University of Calgary

Caroline Hachem-Vermette

  • Assistant Professor

Personal Statement

I am an architect by training and by profession. Architecture is by its nature a multidisciplinary profession, involving diverse spheres of knowledge, such as various technological, science and engineering fields, sociology, psychology and art.

With two master's degrees in architecture, an additional master and a PhD degrees in Building Engineering at Concordia University (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), my research activities have been progressing from the conceptual aspects of my first master research, concerning the design and analysis of a cultural/art center, in a more technologically oriented direction. The topic of my second master research (Summa Cum Laude), at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology is structural aspects of deployable structural systems found in nature and potential structural/architectural applications. My third master, in Building Engineering at Concordia University (Quebec, Canada), focuses on detecting and measuring mold growth in the building envelope in cold climate.

My PhD research in Building Engineering at Concordia University, focused on the development a design methodology for energy efficient, solar optimized residential neighborhoods, with building shape, density and site layout as design parameters. My postdoctoral research under the NSERC Smart Net-Zero Energy Building Strategic Research Network extends this topic to mixed-use neighborhood designs with the goal of achieving net zero energy status, and development of energy efficient/energy generator building envelope components (facades and roofs).

The research that I am conducting is multidisciplinary by nature, playing a bridging role between building engineering and architectural and urban design. The objective of this research is the development of a community design approach integrating neighborhood characteristics, building design and construction, building envelope design and current issues of building technology and sustainability.

My current research activities have resulted in involvement in feasibility studies of several solar community designs, in different locations in Canada.

My work was granted several awards including IBPSA-Canada eSim 2012 Outstanding Contribution for Innovative Directions in Modeling, and the IASS (International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures) 2005 Hangai Prize for young researchers.

Graduate student openings

Graduate students (MASc or PhD) with background in building engineering including building envelope, heat transfer, building mechanical systems, building science, building construction and with knowledge of programming are needed to conduct research in the Solar Energy and Community Design Lab (SECDL). Please contact Prof. H-Vermette if you have the above background and are interested in researching the above mentioned topics. SECDL offers the opportunity to collaborate with industry partners, to develop industry experience in building sciences, energy efficiency and energy systems, and to tackle issues pertinent to the development of sustainable environment.

Selected work

Selected publications in refereed technical journals

  • Hachem C, ElSayed, M. (2016), Patterns of façade system design for enhanced energy performance of multistory buildings, Journal of Energy and Buildings, in press.
  • Hachem, C., (2016). Impact of neighborhood design on energy performance and GHG emissions, Journal of Applied Energy, Volume 177, Pages 422–434.
  • Hachem C., Cubi, E. Bergerson, J. (2015). Energy performance of a solar mixed-use community, Sustainable cities and communities (Special issue),
  • Hachem C., A. Athienitis, P. Fazio, (2014). Energy performance enhancement in multistory residential buildings, Journal of Applied Energy, in Press.
  • Hachem C., Fazio, P., and Athienitis, A., (2013). Solar optimized residential neighborhoods: Evaluation and design methodology, Journal of Solar Energy,95, 42–64.
  • Hachem C., A. Athienitis, P. Fazio, (2012). Design of roofs for increased solar potential of BIPV/T systems and their applications to housing units. ASHRAE Transactions RNS-00226-2011.R1.
  • Hachem C., A. Athienitis, P. Fazio, (2011), Investigation of Solar Potential of Housing Units in Different Neighborhood Designs, Journal of Energy and Buildings, Volume 43, Issue 9,  Pages 2262-2273.
  • Hachem C., A. Athienitis, P. Fazio, (2011), Parametric investigation of geometric form effects on solar potential of housing units, Journal of Solar Energy, Volume 85, Issue 9, Pages 1864-1877.
  • Hachem, C., Fazio, P., Rao, J., Bartlett, K., Chaubey, Y., (2008); Identification and Transport Investigation of Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds in Full Scale Stud Cavities, Building and Environment, Building and Environment, Volume 44, Issue 8, Pages 1691-1698.
  • Hachem, C., Hanaor, A., "Folding Sleeves – Variations on a Theme of the Earthworm", International Journal of Space Structure, Vol.20, No 3, 2005, 127-146.
  • Hachem, C., Karni, E., Hanaor, A., "Deployable Structures in Nature: Examples, Analysis and Realization", Journal of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures, Vol.45, No 3, 2004, 190- 198.

Selected conference papers (since 2011)

  • MacGregor, A. and Hachem, C. (2016).  Cold-Climate Supermarket attached Greenhouse: A Case Study, Eurosun Conference, Spain.
  • Hachem, C., (2016) Environmental impact of various neighborhood designs, SimAUD 2016, London.
  • MacGregor, A. and Hachem, C. (2016) Investigation of Design Strategies For Improved Energy Performance In Supermarkets: A Case Study, eSim 2016.
  • ElSayed, M. and Hachem, C. (2016). Development of optimization methodology for increased energy efficiency of PV integrated curtain wall systems, eSim 2016.
  • Bigalia, E., Hachem, C., ElSayed M., and Athienitis, A. (2016). Solar energy potential for commercial building façade retrofit, eSim 2016.
  • Hachem C., Cubi, E. Bergerson, J. (2015). Energy performance of a solar mixed-use community, 4th Climate Change Technology Conference, Montreal, Canada.
  • Hachem, C., (2015), Design of a base case mixed-use community and its energy performance, 6th International Building Physics Conference, Torino, Italy.
  • C. Hachem, P. Fazio and A. Athienitis, (2013), Design of curtain wall facades in multistory buildings for improved solar potential and daylighting distribution, ISES Conference,3-7 Nov., Cancun, Mexico.
  • C. Hachem, P. Fazio and A. Athienitis, (2013), Effect of Housing Density on Energy Performance of Solar-optimized Residential Configurations, CISBAT Conference, 4-6 September, Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • Hachem C., Athienitis, A., and Fazio, F., Design Methodology of Solar Neighborhoods, Solar Heating and Cooling Conference, Energy Procedia, July 2012.
  • Hachem C., Athienitis, A., and Fazio, F., Solar Optimized Neighborhood Patterns: Evaluation and Guidelines, eSim 2012, 7th Biennal Building Simulation Conference of IBPSA-Halifax, Canada, May 2 - 3, 2012.
  • Hachem C., Fazio, P., and Athienitis, A. Energy Implications and Solar Energy Potential of Housing Units ‘Shapes, The 5th International Building Physics Conference (IBPC5), Kyoto, Japan, May 2012.
  • Hachem C., Athienitis, A., and Fazio, F., Design of Roof Morphology for Increased Solar Potential of BIPV/T Systems, ISES Conference, Kassel, Germany, August 2011.
  • Hachem C., Athienitis, A., and Fazio, F., Evaluation of Alternative Neighborhood Patterns for BIPV Potential and Energy Performance, CISBAT, Lauzanne, Switzerland, September 2011.
  • Hachem C., Athienitis, A., and Fazio, F., Design of Solar Optimized Neighbourhood, ASHRAE conference, Montreal, June 2011.

Books and Chapters in books

  • Jun-Tae Kim, Jin-Hee Kim, Ahmed Hassan, Caroline Hachem, and Fred Edmond Boafo, 2016. Net Zero Energy Mass Customized Houses ZEMCH: Toward the Delivery of Zero Energy Mass Custom Homes-Chapter 9. , published by Springer.
  • Hachem,C. , Fazio P., Bartlett, K.2010, Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds in Full Scale Stud Cavities (published MS thesis),   LAP Lambert Academic Publishing, AG & CoKG.
  • Hachem, C. and Hanaor, A., "Folding Sleeves - Variations on a Theme of the Earthworm", 2009, in Motro R., Editor, Structural Morphology and Configuration Processing of Space Structures, Part B: Structural Morphology, Multi-Science, Brentwood, Essex, pp.115-138.

Selected Seminars and Invited Talks

  • Co-organizing and speaking at the Interdisciplinary congress (May 2016), Energizing by Design.
  • Panelist, the City Dark (24 Nov 2015), IES Calgary Section.
  • Invited speaker in the International Seminar – Arquitectura E Ingenireria De Envolventes De Edificios, organized by the schools of Architecture and Engineering of Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Nov 2015.
  • Invited speaker and chairing a session in CZEBS-iiSBE-APEC Symposium, Aug 2015.
  • Invited speaker in Open Symposium on Solar Energy in Urban Planning, Trondheim, Norway, March 2015.
  • Invited speaker for 2013 Building Saskatchewan Green Conference, Oct 25th.
  • Seminar on the subject of Planning and Designing Solar Neighborhoods, in Australia/Canada/Sweden joint seminar, organized by CRC for Low Carbon Living. Held in Sydney, Australia, February, 2013.
  • Panelist on the subject of Building Integrated Photovoltaic Systems, at CANSIA (2012), Toronto Canada.
  • Health Symposium, on the subject of Sick Buildings Syndromes ‒ Identification of Mold in wall cavities, Montreal, May 2012.
  • Seminar on the subject of design parameters for energy efficiency buildings and communities, at Dawson College, Montreal, February 2012.
  • Seminar on the design of large-scale solar communities, delivered for a group from the industry sector in collaboration with National Resources Canada (NRCan), Calgary, October 2011.
  • PhD International Workshop (for international PhD students), on the subject of architectural integration of solar technologies in buildings, Concordia University, June 2011.


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