Sofie Pelsmakers

Assistant Professor (tenure track), (2nd term) Architecture, Housing Design
Faculty of Built Environment
| Sub unit: Architecture

About me

My passion is for architecture teaching, practice and research that makes a difference and responds to current societal and environmental challenges. Originally born in Belgium, I am a UK chartered architect (ARB/RIBA) with over 15 years of experience in designing, building and teaching sustainable architecture.


Chair of the ASUTUT - Sustainable Housing Design research group, part of Architectral Design and Sustainable Housing research and teaching group.

I am an Associate Editor of Buildings and Cities - an Independent, not-for-profit OA peer-review transdisciplinary journal.

Fields of expertise

My specialty is low energy, affordable housing design and housing retrofit. I am particularly interested in how buildings and spaces work in reality, and how architecture exists and changes over seasons and time. This includes how building use and users change and adapt buildings (i.e. actual performance and user satisfaction (POE/BPE)), and how architecture shapes uses and users. I am also interested in pedagogical methods for embedding time, user and performance aspects, and in holistic sustainability approaches. In my work I attempt to bridge the information gap between research and architectural practice. As such, I single authored ‘The Environmental Design Pocketbook, a comprehensive publication which distils environmental science, legislation and guidance into one easy to use single source, now in its 2nd edition. This publication received commendation by the RIBA President's Medals for ‘Outstanding Practice-located Research' (2012) and was ‘Highly Commended’ for the UKGBC/PRP ‘Rising Star award’ 2013. For selected endorsements see here. Together with Judit Kimpian and Hattie Hartman, I am co-author of 'Energy, People, Buildings: Architecture for a Changing World', due by RIBA Publishing in early 2021. I also guest-edited the inaufural idssue of RIBA DESIGN STUDIO on 'Everything needs to Change: Architecture and the climate Emergency, together with Nick Newman.(due March 2021).

Consulting hours

By appointment (room RJ 313, Hervantra Campus) - please email sofie.pelsmakers [at]