2021 Speakers

Mostapha Sadeghipour Roudsari| Ladybug

Mostapha Sadeghipour Roudsari is a co-founder of Ladybug Tools LLC. He is also a designer, software developer, and educator focused on the integration of parametric environmental simulation with architectural design. He started the development of several open source projects including Ladybug Tools, EPWmap and DesignExplorer. After receiving his Masters in Environmental Building Design (MEBD) from University of Pennsylvania, he worked as a Senior Designer for Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill in Chicago and as an Integration Applications Developer for Thornton Tomasetti CORE-Studio in New York. He was a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and now is working full time at Ladybug Tools. He lectures and teaches seminars frequently throughout Architecture and Engineering schools, the AEC community.

Topic: Climate and flexibility to model real-world complexity.

Designers, engineers, and building industry professionals understand the imperative to change design and construction workflows to reduce energy usage and operating costs while increasing comfort. We have an abundance of tools for performance modeling, but buildings continue to be designed with business as usual practices. Why doesn’t available technology work? It’s because creating a building is inherently collaborative and, if all stakeholders are not on the same page and collaborating efficiently, then technology is of no use. Simply having an expert “run a simulation” is also not enough to guarantee an increase in value on a project. Successful projects require real-time collaboration, an integrated design process, timely results, and the ability to trust the numbers with full transparency.

Tarek Rakha| Georgia Tech

Dr. Tarek Rakha is an Assistant Professor of Architecture and Director of the High Performance Building Lab (HPBL) at Georgia Tech. Before joining Georgia Tech in 2019, he was Assistant Professor at Syracuse University starting in 2015, after earning his Ph.D. in Building Technology from MIT. He published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, and two of which won best paper awards. His research is sponsored by federal agencies such as the US DOE, ARPA-E and the NSF, and from state authorities such as the NYSERDA, NYSDOT and GDOT, as well as corporate sponsors. He was recently nationally recognized by the Emerging Contributor Award of the American chapter of the International Building Performance Simulation Association (IBPSA-USA). He was also awarded the Georgia Tech Student Recognition of Excellence in Teaching: Class of 1934 Award.

Topic: Environmental Technologies to Empower the Unseen.

This talk will discuss how environmental robotic, sensing and simulation technologies can inform climate-responsive and sustainable architectural design decisions that advance racially and socially just solutions. The presentation will showcase synergistic frameworks for fast and reliable diagnostic aerial inspections that remotely measure environmental performance for vulnerable communities and their building envelopes using Computer Vision (CV) drones equipped with IR cameras. Identified IR images of higher probability for thermal anomalies are processed using CV to detect thermal leakages using AI. Diagnostics are then translated into envelope inputs to calibrate simulation using analyzed 3D thermography as a novel safe, fast, affordable, and accurate tool to inform retrofitting design. Thee talk will also link such simulation workflows to Urban/Building Energy Modeling (U/BEM), where standard templates will be investigated to understand their inherent biases, as our data and models do not “see” underrepresented communities, while they are the most vulnerable to the threat of climate change.

Christina Hughes| Walter P Moore

Christina Hughes is a Water Resources Engineer with Walter P Moore and a graduate of Rice University where she holds both a Bachelors and Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She is a passionate advocate for sustainable design in engineering and leads the Walter P Moore Sustainable Design in Infrastructure Community of Practice. Christina is an active member of the Houston chapters of ULI and AIA and has chaired the Student Competition for the annual AIA Houston Gulf Coast Green Conference for the last three years. She has worked on water reuse systems for several award-winning projects across the region, including the ACEC Silver Medalist Clay Family Eastern Glades at Memorial Park, and was recently named a Water and Wastewater Digest Young Professional in 2018 and Design Futures Council Emerging Leader in 2021.

Topic: Site-scale Water Reuse: The Low-Hanging Fruit of Sustainable Development.

This presentation will introduce the basics of site-scale potable and non-potable water reuse systems and walk through the steps involved in developing water reuse programing on a site, including water mapping and water balance. We will discuss the benefits and challenges associated with different collection and use case options and present some case studies of local successful water reuse system implementations, with a focus on nonpotable water reuse as the “low-hanging fruit” option.

Mili kyropoulou| University of Houston

FMili Kyropoulou is a registered architect in the UK and in Greece. She studied architecture at the
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and continued her studies in Sustainable Environmental
Design at the Architectural Association in London. She is an assistant professor at the University
of Houston where she teaches Environmental Technology at the Gerald D. Hines School of
Architecture and Design. She has studied and/or worked in 5 countries, which has resulted in
built work, projects and proposals in the US, Europe, the UK, Africa, Latin America, Russia, the
Middle East and East Asia. The analysis scope for each project ranges from climate evaluation
and strategies/benchmark outline, daylight studies, energy & thermal analysis, solar form
finding, performance parametrics, urban thermal comfort, and high performance / net zero
building design. Mili has published and presented in several international conferences such as
PLEA, SimAUD, Façade Tectonics and Advanced Building Skins.

Topic: Watch for the Outdoors During a Pandemic: Generative Shading Design for a Warming Climate.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak our perception and relation to the outdoors has
been transformed dramatically. Cognitive, developmental, social, and physical health benefits of
regularly used outdoor settings have been documented, while their role in the post-COVID era is
reassessed and revalued. A thorough review of outdoor comfort definitions leads to the
investigation of an outdoor educational setting relative to climatic conditions, thermal and visual
comfort. The main design constituent under evaluation is a self-supported pavilion in Houston
TX. Growth patterns and permeability are the design variants that are parametrically tested
against thermal and visual comfort indices. The developed workflow provides a climate- and
comfort-based analysis method of an outdoor shading device and a parametric design workflow
adaptable to different microclimates, occupancy extents and layouts.

Eddy Santosa| IMEG Corp.

Graduating from Master of Science in Architecture at University of Pennsylvania and Master of Science in building Science at National University Singapore, Eddy Santosa has more than fifteen years’ experience in sustainable design and architecture/building industry. He currently works as a Senior Building Performance Consultant at IMEG.

He has been involved in establishing sustainability strategies, energy efficient strategies and passive design analyses for many projects in USA and around the world. His works range from developing master plan and conceptual design strategies for net zero projects to providing project managements and energy simulation calculations for LEED certifications.

He has a Licensed Architect in California, LEED AP BD+C, BEMP (Building Energy Modeling Professional) and CBCP (Certified Building Commissioning Professional. He serves as a Board Director at IBPSA US and USGBC pro reviewer.

Topic: Houston We have a Problem.

In February 2021, Texas experienced a major electricity failure because of the severe winter storms. The grid was not capable to handle the increase of the peak usage. The issue of the peak demand is not only solely in Texas but also occurs in many states. AEC industry professionals often focus on reducing energy usage/EUI, but often ignoring the peak demand issue. The presentation will explain and describe the concept of the peak load and peak demand in building design. Additionally, the presentation will describe several strategies that should be considered to reduce the peak demand/load issues during the design.

Liam Buckley | IESVE

Liam Buckley is a Vice President at IES Ltd. and a Lecturer Faculty at San Francisco State University
where he teaches ‘Energy-Efficient Buildings’ and ‘Principles of HVAC’. Liam has 16 years’ experience
with building performance analysis with specific software expertise in Building Energy Modeling (BEM)
and code compliance modeling (Title 24, ASHRAE 90.1). Liam is an ASHRAE Member, IBPSA-USA Member
and ASHRAE Building Energy Modeling Professional (BEMP).

Topic: Decarbonization Updates with IESVE

This update from IES Ltd will review recently developed simulation strategies in IESVE Software for
decarbonization of buildings and will include passive design (solar & daylighting), HVAC right-sizing,
energy recovery, electrification and energy storage. An integrated workflow for building energy code
compliance for Texas using ASHRAE 90.1-2013 will also be included.

Coming soon!

Charlotte Deweese | Kirksey

Charlotte Deweese is a designer at Kirksey Architecture. Her primary responsibilities include project design and building performance analysis studies at various project stages. She is a graduate of the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Architecture degree.

Topic: Simulation Tools Informing Design

A case study – Visualizing the data and communicating design responses to environmental factors.

This presentation will provide a design-oriented view to various building performance simulations and the interpretation of data. The need for bridging the gap between simulation data and design is prevalent as a necessity. Interpreting simulation results and including them as a design influence is another needed step in the architectural design process that can help provide a seamless transition between engineering data and architectural implementation. We will cover multiple tools and their individual impact on a case study design shown through visual representation of graphic-centered data that supports and interprets multiple environmental studies. We will explore how simulation data is understood, communicated, and studied from a design perspective to provide a positive environmental impact.  

Elvin Ruya| Noresco

Elvin is a senior energy engineer with over 10 years of engineering experience in both new construction
and existing buildings focusing energy efficiency and high-performance building design and operation.
Her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering is from Turkey and her masters in high performance building is
from Georgia Institute of Technology. She brings an extensive knowledge of high-performance building
measures such as envelope, lighting, HVAC, and controls from early design analysis to post occupancy.
Elvin has worked with a variety of projects and clients including commercial offices, hospitals, universities,
airports, and stadiums. Her project experience also includes advanced energy modeling, energy auditing,
measurement and verification, and construction management.

Topic: Utilizing Advanced Energy Simulation for New Construction and Existing Buildings

Coming Soon!

Alfonso E Hernandez| Gensler

Alfonso is a registered architect with a strong interest and experience in Resilience / High Performance Based Design, Building Performance Modeling & Simulations (Daylight/Glare, Solar, CFD, Thermal and Energy Modeling), Performance Parametrics, Solar Form Finding and Performance Oriented Design Integration.

He has been involved in over 180 LEED and non – LEED projects in the US, Europe, Latin America and Southeast Asia. He has written whitepapers and presented at prestigious conferences such as SIMBuild, Advanced Building Skins, the Performance Huddle and PLEA among others..

Alfonso has taught Environmental Technologies at the graduate level and, as invited design juror, he has also participated in design critiques on both graduate and undergraduate levels at the University of Houston, PVAMU, University of DC and the Pratt Institute in New York. He was a Tutor and the Coordinator of the Architectural Association Visiting School Houston.

He is a graduate of the Sustainable Environmental Design Master program at the Architectural Association in London as well as the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design at the University of Houston. Alfonso is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Topic: Democratizing Building Performance: An Experiment on Bringing Simulations to a Large Scale, Multiuser Environment

Democratizing Building Performance: An Experiment on Bringing Simulations to a Large Scale, Multiuser Environment

Integrating building performance simulations with architectural design and engineering workflows has become more imperative in recent years due to impending realities such as climate change, dwindling resources and more stringent building regulations. As such, novel ways of democratizing building performance simulations have been deployed in the industry by software makers and adopted by experts but the question of pedagogy and mass adoption of these efforts remains undeveloped. The issue falls on pedagogy and on how architects (and sometimes engineers) can enrich their design workflows by adopting different tools according to the phase of the project. The author has worked with 3 different focus groups in order to attempt to answer these questions and will present on lessons learned and possible outcomes.