CGBC Fall Lecture: Khee Poh Lam on “A ‘Well & Green’ Approach to A Sustainable and Resilient Educational Campus”

On Thursday, December 2, 2021, at 10 am ET, Khee Poh Lam will present a lecture via Zoom.

Please RSVP to Jeff Fitton ([email protected]) to receive a Zoom invitation. This lecture is open to members of the Harvard community.



Provost’s Chair Professor of Architecture and Building
Dean, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore
Professor Emeritus, Carnegie Mellon University

Professor Lam is an architect, educator and researcher who specializes in computational design support systems for total building performance analysis and building diagnostics. He has completed many major funded research projects in Singapore and the USA, and his findings are widely published. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of Building Simulation: An International Journal (Springer and Tsinghua University Press), and Buildings (MDPI AG, Switzerland).

He is a member of the Singapore Future Economy Council Urban Systems Cluster Sub Committee. He is also a Director of the Centre for Liveable Cities Ltd., Singapore, and currently serves as a Management Board member of the Institute of Real Estate and Urban Studies at NUS. Lam is also an Advisory Board member of Delos, USA, which established the world’s first building standard focused exclusively on human health and wellness; Co-Chair of the International Well Building Institute Task Force on COVID-19 and other Respiratory Infections; and a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Clean Electrification.

Lam is a building performance consultant for several major award-winning projects and certified green buildings in Singapore, China and USA. He was awarded the 2013 Alexander Schwarzkopf Prize from the US National Science Foundation “for exemplary research contribution to technology innovation and positive impact on technology, industry and the society as a whole.” He also received the IBM Faculty Award in 2010. He was conferred the inaugural iBuildSG LEAD Distinguished Fellow by the Building and Construction Authority, Singapore, in 2020.

A “Well & Green” Approach to A Sustainable and Resilient Educational Campus

The 2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction by the GABC, launched in December of 2020, noted that “While the total final energy consumption of the global buildings sector remained at the same level in 2019 compared to the previous year, CO2 emissions from the operation of buildings have increased to their highest level yet at around 10 GtCO2, or 28% of total global energy-related CO2 emissions. With the inclusion of emissions from the buildings construction industry, this share increases to 38% of total global energy-related CO2 emissions”.

This statistic reveals to us that the marginal incremental gains made through so-called green building design are totally offset by building operation, most likely from a growing plethora of technologies that we introduce into our new buildings, as well as the constantly decreasing operational efficiency of our existing and aging building stock.

This lecture will attempt to address these challenges and offer some insights into practical implementation of effective design solutions using the School of Design and Environment academic buildings as demonstrative case studies. Two key takeaways to note are: (1) we need to be much more aggressive in targeting for net-zero energy buildings at scale (2) we have to genuinely embrace a people-centric approach and sustaining a symbiotic relationship between the natural and the built environment to enhance their well-being and overall quality of life.