Sherif Goubran

Concordia University


Concordia University, Faculty of Fine Arts, 1515 Ste. Catherine St. Ouest, EV 6.755, Montreal, QC, Canada, H3G 1M8

Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Competitions and Mediations of Excellence

Laboratoire d'Étude de l'Archtecture Potentielle

Sherif Goubran is a Ph.D. student in the Individualized Program (INDI) at Concordia University and a Vanier Scholar. He is conducting interdisciplinary research on building sustainability assessment within the fields of design, building engineering and finance. His PhD research investigates the alignment between local sustainable practice and global sustainability goals. His research focus includes building sustainability and sustainability assessment, behavioral approaches in design, building-occupant interaction in buildings as well as topics relating to sustainability in urban and architectural design. Sherif was awarded many scholarships and awards for his research work including the Vanier Canada Scholarship, the INDI Entrance Fellowship and the LEAP PhD Entrance Scholarship. Sherif presented his doctorate research in more than 3 international conferences, in professional journals, and books. He is also actively engaged in co-editing books and organizing research events. He completed a M.A.Sc. in building engineering at Concordia in 2016 with a focus on energy efficiency in commercial buildings. His masters research was published in more than 5 journals and 4 conference articles. During his masters, he received the Concordia University Retired Faculty and Staff Graduate Award. Before that, Sherif completed a B.S. in Architecture at the American University in Cairo (AUC-Egypt) where he graduated top of his class in 2014 and received the academic achievement award for the 5 consecutive years of undergraduate studies. Sherif also presented some of his undergraduate work in student conferences. Today, Sherif is actively engaged in several research laboratories, centers and groups where he teaches and conducts research in design, engineering, architecture and finance. He is also involved in several sustainability initiatives and projects at Concordia on the student as well as the administrative levels.

Title: Our buildings have credentials…Now what? “Green” Buildings and Sustainable Development Goals in Canada

Supervisor: Prof. Carmela Cucuzzella

Research Summary: Today, our understanding of sustainability in our cities and buildings is at crisis. The standards that we depend on are disconnected from the social, cultural and economic realities of both users and localities. In the last 10 years in Canada, 26% of the new awards in architecture are environmentally focused. Yet, we observe a clear gap between our technical definition of sustainability in buildings and the holistic Sustainable Development Goals. New frameworks and approaches are urgently needed to shape our future cities and urban environments. This interdisciplinary research tackles this problem on both the theoretical and practical levels. The research roots Sustainable Development Goals in local contexts and defines quality of sustainable design through critical design approaches. The research presents a theoretical model which is adaptable to different locations and goals, and confronts it with 13 award-winning architecture projects from across Canada. Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be used to analyze the design, its description, and the users’ perspective for each project. This will enable us to understand the limitations and potentials of our current methods and the possible future directions. The research contributes to the theory and practice of environmental design within a number of academic fields. The outcomes will provide important insights for governments, scholars, practitioners and institutions to align building practices with local realities and holistic sustainability goals. The research supports Canada’s leadership in sustainable and clean-growth development in the built environment.

Keywords: Sustainable built environment, Environmental design, Sustainability assessment, Building sustainability, Sustainable development goals, Sustainability assessment tools, Local and global tensions, Contextual design, Theory of environmental design, Design assessment