Invited Speakers

Wolfgang Kessling


Transsolar KlimaEngineering,


Wolfgang Kessling holds a doctorate in physics and is a partner at Transsolar Energietechnik, Germany. He is an expert in climate-friendly building design and adaptive comfort concepts. The focus of his work is the development of innovative comfort concepts for both, indoor and outdoor spaces. He lectures regularly at universities and international conferences on sustainable design, thermal comfort and zero-energy projects.In Asia he was involved in the design of the first Zero Energy Office in Malaysia, in the climate and energy concepts for the cooled conservatories at the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. The environmental concept of the School of Design Buildings 4 and recently opened 1&3 at NUS, Singapore became a highly recognized example for a tropical high comfort net positive energy design. These projects have been instrumental laying the grounds for designing with higher indoor temperatures compensated by elevated air speeds and changing the code of practice in Singapore. The so-called Hybrid Cooling concepts are also implemented in the new BRAC University Campus building in Dhaka, Bangladesh or in the Atlassian high rise in Sydney, Australia.

Title: From cooled to fresh conditions - Hybrid Cooling for the Dry and Humid Zones

Where conventional low temperature air conditioning represents the well-established standard, leaving traditional paths and introducing a high comfort design with higher room air settings in combination breeze poses a challenge to clients and design teams. There are very little buildings designed on purpose with this concept. Adaptive Comfort concepts deliver excellent comfort but with lower reliance on mechanical systems. With Hybrid Cooling concepts, the ventilation and cooling systems can be substantially downsized, reducing investment cost as well as substantially reducing energy demand for ventilation and space cooling. The presentation will include examples of projects with Hybrid Cooling in Asia and explore innovations in design for comfort in the tropics: indoors, mid-doors and outdoors.

Leena Thomas


Faculty of Design Architecture and Building, University of Technology Sydney


Professor Leena Thomas is a sustainable architecture academic and research expert with experience in Australia and India. Her research and teaching focuses on transforming development and design practices in response to global concerns for climate change and sustainability. Leena’s presentation will focus on her research into workplace and living environments where she has pioneered the use of detailed post-occupancy evaluation to investigate the role of the built environment in delivering energy efficiency, comfort, productivity, health and well-being, and sustainability. Through her research findings Leena argues for the consideration of the social dimension of user experience alongside technical performance and the value of linking public health with planetary health.

Title: Living laboratory insights for low energy, healthy and resilient built environments  - the case of Fairwater, Western Sydney Australia

Building on detailed post-occupancy evaluation and living laboratory approaches, this presentation will highlight opportunities and barriers for strengthening climate resilience at the scale of buildings and precincts. It provides insights from the Fairwater Living Laboratory that focused on a 850-home development in western Sydney that is home to Australia’s largest scale geothermal air-conditioning installation and achieved a 6-Star GreenStar Communities rating.   Covering a three-year period to include one of Sydney’s worst summer as well as the pandemic, the research draws on precinct level data, community and household surveys, as well as the detailed monitoring of 40 homes.  Research findings have shown energy savings and electrical demand reduction attributable to the geothermal air-conditioning and the added impact of house size in driving consumption. Other findings in relation to the rebound effect from installed air-conditioning and installed rooftop PV in some homes in some homes and adaptive practices in others point to the importance of designing for sustainable practices amongst users. Precinct based findings include cooling effect of light-colored roofs and trees and vegetation as well as the health and well-being benefits for residents in spite of extreme weather and pandemic conditions.  Through these findings, we argue for the consideration of the social dimension of user experience and community engagement alongside technical performance, the value of linking public health with planetary health and benefits of a precinct-based approach for the built environment.

Ashok B Lall

Architect and Founder,

Ashok B Lall Architects,


Ashok Lall, graduated from the University of Cambridge U.K. in Architecture & Fine Arts and obtained the Architectural Association Diploma in 1970. His architectural firm (estd. 1981) is committed to an architectural practice based on the principles of environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Engaged in architectural education since 1990, he has developed curricula and teaching methods to address environmental issues. He has published many articles and presented papers on environmentally sustainable design and has been an active member of institutions and groups promoting awareness and building competence in sustainable design of buildings.

Title: Integrated Design for a Warming Future – Resilience and Well-being in Warm Climates

Given the rapid rates of urbanisation, the challenge for the developing economies of the warm climate zones dealing with Climate Change is two-fold: to provide resilient shelter with improved quality of life for growing urban populations, and to mitigate Climate Chage while doing so. The key lies in urban morphology. We seek a framework for urban growth and regeneration that is affordable, achieves basic comfort and well-being for poor citizens, does so with limited embodied and operational carbon emissions while optimising the potential for integrating renewables with the urban fabric. Parallel lines of research are presented that converge toward a high-density low-rise morphology as the optimum. This is accompanied by a menu of passive design principles that need to be mandated by regulation with standards for sufficiency of thermal comfort accounting for heat waves and UHI. Case studies of housing, institutional and commercial buildings are presented. The level of comfort sought is a cultural phenomenon. Greater the expectation - greater the need for complex integration of building and cooling systems. We see a possibility of convergence around an expectation of sufficiency met with low carbon means. 

Drury B. Crawley

Director of Building Performance Bentley Systems Inc,


Dr. Drury B. Crawley, Ph.D., AIA, Fellow ASHRAE, BEMP, is a Bentley Fellow and Director of Building Performance with Bentley Systems Inc., focusing on building performance, decarbonization, zero-energy buildings, sustainability, and smart cities. With more than 45 years of experience in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainability, Dr. Crawley has worked in engineering software development, government research, and standards development organizations, as well as building design and energy consulting companies.

Title: Impact of Climate Change and Urbanization on Future Building Performance

With the increasing interest in climate change driven by human activity, recent research has focused on the impact of climate change or urban heat island on building operation and performance across the world. But this work usually aggregates the energy and peak demand impacts across a broad sector. In a recent study, impacts on the operating performance of an office building were estimated based on climate change and heat island scenarios in 25 locations (20 climate regions). This presentation presents the variation and differences among the 20 regions when climate change is introduced. The focus is on changes in comfort conditions, building equipment operation as well as daily patterns of energy performance using prototypical buildings that represent typical, good, and low-energy practices around the world. Other issues such as fuel swapping as heating and cooling ratios change, impacts on environmental emissions, and how low-energy building design incorporating renewables can significantly mitigate any potential climate variation are also presented.

Marcel Schweiker


Healthy Living Spaces, Institute for Occupational, Social, and Environmental Medicine,


Marcel Schweiker leads the Research and teaching area Healthy Living Spaces at the Institute for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine of RWTH Aachen since April 2020. Previously, he was working at the Institute of Building Design and Technology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Marcel does research in Environmental Engineering, Architectural Engineering and Mechanical Engineering with a focus on thermal comfort and human adaptation. One of the current projects is 'International Energy Agency Energy in Buildings and Communities Programme, Annex 79: Occupant-Centric Building Design and Operation.

Title: Ways forward in thermal comfort prediction for building design and operation

Thermal comfort predictions are essential during building design and operation to aim for high satisfaction rates. Standardization currently includes two approaches to such predictions: predicted mean vote (PMV) based on Fanger’s heat balance model, and predicted acceptable ranges of operative temperature based on regression based adaptive thermal comfort models (ATCM). Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages such as poor predictive accuracy for individual comfort votes and neglect of certain adaptive components of PMV and the neglect of variations in influencing factors such as air speed or clothing levels of ATCM. At the same time, research includes a much larger variety of methods and models for thermal comfort prediction including combinations of heat balance and adaptive approaches like the adaptive thermal heat balance (ATHB) approach, detailed multi-node thermo-physiological models, and individualized predictions based on machine learning approaches. The objective of this talk is an overview of these approaches and their suitability for building design and operation. Based on a large field dataset from India, some of these approaches are assessed and ways forward in theory-based data-driven modelling approaches including individual adaptive mechanisms and design characteristics demonstrated. The talk ends with open points to be discussed among research community and standardization bodies.

Dr. Susan Roaf

Emeritus Professor

Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh


Sue Roaf (B.A.Hons, A.A. Dipl., PhD, ARB, FRIAS) is Emeritus Professor Heriot Watt and an award winning architect, teacher, author and activist she has written and edited 22 books on solar and sustainable design, thermal comfort and climate change adaptation and is currently looking at extreme design in hot dry deserts and Antarctica.

Title:  The Quantum Comfort Leap

The notion of Quantum Evolution refers to an "all-or-none reaction" where the transitional forms of an evolving species are unstable, perishing rapidly so that is left with is what the species finally has morphed into. The term describes the comparatively rapid transition from one stable type of species adaptation to another distinctly different type under the influence of some strong selection pressure. This paper outlines the need for a Quantum Leap in what we considered to be ‘comfort conditions’ today to ensure we can adapt to survive in the coming decades of climate heating. As temperatures soar populations will have to rapidly set against the rising pressures of energy scarcity and costs, globally flat-lining economies and rising levels of fuel and food poverty. Individuals can accommodate only so much in terms of personal thermal adaptation. It has to be buildings that become the first bastion of protection against extreme weather.  To avoid wasting time, their intermediate unstable transitional forms will have to be side-lined as designers try and anticipate what the final form of buildings must evolve into to protect populations from extinction. Most current design tools are inadequate for this task. Designers will have to rely on their own intelligent intuition and foresight to create buildings in which people can remain comfortable in a very different future. This requires a Quantum Leap of both Faith and Comfort Thinking. 

Dr. Adrain Chong

Assistant Professor

Department of the Built Environment College of Design and Engineering National University of Singapore


Dr. Adrian Chong is an IBPSA Fellow and Assistant Professor in the Department of the Built Environment at the National University of Singapore (NUS). At NUS, he leads the IDEAS Lab (, a multidisciplinary group that leverages building performance simulation, real-time data, and machine learning to improve building energy efficiency and occupant comfort. Adrian also serves as a subject editor for the journal Building Simulation and holds the role of Early Career Board Member for the journal Building and Environment.

Title: Harnessing Mixed mode ventilation and Occupant-Centric Control for Energy savings in the Tropics

According to the IEA, buildings account for 30% of global final energy consumption, with energy demand for space cooling tripling since 1990. This escalating demand and climate change necessitates we rethink how we currently cool our buildings. Mixed-mode ventilation emerges as a promising solution to significantly reduce energy consumption through the integrated use of natural ventilation and air-conditioning. However, the application of mixed-mode ventilation in tropical climates has been constrained by a prevailing preconception of its limited effectiveness. This skepticism stems from challenges posed by consistently hot and humid conditions, which are thought to limit the potential of operating in natural ventilation. In this talk, I will share ongoing work at my research group to achieve effective mixed-mode ventilation in the tropics. Our approach, focusing on systems integration and occupant-centric controls, aims to address the skepticism surrounding mixed-mode ventilation in such climates. Preliminary findings underscore the promise of a more sustainable way to cool our buildings in the tropics through mixed-mode ventilation.

Aun Abdullah

Vice Deputy President

Lodha Group


Aun Abdullah leads sustianability/esg at Lodha and have been instrumental in shaping the sustainability strategy at the group. He has come from a building services and infrastructure design/design management background, with experience on large/very large landmark projects in India and the middle east (UAE and Qatar).I have led the formation of Lodha Net Zero Urban Accelerator, which focuses on embodied carbon, passive designs, equipment efficiency, renewable integration, green mobility and green finance - with the intention of making net zero carbon the new normal for built environment.I am interested in cleantech and ideas that have potential to become cost effective (for the developer as well as the end user) given the scale and growth opportunities in our operations.

Title:  Lodha's approach of delinking growth from emissions by transforming the built environment.

This talk explores the pivotal role of the built environment in navigating India's impending growth while addressing climate risks. Emphasizing resilience and decarbonization, it delves into the critical business case for climate action within the built environment sector. By examining the challenges and opportunities in supply chain transformation, the presentation advocates for sustainable practices that not only mitigate environmental impact but also foster economic growth. The intricate relationship between India's development trajectory, climate resilience, and the imperative for transformative actions in the built environment will be addressed.