Australia’s first Chair in High Performance Architecture

Australia’s first Chair in High Performance Architecture

International built environment expert and Professor of Energy Physics Mattheos Santamouris has been appointed UNSW’s inaugural Anita Lawrence Chair in High Performance Architecture. The University of New South Wales is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching universities. The Anita Lawrence Chair in High Performance Architecture is the first of its kind in Australia.

The emerging research area looks at minimising the environmental footprint of buildings through enhanced architectural design and performance evaluation, including how ventilation, lighting, acoustics, energy and water can be incorporated into buildings to improve their efficiency.

Announcing the Chair, the first of its kind in Australia, Dean of Built Environment Professor Alec Tzannes,, said he was honoured to be naming a world-class leader in high performance architecture as the inaugural appointment.“Professor Santamouris’ contribution to the advancement of the design sciences is of global significance and truly exceptional,”said Professor Tzannes.

“His research interests in sustainability, technology and the invention of low energy materials complement existing strengths in the faculty and within UNSW more generally. Professor Santamouris’ expertise will provide our graduating students with a distinctive and highly relevant skill-set, enabling them to deliver more sustainable and liveable architecture in the future.”

“Around 40% of the total energy consumption in developed nations is attributable to buildings. Manufacturing of building components and products requires almost three billion tonnes of raw materials per year, which is equivalent of 40 to 50% of the global annual material use.”

Currently based at the University of Athens, Professor Santamouris is the Director of the Laboratory of Building Energy Research. He was formerly the President of The National Centre for Renewable and Energy Savings, Greece’s national body for the promotion of renewable energy sources and energy conservation.

He is also editor in chief of Energy and Buildings, associate editor of the Solar Energy Journal and former editor in chief of the Journal of Advances in Building Energy Research. He has been a visiting professor at the Metropolitan University of London, Tokyo Polytechnic University, National University of Singapore, Bolzano University, Brunel University London and the Cyprus Institute.

Professor Santamouris said his main aim as Chair is to mitigate the environmental impact of the built environment by decreasing the resources used by buildings.

A “rich global dialogue” had opened up about how best to address these problems, Professor Santamouris said, and he believes Australia is highly developed in terms of its energy performance in the built environment.