Paula Cadima


Paula Cadima is co-director of the MArch+MSc Sustainable Environmental Design, Supervisor of the AA PhD Programme and a Member of the AA Teaching Committee.

She has been in architectural practice and environmental research for more than twenty five years and has taught at the Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University of Lisbon, where she was Founding Director of the Bioclimatic Architecture MPhil Programme.

Her PhD was obtained at the AA and focused on Transitional Spaces, but her current research interests extend to themes related to refurbishing the city, urban microclimates, affordable housing, sustainable working+creative environments, energy efficiency and passive cooling design. She published over 30 papers in conferences and journals in these topics and has given invited lectures and keynote speeches, worldwide.

She has worked for the European Commission in Brussels for five years, where she was involved in the management of projects promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and world-class research in emerging fields. She chaired the Environment & Sustainable Architecture working group of the Architect’s Council of Europe in 2009 and was the president of the International PLEA Network from 2011-2017 and continues on the Board of Directors.


1994-00 PhD Environment & Energy Studies, AA Graduate School

1993-94 Environment & Energy Studies Programme, AA Graduate School

1979-85 Diploma in Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Technical University of Lisbon


2008 Registered Qualified Expert for the Energy Certification of Buildings (OA – Portugal)

1987 Registered Architect (OA – Portugal)

1985 Certified Professional Training (SPAZ – Zurich, Switzerland)


2014-      Co-Director, MSc + MArch Sustainable Environmental Design, AA Graduate School, London

2010-      PhD Supervisor, PhD Programme, AA Graduate School, London

2010-13   Course Master MSc and MArch Sustainable Environmental Design, AA Graduate School, London

2002-05 Director, MPhil Bioclimatic Architecture Programme, Faculty of Architecture, UTL, Lisbon

2004-05 Professor, Urban Comfort, Architecture & Territorial Planning, Faculty of Architecture, UTL, Lisbon

2001-05 Regent Professor, Environmental Design, Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, UTL, Lisbon

2001-05 Regent Professor, Environmental Design, Interior Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, UTL, Lisbon

1994-98 Course Tutor & Research Assistant, MA Environment & Energy Studies, AA Graduate School, London


She has supervised 5 PhD and 1 MPhil students to successful completion and examined 15 PhD (8 in the UK, 2 in Belgium and 5 in Portugal) and 5 MPhil in Portugal.



2003-05 URBAN DYNAMICS – Co-Founder and Director. Rehabilitation of mixed-used 18th century building in Lisbon, refurbishment of a country palace in Évora with passive cooling design strategies.

1989-90 TIRONENUNES Urbanismo. Passive solar design of a residential condominium, Sintra.

1989 SUA KAY Architects. Design of various office buildings, including UBS-Union Bank Switzerland, Headquarter of the Bank of Portugal in Lisbon, Edifício Suécia in Oeiras, Tourism Village DUNAS DOURADAS in Algarve.

1986-88 ASSO (Arquitectos Associados)/ PAL (Planeamento e Arquitectura), Lisbon. Design of various urban and architectural projects, Hotel Centromar and Caixa Geral dos Depósitos in Funchal, NATO Lajes airbase and aparthotel in Porto Santo (refurbishment of the old concrete factory), Cultural Centre of Gafanha in Aveiro, Town Hall of ĺlhavo with passive solar design strategies and Masterplan for the seafront development of Madeira Island.

1986-87 GAPTEC (Technical Office of the Faculty of Architecture in Lisbon). Masterplan for the Campus facilities of the Technical University of Lisbon and exhibition design for the 1st Congress of the Portuguese Built Heritage in the World, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon.

1984-85 SPAZ (Stadtplannungsamt Zürich), City Planning Department of Zurich. Urban projects, including the design of the Langstrasse Unterführung urban art work, cycling and pedestrian ways and urban structures.

1985-03 Private practice design of various projects in Portugal, including new design and refurbishment of residential buildings, a kindergarten and the design of a catamaran, and collaborated with artists in various projects, among others the urban art work “Shadow Project – STAGING THE CITY” commissioned by the Metropolitan Underground of Lisbon with artist Fernanda Fragateiro, and was awarded 2nd Prize at the shop window design competition in 1985 promoted by the Townhall of Lisbon with artist Miguel Branco and designer Filipe Alarcão.


2012       Sustainable Design Guidelines for Family Housing, London Borough of Hackney, London, UK – S333 Architecture+Urbanism,

2005       Design for a House in Quinta da Beloura, Sintra, Portugal – Atelier Miguel Mira Arquitectos, Lda.

2002       International Competition for the Elderly Centre, Oeiras, Portugal – UTOPOS.

International Competition for the Elderly Centre, Portela de Carnaxide, Portugal – Architect Mª Manuel Godinho

2001       International Competition for the School of Technology and Management, Polytechnic Institute in Beja, Portugal – ACE-Engineers.

2001       Headquarters, Technical Centre and Sports Facilities, Portuguese Football Federation in Sintra, Portugal – PAL – Planeamento e Arquitectura Lda.

2000       International Competition for the Art Crafts and Health Schools of the Polytechnic in Castelo Branco, Portugal – Architects Jorge Estriga and Rita Amado.



2009-10 European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA), European Commission, Brussels. Research Programme Management, ERC Advanced and Starting Grants.

2005-09 Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI), European Commission, Brussels. Project Management, Energy Efficiency Unit, Intelligent Energy Europe Programme.



2010-12 Environmental Design in University Curricula and Architectural Training in Europe (EDUCATE). Collaborative project sponsored by European Commission Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) Programme

2009 Sustainable Construction – a common language for the construction sector, joint project between the Architect’s Council of Europe and the European Concrete Platform

2005-08 Climate and Urban Sustainability: comfort perception and climatic risks (URBKLIM), funded by Fundação Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT)

2004 Integrating Environmentally Responsive Elements in Buildings, Annex 44, IEA-ECBCS

1999-00 Passive Cooling Handbook, European Commission Altener Programme

1994-00 Transitional Spaces, funded by Fundação Ciência e Tecnologia and Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

1994-95 Passive Cooling of Buildings, European Commission DG-XII Joule II R&D Project

1994 Design of Educational Buildings. Architecture Climate Portfolios, EC DG-XII Solinfo


2017       (with P. La Roche and M.E. Schiler) Guest Editor for the Special Issue: Passive Low Energy Architecture Association (PLEA) Effects of Envelope & Materiality in the Built Environment, Architectural Science Review, Volume 60, 2017 – Issue 4, published by Taylor & Francis.

2017         (with J. Yang) Low-income residential design in Guangzhou, China: Regaining the use of transitional spaces. Proc. PLEA 2017 Conference, Edinburgh, UK.

2017       (with D. Chulakasyena) Free-running High Rise Housing in Hot and Humid Climates – issues and solutions. Proc. PLEA 2017 Conference, Edinburgh, UK.

2017       (with O. Ghosh) Redeveloping Informal Settlements in Kolkata: A vernacular approach to 21st century design. Proc. PLEA 2017 Conference, Edinburgh, UK.

2016       (with N. Al Sabbagh and S. Yannas) Improving Pedestrian Thermal Sensation in Dubai. Proc. PLEA 2016 Conference, Los Angeles, United States.

2016       (with A. Juneja) Courtyards as Semi-outdoor Learning Spaces: Exploring the potential of outdoor learning in primary schools. Proc. PLEA 2016 Conference, Los Angeles, United States.

2016       (with L. De Rosso) Pocket Parks in São Paulo. Proc. PLEA 2016 Conference, Los Angeles, United States.

2015       (with P. Sirichanchuen) A New Design to Achieve Thermal Comfort in Low-Income Community in Bangkok, Thailand. Proc. PLEA 2015 Conference, Bologna, Italy

2015       (with S. Pardeep) Passive Techniques for 24 Hour Working Environments: Design Strategies for Offices in Bangalore. Proc. PLEA 2015 Conference, Bologna, Italy.

2015       (with R. Qubrosi) Lessons from a Bedouin: Desert Adaptive Architecture. Proc. PLEA 2015 Conference, Bologna, Italy.

2015       Mais Conforto e Menos Energia na Renovação de Edifícios Habitacionais em Climas Mediterrânicos, O Edifício Ambiental. In Goncalves J.S. and K. Bode (Eds) Edificio Ambiental. Oficina de Textos, São Paulo.

2012       Education for Sustainable Environmental Design – The EDUCATE Project, Summary of Results (with EDUCATE Partners). Edited by S. Altomonte, EDUCATE Press, University of Nottingham.

2012       Criteria for Professional Qualification – White Paper (with EDUCATE Partners). Edited by S. Altomonte, EDUCATE Press, University of Nottingham.

2011       No Futuro os Edifícios Serão Grandes Fornecedores de Energia, Jornal PÚBLICO Comunicação Social SA, Dia da Terra, 22 April, Lisbon.

2009       Retrofitting Homes for Better Energy Performance: the occupant’s perspective, Proc. PLEA 2009 Conference, Québéc.

2009       Promoting Lower Energy Homes: support from the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme”. Proc. Passivhus Norden Conference, Göteborg (with G. Sutherland).

2008       Reabilitação da Habitação Social: os desafios para uma maior eficiência energética. Proc NUTAU 2008 International Seminar, FAUUSP, São Paulo.

2008       (with S. Pelham). Embedded Stone Wall Construction in Lisbon. Proc. PLEA 2008 Conference, Dublin

2008       (with V. Berrutto and G. Sutherland). Raising Energy Efficiency in Buildings through the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme. Proc. International Passive House Conference, Nurnberg

2008       Energy-Efficient Homes and Buildings: The Beauty of Efficiency. European Publications Office, Brussels (co-edited with T. Noel and G. Sutherland).

2007       The European Strategy Towards Sustainability in the Built Environment. Proc. PLEA 2007 Conference, Singapore.

2007       Integrated Building Design Approach. Proc. IAQVEC 2007 Conference, Sendai.

2007       Energy Efficiency – EU Targets.  Proc. TIA 2007 Conference, Krems.

2007       Os Desafios da Europa para uma maior Eficiência Energética nos Edifícios e o Programa ‘Energia Inteligente – Europa (European Challenges for Better Energy Efficiency in Buildings and the IEE Programme). Jornal CONSTRUIR, August, Lisbon.

2007       (with S. Wever).Thermal Optimisation of the Vertical Opaque Envelope: Variable Insulation an Innovative Approach”, Proc. PLEA 2007 Conference, Singapore

2006       Retrofitting of Social Housing: 12 innovative projects for an energy-intelligent Europe”, IEEA, European Commission (co-edited with V. Berrutto and G. Sutherland).

2005       Form and Microclimate: Spatial Confinement and Heat in the Urban Patio. Proc. PLEA 2005 Conference, Lebanon.

2005       Aplicações de Água no Controlo do Microclima dos Espaços Urbanos, Cadernos da Faculdade de Arquitectura, Nº 4, FA-UTL, Lisbon.

2004       Os Espaços de Transição como Elementos Representativos da Relação com o Meio Ambiente. Chapter in Falas da Terra Natureza e Ambiente na Tradição Popular Portuguesa, Edições Colibri e IELT, FCSH, UN Lisbon.

2000       TRANSITIONAL SPACES: the potential of semi-outdoor spaces as a means for environmental control with special reference to Portugal”. PhD Dissertation. EESP, AA, London.

2000       Solar radiation studies of various urban forms for Latitude 38°. Proc. PLEA 2000 Conference, Cambridge. James & James (Science Publishers) Ltd. London.

1998       The Effect of Design Parameters on Environmental Performance of the Urban Patio: A Case Study in Lisbon. Proc. PLEA 1998 Conference, Lisbon. James & James (Science Publishers) Ltd. London.

1996       The Role of the Balcony on Buildings in the Contemporary European City: A Case Study in Lisbon. Proc PLEA 1996 Conference, Louvain-La-Neuve (with S. Yannas).


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