Plenary speakers

Ardeshir Mahdavi

University Professor

Institute of Building Physics, Services, and Construction,

Faculty of Civil Engineering Sciences, TU Graz,


University Professor Dr Ardeshir Mahdavi, , is an internationally recognized authority in Building Science. Prior to his current affiliation at the Institute of Building Physics, Services, and Construction at the Faculty of Civil Engineering Sciences, Graz University of Technology (TU Graz), professor Mahdavi held positions at the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Technical University of Vienna (TU Wien), and National University of Singapore (NUS). Professor Mahdavi conducts research in building physics, building simulation, building ecology, and human ecology. Professor Mahdavi has published over 700 scientific papers and has supervised over 65 doctoral students. Professor Mahdavi is the recipient of the prestigious IBPSA Distinguished Achievements Awards.

CATE 2023 Plenary talk title:

Pondering the Performance of the Performance Paradigm

The performance paradigm is a natural reflection of our interest in the quality and effectiveness of the artifacts we build, be those machines, buildings, or whole cities. To this end, performance domains are defined, performance variables are established and included – together with their mandated values – in standards and legal documents. We develop methods and tools to predict the performance implications of our interventions and we proclaim that performance-based standards liberate stakeholders from the strait jacket of prescriptive mandates: Instead of prescribing professionals how to design and maintain their artifacts in detail, we tell them what performance we expect from those artifacts. But, looking at the consequences of our interventions across multiple scales, we may need to ponder if the performance paradigm has been implemented sufficiently and properly. We may even need to wonder if the performance paradigm itself is indeed truly performant.

Jeeth Iype

Architect and Co-founder,

Good Earth,


Jeeth Iype is an Architect, co-founder of GoodEarth. an idea person, he is excited by innovation and translating ideas into architecture. Part of the team that conceptualizes the communities. Having gained experience creating vibrant communities which make one feel psychologically and socially secure, it’s trying to address larger issues like climate change and desertification through regenerative agriculture, sustainable water and waste management, to add value to its core business of building sustainable communities.

CATE 2023 Plenary talk title:

Building Sustainable Community: Good Earth Experiment

Jeeth and his team at Good Earth, are engaged in bringing together like-minded people with a common vision of building a sustainable future. They believe that such a community generates a strong sense of belonging while also enabling a collective sense of security and responsibility. They foresee a future where many such communities keep growing, each influencing its neighborhood and context. Their vision is to inspire change in the way people live through our efforts in development. The keynote will narrate Jeeth’s journey in making Good Earth a successful experiment.

Richard de Dear

Professor Emeritus,

The University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning, The University of Sydney,


Richard de Dear has been continuously active in the research domain of thermal comfort for over forty years in Australian, European, Asian, and North American universities. With over 250 peer-reviewed research outputs on the topic de Dear is currently the most highly cited researcher in thermal comfort (Scopus), and his work forms the basis for ASHRAE’s Standard 55 Adaptive Thermal Comfort section (from 2004 till present). Among his current duties are editorships for Nature Scientific Reports, ASHRAE Science and Technology for the Built Environment, and Elsevier Energy and Buildings. He was co-chair of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Energy in Buildings and Communities Programme Annex 69 Strategy and Practice of Adaptive Thermal Comfort in Low Energy Buildings from 2016 through to its completion in 2022. He serves on the WHO-WMO Indoor Overheating Technical Advisory Group. His thermal comfort research papers have received numerous best paper awards, including Building and Environment (2022, 2018), Energy and Buildings (2018), ASHRAE Transactions (1999, 1998). He received ASHRAE’s Crosby-Field Award (1998) for best research paper across all of its outlets in 1998. In 1993 ASHRAE awarded him the Ralph G Nevins Physiology and Human Environment Award. In 1999 he received the Environmental Design and Research Association’s (EDRA) “Places” Research Award, and in 2014 he was inducted into the International Society of Indoor Air Quality’s Academy of Fellows.

CATE 2023 Plenary talk title:

Alliesthesia – the other kind of thermal comfort.

The overwhelming majority of our knowledge of thermal comfort is confined to relatively simple situations of steady-state and iso-thermal exposures. In this talk de Dear will review thermal comfort, pleasure, and irritation in more complex and non-steady exposures. The talk will begin with the conceptual framework of alliesthesia and its empirical bases, then finish by identifying where alliesthesia is most directly relevant including outdoor and semi-outdoor settings, personal comfort systems, vehicle cabins, transition spaces including rapid transit carriages and station environments.

Susan Ubbelohde

Principal Architect of Loisos + Ubbelohde, Alameda, California


Susan Ubbelohde is a founding principal of Loisos + Ubbelohde, an office of  unconventional practice based in Alameda, California and a Professor Emerita in the  Department of Architecture at University of California, Berkeley. Her practice  specializes in high-performance integrated design and is recognized for expertise in  daylighting and lighting design, zero-energy/zero-carbon design, energy and thermal  comfort simulations, natural ventilation, building monitoring, solar reflections and  data visualization, a well as design and fabrication of light sculptures. L+U projects  have won over 240 design, sustainability, and lighting awards, including AIA/COTE  Top Ten Green Project awards, Platinum LEED Certifications and Zero-Net-Energy  projects. Throughout her career, she has served on design and sustainability juries,  lectured internationally and published on green design, simulation tools, daylighting,  and lighting. An Indo-American Fellowship in Ahmedabad in 1989 supported a study  of climate response in Le Corbusier’s Sarabhai House and Millowners Building, as well  as the classrooms and dormitories of Louis Kahn’s IIM. Susan is a graduate of  Oberlin College, the University of Michigan and the University of Oregon.

CATE 2023 Plenary talk title:

The Siesta and the Wildfire: Designing Comfort in Times of “Anomalous Weather”

As architects practicing at the cutting edge of low-energy and resilient design, our office of  Loisos + Ubbelohde believes buildings should “sail”. This means operating with minimal  mechanical systems, like sails when they are becalmed can be assisted with a small auxiliary  engine. We work in a design process that begins with human comfort delivered primarily by the  envelope. But we practice in interesting times. With 2023, the “anomalous weather” that we  assumed was sold in the future arrived. Our buildings designed 10 years ago can no longer be  counted on to provide comfort and fresh air to the occupants. Germany is looking at Spain’s  siesta that they previously ridiculed, while Hawaiians need their open houses to transform to  spaceships when the fires arrive. Integrated architecture, systems and controls must couple  with buildings that can sell open to the world when the breeze is up and the air is temperate.  We will need to both survive and remain human in our architecture.

Wouter D. van Marken Lichtenbelt

Professor Ecological Energetics and HealthSchool for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM)Maastricht University


Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt is head of the research group Thermophysiology & Metabolism Maastricht University. The fundamental aspect of the research line is the effect of environmental temperatures physiology and behavior. This ranges from indoor environment in western populations to extreme conditions in Siberia. The study results show significant beneficial effects of excursions outside the thermoneutral zone; i.e. being exposed to heat and cold positively affects metabolic and cardiovascular health and increases resilience to extremes. The applied part of the research puts emphasis on how daily indoor environmental conditions relate to thermal comfort, behavior, health and prevention of the metabolic syndrome. His group searches for an optimal mix of different lifestyles and environmental factors to create a healthy sustainable indoor environment.

CATE 2023Plenary talk title:

Are we tropical animals?

Are we better adapted to heat than cold? The presentation will include examples and new results from traditionally living humans and how they cope with extreme environmental conditions. This will be linked to current physiological knowledge about heat and cold acclimation. Finally, there will be food for thought on what extremes of heat and cold we can cope with.