Philip Oldfield

Head of School

Philip Oldfield is Head of School at UNSW Built Environment, having previously been the Director of the Architecture program.

Prior to joining UNSW, Philip was the co-creator and Course Director of the MArch in Sustainable Tall Buildings at the University of Nottingham, UK – the world’s only course and qualification dedicated to the design and research of high-rise architecture. He has also taught at universities in Chicago, Venice and Singapore. 

Philip’s research interests are focused primarily on tall building design, sustainability, liveability and embodied carbon. He is an active member of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), and is author of the book “The Sustainable Tall Building: A Design Primer” published by Taylor and Francis in 2019. He has led over $1 million of funded research projects with diverse inter-disciplinary teams from industry and academia, tackling issues varying from how we use evidence to create high performance buildings, to strategies to simultaneously reduce embodied carbon and cost in buildings. He was a guest editor for Energy and Buildings on a special issue dedicated to embodied carbon, and has also published in The Journal of Architecture, Architectural Science Review, Solar Energy, A+U, Emotion Space and Society and more.

He has a passion for teaching in higher education, across both architectural studio and seminar courses, and has been recognised as a Scientia Education Fellow at UNSW. In addition, he is a British Science Association Media Fellow and regularly writes articles for Architecture Australia, Architects’ Journal, the Guardian and many other publications. He is a guest editor of a special edition of Architecture Australia dedicated to 'Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure', published in September 2019.

Journal articles
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Robati M; Oldfield P; Nezhad AA; Carmichael DG; Kuru A, 2021, 'Carbon value engineering: A framework for integrating embodied carbon and cost reduction strategies in building design', Building and Environment, vol. 192, pp. 107620 - 107620, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2021.107620
2021
Wu X; Oldfield P; Heath T, 2020, 'Spatial openness and student activities in an atrium: A parametric evaluation of a social informal learning environment', Building and Environment, vol. 182, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2020.107141
2020
Kuru A; Oldfield P; Bonser S; Fiorito F, 2020, 'A framework to achieve multifunctionality in biomimetic adaptive building skins', Buildings, vol. 10, pp. 114 - 114, http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/BUILDINGS10070114
2020
Criado-Perez C; Collins CG; Jackson CJ; Oldfield P; Pollard B; Sanders K, 2020, 'Beyond an ‘informed opinion’: evidence-based practice in the built environment', Architectural Engineering and Design Management, vol. 16, pp. 23 - 40, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17452007.2019.1617670
2020
Yu M; Robati M; Oldfield P; Wiedmann T; Crawford R; Nezhad AA; Carmichael DG, 2020, 'The impact of value engineering on embodied greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment: A hybrid life cycle assessment', Building and Environment, vol. 168, pp. 106452 - 106452, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.106452
2020
Kuru A; Oldfield P; Bonser S; Fiorito F, 2019, 'Biomimetic adaptive building skins: Energy and environmental regulation in buildings', Energy and Buildings, vol. 205, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2019.109544
2019
Oldfield P; Doherty B, 2019, 'Offset Cores: Trends, Drivers and Frequency in Tall Buildings', CTBUH Journal, vol. 2019, pp. 40 - 47, https://global.ctbuh.org/resources/papers/download/4186-offset-cores-trends-drivers-and-frequency-in-tall-buildings.pdf
2019
Hammad A; Akbarnezhad A; Oldfield PF, 2018, 'Optimising Embodied Carbon and U-value in Load Bearing Walls: A Mathematical Bi-Objective Mixed Integer Programming Approach', Energy and Buildings, vol. 174, pp. 657 - 671, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2018.05.061
2018
Ghabra N; Rodrigues L; Oldfield PF, 2017, 'Improving Energy Performance in Gulf Residential High-Rises', CTBUH Journal, pp. 38 - 43, http://global.ctbuh.org/resources/papers/download/3372-improving-energy-performance-in-gulf-region-residential-high-rises.pdf
2017
Hadi Y; Heath T; Oldfield PF, 2017, 'Gardens in the sky: Emotional experiences in the communal spaces at height in the Pinnacle@Duxton, Singapore', Emotion, Space and Society, vol. 28, pp. 104 - 113, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.emospa.2017.09.001
2017
Ghabra N; Rodrigues L; Oldfield PF, 2017, 'The impact of the building envelope on the energy efficiency of residential tall buildings in Saudi Arabia', International Journal of Low-Carbon Technologies, vol. 12, pp. 411 - 419, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ijlct/ctx005
2017
Lochhead H; Oldfield PF, 2017, 'The Role of Design Competitions in Shaping Sydney's Public Realm', CTBUH Journal, vol. IV, pp. 34 - 39, http://global.ctbuh.org/resources/papers/download/3410-the-role-of-design-competitions-in-shaping-sydneys-public-realm.pdf
2017
Oldfield PF, 2017, 'A "Fabric-First" Approach to Sustainable Tall Building Design', International Journal of High-Rise Buildings, vol. 6, pp. 177 - 185, http://dx.doi.org/10.21022/IJHRB.2017.6.2.177
2017
Santamouris M; Ding L; Fiorito F; Oldfield P; Osmond P; Paolini R; Prasad D; Synnefa A, 2016, 'Passive and active cooling for the outdoor built environment – Analysis and assessment of the cooling potential of mitigation technologies using performance data from 220 large scale projects', Solar Energy, vol. 154, pp. 14 - 33, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2016.12.006
2016
Wu X; Oldfield PF, 2015, 'How the “Civic” Trend Developed in the Histories of the Universities', Open Journal of Social Sciences, vol. 3, pp. 11 - 14, http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jss.2015.36003
2015
Nicholson-Cole D; Oldfield P, 2012, 'Design research', CTBUH Journal, pp. 40 - 41
2012
Oldfield PF; Wood A, 2011, 'From the Orthogonal to the Irregular: The Role of Innovation in Form of High-Rise Buildings', Urbanism and Architecture, pp. 27 - 31
2011
Oldfield P, 2011, 'Real life data to support environmental claims for tall buildings', CTBUH Journal, pp. 61
2011
Oldfield P; Nicholson D, 2011, 'Design research', CTBUH Journal, pp. 46 - 47
2011
Oldfield PF; Wood A, 2009, 'Tall Buildings in the Global Recession: 2008, 2020 and Beyond', CTBUH Journal, pp. 20 - 26, http://global.ctbuh.org/resources/papers/download/329-tall-buildings-in-the-global-recession-2008-2020-and-beyond.pdf
2009
Oldfield P; Trabucco D; Wood A, 2009, 'Five energy generations of tall buildings: An historical analysis of energy consumption in high-rise buildings', Journal of Architecture, vol. 14, pp. 591 - 613, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13602360903119405
2009
Wood A; Oldfield PF, 2008, 'Global Trends in High-Rise Design', Urbanism and Architecture, pp. 14 - 16
2008
Wood A; Oldfield P, 2005, 'Bridging the gap: An analysis of proposed evacuation links at height in the world trade centre design competition entries', CTBUH 2005 - 7th World Congress Renewing the Urban Landscape, Proceedings
2005
Creative Written Works
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Oldfield P, 2020, Population and urban infrastructure in the century of cities, https://architectureau.com/articles/population-cities-urban-infrastructure/
2020
Oldfield P, 2020, Designing hope: The role of architecture education in the climate crisis, Architecture Australia, https://architectureau.com/articles/designing-hope-the-role-of-architecture-education-in-the-climate-crisis/
2020
Oldfield P, 2020, Architectural balancing act: Kambri at ANU, Architecture Australia, https://architectureau.com/articles/kambri-at-anu/
2020
Oldfield P, 2019, Macquarie University Incubator, Architecture Australia
2019
Oldfield P, 2019, Carbon Value Engineering: Reducing Carbon and Cost in Buildings, Building Economist, https://issuu.com/aiqs_be/docs/tbe19sep?fr=sNzc1ZTEwMzM0
2019
Dixon I; Oldfield P, 2019, Mainstreaming Low Carbon Design, The Fifth Estate, https://www.thefifthestate.com.au/innovation/case-studies/mainstreaming-low-carbon-design-2/
2019
Oldfield P, 2019, Toward a generous skyscraper, Architecture Australia
2019
Gusheh M; Oldfield P, 2018, System, Ambience, Translation, Architecture and Urbanism -Tokyo-, Japan Architects Co., Ltd.
2018
Oldfield PF, 2017, The EY Centre, Architecture Australia
2017
Oldfield PF, 2016, Beyond the icon: despite a construction boom, Australian skyscraper design needs to evolve, Beyond the icon: despite a construction boom, Australian skyscraper design needs to evolve, theconversation.com, https://theconversation.com/beyond-the-icon-despite-a-construction-boom-australian-skyscraper-design-needs-to-evolve-57056
2016
Oldfield PF, 2016, From Void-Deck to Skygarden, Urban Design Group Journal, Urban Design Group, http://www.udg.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/UD139_magazine.pdf
2016
Oldfield PF, 2015, Don’t Fear the Skyscraper – Why London Needs More Tall Buildings, Don’t Fear the Skyscraper – Why London Needs More Tall Buildings, The Conversation, https://theconversation.com/dont-fear-the-skyscraper-why-london-needs-more-tall-buildings-45029
2015
Oldfield PF, 2014, Skylines around the World, Architects' Journal, http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/home/skyline/skylines-around-the-world/8662090.article
2014
Book Chapters
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Oldfield P, 2020, 'Big: The Potential of Scale', in Bruhn C (ed.), MMXX: Two Decades of Architecture in Australia, Thames & Hudson, Melbourne, pp. 181 - 183
2020
Oldfield P; Swinbourne R; Symons K, 2019, 'Decarbonising Commercial Buildings', in Newton P; Prasad D; Sproul A; White S (ed.), Decarbonising the Built Environment, Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 163 - 191, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-7940-6_9
2019
Wood A; Oldfield PF, 2009, 'Global Trends in High-Rise Design', in Mei H; Zhu Y (ed.), The New Trends of the Creation of High-Rise Building, China Architecture and Building Press, pp. 10 - 13
2009
Reports
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Augros R; Dixon I; Partridge L; Oldfield P; Slee B; Vasilakopoulou K, 2019, Guide to Low Carbon Commercial Buildings – New Build, CRC LCL, Sydney, http://builtbetter.org/node/8177
2019
Criado-Perez C; Pollard B; Oldfield PF; Collins C; Jackson C; Sanders K, 2018, Building Better Decisions: Why Good Evidence is Used (and Ignored) in the Built Environment Sector, Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living Ltd, Sydney, http://www.lowcarbonlivingcrc.com.au/sites/all/files/publications_file_attachments/building_better_decisions_final_230318.pdf
2018
Robati M; Oldfield P; Akbar Nezhad A; Carmichael DG, 2018, Embodied Carbon and Capital Cost Impact of Current Value Engineering Practices: A Case Study, Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living, Sydney, http://www.lowcarbonlivingcrc.com.au/sites/all/files/publications_file_attachments/carbon_ve_project-stage_2-mr12.6.2018.pdf
2018
Oldfield PF; Trabucco D; Wood A, 2014, Roadmap on the Future Research Needs of Tall Buildings, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, http://www.ctbuh.org/roadmap/ResearchRoadmap_CTBUH-CIB-UNESCO.pdf
2014
Books
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Oldfield P, 2019, The Sustainable Tall Building A Design Primer, Routledge, London / New York, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315695686
2019
Conference Papers
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Kuru A; Fiorito F; Oldfield P; Bonser S, 2018, 'Multi-functional biomimetic adaptive facades: Developing a new framework', in Luible A; Gosztonyi S (ed.), Proceedings of the COST Action TU1403 - Adaptive Facades Network Final Conference: Facade 2018 - Adaptive! Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, 26-27 November 2018, Lucerne, Switzerland,, TU Delft Open, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, pp. 231 - 240, presented at Facade 2018 - Adaptive!, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, 26 November 2018 - 27 November 2018, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329196292_Facade_2018_-_Adaptive_Proceedings_of_the_COST_Action_TU1403_Adaptive_Facades_Network_Final_Conference
2018
Kuru A; Fiorito F; Oldfield P; Bonser S, 2018, 'Multi-functional biomimetic adaptive facades: A case study', in Luible A; Gosztonyi S (ed.), Proceedings of the COST Action TU1403 - Adaptive Facades Network Final Conference: Facade 2018 - Adaptive!, TU Delft Open, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, pp. 241 - 250, presented at Facade 2018 - Adaptive!, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, 26 November 2018 - 27 November 2018, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329196292_Facade_2018_-_Adaptive_Proceedings_of_the_COST_Action_TU1403_Adaptive_Facades_Network_Final_Conference
2018
Bansal K; Varshneya H; Oldfield PF, 2017, 'The History of the Skygarden: A Chronological Analysis of Socio-Communal Spaces at Height in Tall Buildings', in The History of the Skygarden: A Chronological Analysis of Socio-Communal Spaces at Height in Tall Buildings, GSTF, Singapore, pp. 25 - 33, presented at 5th Annual International Conference on Architecture and Civil Engineering (ACE 2017), Singapore, 08 May 2017 - 09 May 2017, http://dx.doi.org/10.5176/2301-394X_ACE17.42
2017
Hall S; Oldfield PF; Mullins B; Pollard B; Criado-Perez C, 2016, 'Evidence based practice for the built environment: Can systematic reviews close the research - practice gap?', in Ding L; Fiorito F; Osmond P (eds.), Proceedia Engineering, Elsevier, Sydney, pp. 912 - 924, presented at International High- Performance Built Environment Conference – A Sustainable Built Environment Conference 2016 Series (SBE16), iHBE 2016, Sydney, 17 November 2016 - 18 November 2016, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.proeng.2017.04.341
2016
Ghabra N; Oldfield PF; Rodrigues L, 2015, 'Investigating the Role of Façade Design in Improving Energy Efficiency for Residential Tall Buildings in Saudi Arabia', in 14th International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies – SET 2015, 14th International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies – SET 2015, Nottingham, presented at 14th International Conference on Sustainable Energy Technologies – SET 2015, Nottingham, 25 August 2015 - 27 August 2015
2015
Ghabra N; Rodrigues L; Oldfield PF, 2015, 'Energy Efficiency of Residential Tall Buildings in the Gulf Region: Trends and Solutions', in PLEA 2015, PLEA 2015, Bologne, presented at PLEA 2015, Bologne, 09 September 2015 - 11 September 2015
2015
Pramati L; Oldfield PF, 2015, 'Tall Building Planning Strategy and Governance: What Can Jakarta Learn from Other Cities?', in 3rd International Conference on Architecture and Civil Engineering (ACE 2015), 3rd International Conference on Architecture and Civil Engineering (ACE 2015), Singapore, presented at 3rd International Conference on Architecture and Civil Engineering (ACE 2015), Singapore, 13 September 2015 - 14 September 2015, http://dx.doi.org/10.5176/2301-394X_ACE15.95
2015
Hadi Y; Oldfield PF; Heath T, 2014, 'Vertical Public Realms: Creating Urban Spaces in the Sky', in Wood A; Zheng S; Johnson T (eds.), Proceedings of the CTBUH 2014 Conference “Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism”,, Council on Tall Buildings an Urban Habitat, Shanghai, pp. 112 - 119, presented at CTBUH 2014 “Future Cities: Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism”,, Shanghai, 16 September 2014 - 19 September 2014, http://global.ctbuh.org/resources/papers/download/1885-vertical-public-realms-creating-urban-spaces-in-the-sky.pdf
2014
Oldfield PF, 2012, 'Embodied Carbon and High-Rise', in Wood A; Johnson T; Li GQ (eds.), Proceedings of the CTBUH 9th World Congress “Asia Ascending: Age of the Sustainable Skyscraper City”, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Shanghai, pp. 614 - 622, presented at CTBUH 9th World Congress “Asia Ascending: Age of the Sustainable Skyscraper City”, Shanghai, 19 September 2012 - 22 September 2012, http://ctbuh.org/Portals/0/Repository/Oldfield_2012_EmbodiedCarbonHigh-Rise.6d314622-4f39-444f-83ea-aa717dfc447b.pdf
2012
Kilaire A; Oldfield PF, 2010, 'Aluminium and Double Skin Facades', in Katgerman L; Soetens F (ed.), Proceedings of the 11th International Aluminium Conference ‘INALCO’: “New Frontiers in Light Metals”, IOS Press, Einhoven University of Technology, Holland, pp. 177 - 188, presented at 11th International Aluminium Conference ‘INALCO’: “New Frontiers in Light Metals”, Einhoven University of Technology, Holland, 23 June 2010 - 25 June 2010, http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/978-1-60750-586-0-177
2010
Oldfield PF; Trabucco D; Wood A, 2008, 'Five Energy Generations of Tall Buildings: A Historical Analysis of Energy Consumption in High Rise Buildings', in Wood A (ed.), Proceedings of the CTBUH 8th World Congress, Dubai: ‘Tall & Green: Typology for a Sustainable Urban Future’, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Dubai, pp. 300 - 300, presented at Tall & Green: Typology for a Sustainable Urban Future, Dubai, 03 March 2008 - 05 March 2008
2008
Wood A; Oldfield PF, 2005, 'Bridging the Gap: An Analysis of Proposed Evacuation Links at Height in the World Trade Centre Design Competition Entries', in Digital Proceedings of the CTBUH 7th World Congress: ‘Renewing the Urban Landscape’, New York, pp. 173 - 180, presented at CTBUH 7th World Congress: ‘Renewing the Urban Landscape’, New York, 16 October 2005 - 19 October 2005, http://dx.doi.org/10.3763/asre.2007.5023
2005
Other
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Goad P; Wittenoom S; Oldfield P; Demirbilek O; Bergdoll B, 2018, Gold medallist Alexander Tzannes, Architecture Media bimonthly, online, https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=662823444603411;res=IELAPA
2018
Conference Presentations
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Oldfield PF, 2017, 'Rethinking the Australian Skyscraper', presented at Australian Smart Skyscrapers Summit, 2017, Melbourne, 28 March 2017 - 29 March 2017, http://www.skyscrapersconference.com.au/
2017
Oldfield PF; Waldren D; Larmour-Reid J; Weismantle P, 2017, 'Panel Discussion: Regulations Impacting Height Limits for High Rise Buildings', presented at Australian Smart Skyscrapers Summit, 2017, Melbourne, 28 March 2017 - 29 March 2017, http://www.skyscrapersconference.com.au/
2017
Oldfield PF, 2016, 'A "Fabric First" Approach to Sustainable Tall Building Design', pp. 952 - 960, presented at CTBUH 2016 Conference: Cities to Megacities, Shenzhen, 17 October 2016 - 21 October 2016, http://global.ctbuh.org/resources/papers/download/2981-a-fabric-first-approach-to-sustainable-tall-building-design.pdf
2016
Oldfield PF, 2016, 'Towers of the Future: How can we Reinvent High-Rise Housing?', presented at HIA Building Better Cities Summit 2016: Housing 2030, Sydney, 26 October 2016 - 26 October 2016, http://hia.com.au/summit
2016
Oldfield PF, 2016, 'Perfect Skyscrapers for Australia: Factors to Consider When Building Skyscrapers in Australian Cities', presented at 8th Annual NSW Major Projcts Conference, Sydney, 15 November 2016 - 16 November 2016, http://www.nswconference.com.au/
2016
Oldfield PF, (eds.), 2015, 'Vertical Urbanisation: A 21st Century Phenomenon', pp. 36 - 36, presented at Vertigo in the City: Conversations between the Sciences, Arts and Humanities, London, 30 May 2015 - 30 May 2015, http://vertigointhecity.com/
2015
Oldfield P, 2011, 'The ‘PassivHaus’ Skyscraper: Opportunities and Challenges for ‘PassivHaus’ Thinking in Tall Building Design', presented at CTBUH 2011 World Conference “Why Tall? Green, Safety and Humanity”, Seoul, 10 October 2011 - 12 October 2011
2011
Oldfield PF, 2011, 'PassivHaus in Higher Education – A Lecturer’s Perspective', presented at UK PassivHaus Conference, London, 24 October 2011 - 25 October 2011
2011
Oldfield PF, 2010, 'The Carbon Impact of Tall: Embodied Energy in High Rise', presented at CTBUH 2010 World Conference India: ‘Remaking Sustainable Cities in the Vertical Age’, Mumbai, 03 February 2010 - 05 February 2010
2010
Conference Posters
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Oldfield PF, 2014, 'Vertical Farming: Architectural Design Considerations', Nottingham, presented at International Conference on Vertical Farming and Urban Agriculture 2014, Nottingham, 09 September 2014 - 10 September 2014
2014
2018 - Offset Core Research Project. CI of this seed-funded project of $6,021AUD supported by the CTBUH. The project aims to document trends and drivers in the construction of offset cores in high-rise architecture. 
 
2017 - Carbon Value Engineering. CI of this 1.5 year $378,507AUD project funded through the CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL). The project aims to identify the carbon impact of value engineering, and develop new strategies to reduce embodied carbon and cost in multistorey buildings in the early design process. Collaboration between UNSW Built Environment, UNSW Civil Engineering and Multiplex.
 
2016 – Closing the Loop. CI of this 3.5 year $609,962AUD project funded through the CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL). The project aims to identify how evidence is used in the creation of low-carbon commercial buildings, and to develop better mechanisms for evidence-based-design. The project is a collaboration between UNSW, CRCLCL and Curtin University and funds two full time PhD studentships, a full-time post-doctoral researcher, and a part-time Research Assistant.
 
2012 – Roadmap on the Future Research Needs of Tall Buildings. $5,000USD awarded by the CTBUH (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) and CIB (International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction). The Roadmap was a joint initiative led by Philip Oldfield of the University of Nottingham, and Dario Trabucco of Università IUAV di Venezia, with contributions from the CTBUH, CIB and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). 

My research is centred on the architecture of tall buildings, with a specific focus on their sustainability. This ranges from their environmental performance and design, to how their respond to the context of the city, and finally includes how communities are formed, and people live in high-rise.

Philip is involved in the following courses at UNSW;

Course leader - ARCH1161: Architectural Science and Building Environment 1