Aoife Houlihan Wiberg

Professor, Chair of Research in Architecture

  • Phone+442895367321
  • York Street, Belfast Campus

    BT15 1ED Belfast

    United Kingdom

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Professor Aoife Houlihan Wiberg B.Sc. (Hons.), B.Arch., M.Phil., Ph.D., RIBA

Professor of Architecture, Chair of Research in Architecture and Founding Director of The Architectural Research Group (ARG) at the Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment at Ulster University, Belfast, UK since 2019. She is a Chartered member of The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) elected in 2001 and graduated with a M.Phil. (1998) and PhD Degree (2010) in Architecture from the Dept. of Architecture, University of Cambridge, England. She is an Associate of Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd., Cambridge, UK (2021), and sits on the Expert Review Panel on the Built Environment in The Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development (FORMAS) 2021.

She has worked in architectural practice in the UK, Hong Kong, Malaysia and The Bahamas and has recently returned to the UK after working for 10 years at The Research Centre for Zero Emission Buildings (ZEB and The Research Centre for Zero Emission Neighbourhoods in Smart Cities (ZEN at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. She spent a research sabbatical at The Centre for the Built Environment, The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), University of California Berkeley, USA (2017-8).

She is an invited member of the Editorial Board of Environmental Research: Infrastructure Sustainability (ERIS), UC Berkeley, USA; Invited Guest Editor to ‘Energies’ on a special issue ‘Advancements in Achieving Zero-Energy Buildings’ (2021); sits on several international scientific conference committees and has won a number of awards for her publications and as reviewer ; Invited guest speaker in South Korea, Japan, Singapore, USA and Europe; She is UK National Representative and participant to the International Energy Agency (IEA) Annex 72 – Assessing Life Cycle Related Environmental Impacts Caused by Buildings ( Prior to this, she was Norwegian National Representative and participant to the (IEA) Annex 57 – Evaluation of Embodied Energy and CO2eq Emissions for building construction ( Her research is focused on net zero GHG emission definitions, net zero building and neighbourhood design, embodied carbon, dynamic LCA modelling and immersive visualisation technologies for improved engagement in the design process. She is currently supervising 3 PhDs in the field of net zero emission design, as well as, leading a B.Arch/M.Arch superstudio and a M.Arch. module both focused on net zero emission design and decarbonisation of the Built Environment. She is Lead Co-PI on 'The Architects of Change' research project (, which puts students from her Superstudio ( at the heart of developing and delivering a Net Zero training programme to business leaders across the region.

Research Expertise:

  • International definition for net zero GHG emission and climate neutral buildings - Harmonised methodology guidelines
  • Embodied Carbon calculation methodology & Tool for use in net zero assessment of ZEB pilots (The ZEB Tool)
  • Net zero GHG emission building assessment workflows and tools
  • Design Drivers and Strategies for climate resilient and net zero GHG emission buildings and neighbourhoods in different climatic contexts worldwide
  • Climate Resilient, Affordable, Zero (GHG) Emission Building Design Prototypes for disaster prone regions for Global GHG Reductions
  • Visualisation and immersive technologies (Virtual Realty & Augmented Realty) for ZEN KPIS for improved stakeholder engagement in the design process

Current PhD Researchers:

PhD Title: Digital Twins Platform for Dynamic Life Cycle Assessment of Buildings (Current status - Interview of Candidates)

PhD Title: The Zero Emission Building Concepts for Warm Climates with off the grid operation (PhD Researcher Daniel Satola NTNU/ZEN Norway) 

PhD Title: Climate Resilient Net and Autonomous Zero Emission Buildings and Communities (NZEB)-Definitions and Prototypes for Net Zero Retrofit Social Housing UK/North Ireland context (PhD Researcher Ben James, UU Belfast, UK)

Title: Visualisation and Immersive technology to improve stakeholder participation in net Zero Emission Buildings and Neighbourhoods (ZEN) in Smart Cities context (PhD Researcher Ryan Johnston, UU Belfast, UK) 

Previous PhD researchers:

PhD  Thesis: Life Cycle greenhouse gas emission analysis of single family Norw gian Zero Emission pilot buildings and Concepts. (PhD researcher Torhildur Fjola Kristjansdottir)



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 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

External positions

FORMAS The Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development, FORMAS - The Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development

1 May 20211 May 2025

Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd, Cambridge Architectural Research Ltd.

1 Mar 2021 → …

The Research Centre for Zero Emission Buildings, Department of Architecture, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway


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