Research Talks: Sustainable urban environments

Tuesday, March 28, 2023 6:00 pm - 6:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Sustainable urban environments

Tuesday, March 28 | 6-9 p.m. 

Four Fathers Brewing Co. 125 Guelph Ave, Cambridge, ON

You’re invited to Research Talks, a public event and panel discussion featuring guest speakers Mohamad T. Araji and Amelia Clarke - University of Waterloo, Matthew Day - WR Community Energy and Alex Tadesco - LGA Architectural Partners.

Our four panelists will speak about environmental sustainability and innovative sustainable design.

Mohamad Araji headshot

Mohamad T. Araji, PhD Director of Architectural Engineering / Associate Director of Research and Associate Professor Architecture

High performance architecture: Towards a zero-carbon mandate for environmental sustainability

Dr. Mohamad T. Araji is the Director of Architectural Engineering and Associate Director of Research in Architecture at the University of Waterloo. As a building scientist and expert in the field of environmental modeling, he has contributed to international landmark projects that range from the Chicago De-Carbonization Plan to the world’s tallest building and the world’s first large-scale positive energy building. Numerous of these and other novel projects plus winning design competitions in his practice portfolio apply innovative technologies to form high-performance design strategies that generate minimal ecological footprint.

At Waterloo, Dr. Araji is leading the Symbiosis Lab, an interdisciplinary group that specializes in developing innovative building systems, design and planning workflows, and new metrics to evaluate the environmental performance of buildings. The lab has been recognized as an incubator for the development of new models in architecture and city-center environments, with specific applications in parametric design, renewable energy, building envelope, urban performance, air quality, sustainable materials, carbon analysis, health & wellbeing, and data visualization.

Amelia Clarke headshot

Amelia Clarke, PhD Full Professor, Faculty of Environment

Reaching net-zero: Climate mitigation at the city scale

Dr. Amelia Clarke has been working on environment and sustainability issues since 1989, including as President of Sierra Club Canada (2003-2006), the first Director of the University of Waterloo's Master of Environment and Business degree (2009-2018) and the Associate Dean Research for the Faculty of Environment (2018-2022). She is now a Full Professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) at the University of Waterloo. Her main research focuses are related to implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals #8, #11, #13 and #17. She leads a $8.5M national team project called the municipal net-zero action research partnership (N-ZAP), and co-leads a second project on youth & innovation. She also has a long history of working on climate and sustainability action on university campuses. Dr. Clarke holds a PhD in Management (Strategy) from McGill University and approaches her research on sustainable development, sustainable business, sustainable campuses and sustainable communities from a strategic management lens.

Matthew Day headshot

Matthew Day, MA, CEM (he/him)

Energy in the built environment

Matthew Day is the Community Energy Program Manager for WR Community Energy (WRCE), a strategic partnership between the urban municipalities and utilities in Waterloo Region. WRCE was designed to coordinate a local, clean, and equitable energy transition. His work focuses on local energy use and generation, land-use policies, energy literacy, and special community-scale projects. Previously, Matthew spent a decade managing a voluntary corporate GHG reporting program with Sustainable Waterloo Region. Matthew holds M.A in Urban and Economic Geography from the University of Toronto. He now lives on the same downtown Kitchener streets he once roamed as a punk kid in the 90’s.

Alex Tedesco headshot

Alex Tedesco, OAA, BSSO, BES, BArch

What is the future of “building” communities and where are we now

Partner and certified building scientist Alex Tedesco has been with LGA Architectural Partners since 2000 and leads the firm's building science research and development department. From conceptual design to final construction, Alex ensures that his client's needs and aspirations are translated into built form, and that every building detail that leaves the office is designed for optimal performance and durability.

Alex builds relationships with his clients and stakeholders through open communication, respect and honesty. Putting aside preconceived notions of how architecture should look or operate, he works through an iterative process that allows for discovery and learning at every step. His wealth of material and product knowledge, combined with his commitment to challenging the conventions of sustainable design, allows Alex to inspire and challenge his team to innovate.

Outside of the office, Alex runs a welding business that fabricates architectural elements. Each year, Alex travels to Italy to harvest and produce olive oil which he imports to Canada. This delicate process is achieved by harvesting olives by hand and processing them naturally to produce the purest form of olive oil.

Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages will be provided.