understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
In the US and beyond Vivian Loftness is recognised as a leading figure in green building research. An architect by training and an academic by profession, Loftness has spent more than three decades working in the specialisms of environmental design and sustainability, advanced building systems integration, climate and regionalism in architecture, and design for performance in the workplace of the future.
Like Bordass, Loftness has looked closely at finished buildings, particularly their impacts on the health and productivity of occupiers. She contributed to the development of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robert L Preger Intelligent Workplace, a living laboratory for testing the impact of the built environment on such factors as air and acoustic quality, and thermal comfort.
With a string of honours and awards to her credit, Loftness remains based at Carnegie Mellon University, where she was formerly the head of its school of architecture.
The science of integrated analysis for sustainable buildings and cities is Don McLean’s business and his passion. He has led Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES), the company he founded, for nearly 20 years, growing both a successful business and a research base.
McLean’s background is in environmental engineering. His career path was shaped by his nine years working in the application of computers in building design with the ABACUS unit in the department of architecture in the University of Strathclyde. Now he brings his 25 years-plus experience in the use and development of building simulation software to the challenges facing not only our buildings, but also our cities.
The full list of nominees to date:
- Bill Bordass, head of research and policy development, Usable Buildings Trust
- Lisa Heschong, managing principal of the Heschong Mahone Group
- Lubo Jankovic, professor of zero carbon design at Birmingham City University, director of Emission Zero R&D and InteSys
- Doug King, owner of Doug King Consulting, visiting professor of building physics at Bath University, Chongqing University and Russia's Kuban State University, and chief science and engineering advisor at BRE
- Paul Littlefair, principal lighting consultant, BRE
- Vivian Loftness, professor in the school of architecture, Carnegie Mellon University
- Kevin Lomas, professor of building simulation, Loughborough University
- Don McLean, founder and managing director, IES
- Tadj Oreszczyn, professor of energy and environment and director of the UCL Energy Institute, University College London
- Sofie Pelsmakers, environmental architect, doctoral researcher and author
- Christoph Reinhart, leader of the Sustainable Design Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Kerstin Sailer, lecturer in complex buildings, University College London, Bartlett School of Architecture
- Stephen Selkowitz, head, building technologies department, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- Peter Walker, head of department of architecture and civil engineering, and director of the BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, University of Bath.
To add your nomination to this list, or give your vote to one of the above, simply email the address above.