Harvard Consortium for Energy Policy Research: Ali Malkawi on HouseZero

On Monday October 30th, CGBC Founding Director Ali Malkawi will give a talk entitled “HouseZero: A first-of-its-kind, ultra-efficient retrofit” as a part of the Consortium for Energy Policy Research’s seminar series. Housed at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government in the Harvard Kennedy School, the Consortium for Energy Policy Research is dedicated to advancing Harvard’s energy policy research and fostering collaboration across the University in cooperation with the Harvard University Center for the Environment.

The event will occur from 12pm-1:30pm in Bell Hall, 5th Floor, Belfer Building at the Harvard Kennedy School. More info here.

Harvard Club of France Lecture: Founding Director Ali Malkawi on HouseZero

On Monday, July 10, the Harvard Club of France will present a lecture entitled “HouseZero: A first-of-its-kind, ultra-efficient retrofit on Harvard campus” by CGBC Founding Director Ali Malkawi. Professor Malkawi’s presentation will focus on the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities’ HouseZero project: a retrofit of its headquarters, a pre-1940s stick-built house on Harvard campus in Cambridge, into a prototype of ultra-efficiency. The structure will use no HVAC system, no electric light use during the day, 100% natural ventilation, almost zero energy, and produce zero carbon emissions.

HouseZero will feature an ultra-healthy, flexible, comfortable indoors that works to fundamentally redefine how a home connects with and responds to its natural environment to promote health and efficiency. All components of the building contain sensors that essentially turn HouseZero into a living lab, generating data that will allow the building to adjust itself and fuel further CGBC research focused on actual data and simulated environments.

HouseZero hopes to prove that by retrofitting existing houses, we can help curb climate change, reduce building operating costs, and achieve new levels of efficiency. By using current technologies at our fingertips, we have the power to change the way we design, construct and operate buildings—leading to billion of dollars in savings per year and substantial shifts in the way we approach sustainable energy in our daily lives.

The event will be co-sponsored by Paris Sciences et Lettres, a world-class research university driven by innovation and value creation.

Event details are available here.

Harvard Climate Week: Bud Ris on “Climate Ready Boston: Planning for the Challenges Ahead”

Time: 2:00pm
Location: Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall
48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Questions? Please contact Jeff Fitton (
Audience: This event is open to the public.

The Harvard University Center for the Environment, in cooperation with a wide variety of partner institutions across the Harvard campus, has organized a week of climate change-related events called “Climate Week.”  This week-long program will give the Harvard community, as well as the interested public, exposure to some of the best scholarship and thinking related to climate change that we have at the University. More information about Harvard Climate Week is available here.

On Monday, April 24th, the Center for Green Buildings and Cities will present: “Climate Ready Boston: Planning for the Challenges Ahead” with Bud Ris, Co-Chair, Climate Preparedness Working Group, Boston Green Ribbon Commission, and Senior Climate Advisor, Barr Foundation.

Bud Ris’ career in environmental policy and non-profit leadership spans more than forty years. Currently he co-chairs the Climate Preparedness Working Group of the Green Ribbon Commission and is an advisor to the Barr Foundation. He has been actively involved in the design and implementation of the Climate Ready Boston project, which focuses on making Boston a more resilient city. From 2005 to 2014, Bud served as President and CEO of the New England Aquarium, where he led a successful, multi-year campaign to renovate the institution’s signature exhibits and strengthen its programs on marine conservation. Under his leadership, the Aquarium launched a nationwide educational program on climate change that now includes more than 100 museums and aquariums. Prior to that, Bud was a Senior Fellow at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, where he led the Davos group’s program on climate change for UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. From 1984 through 2003, Bud served as the chief executive officer of the Union of Concerned Scientists, which has long been in the forefront of research, education, and policy advocacy on climate change. Bud is a Trustee of Boston Harbor Now and the Greenway Conservancy and has served on many advisory committees for the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts focused on climate change and waterfront development. In 2014 he was honored for his leadership on behalf of New England’s environment by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

CGBC Lecture Series: Gordon Gill

“Discovering Form Through Performance: From Master Planning to the Tallest Building in the World”
Location: Room 111, Gund Hall
48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Questions? Please contact Jeff Fitton (
Audience: This event is open to the public.

Gordon Gill is one of the world’s preeminent exponents of performance-based architecture. His work, which ranges from the world’s largest buildings to sustainable communities, is driven by his philosophy that there is a purposeful relationship between formal design and performance; and that there is a language of performance, which is the basis of his practice: Form Follows Performance.

A founding partner of award-winning Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, Gordon’s work includes the design of the world’s first net zero-energy skyscraper, the Pearl River Tower (designed at SOM Chicago), the world’s first large-scale positive energy building, Masdar Headquarters, the world’s tallest tower, Kingdom Tower in Jeddah Saudi Arabia and most recently the design of Astana Expo 2017 and its sustainable legacy community for Astana, Kazakhstan. These landmark projects pursue energy independence by harnessing the power of natural forces on site and striking a balance with their environmental contexts. Gordon’s designs also include performing arts centers, museums, strategic carbon planning and urban master plans across the globe.

His work has been published and exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally and his designs have repeatedly been recognized by the American Institute of Architects. In 2009 he was selected as Chicago’s Best Emerging Architect by the Chicago Reader and in 2013 Gordon was elected to The College of Fellows at the American Institute of Architects.

Prior to founding AS+GG in 2006, Gordon was an Associate Partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and a Director of Design for VOA Associates.

GSD Lecture: Mexico City Mayor Miguel Mancera

On Friday, March 31, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies will present a lecture entitled “Mexico City at a Crossroads: Designing an Urban Future in the Era of Climate Change” by Mexico City Mayor Miguel Mancera. He will discuss current challenges for the nation’s capital city, which was recently named the World Design Capital for 2018 by ICSID. The mayor will share lessons learned so far and engage in a dialogue about the built environmental future of CDMX (Ciudad de México) going forward. Read more here.

CGBC Lecture Series: Benjamín Romano on “Integrating Flow in High Rise Structures”

Romano2Location: Gund Hall, Room 111
48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Questions? Please contact Jeff Fitton (
Audience: This event is open to the public.

The program will be continued with a conversation moderated by Professor Ali Malkawi, Founding Director of the Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cities. 

The lecture is co-sponsored by the Mexican Cities Initiative.

Benjamín Romano is a Mexico City-based architect and the founder of the firm, LBR&A Arquitectos. He was the lead architect of Torre Reforma—the second-tallest building in Mexico—a 57-story exposed concrete high-rise that overlooks the expansive Chapultepec Park. LBR&A Arquitectos has been involved in office, residential, cultural and industrial projects across Mexico City and beyond. The firm is known for its attention to contemporary design, high-tech and sustainable solutions, and flexibility in space.

Romano finished his first construction project, two manufacturing plants for the apparel industry in Hidalgo, Mexico, in 1978, while completing his bachelor’s degree in Architecture & Urbanism from Universidad Iberoamericana. He has taught in various capacities at the Universidad Iberoamericana since 1982, and lectured worldwide.

Romano is currently an Expert in Residence at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Visiting Affiliated Faculty Member at the CGBC.

Ash Center Discussion: Health and Urban Resilience

On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation will present a discussion entitled “Health and Urban Resilience: Understanding Health Equity in the City” with Jason Corburn, a Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning and School of Public Health at UC Berkeley. Corburn also directs the Institute of Urban and Regional Development and the Center for Global Healthy Cities, and he will speak about making health equity an urban priority, which transformed Richmond, CA from one of the most violent and unequal in the Bay Area, to one of the region’s healthiest cities. Read more here.

China Project Lecture: Barbara Finamore on “Building Energy Efficiency in China”

On Thursday, March 23, 2017, the Harvard China Project will present a lecture entitled “Building Energy Efficiency in China: Policies and Trends” by Barbara Finamore, Senior Attorney and Asia Director, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The Harvard Center for Green Buildings and Cites is sponsoring the event. Read more here.

JCHS Lecture: Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh

On Monday, March 20, the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies will present the 17th Annual John T. Dunlop Lecture by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. Since taking office in 2014, Walsh, a former leader of Boston’s construction trade unions and a former state representative, has made housing and community development central to his efforts to ensure that Boston is a “thriving, healthy, and innovative” city with “equality and opportunity for all.”

Read more here.

Harvard China Project: Urbanization, Built Environment and Indoor Air in China

On Thursday, March 2, 2017, the Harvard China Project will present a lecture event entitled “Urbanization, Built Environment and Indoor Air in China” by Gary Adamkiewicz, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health and Exposure Disparities, Department of Environment Health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Adamkiewicz will discuss how trends in urbanization and the climate effect indoor air quality in cities across China. The event is also sponsored by the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Read more here.