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Personal profile

Research interests

Current research interests include the emerging field of Low Carbon Building design incorporating issues of passive building performance, efficient technology, building integrated renewable energy generators and human behaviour and subtle controls to create low energy and low carbon buildings; natural ventilation of buildings; the adaptation of buildings and cities for climate change and fuel poverty; and whole system design approaches.


Sue Roaf gained her first degree in Architecture in 1975 at Manchester University. She subsequently went on to gain her Diploma in Architecture at the Architectural Association in London where she also took her Part 3 professional exam in 1978. In 1989 she was awarded a PhD for her study of the Windcatchers of the Central Persian Desert from Oxford Brookes University where she taught from 1989 to 2005 both in professional studies, technology and design. She has practiced as an architect for a number of years on the design of housing, schools, hospitals, Landscape architecture and town planning. She has taught has taught at Baghdad Univiersity and the University of Frederico II in Naples and has been a visiting professor at the Open University and Arizona State UNiversity. She is well known as a designer for her Oxford Ecohouse, the first integrated photovoltaic roof in Britain She is an award winning designer, teacher and author and is Co-Chair of TIA, the international Teachers in Architecture organisation and Co-Chair of the Westminster Carbon Counting Group. She has also chaired a number of International Conferences including the 2nd International Conference on Solar Cities in 2006, the 1994, 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2008 Windsor Conferences on Thermal Comfort (with Fergus Nicol), and the 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2008 TIA conference on Architectural Education with Professor Marco Sala of the University of Florence. She has sat on a wide range of committees related to planning, urban design, architecture and local government. She began teaching at Heriot Watt in 2007.


She is a Board member of the International Solar Cities Initiative based in South Korea; a Director of Dundee Solar City; on the Advisory Board of the Resilient Design Institute, New York; a HWU Director of the Edingurgh Centre for Carbon Innovation; a workstream leader for Adaptation at the Edinburgh Climate X Change. She is also a non-executive Director of AES Solar Ltd. 


She was an Oxford City Councillor for 7 years from 2001 to 2008 where she chaired the Environment Scrutiny Committee for some time. 


She has done extensive consultancy work in the field of Low Carbon Buildings across educational, domestic and health buildings working with UN Habitat; UNEP; CRESA, New Zealand;The Carbon ust;  The Green Consultancy; The Scottish Government; Historic Scotland and other organisations. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action


  • NA Architecture
  • architectural engineering
  • TH Building construction


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