UCL Energy Institute


UCL-Energy MRes student launches low carbon architecture book

18 June 2012

UCL-Energy MRes student Sofie Pelsmakers published her latest book 'The Environmental Design Pocketbook' last month. One of her former students Loreana Padron attended the launch:

book launch

Sofie Pelsmakers’ book, The Environmental Design Pocketbook, was launched on May 11th 2012 at a warm and well attended book reception at The Window in London. As an ex-student, I attended amidst a large group of the author’s colleagues and peers as well as some fellow ex-students and friends and family. People attending came from both industry as well as academia, and it was great to see so many experts and organisations represented in one room, including professors and students from UCL and UEL, the Institute for Sustainability, SusCon, The Passivhaus Trust, Hattie Hartman from the AJ together with Lynne Sullivan, bere:architects as well as RIBA Publishing and co-sponsors Levitt Bernstein and Greenspec.

Around 100 of us gathered together to celebrate Sofie’s achievement, and for many of us it was also the first opportunity to find out what Sofie’s book was all about and why she wrote it.

Sebastian Moreno-Vacca, Director of A2M architects, Professor of Architecture at ULB-LaCambreHorta and President of the Passivhaus Platform in Brussels, came over from Belgium especially and gave a delightful introduction to Sofie and her book. Sebastian also set the scene of the broader contextual world the building industry faces and the reasons why he believes The Environmental Design Pocketbook is going to make a difference in the construction industry.

It was then the author’s turn to take the stage and she used this opportunity to thank collaborators and sponsors but also to apologise to friends and family for being so busy during the writing process. I particularly enjoyed Sofie’s introduction to many of the book’s chapters along with her personal reasons on why she wrote it (“to change the way we design & build”) and the long path that she had to take to make it happen. She discussed extracts from her book such as the zero–carbon ’calculator’, renewable energy decision matrices, regional (UK) key recommendations and key readings at the end of each section. The author also talked about the book’s focus on passive design principles and its focus on both climate change mitigation as well as adaptation and its uniqueness by drawing academic sources and scientific evidence together with practical information, building legislation and guidance into one single source with the aim to deliver sustainable buildings.

Following the launch reception, some of the guests enjoyed a vegetarian dinner in this Islington venue, known for its sustainability credentials, where Sofie’s friends and family continued to celebrate and to enjoy this great evening.

Taken from Sofie's Environmental Design Pocketbook website
Photographs by j_pardoe@hotmail.com

Read Sofie's blogs