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retrofit briefing Technologhy4Change

Published by BRE Trust

Week 3: List of hopeful Stars of Building Science keeps growing


Vote today to put your choice of expert in the virtual academy of excellence

Passivhaus pioneer Wolfgang Feist, Oxford Brookes University professor Rajat Gupta, US green engineer Peter Rumsey and Cardiff University lecturer Christina Hopfe are this week’s additions to the list of nominations for the Stars of Building Science.

As the votes continue to stream in, the list of nominations for our virtual academy of excellence has now risen from 17 to 21.

There’s still time to nominate your star or register your vote for the list shown. Further details about this poll are given below.

How to vote: To make a nomination or cast your vote simply email your choice to: Building4change@bre.co.uk.

Focus on four of the nominees

Wolfgang Feist

The name of Wolfgang Feist (pictured bottom) is synonymous with Passivhaus, the energy performance standard Feist co-originated in the early 1990s and which has earned him widespread acclaim. The German physicist and structural engineer first put Passivhaus principles – which combine excellent thermal performance and airtightness with mechanical ventilation – to the test in a housing project in Darmstadt in 1991. Five years later the Passivhaus Institute was founded in the same location. Today Feist continues to head the institute. He is professor of structural engineering and building physics at the University of Innsbruck, and travels the world presenting at conferences to all those eager to learn about the Passivhaus approach.

Christina Hopfe

Passivhaus also features in the career of Christina Hopfe, lecturer at Cardiff University, who is editing an academic reference book for publisher Taylor & Francis on this and low energy design generally. Hopfe’s academic specialisms are renewable energy, building performance, design feasibility, and integrated building design. In the past three years she has won funding for a string of significant research projects, including a knowledge transfer partnership project in collaboration with BRE on renewable energy product and process solutions, and an FP7 European-funded proposal on energy management for public buildings.

Doug King

Doug King (pictured middle) is an expert in low energy design with many innovative buildings to his credit, including Massachusetts’ Genzyme Centre and Leeds’ Innovate green office. He is now a consultant at large, combining a diverse international project portfolio with roles including chief science and engineering advisor at BRE and Royal Academy of Engineering visiting professor of building physics at Bath University. King’s approach is made clear by his disparaging description of green technology as ‘eco-bling’, a term that he originated and which has become part of the green building lexicon. He is now working to establish a series of university centres in the UK to offer education in integrated sustainable building design, which he believes could establish a new model for training tomorrow’s designers.

Christoph Reinhart

Christoph Reinhart leads the Sustainable Design Lab, a research group in the department of architecture at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The building scientist and architectural educator works in the field of sustainable building design and environmental modeling, and joined MIT’s department of architecture 18 months ago as an associate professor. Reinhart’s research expertise is in daylighting, passive climatisation techniques, urban modelling and the influence of occupant behaviour on building energy use. The design tools developed by his group are used by architecture and engineering firms in more than 90 countries.

The full list of nominees to date:

  • Bill Bordass, head of research and policy development, Usable Buildings Trust
  • David Clark, global sustainability partner, Cundall
  • Susie Diamond, founding partner of Inkling
  • Wolfgang Feist, head of Passivhaus Institute
  • Rajat Gupta, professor of sustainable architecture and climate change and director of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) at Oxford Brookes University
  • Lisa Heschong, managing principal of the Heschong Mahone Group
  • Christina Hopfe, lecturer in the School of Engineering, BRE Institute of Sustainable Engineering, Cardiff University
  • Lubo Jankovic, professor of zero carbon design at Birmingham City University, director of Emission Zero R&D and InteSys
  • Doug King, head 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
  • Fergus Nicol, professor emeritus of architecture at Oxford Brookes University and deputy director, low energy architecture research unit at London Metropolitan University
  • 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
  • Peter Rumsey, chief technology officer at US-based Integral Group
  • 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.

What is the Stars of Building Science poll?

The poll gives you the chance to vote for your chosen Stars of Building Science. Your nominee may be an established name already familiar to many within the industry for their achievements, or 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.

You can nominate more than one individual, but you cannot cast more than one vote for one individual. The competition will close to new nominations on 6 September 2013. Voting for the final list of nominees will then remain open until 20 September 2013. After that time we will announce our final list of the top scorers, who together will form a virtual academy of scientific excellence. If you want to see your choice on that final list, then make sure you vote today.

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